Who makes the final decision on boundaries?
The Board of Education of the Davis School District makes the final decision on boundaries — following many meetings, the collection of public comment and recommendations from the boundary committee.
Why is the school district proposing boundary changes for Cook Elementary?
Cook Elementary is above its expanded capacity (using portable classrooms). Growth is expected to continue within the current boundaries. Without a boundary adjustment, a year-round schedule would need to be considered to accommodate the student growth at that school and its impact on the building.
How does the district determine capacity for each school?
There are many considerations involved in the process. The first variable is the number of classrooms. The second variation is special programs that require full-size classrooms, such as special education. The staffing ratio multiplied by the number of classrooms establishes capacity. The capacity of a school can be extended with the use of portable classrooms. Currently, there are nine portables at Cook Elementary. The district also considers the impact of enrollment on restrooms, lunchrooms and playgrounds.
Will the district consider a year-round schedule instead of a boundary adjustment?
At this time, the boundary adjustment is the proposed solution to the growth at Cook Elementary. Past experience has shown the vast majority of patrons do not prefer year-round schools. When families have students in elementary and secondary schools, parents have said year-round schedules complicate vacations and other scheduling needs. A year-round schedule is considered when another option is not available to alleviate overcrowding.
Why is the district not considering a larger boundary adjustment?
The district is aware of the continuing growth in the area. The district’s Planning Department works closely with all city and county planners to keep abreast of new and future developments within the school district. This communication allows the district to stay current about plans for residential housing and apartments and the impact such developments could have on its schools.
That being said, the current proposal is a measured approach to alleviate the current overcrowding at Cook Elementary. The proposal seeks to disrupt the smallest amount of students possible, while keeping them with other neighborhood students. There is an additional new elementary school listed in the District’s recently authorized bond. This school would be built in the Syracuse area, but is not planned to be completed and opened until August of 2026. All of the Syracuse elementary schools will be fully utilized until that time.
A larger boundary study would mean a change for many students. With the growth expected in the Syracuse area, it’s likely more adjustments would need to be made again, especially if a new school is built in the next few years.
Is there a school planned for the Shoreline subdivision in southern Syracuse?
The district does own property for a school in that area but only one new elementary school site will be used at this time – either at Shoreline or at the Stillwater subdivision.
Is the safety of students being considered?
Currently, the students in the boundary adjustment area are bused to Cook Elementary. With the proposed adjustment, those students would all be bused to their new school.
Will the district move special programs such as preschool or essential elements to decrease the capacity at an overcrowded school?
When considering an adjustment, the district does look at special programs in that school and whether those can be easily moved. However, it also considers the disruption to those students and the spaces that have been generated to provide services.
How does the district determine the number of students living in each neighborhood?
The district uses a fairly sophisticated computer program — the Geographical Information System — to determine the number of students.
Who are the members of the boundary study group?
The boundary study group consists of the district’s planning director, elementary school director, community relations representatives, principals of schools involved and a boundary consultant.