New Attendance Boundaries

The Waukee Board of Education approved new attendance boundaries on Monday, December 14, 2015. The changes will go into effect for the 2016-17 school year and will affect 597 of the district’s 9,366 students.

Regardless of which attendance center your child attends in Waukee, s/he will receive the same quality education, supported by highly skilled staff.

A new interactive boundary map has been created to help families easily identify their neighborhood school. To determine what your neighborhood school is for the 2016-17 school year click here.

Families may also log into the PowerSchool Parent Portal to view their school assignment for 2016-17. If you need help with your PowerSchool username and/or password please contact your building secretary for assistance.

Due to special programming needs for some students who have IEPs or participate in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, their attendance center placement for 2016-17 will not be finalized until later this spring. We will make every attempt to have these programming decisions made by the week of March 28. If your child has an IEP or participates in the ESL program, you will be individually contacted if s/he is impacted by these programming needs.

Board Approves New Attendance Boundaries

The Waukee Board of Education approved new attendance boundaries on Monday, December 14. The changes will go into effect for the 2016-17 school year and will affect 597 of the District’s 9,366 students:

  • 128 students from Shuler Elementary, 113 from Waukee Elementary and 217 students from Walnut Hills Elementary will move to Grant Ragan Elementary.
  • 88 students from Maple Grove Elementary would move to Waukee Elementary.
  • 49 students from Woodland Hills Elementary would move to Brookview Elementary.
  • 2 students from Maple Grove Elementary would move to Woodland Hills Elementary.

The board also approved a student option in Glynn Village for current students in grades 5-8, because they are only changing secondary feeder systems and there is capacity at the buildings. Families who opt to use the student option will be responsible for transportation. Families who move into the neighborhood will have to attend the assigned attendance center and the student option will not be permitted.

The board was also asked for guidance on where open enrolled students should be placed next school year. The board agreed that open enrolled students at Walnut Hills should be moved to Grant Ragan for the 2016-17 school year. Currently there are 47 open enrolled students at Walnut Hills. District-wide there are 216 students open enrolled into the District and 462 students open enrolled OUT of the district

To view the new Waukee Community School District Attendance Boundaries click here.

Waukee School Board to Take Action on Boundaries at Dec. 14 Meeting

The Waukee Board of Education is being asked to take action on the boundary recommendation on Monday, December 14. The meeting will start promptly at 6 p.m. in the Waukee District Office Board Room, 5060 SE University Ave, Waukee, IA.

Rob Schwarz with RSP & Associates presented the work and recommendation of the Comprehensive Boundary Committee to the Board on November 9. The Waukee Board of education continued the boundary recommendation discussion at the November 23 regular board meeting. After reviewing and discussing several options, the board asked RSP & Associates to create a modified version of “Working Draft Board Option 1” with the following changes:

  • Walnut Trace subdivision moved from Grant Ragan to Walnut Hills (This area north of Meredith Drive) Try to keep more at Walnut Hills
  • Move Calvert Meadows area from Grant Ragan to Walnut Hills (This area north of Meredith Drive) Try to keep more at Walnut Hills
  • Verona Hills area moved from Walnut Hills to Grant Ragan
  • Student Option in Glynn Village for current students in grades 5-8, because they are only changing secondary feeder systems and there is capacity at the buildings. Families who opt to use the proposed student option would be responsible for transportation.

There will be an area for public comments at the meeting, however, individuals are limited to 3 minutes to keep the meeting moving in a timely fashion. Per Board Policy 204.82 the board may choose to limit the public comment portion of the agenda to 30 minutes. As a reminder, board meetings are meetings held in the public, but are not public meetings. After open forum, the board deliberates amongst itself in the public eye, but not in an open forum format.

To view the Boundary Recommendation proposed for approval click here.

Board Continues Boundary Recommendation Discussion

The Waukee Board of Education continued the boundary recommendation discussion at the November 23 regular board meeting. Earlier this year, Waukee Community School District began the process to redefine the District’s attendance boundaries.

Rob Schwarz with RSP & Associates presented the work and recommendation of the Comprehensive Boundary Committee to the Board on November 9. After listening to concerns and feedback, the board asked to see a few more scenarios before making their final decision.

Using the committee’s recommendation as a base, Schwarz created two “Working Draft Board Options” for Monday’s discussion. “Working Draft Board Option 1” pulled the area north of Meredith back into Walnut Hills and moved the Verona Hills neighborhood to Grant Ragan, but this caused Walnut Hills to be over capacity in 2016/17.

