Oct. 22 Meeting Feedback

  • Cedar Creek Elementary Community Boundary Meeting Canyon Creek Elementary Boundaries

    October 22, 2018 6:30 p.m.

    Attendees: 43 adults, two kids, six district staff/BOE (Brent McCune, Liz Harrison, Jim McMullen, Tim Reves, Chris Gralapp, Maggie Kolb)

    Abbreviations

    CC: Cedar Creek Elementary
    CY: Canyon Creek Elementary
    MT: Mission Trail Middle School
    MP: Manchester Park Elementary
    FRV: Forest View Elementary
    PRT: Prairie Trail Middle School
    ST: Summit Trail Middle School
    OW: Olathe West High School
    ONW: Olathe Northwest High School
    K-10: Kansas 10 Highway
    K-5: Grades kindergarten through fifth

    Questions:

    • Question about area of choice for middle school for Cedar Creek Proper? That would be part of the presentation to the Board of Education and would be part of the decision-making process of the board. Feedback throughout the meeting was a preference to make Cedar Creek Proper a middle school area of choice if Option 2 or 3 were to be selected.
    • Could Cedar Creek Proper be an area of choice for elementary/Canyon Creek? The district does not put into place elementary areas of choice.
    • Difference between 2 and 3, difference of just a few kids, what was the reasoning behind it? Hidden Lakes Estates geographically is closer to CY than it is to CC and it is a part of Cedar Creek Proper.
    • What information does the Board take into consideration as they make a decision? Three pieces: data of staffing and students, parent input, and input from boundary study group. At next meeting the boundary study group will make a recommendation for the BOE.
    • Homes in Cedar Creek development (2,000), that number seems inflated. Where do the numbers come from? Cedar Creek currently has 1,349 homes with 1,151 lots approved for development with the potential for 1,000 additional (as yet unapproved) lots.
    • What’s the capacity of CC? It’s 690. When a school gets to 85 percent capacity, it will start to feel full.
    • What are the staffing guidelines for each grade? K-2: 24 students. Third grade: 26 students. Fourth and fifth grade: 28 students. This means that once a classroom gets to this number, typically then an additional staff member is considered, either a paraprofessional or additional teacher for another section. This is a guideline, not a rule.
    • How many students in Prairie Brook and why wasn’t it considered to go to CY? It was not considered because of its proximity to CC and the fact that it is one of the walkable neighborhoods to CC.
    • The far side of Cedar Creek Proper, how far is that from CY? Cedar Glen consideration? 3.1 miles. Option 2 and 3 kept Cedar Creek Proper together to go to CY.
    • Explain middle school and high school correlation on three options? Option 1: K-10 is a hard boundary and the middle school boundary is PRT and the high school boundary is an area of choice between ONW and OW. Option 2 and 3: Currently, families living south of K-10 are in the MT and OW boundary. Feedback at the meetings expressed a strong consideration for making Cedar Creek Proper an area of choice for both middle school and high school. The boundary review committee is continuing to study this option.
    • Is there thought given to looking at the other elementary schools in the area and pull from them to fill CY? We looked at those options but FRV would not work due to proximity. There are not enough kids living west of MP to justify moving them to CY.
    • Do you have any other communities in the Olathe School District that are split at elementary school? We have a few subdivisions that are split but not many. There is nothing else like CC in Olathe in terms of size and scope and how it is promoted as one community.
    • Where the 300 target comes from for CY and where does that come from? When we open elementary schools, we want to have it large enough to have sections and specials. It’s a staffing issue and we want to be fiscally responsible when we are opening a new elementary school. We need it to be large enough to have full time special teachers.
    • What was the opening enrollment of Millbrooke Elementary? 329
    • Are you counting the teachers who may come and may bring their kids? Those numbers count? No, we don’t count those because transfer numbers typically even out between schools.
    • I have a fifth grader at CC, if you don’t do an area of choice, you are going to upend the incoming fifth-graders into middle school? Fifth-graders will have the option to still go to MT.
    • Does any option give a better budgetary answer than another? No, I would say that we opening with 300 is a priority but at the end of the day, we are going to have 800+ kids in this area that are going to need a place to go to school. We will need to adjust staffing for each school.
    • When will the decision be made, when is the recommendation being made? When will the committee make the recommendation? Committee makes recommendation at November BOE meeting and the BOE has a month to make the decision.
    • Concern if a student goes to CY, but I live in Cedar Creek Proper, in a few years, where will they go to middle school? We are looking at making Cedar Creek Proper area making it a middle school area of choice.
    • Why hasn’t a decision been made on a middle school area of choice? Creating a middle school area of choice was feedback received from the first boundary meeting and brought back tonight for more input.
    • With area of choice, do you have busing to both middle schools? If it becomes an area of choice, yes. This would be our first middle school area of choice, so we are working through the specifics of that, but the high school area of choice does provide busing to both schools.
    • Is this a presentation that will go to the board? No, it will be tweaked, but we will share all three options.
    • If you have strong opinions, should we go to the board meeting, share with email? Patrons are always encouraged to contact the board via email with their feedback and are welcome to come to the board meeting as well.
    • How does the board get all this information? Staff archives the comments and questions from each meeting as well as the comments received via email and all the feedback goes to the board.
    • Can I email the board directly? Yes. Additionally, any emails sent to Jim McMullen will be forwarded to the board. Mr. McCune has been at both meetings and will communicate the feedback with the board as well.
    • Do you see any negatives in any of the options? Each option has pros and cons.
    • When you present to the board they are going to look at the numbers. At some point CC will have to be split because it just keeps growing. When you present to the board, what’s the most important thing to them? Brent McCune comments: I want to thank all of you for the emails. It’s good to hear everyone’s feedback. I have two daughters who graduated from Olathe. There is a face behind each name and I know it’s an impact on each one of you. What’s important and what I look at is the numbers, what is it five years from now. That’s a big number. I’m not favoring one or another, I will see all the data and all the feedback. I look at it fiscally and what it means for staffing a new building. We need to be efficient with our taxpayer dollars. We have been waiting for the right time to open. All BOE members want to hear from you.

    Comments:

    • Cedar Creek is not 18 neighborhoods, it’s one neighborhood. The numbers cannot be right. Some of the buildings are maintenance provided with older citizens that are not bringing kids to the school.
    • The number of homes seems skewed because some of the areas would not feed to an elementary school. We have multiple neighborhoods in our community that are non-kid homes.
    • Cedar Creek is used to a larger population and in the past when buildings opened there have been kinks in the process, wouldn’t it be better to open CY with a small number to make it easier?
    • The feedback I’m hearing is the biggest con is five year out numbers.
    • Isn’t the purpose of this process, what’s the best for our kids educationally, not just what’s convenient for us? I see a beautiful elementary school that would be great for our children’s education. Just because it’s where your kids have always gone to that school or its close to your house isn’t the reason to go with Option 1.
    • The biggest con to Option 1 is it breaks up the community. When we moved here, the big community was part of the draw for us. That’s the biggest con for me about splitting kids from friends they may have made.
    • If the majority of people want option 1. Why wouldn’t you just do that? Why don’t you just follow the numbers of what parents want? Why does it have to get so complicated?