Wednesday, May 20, 1998

Fort Wayne Frost Illustrated

Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Frost Illustrated (Newspaper) - May 20, 1998, Fort Wayne, Indiana Vol. 30 No. 20 Fort Wayne's Leading Independent Weekly Newspaper May 20-26, 1998 quarters are middle school age and the rest attend high school, he said. The proposed One reason the school system is chanOeS COLlId be Long bus rides and overcrowding in reestablishing boundaries in some yco uuuiu uc some school districts are problems in districts is that students are being bussed Submitted tO the SChOOl the eyes of many Fort Wayne to as many as 25 different schools in hncirH fnr annm\/al qc Community School representatives, so one district ofthe city, Koos said. The UUcUU ,ur ajjpfUVdl clb they're doing something about it. goal in reestablishing some ofthe school Gaily 3S JUflG School reps have been meeting with boundaries is to reduce that number to parents since last year to develop plans 12 or 15, at most, by changing the Community Schools, that would reestablish boundaries for enrollment boundaries for schools in "We're not changing all school 14 of the most crowded school areas. 14 ofthe most child-populated areas of districts; we' re only interested in those They will host two more meetings the city. areas with projected overpopulation before finalizing those proposals. "We want to reduce the enrollment and the longest bus rides for our Members of the community interested in some of our areas that are the fastest students," he said, in viewing and making suggestions to growing in the city and to shorten bus The proposed changes call for the these plans can attend public meetings rides for some students," Koos said, school system to grandfather in on the topic from 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, "As we look at boundaries those are students where proposed changes will atElmhurst High School, or 7 to 9 p.m., two factors we took into consideration occur so current students at the schools next Tuesday, atNorthrop High School, in trying to improve the situation for would not be effected. The changes, Heading the FWCS effort is Dr. Jerry youngsters and schools. We have Koos said, will only impact students Koos,assistantsuperintendentofschools. students riding buses for as much as 1 who are new to the effected schools According to Koos, Fort Wayne hour and 15 minutes (one way) and we who do not have older siblings Community Schools has 240 buses want to try to get bus rides under an attending those schools, because "our taking approximately 18,000 students hour," he said. goal is to keep families together. 1* to 51 schools daily. More than half of Koos stressed that the redistricting No students, he said, will be re- those students are elementary age, three- does not include all Fort Wayne moved from their current schools as a tt^^X VJ*i^7 ^v^Jv^V pi m PI 1 'J "S,_r r JvT a to Ifei mm DR. JERRY KOOS resultofredistricting, and students with submitted to the school board for older siblings already attending schools Koos said will be able to attend the same school, approved, some ofthose changes would rather than being separated and bussed to other schools. be implemented when school resumes in the fall. The rest would be While implementing the changes, implemented in 1999. Koos said, the district intends to One school board member looks maintain the 15 to 40 percent Afrikan forward to viewing the final proposals American population public schools Redrawing the boundaries in some must have, according to federal school areas "is definitely needed, ft guidelines. said School Board Vice President Payne District representatives already have Brown, met with parents and concerned . 'There is clearly a problem with members of the community regarding overcrowding when we have some the redistricting on a number of occasions. According to Koos, five with 700 students and others ly 300 " Brown said, but, he small focus groups of parents have continued, "the thing that is most been meeting since March to provide troubling to me - and I don't know the school system with input on the how you resolve it - is the length of proposed changes. 11 " r the bus drive for some of our kids. We have had at least 17 parent Brown said talking with parents and meetings since last year with 10 to 50 community members, and the parents attending each meeting and suggestion to grandfather changes in making suggestions," Koos said. rather than relocate students in schools, "As a result of those meetings and are some of the best facets of this suggestions," he continued, "we've redistricting procedure, dropped some ofthe options and added The majority of the schools that some that were not on the original would be effected by the changes are plans. Now we're going back out to located in the northeast and northwest talk to parents about the proposals to areas ofthe city because those areas are the ones the district expects to have the secure more input. The proposed changes could be most growth in coming years. Frost Illustrated 3121 S. Calhoun Fort Wayne, IN 46807 BULK RATE U.S. POSTAGE PAID FT. WAYNE, IN PERMIT NO. 1049