“Working Draft Board Option 2” moved the Glynn Village neighborhood, so they could stay in the same feeder system, but this option put Brookview over capacity in 2016/17 and Board members didn’t like how far families would have to travel to school. Overall the Board agreed “Working Draft Board Option 2” was not a feasible option for the District.

The board also discussed splitting Glynn Village on Warrior Lane. In this option, the area west of Warrior Lane would attend Woodland Hills and the area east of Warrior Lane would attend Maple Grove. A map was not created for this scenario.

After reviewing and discussing the three options, the board asked RSP & Associates to create a modified version of “Working Draft Board Option 1” with the following changes:

  • Walnut Trace subdivision moved from Grant Ragan to Walnut Hills (This area north of Meredith Drive) Try to keep more at Walnut Hills
  • Move Calvert Meadows area from Grant Ragan to Walnut Hills (This area north of Meredith Drive) Try to keep more at Walnut Hills
  • Verona Hills area moved from Walnut Hills to Grant Ragan
  • Student Option in Glynn Village for current students in grades 5-8, because they are only changing secondary feeder systems and there is capacity at the buildings. Families who opt to use the proposed student option would be responsible for transportation.

The recommendation was a discussion item, no action was taken at the meeting. The Board of Education will be asked to take action on boundary changes at the December 14 meeting.

Maps

 

Committee Recommends New Boundaries

Rob Schwarz with RSP & Associates presented the work and recommendation of the Comprehensive Boundary Committee to the Waukee Board of Education on November 9. More than 50 attended to voice their concerns, provide feedback and learn about the proposal that will redefine the District’s attendance boundaries.

The committee first met May 4, 2015, after a public forum was held on April 14 to gather input from community members. The Boundary Committee met a total of six times and held a second public forum on October 15.

75% of the committee members voted that Working Draft 1/Option B would best meet the Board of Education’s guiding principles and prioritized boundary criteria. RSP & Associates incorporated the committee’s recommended changes to the Working Draft 1/Option B into the board proposal. The modifications to Working Draft 1/Option B include:

  • Area South of Hickman Road (Hwy 6) from Waukee Elementary moves to Grant Ragan Elementary
  • Southern area of current Waukee Elementary along Ute Ave. remains at Waukee Elementary

The recommended boundary changes if approved would impact 574 elementary students and 61 secondary students in grades 6-9.

The committee also asked that the Board consider the following:

  • Warrior Lane as a boundary through Glynn Village
  • Middle School Student Options
  • More communication to parents who live south of Hwy 6 that are shown to move from Waukee Elementary to Grant Ragan Elementary.

The recommendation was a discussion item, no action was taken at the meeting. The Board of Education will be asked to take action on boundary changes at the December 14, 2015 meeting.

Boundary Recommendation

Some of the reasoning for Working Draft 1/Option B include:

  1. Have attendance areas that visually make sense in relation to proximity to schools, neighborhoods and roads
  2. Continue to use the natural features to create the elementary attendance areas
  3. Try to address as many of the concerns brought up at the public forum
    • Keep all current areas of Woodland Hills North of I-80 at Woodland Hills
    • Eliminate more of the area having to make a feeder move
    • Reduce enrollment at Waukee ES

Some Pros of Working Draft 1/Option B

  • Decreases the number of students who change feeder pattern
  • Enrollment works for 3 school years
  • Follow Board of Education boundary criteria
  • Keep area north of I-80 at Woodland Hills

 

Districts Holds Final Boundary Committee Meeting

Waukee Community School District held the sixth and final Comprehensive Boundary Committee Meeting on October 27.

The goal of the final meeting was for committee members to reach consensus on the boundary recommendation to the Board of Education. Committee members have been working since April of 2015 to redefine the District’s attendance boundaries and create a balanced feeder system.

The committee reviewed feedback from the second public forum on October 15 and questions and comments the District received from concerned families.

Key topics of concern echoed previous meetings. Walnut Hills Elementary, Glynn Village and Bent Creek families moving, change in feeder systems and grandfathering elementary and middle school students continue to be areas of concern.

Open enrollment has also come up several times throughout the redistricting process. The misconception is that Waukee Community School District has more students open enrolling in than out. This school year 462 students open enrolled OUT of the district, while only 216 students open enrolled in. Per Iowa Code, open enrollment for a District can only be closed if there is no capacity for the students.

