PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — Plans are being drafted to adjust the attendance boundary between the Tomahawk and Briarwood Elementary schools in the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD).
Maximum capacity for elementary schools within SMSD falls between a range of 525 to 575 students. Currently Briarwood is the only elementary school in the district to exceed that limit in the 2022-23 school year.
A work group made up of 26 parents, district staff and community members have been tasked with brainstorming potential boundary changes to balance enrollment.
That work group met twice in September and presented its initial recommendation to the school board Monday night. Under the work group’s current recommendation, termed Concept 1A, the Tomahawk boundary line would be shifted south to 87th Street.
The proposed plan would set the break between Tomahawk and Briarwood boundary along major roads like Roe Ave., 79th St., Nall Ave., Woodson Drive and 87th St.
Based on the proposed boundary in Concept 1A, Briarwood would have a projected enrollment of 544 students and Tomahawk would have 379 students. This plan would potentially impact 57 current students in kindergarten through second grade.
“We don’t want to balance these two schools equally, because there is a fairly large special education program at Tomahawk. We always want to leave a little bit of room just for the resources that those programs take. It would never be a true 50/50 split of numbers,” Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard said.
According to district documents, the proposed change would not shift racial or ethnic makeup by more than 10% compared to the current boundary.
No formal action was taken by the board this week. The district will host a public meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Briarwood Elementary School cafeteria to get feedback on the proposed plan.
An online survey will also launch on Oct. 4 to get feedback from people unable to attend the meeting.
Feedback from the public meeting will guide the next work group meeting on Thursday, Oct. 27. The work group is scheduled to present its final recommendation to the school board in November.