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Committee selects JCPS boundary change plan

Committee selects JCPS boundary change plan

School board to vote in coming months

July 20th, 2018 by Jeff Haldiman in Local News

Jefferson City Public Schools Superintendent Larry Linthacum discusses options for changes to the district's boundary lines Thursday during a committee meeting at the Miller Performing Arts Center.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

All Cedar Hill Elementary School students will stay at the school for the duration of their elementary education, according to the plan chosen Thursday by the Jefferson City Public Schools Boundary Line Committee. The students in the same area near the new Capital City High School would go to Thomas Jefferson Middle School and then CCHS.

Of the 11 members in attendance at Thursday's committee meeting, six members said this was the best of three proposed options. The boundary changes are in order to accommodate the addition of CCHS, which is scheduled to be open next year.

JCPS Superintendent Larry Linthacum said they would be sending out notes from the meeting to the committee members who were not in attendance and asking for their vote. He hoped to have those results done by Monday or Tuesday.

The matter is scheduled to be discussed at the August JCPS Board of Education meeting. Linthacum said the board could vote at its September meeting on whether to accept the committee's decision.

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JCPS formed the boundary line committee of volunteers late last year to represent each of the district's elementary schools as the committee worked with a district-contracted demographer to form recommendations for the school board on how to create equity in enrollment and poverty levels between CCHS and Jefferson City High School.

The committee worked to propose adjustments on who in the district goes to which middle school — Lewis and Clark or Thomas Jefferson — to best ensure equity between the soon-to-be two high schools. Lewis and Clark will send its students to JCHS, and Thomas Jefferson will send its students to CCHS.

The three boundary line change scenarios the committee decided to put forth to the public for feedback would have affected up to three schools. In all three options, Thorpe Gordon's students would no longer be split in terms of which middle school they attend. All Thorpe Gordon students would attend Lewis and Clark and then JCHS, whereas 58 students currently live in an attendance area of Thorpe Gordon's that sends students to Thomas Jefferson.

The option to make no changes at all to the district's current boundary lines, with the exception of the adjustment to have all of Thorpe Gordon's students go to the same middle school and high school, received four votes, the second most votes at Thursday night's meeting.

The last option, which would affect Cedar Hill and South Elementary School, got only one committee member's vote. It would have sent some students who live near the site of CCHS to South instead of Cedar Hill so they would attend Thomas Jefferson and then CCHS, instead of driving across town to Lewis and Clark and later go to JCHS as all other Cedar Hill students do.

When asked what option he thought would be best, Linthacum said he believed the option chosen by the majority was the best. He said of the three, this was the plan that received the least amount of negative comments.