“The truth is open enrolled students have NO BEARING on capacity issues as we can move open enrolled students to any building in the district to balance sections,” David Wilkerson, superintendent of schools, said.

All boundary scenarios are based on resident students. This year the District has more than 1,000 new resident students and that growth is expected to continue.

Because enrollment numbers for the current year cannot be calculated until October, the Boundary Committee did not have this year’s enrollment numbers when Working Draft 1/ Option A was created.

During the meeting, the committee reviewed Working Draft 1/Option B and Working Draft 1/Option C as scenario options to address overcapacity at Waukee Elementary and under capacity issues at Grant Ragan. The committee also discussed the impact student options could have on boundaries. RSP & Associates shared what enrollment/capacity would look like if they allowed current students north of Meredith and east of Alice’s Road to remain in Walnut Hills K-4.

Allowing student options for grades K-4 was not feasible as it caused capacity issues in Working Draft 1/Option B and Working Draft 1/Option C. While there weren’t as many capacity issues if student options were allowed for the same area, but only in grades 3-4, the committee unanimously believed that allowing student options for elementary students undermined the goal of the Comprehensive Boundary Process to redefine the District’s boundaries.

The meeting concluded with a consensus discussion and vote. Consensus implied that committee members understood the reason for making a decision and could accept and support it. 75% of the committee members voted that Working Draft 1/Option B best met the Board of Education’s guiding principles and prioritized boundary criteria. The group considered 51% consensus.

None of the working drafts viewed at the October 27 meeting are final, nor will one of those drafts be recommended to the Board. RSP & Associates will take the committee’s recommended changes to Working Draft 1/Option B and develop the final boundary map to be presented to the Board on November 9.

The committee is also asking that the recommendation to the Board include the following considerations:

  • Warrior Lane as a boundary through Glynn Village
  • Middle School Student Options
  • Current 5th-8th grade allowed to be grandfathered

There will be an area for public comments at the November 9 meeting, however, comments are limited to 3 minutes to keep the meeting moving in a timely fashion. Per Board Policy 204.82 the board may choose to limit the public comment portion of the agenda to 30 minutes. As a reminder, board meetings are meetings held in the public, but are not public meetings. After open forum, the board deliberates amongst itself in the public eye, but not in an open forum format.

Waukee Board of Education meetings start promptly at 6 p.m. and are held at Waukee District Office in the Board Room, 560 SE University Ave, Waukee.

The Board will take action to approve the boundary recommendation on December 14.

Working Draft 1/ Option B

This is NOT the final draft that will be recommended to the Board of Education on November 9. RSP & Associates will take the committee’s recommended changes to Working Draft 1/Option B and develop the final boundary map.

Some of the reasoning for Working Draft 1/Option B include:

  1. Have attendance areas that visually make sense in relation to proximity to schools, neighborhoods and roads
  2. Continue to use the natural features to create the elementary attendance areas
  3. Try to address as many of the concerns brought up at the public forum
    • Keep all current areas of Woodland Hills North of I-80 at Woodland Hills
    • Eliminate more of the area having to make a feeder move
    • Reduce enrollment at Waukee ES

Some Pros of Working Draft 1/Option B

  • Decreases the number of students who change feeder pattern
  • Enrollment works for 3 school years
  • Follow Board of Education boundary criteria
  • Keep area north of I-80 at Woodland Hills

Some Challenges of Working Draft 1/Option B

  • Neighborhoods cut up
  • Broken Feeder
  • Continue to utilize Vince Meyer for Waukee Elementary
  • Unbalanced Free and Reduced Lunch

Some Considerations to make Working Draft 1/Option B better:

  • Make a planning area break on Warrior Lane in Glynn Village where west side goes to Waukee Elementary and east side goes to Maple Grove.
  • Move the southern area of current Waukee Elementary shown at Woodland Hilss in this option back to Waukee Elementary.

To download a PDF version click here.

Working Draft 1/ Option C

This is NOT a draft that will be recommended to the Board of Education on November 9.

