July 24, 2014

Kudos to USD 230 for forward thinking, transparency

Spring Hill school patrons won’t be left in the dark about the process to redraw boundary lines in USD 230.
School officials are going out of their way to seek input and be transparent.
It’s refreshing to see so bright a light shined on an issue that historically can be controversial and emotional.
The Spring Hill School District will have a new elementary school when the first bell rings on the 2013-2014 school year. Voters approved the construction of the new elementary school along with improvements to existing schools and technology upgrades in 2011.
In order to alleviate capacity issues at all of the schools, Spring Hill elementary school students in grades Kindergarten through fifth grade will be divvied into three elementary schools – the existing Spring Hill Elementary, located in the center of town; existing Prairie Creek Elementary, located in the northern part of the district in Olathe; and a new school currently under construction.
All sixth grade students will go to the Sixth Grade Center – or as it’s currently known, Spring Hill Intermediate School.
Despite the hustle and bustle of the start of this school year, officials aren’t wasting any time preparing for next year’s changes.
To date, the school board has examined several potential plans to redistribute elementary students to the three schools. Of course, the discussions and debate have all taken place in public meetings. They’re still discussing three and are willing to discuss changes to the existing drafts or additional proposals.
In September, the district will host two meetings at opposite ends of the district boundaries. There, officials will offer information, but more importantly, they will seek input of patrons.
And they’re not stopping there. New schools means changes for teachers and staff. In separate meetings, officials will offer the same opportunity to provide input to employees.
It’s refreshing to see so much care being taken to consider the input of all patrons – not simply parents, or students, but even Joe Taxpayers who no longer have children in schools.
It is often said the schools are the backbones of small communities. The Spring Hill School District serves several as its boundaries include not just Spring Hill, but also parts of Olathe and Overland Park. There are dozens of competing interests, and school officials deserve applause for making sure each voice is heard.

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