Park Hill Looking to Change District Boundaries

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KANSAS CITY, Mo- The Park Hill School District is redrawing it's elementary school boundaries.  But not all parents are on board with what's being proposed so far.

More than 100 parents packed into Prairie Point Elementary Monday with a plethora of questions and concerns.

The district is building Tiffany Ridge Elementary School.  It is set to open this August.  But this district said it's this project that is forcing it to redraw it's elementary school boundaries.

"They took a knife and carved up the subdivision in the scenarios," said Phil Daley, a Park Hill Parent.

Those two scenarios are front and center at a first public feedback meeting.  A Board of Education-appointed committee has settled on plan 3-A and 3-B, so far.

"These two are the ones that currently do best of all of the five in balancing the five criteria," said Paul Kelly, the assistant superintendent of business and technology for the district.

Those criteria include balancing enrollment at all the elementary schools, having an even distribution of socioeconomic demographics that reflect the community, minimizing transportation to protect student safety, keeping district subdivisions together within one school attendance boundary, minimizing the number of students changing schools, and anticipating residential growth in the community.

Each parent at the public feedback session, had their own concerns about how those criteria are met in the proposals.

For Bobbi Woodward, the plans don't reflect balancing enrollment.

"Moving us out of an school that doesn't have the growth that was anticipated actually seems like in a couple of years, that could be counter productive to that school as well," Woodward said.

The district admits it has been a challenge to come up with plans that meet these criteria.

"To do one, you kind of have to hurt the other criteria so none of them are absolutes because you couldn't do, you could do one absolutely, but you can't do five, so really it's a balancing act," said Kelly.

An act, the district hopes parents will be happy with in the fall.

"They'll be some pain that comes along with pain, but that's a necessary part of redistricting in a growing school district," said Kelly.

Some parents told us they did not like the way the session was held.  But Kelly said they did it this way because they wanted to have face-to-face contact with parents.  The committee is expected to hold two more this week.  The next one is Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Line Creek Elementary.

A final recommendation goes to the full board of education on March 29.

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