THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER RECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING:
Adopt a policy for the review and establishment of school attendance boundaries.
The purpose of this policy is to establish a process and procedures for the establishment of attendance boundaries for new schools and for the review and revision of attendance boundaries that the Board may determine are necessary from time to time.
I. Annual Review of Attendance Boundaries
The Department of School Demographics and Planning (DSP) shall review the enrollment at existing schools to determine if there is a need to revise existing boundaries as necessary. If it is determined that there is a need to revise any existing boundaries, DSP shall develop and recommend any proposed changes to the Chief Executive Officer prior to the beginning of the school year in which the changes will take effect. In addition, DSP shall have responsibility for developing and recommending proposed boundaries for new schools to the Chief Executive Officer prior to the beginning of the school year in which the new school boundaries will take effect.
II. Factors to be Considered
In reviewing and proposing revisions to boundaries for existing schools and proposing attendance boundaries for new schools, DSP shall consider a range of factors, including the following:
- Capacities of Each of the Schools Involved in the Proposed Boundary Revisions In considering whether to revise attendance boundaries at existing schools, DSP will consider the extent to which a school is overcrowded or underutilized. Where feasible, the goal is for elementary schools to be utilized at not more than eighty percent of design capacity, and for high schools at not more than one hundred percent of program capacity. Schools will be considered severely overcrowded if they are operating in excess of 100% utilization and significantly underutilized if they are less than thirty percent. DSP also shall consider these utilization rates when proposing revisions to attendance boundaries for existing schools and when proposing attendance boundaries for new schools.
- Current and Projected Racial and Ethnic Composition of the Schools Affected Where feasible, DSP shall propose establishing or revising attendance boundaries to maintain or promote stably desegregated enrollments in each of the affected schools and to avoid the creation of one-race schools.
- Geographic Barriers In proposing new or revised attendance boundaries, DSP shall consider geographical barriers so as to promote safety and minimize transportation burdens, to the extent feasible.
- Travel Time and Distance In proposing new or revised attendance boundaries, DSP will seek to minimize travel time and distance, to the extent feasible.
- Program Considerations In proposing new or revised boundaries, DSP shall consider the placement of programs, such as programs for English Language Learners and for special education students. In addition, DSP shall consider the impact of magnet schools and programs and the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
As necessary, DSP shall provide a report to the CEO regarding whether there is a need for changes to existing boundaries or for developing boundaries for new schools. For each proposed attendance boundary, DSP shall develop at least two alternatives. For each alternative, DSP shall prepare a report for the CEO showing three-year enrollment projections by racial/ethnic group for all schools affected by the proposed change pursuant to each alternative. The report shall document for each alternative the impact on the affected schools for the factors of capacity, geographic barriers, travel time and program considerations. In developing alternatives, DSP shall consider whether any feasible alternatives would better maintain or promote stably desegregated enrollments in each of the affected schools and/or better avoid the creation of one-race schools. The CEO shall review the report and may suggest additional alternatives.
As necessary, the CEO shall report to the Board if he/she is recommending any changes to existing boundaries and boundaries for new schools. If the CEO is recommending any changes to existing boundaries or any boundaries for new schools, the CEO will provide the Board with the report of the alternatives considered, including data on the factors of capacity, geographic barriers, travel time and program considerations and will recommend the alternative that is being recommended.
Prior to taking action on the establishment or revision of any attendance boundaries, the Board shall conduct public hearings on the proposed changes and the CEO’s recommendation. Prior to the public hearing, the Board will make available data on the factors of capacity, geographic barriers, travel time and program considerations. In making its decision, the Board shall consider the factors of capacity, geographic barriers, travel time and distance and program considerations.