Some of the reasoning for Working Draft 1/Option C include:

  1. Have attendance areas that visually make sense in relation to proximity to schools, neighborhoods and roads
  2. Continue to use the natural features to create the elementary attendance areas
  3. .Extend Grant Ragan south of Hickman
  4. Try to address as many of the concerns brought up at the public forum
    • Eliminate more of the area having to make a feeder move
    • Reduce enrollment at Waukee ES

Some Pros of Working Draft 1/Option C

  • Waukee Elementary southern attendance area remains at Waukee Elementary
  • Area south of Hickman to Grant Ragan creates a better utilization and enrollment relief to Waukee Elementary
  • Apartments and Duplexes north of I-80 attend Maple Grove providing a better equity and geographic proximity for students

Some Challenges of Working Draft 1/Option C

  • Increase in SIBC
  • Continue to utilize Vince Meyer for Waukee Elementary
  • Area west of LA Grant Pkwy attend Woodland Hills
  • Apartments and Duplexes north of I-80 attend Maple Grove
  • Broken Feeder

Some Considerations to make Working Draft 1/Option C better:

  • Have more areas north of University and east of Warrior to Grant Ragan
  • Move areas south of Hickman as shown in Option B to Grant Ragan

To download a PDF version click here.

Presentation Materials

 

Boundary Committee Meeting #6 – Agenda

Waukee Community School District will hold the sixth Boundary Committee meeting tonight October 27 at Waukee District Office. The goal of the meeting is to provide information that will help guide the Boundary Committee’s discussion to redefine the District’s attendance boundaries and allow for a balanced feeder system.

While these meetings are open to observers, only committee members may participate in the meetings. The committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Waukee District Office, 560 SE University Ave.

A final recommendation will go to the Board of Education on November 9. The Board will take action to approve the boundary recommendation on December 14.

To view the meeting agenda click here.

Second Boundary Public Forum Summary

More than 150 parents and community members attended the public forum to voice their concerns, provide feedback and learn more about the boundary process on October 15, 2015.

The forum was held in the Waukee High School commons. Mary Scheve, School board president and long-time Waukee resident gave the opening remarks.

Scheve assured those in attendance that the district and committee members understand this is about children, and not just about data points and numbers. She also reminded parents that their children are watching their reactions and listening to what’s being said. “Children mirror our behavior; will your children see this change as a fun adventure?” Scheve asked.

RSP & Associates explained the boundary process thus far. The proposed change would affect 730 of the District’s 9,448 students:

  • 119 students from Shuler Elementary and 214 students from Walnut Hills Elementary would move to Grant Ragan Elementary.
  • 47 students from Woodland Hills Elementary would move to Brookview Elementary.
  • 136 students from Woodland Hills Elementary would move to Maple Grove Elementary.
  • 156 students from Maple Grove Elementary would move to Waukee Elementary.
  • 25 students from Maple Grove Elementary and 33 students from Waukee Elementary would move to Woodland Hills Elementary.

Five stations were set up so patrons could view the draft scenario and write down their comments. An administrator and/or a committee member was available to answer questions at each station.

To better understand the opinions and support of Waukee patrons, the committee asked those in attendance to complete an exit survey before leaving.

The committee will review feedback and make any modifications they believe pertinent at their October 27 meeting. While these meetings are open to observers, only committee members may participate in the meetings. The committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Waukee District Office, 560 SE University Ave.

A final recommendation will go to the Board of Education on November 9. The Board will take action to approve the boundary recommendation on December 14.

Working Draft 1/ Option A

Some of the reasoning for Working Draft 1/Option A includes utilizing some of the natural features to create elementary attendance areas and changing Shuler and Eason to a rectangle attendance area. Pros for this scenario include neighborhoods intact, follows guiding principles and no capacity issues. Cons include feeder imbalance and people in the north may have to move twice.

To download a PDF version click here.

Working Draft 1-Option A

Exit Survey Questions and Response Summary

  1. What are the strengths of the Committee Proposed Working Draft #1/Option A Elementary Boundary Scenario?
    1. Common responses included: neighborhoods stay intact, deals with capacity issues, strongly support, use of major roadways as boundaries.
  2. What are the limitations of the Committee Proposed Working Draft #1/Option A Elementary Boundary Scenario?
    1. Common responses included: changing feeder system, amount of time on bus for northern students, safety of walking students, overcrowding at Waukee Elementary, lack of community feel, handling of open enrollment students, and  the desire to keep Glynn Village at Maple Grove or Woodland Hills.
  3. What other general observations or suggestions would you like to provide in assisting the Committee with their recommendation(s)?
    1. Common responses included: walkability, grandfather students at MS level, no revision will make 100% happy, avoid double moves, Urbandale students stay in Urbandale addresses, proximity to school, don’t want overcrowded school, grandfather elementary students.

