The Journal Gazette
 
 
Tuesday, February 04, 2020 1:00 am

Final NACS forums on boundaries today

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Time is running out for those wanting to share their opinions about proposed elementary school boundaries in Northwest Allen County Schools.

The last two of eight community meetings with Superintendent Chris Himsel are today at 3:30 p.m. at Arcola Elementary School and 7 p.m. at Huntertown Elementary School.

Almost 200 people have submitted feedback through an online form at www.nacs.k12.in.us, NACS spokeswoman Lizette Downey said by email Monday. She expects the district will close that option soon. She didn't specify a date.

Attendance areas are being redrawn because NACS is opening an eighth elementary school in August to accommodate enrollment growth.

Meeting turnout has been good overall, though attendance per session has ranged from three to 30 people, Downey said.

The gatherings have produced good dialogue, she added.

“Those who have attended left with a much clearer understanding of the variables we have to consider in this decision,” Downey said.

When adjusting school boundaries, area districts typically consider factors including building capacity, geographic locations, potential growth, demographics, transportation and student-teacher ratios.

The NACS community has three proposals to consider.

Under two scenarios, the new Aspen Meadow Elementary School, 2650 Hathaway Road, would cover a smaller, more central geographical area bordered by attendance areas for Huntertown, Cedar Canyon, Oak View and Eel River elementary schools.

In the other option, the new school would cover a larger footprint extending to the district's northwest corner but would not extend as far east as the other proposals.

The color-coded maps, which are available on the district's website, are labeled to show which neighborhoods would be assigned to each school.

The school board has final say. While it's possible the five members could develop another option, a drastic change from the publicized maps is unlikely, Downey said. She noted the board has been involved from the beginning.

“The board already understands many of the dilemmas we face, and we do not foresee major deviation,” Downey said, “but they will review all of the feedback that has been submitted and use that to help make their final decision.”

Voters approved building a new elementary school in 2018 as part of an almost $34 million referendum that also included about $3 million in safety and efficiency improvements districtwide.

Potential updates on middle school attendance areas will be revisited later, according to the district. The middle school boundaries most likely will stay the same for the 2020-21 academic year.

asloboda@jg.net


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