Recommendation to the
Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education- March 14, 2016
Subject- Return of the original River Oaks Elementary School boundaries.
In 2003 voters in the Dearborn Public Schools passed a $150 million bond proposal to be used to build four new schools, additions at three high schools, and technology infrastructure upgrades throughout the district. Upon completion of the new schools there was a need to create new boundaries across the district to balance enrollment numbers at elementary, middle, and high school.
In order to relieve overcrowding at River Oaks the community task force, charged with developing the new boundary plan, recommended to the Board of Education a section of the River Oaks attendance area attend Haigh and Lindbergh Elementary School. Parents living in this attendance area did not want to leave River Oaks and the Board agreed to return the attendance area to it original boundaries at a future time.
Upon passage of the $70 million 2013 SMART Bond, the Board approved a six classroom and gymnasium addition at River Oaks. This increase in capacity at the school allows River Oaks to return to its original attendance area.
Meetings were held with parents living in the attendance area that will be returned to River Oaks but currently sends students to Haigh and Lindbergh. At the meetings District staff members collected feedback submitted by the parents. There was plenty of engaging dialogue, sharing of ideas, and constructive conversation at the meetings. Approximately ten different written forms of communication were received from parents. A summary of comments and ideas shared include:
· The opening of a STEM school at River Oaks in lieu of moving students back.
· A permanent “grandfather” provision for any residents that own property in the impacted attendance area prior to 2016.
· Do not change the attendance area and continue transporting students to Haigh and Lindbergh.
Administration Recommendation to the Board-
The Superintendent met with the three principals involved in the boundary area change and several Cabinet members to consider all ideas, options, and parent input. The following is the recommendation the Administration will make to the Board of Education for their approval:
· The River Oaks boundary lines will revert back to their original state prior to the changes made in 2005; this includes students living north of Ford Road. (Please see map).
· Allow for a grandfather provision, where any student that currently attends Haigh or Lindbergh as of the 2015-16 school year may choose to remain at those schools.
· Eliminate transportation for anyone that chooses the grandfather provision. Transportation would only be provided to River Oaks Elementary in the new boundary area.
The administration feels this plan will start the process of transitioning students back to River Oaks while still being fair by allowing those students who currently attend Haigh and Lindbergh to continue at those schools. In addition, parents always have the right to go through the normal school of choice and boundary line exemption process if they choose to do so.
This plan also fulfills the promise made by the Board of Education several years ago after the 2003 bond.