Presentation

  • To download full presentation click here.

You’re Invited: Second Boundary Public Forum is October 15

The public is invited to attend the second Comprehensive Boundary Process Public Forum on Thursday, October 15, at 6:00 p.m. in the Waukee High School Commons, 555 SE University Avenue, Waukee, IA.

RSP & Associates will give a brief overview of the boundary process, the criteria set by the Waukee Board of Education and how the scenario was developed.

Stations with large maps will be set up so that patrons can view the maps and write down their comments. Each station will be the same and have an administrator and/or a committee member to answer questions.
The committee will review feedback and make any modifications they believe pertinent at their October 27 meeting. A final recommendation will go to the Board of Education on November 9. The Board will take action to approve the boundary recommendation on December 14.

To view the agenda click here.

District Holds 5th Boundary Committee Meeting

On October 6, 2015, Waukee Community School District (WCSD) held the fifth Boundary Committee meeting in the process to redefine the District’s attendance boundaries and allow for a balanced feeder system.

The District provided committee members with questions from concerned parents and community members that had been submitted over the last two months. Committee members discussed these and other concerns they heard in their neighborhoods about the redistricting process since the last meeting on September 22.

Key topics of concern centered around Walnut Hills Elementary, Glynn Village and Bent Creek families moving, change in feeder systems, proximity to attendance centers and where open enrollment students would be placed.

Rob Schwarz with RSP & Associates stressed the importance of considering feedback as it fits within the boundary process framework and reminded committee members that decisions should follow the criteria set by the Waukee Board of Education.

  1. Keep neighborhoods intact as defined by RSP planning areas
  2. Projected enrollment and building utilization- balance enrollment with given building capacity constraints
  3. Duration of boundaries- have them last as long as possible

At the September 22 meeting, questions were raised about how socio-economic status impacts school boundaries. Associate Superintendent Cindi McDonald shared district Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) data and discussed the balanced approach to make sure socio-economic status does not affect the level of education provided.

“The quality of a child’s educational experience is not determined by a lottery.  Staff work hard to ensure a quality experience at all buildings regardless of income,” McDonald said. “The percentage of free and reduced lunch in the district is 14%. The building percentages range between 3-31%.  Principals are tuned in to the varying needs of the students in each of their buildings.  If they are in need of additional support they work closely with PTO, community members and local businesses as needed.”

In addition, McDonald said it would difficult to estimate the percentage of FRL prior to finalizing the boundary changes.

Schwarz shared new enrollment projections based on the 2015-16 count. RSP & Associates projections from last year were 99% accurate, narrowly missing the exact enrollment number by only 35 students. As of October 1, 2015, Waukee Community School District enrollment was up approximately 604 students.

Projections Based on Residence*
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Elementary Total
K-5
4,810 5,083 5,324 5,537 5,815 6,032
Middle Total
6th-9th
2,661 2789 2991 3180 3367 3596
High Total
10th-12th
1,684 1,765 1,872 1,986 2,065 2,181
District Total
K-12th
9,155 9,637 10,187 10,703 11,247 11,808

To download the full projections click here.

*Enrollment and building capacity projections shared did not include Grant Ragan Elementary School, as that building is currently under construction.

Committee members spent the remainder of the meeting time analyzing Working Draft 1/ Option A. No other working drafts were reviewed at this meeting. No boundary plan was decided at the meeting.

Working Draft 1/ Option A will be available for viewing and public feedback at the upcoming public forum. The public forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. on October 15 in the Waukee High School Commons, 555 SE University Avenue.

The committee will review feedback and make any modifications they believe pertinent before taking a final recommendation to the Board of Education on November 9. The Board will take action to approve the boundary recommendation on December 14.

Working Draft 1/ Option A

Some of the reasoning for Working Draft 1/Option A includes utilizing some of the natural features to create elementary attendance areas and changing Shuler and Eason to a rectangle attendance area. Pros for this scenario include neighborhoods intact, follows guiding principles and no capacity issues. Cons include feeder imbalance and people in the north may have to move twice.

To download a PDF version click here.

Working Draft 1-Option A

WorkingDraft1ElemData

WorkingDraft1SecData

Presentation

  • To download the full presentation click here.
  • To download meeting minutes click here.