MISSOULA – Missoula County Public School leaders are narrowing down the options for adjusting the district’s elementary school boundaries.
But even as the process moves into the final stretch, there are still some concerns about the impacts changes could have starting next year.
Since the first of the year, a special committee has been working on proposals to re-align the boundaries for MCPS elementary schools.
The objective is to adjust enrollments for the first time in more than a decade, now that the district’s major rebuilding phase for the smaller schools will be complete this summer.
Trustees were told Tuesday night that the committee has worked through three, and then four different maps. Now the board is consolidating those with a final round of public comments before recommendations are brought to the school board next month.
But some trustees worry about the details, waiting to change middle school boundaries in a year. That creates questions at schools like Jeannette Rankin Elementary where students advance to one of two middle schools.
“So if we took the boundary between Jeannette Rankin and Charlo…and set it at the middle school boundary. Make no other change. What would that do to that demographic in those two other schools?” asked MCPS trustee Diane Lorenzen.
“This exact same process will occur for middle school next year. And one of the things we know as to be addressed is the concern about the fact that Jeannette Rankin students do split between two middle schools,” MCPS spokeswoman Hatton Littman explained.
“And that, while we might make decisions now that seem scary, in light of what our middle school boundaries are, I can not predict for anyone what our middle school boundaries will be, at the end of that process. So we are trying to be aware and sensitive of that,” she added.
Click here for more information about the proposed MCPS school boundaries.