1. Who is involved in determining which schools may need to be involved in the boundary process and what factors are taken into consideration?
Participation of stakeholders at the earliest point in the boundary process is critical. District staff examines current enrollment, projected enrollment, programmed facility improvements, special programs such as Exceptional Student Education clusters, Head Start programs, and Magnet Programs, class size reduction, student reassignment information, and school feeder patterns. This information is also used to determine which schools are moving toward over-enrollment and will need interventions. District staff will present data, discuss school concurrency Level of Service and class size, and inform the community that a boundary change may be needed. Additionally, community members are given a period of time to submit their own ideas for boundary changes.
For additional information on school concurrency Level of Service contact Growth Management (754) 321-2160.
2. Are charter and private schools included in the District's boundary process?
No, charter and private schools do not have BCPS assigned attendance areas and are not bound to the same local, state, and federal rules as traditional public schools.
3. What considerations are taken into account when establishing school attendance areas?
4. Are school grades taken into consideration when proposing boundary changes?
School grades are not one of the considerations listed in School Board Policy 5000 for the establishment of school boundaries/attendance areas.
5. Is School "X" anticipated to undergo a boundary change in the future?
All school attendance areas are evaluated on an annual basis. Schools that become extremely overcrowded or under-enrolled may be considered for a boundary change or other option outlined in School Board Policy 5000 to manage student enrollment. District data reviewing school enrollment and school capacity is updated in October and April in the online Planning Tool for School Enrollment and Capacity.
6. In a boundary change proposal, do all students have to move together or can multiple areas be sent to different schools?
Multiple areas can be suggested to move into different schools in order to utilize available school capacity. Should adjacent school capacity not be available a domino boundary change may have to be considered.
7. Has the District looked at retaining incoming 6th graders at feeding elementary schools in order to prevent overcrowding at middle schools, or retaining incoming 9th graders at feeding middle schools in order to prevent overcrowding at high schools?
Through School Board Policy 5000 a review of alternative and temporary options are considered to ease overcrowding or under enrollment. As a result of the review process, the School Board will maximize the use of existing space throughout the District, not to exceed capacity required to meet educational requirements. As a temporary solution, the implementation of alternative enrollment options as identified by the Superintendent will be the sole discretion of the School Board to ease overcrowding until permanent capacity becomes available through the building of additional facilities on site, a boundary change, or new schools. Options to be considered, but are not limited to, or required include:
- Enrollment capping (i.e. school will not accommodate any more students and new students are assigned to designated schools that are less crowded)
- Flexible school day/week/month/year
- Dual enrollment programs with institutions of higher learning
School day/week/month/year models that may be identified through this process
- School-Within-A-School (F.S. 1003.02 (4)) such as co-teaching, floating teachers, and re-organization of groups of students.
- Choice seats
- Reconfigured grades/educational programs and sites dependent on available capital funds to be provided by the School District and/or other individuals/groups/entities.
8. Will the community be notified about new charter schools opening in the areas affected by boundary change proposals?Charter schools are not required to provide a school location address until the charter school opens. Therefore, the District does not know where new charter schools will be located or how much enrollment will be pulled from existing traditional schools until new charter schools open. New charter school enrollment is presented annually in the Benchmark Day Enrollment Report and provided in the October update of the online Planning Tool for School Enrollment and Capacity.
9. Who makes the final boundary recommendations that are taken to the School Board for vote?
The Superintendent makes final boundary recommendations to the School Board in the spring for the upcoming school year, the School Board then votes at two consecutive meetings on his recommendations as well as all other school attendance areas and school usage.
10. Does the community vote on the proposed boundaries that are provided to the School Board?
Community members do not vote directly on school boundary proposals. However, the School Boundary Committee formed of 28 community members will share their recommendations for school boundary changes with the Superintendent and School Board at a workshop in January. The School Board votes on the recommendations as presented by the Superintendent of Schools at the Public Hearings scheduled in the spring.
11. How are parents and the community involved throughout the school boundary process?
Parents and community members have many opportunities to participate in the annual school boundary process. Community members may submit proposals for changes to school attendance areas and school usage. Community members also have the opportunity to serve on the School Boundary Committee as representatives of the District's 28 Innovation Zones (IZone.) Additionally public meetings are held throughout the boundary process where stakeholders have the opportunity to speak directly with staff and/or School Board members.
For additional information please see the Boundary Process Timeline.
12. Are boundary proposals arranged in any order of preference? Is the Board going to pick one of the existing proposals or could it be something else?
The boundary proposals on the Demographics & Enrollment Planning Department website are posted in the order that they are received. Community members have the opportunity to work with the Demographics & Enrollment Planning staff to propose recommendations before the deadline to submit proposals. All boundary proposals and comments posted to the website will be shared with the School Board at School Boundaries Workshop in January. Based on School Board discussion at this workshop, the Superintendent makes his final recommendations on school attendance areas and school usage for the upcoming year. The process concludes in the spring when the School Board votes to approve and then adopt all school boundaries for the following school year.
For additional information please see the Boundary Process Timeline.
13. When can the public provide input on school boundary proposals?
There are several opportunities for public input during the School Board Boundary Process Timeline. The Demographics & Enrollment Planning Department hosts and online commenting forum where members of the public can comment directly on every posted proposal. Additionally, members of the public may attend community boundary meetings held during the fall where they may speak directly to staff and/or School Board members and have their comments recorded. Finally, community members may attend School Board workshops and Public Hearings where they may speak directly to the School Board about boundary and school usage proposals.
14. Can you submit a comment without a computer?
In addition to the Demographics & Enrollment Planning website, community members can provide input by telephone or by attending community school boundary meetings in person. The Demographics & Enrollment Planning Department can be reached at (754) 321-2565.
15. How are School Boundary Committee representatives and alternates chosen?
Each School Advisory Forum (SAF) nominates a member to serve on the School Boundary Committee. IZone Principal Facilitators then select a representative and alternate for each IZone to serve on the committee.
16. Where can I go to view a timeline of all events in the annual school boundary process?
The annual community Boundary Process Timeline has all dates and deadlines.
17. Can a community member withdraw their boundary proposal from the website?
Yes, a community member can withdraw his/her proposal from consideration. This process is accomplished by calling and confirming the need to withdraw/take down the proposal. Staff will then strike through the boundary proposal online and note the date of retraction. The boundary proposal and comment history will remain on the website with a notation that it has been withdrawn from consideration by the map proposer.