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BOARD MEETING UPDATE - MARCH 2017
The March 22nd Board meeting was held at the Board of Education Office. The School Board adopted the K-5 boundary plan for the five new schools. Dennis Williams and Rachael Petty, members of the Boundary Advisory Task Force (BATF), reviewed the process and goal of the committee. The boundaries were developed to balance demographics among the five elementary schools including socioeconomic demographics, race/ethnicity, and number of students with Individualized Education Programs. The BATF designed the boundaries to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for all students by achieving balanced demographics. The new boundary maps are available on the district’s website. The BATF also presented additional recommendations related to the new boundaries. QPS currently allows parents to request to have their children attend a different elementary school other than the one in which they live. The Task Force said the Board should be aware that there were concerns raised by the community about the impact transfers could have on maintaining balanced enrollments and demographics. The five K-5 schools will require more students to be bussed. New schedules and routines will impact families. The BATF urged the Board and District to prepare guidance for dealing with the issues that may arise from so many unfamiliar with daily bus ridership. Adjustments in transportation services may be needed to better serve students, parents and families. As populations change throughout the District, the boundaries will need to be reviewed on a regular basis. The District also needs to work with the City of Quincy to optimize public transit to accommodate bus stops near new elementary schools. President Ali thanked the Task Force for their hard work in developing the boundaries. He thanked Board Members Jim Whitfield, Sheldon Bailey, principals, staff and community members who served on the Task Force.
The schematic design for the new elementary school at the Baldwin site was presented to the Board. The design calls for demolition to begin in the Baldwin North section and asbestos removal this summer when no students are in the building. New construction will begin in the mall area of Baldwin. The plan came in over budget leaving some Board Members questioning if there are some options to cut costs. The Baldwin schematic design was tabled to allow some time for further review. The Board could take action on the design at a special meeting in early April. A delay could affect timelines for demolition work to begin this summer.
The Board approved finalizing the purchase of the fifth and final K-5 school site at 42nd and Harrison Streets. The staffing plan for K-5 could be ready for Board approval in April.