Recap: Boundary Study Community Input Sessions

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In late January, Cedar Rapids Community School District held two input sessions on boundary studies for five westside elementary schools: Coolidge, Hoover, Jackson, Truman, and Van Buren. These input sessions took place after an extensive internal review of enrollment patterns and transportation data, and conversations with the building principals and staff. Community input is heavily weighted in the boundary study process.

Changes to the boundaries of Coolidge, Jackson, and Truman are being considered as part of Tier 1, Phase 1 of the Facilities Master Plan. Hoover and Van Buren—the schools with the highest enrollment increases in the district—are also being considered during this time, not only because of their enrollment increases, but also their proximity to the new building sites and the increased capacity at the new buildings.

Once community feedback is incorporated into updated boundaries, they will go to the board of education in Spring 2021 for approval. The approved boundaries will become effective in Fall 2022 when the new elementary school at the Jackson site opens.

Guiding principles for impacted schools

The boundary study process for each school building is grounded in three guiding principles:

  • Balance of total population headcount
  • Potential of demographic balance
  • Nearby traffic patterns

In the next decade, the district anticipates a roughly 4% increase in student population in this area of Cedar Rapids. To account for this increase, room for enrollment growth will be factored in the updated boundaries.

Along with the guiding principles, another contributing factor is addressing the social and emotional needs of students. For example, the district aims to preserve groups of fifth graders as they transition to sixth grade as much as possible in the updated boundaries.

Existing elementary school boundaries can be found on the district website. The five westside elementaries can be found in the bottom left-hand corner of the map, and they are represented by these colors:

  • Coolidge: blue
  • Hoover: gray
  • Jackson: red
  • Truman: pink
  • Van Buren: gold

Three boundary proposals

Current student populations for each of the five schools are as follows:

  • Coolidge: 450
  • Hoover: 427
  • Jackson: 340
  • Truman: 265
  • Van Buren: 380

Boundary option 1

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Student population counts for option 1 are::

  • Coolidge: 476
  • Hoover: 406
  • Jackson: 533
  • Van Buren: 344
  • Truman Permits: 124

Please note that the Truman permits group accounts for the current Truman students who are not already incorporated into the new boundary proposal. The district will work with these families individually to determine which school they would like to choose.

Boundary option 2

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Student population counts for option 2 are:

  • Coolidge: 489
  • Hoover: 406
  • Jackson: 520
  • Van Buren: 344
  • Truman Permits: 124

Boundary option 3

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Student population counts for option 3 are:

  • Coolidge: 500
  • Hoover: 406
  • Jackson: 533
  • Van Buren: 325
  • Truman Permits: 124

The community is invited to provide feedback on the boundary study proposals via this survey by 5 PM on Friday, Feb. 19.

 

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