2020-2021 Middle School Attendance Area Information
DECEMBER 9, 2019 UPDATE - SCHOOL BOARD MAKES DECISION ON MIDDLE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AREAS
The Shakopee School Board made a decision on Middle School Attendance Areas for the 2020-21 school year. At last night’s board meeting, the district’s administration recommended Scenario 106 and the school board approved that recommendation.
Starting in the 2020-21 school year, students that will be in 6th, 7th and 8th grade will have new attendance areas. This means a number of our students will be attending a different middle school than they would have with the previous attendance areas.
The board also approved new intra-district transfer guidelines. The guidelines are intended to support families in this transition while also maintaining the goals of balancing our middle school populations. Additional information and forms will be available later this week.
The decision to implement new attendance areas was made after a significant amount of study, and conversation with families and community members. The primary goal of the new attendance areas is to create sustained, balanced enrollment between East and West Middle Schools.
If you have a student that will be in middle school during the 2020-21 school year, look for further communications that will outline the transition.
Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, our district will have new attendance areas for East Middle School and West Middle School. The current attendance areas for our middle schools (former junior highs) have been in place since the 2011-12 school year. The three elementary schools with the most students (Eagle Creek, Jackson & Sweeney) primarily feed into West Middle School. The two smaller elementary schools (Red Oak & Sun Path) primarily feed into East Middle School. For reference, Red Oak and Sun Path were the two largest elementary schools when these attendance areas were originally drawn.
Growth patterns within the district over the last nine years have led to a growing difference in the number of students at each of our middle schools. The student count difference between East and West is currently 427 students and projected at more than 400 into the future if attendance areas stay the same. West Middle School is more than 100 students over capacity. East Middle School is about 300 students below capacity. The difference in size of each school presents some challenges in the way our schools operate including: pressure on common areas, challenges in the teaming structure for teachers, and core staffing.
New attendance areas, implemented in the 2020-21 school year, will balance enrollment at the middle school level, while also allowing us to plan for future growth.
In March, district administration presented information on enrollment trends, building capacities, current student enrollment, and developments within the district to the school board.
In early July, the school board reviewed data on each school’s current enrollment and looked at five-year projections at its summer retreat. The board directed district administration to develop middle school draft attendance areas scenarios.
Also in July, similar information was shared with the district’s Community Facilities Task Force.
In August, the school board discussed a timeline, criteria and the process for public meetings and input at its board meeting.
District administration presented sample scenarios and a timeline to the Shakopee School Board at the September 23 meeting. On October 14, 2019, the Shakopee School Board voted to move forward with two attendance area scenarios. Click here to view those scenarios. The scenarios are being shared with the school community to receive input and feedback before the board makes a final decision in December or January.
Additionally, public information and input sessions will be held at each middle school. Information will also be provided at parent/teacher conferences, posted on our website and social media, and sent home in red folders.
Draft scenarios and recommendations will be determined using the following criteria/parameters (not listed in a specific order):
- Walking distance
- Contiguous as much as possible
- Similar demographics: Free/Reduced lunch, English Language Learners, Special Education
- Efficient transportation
- Building capacity
- Recognition of proposed growth/developments
- Other considerations
- Last 3-5 years (better 5-7 years)
As this process continues, we are committed to maintaining quality education and resources at both East and West. Please keep in mind, the Shakopee School Board will make the final decision on 2020-21 Middle School Attendance Areas. We have scheduled several opportunities for you to receive information on the scenarios, ask questions, and provide feedback. Click here to visit our Frequently Asked Questions website.
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Middle School Attendance Areas Information and Input Session #1
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 | East Middle School | Media Center | 6-7 p.m. | Meeting Presentation
Middle School Attendance Areas Information and Input Session #2
Thursday, November 7, 2019 | West Middle School | Media Center | 6-7 p.m. | Meeting Presentation