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Eight District 833 elementary schools affected by broadened boundary changes

Students in up to eight District 833 elementary schools could be affected by an upcoming attendance boundary change.

South Washington County Schools administrators concluded recently that drawing new lines for Valley Crossing Community School on the east end of Woodbury may require altering the boundaries of seven other elementary schools stretching west all the way to Newport.

As part of District 833’s acquisition of Valley Crossing Community School in Woodbury from partner districts Stillwater and North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale, it needs to draw a new attendance boundary. The change was intended to also alleviate overcrowding at nearby Liberty Ridge and Middleton elementary schools.

However, administrators found they couldn’t make changes without tweaking additional school boundaries.

“The potential, of course, is there’s going to be a domino effect,” said Mike Vogel, assistant to the superintendent for operations. “Each time you make a change for one school it’s going to have an effect on other schools.”

The District 833 School Board on Thursday approved creating a larger attendance boundary design team to address the northern half of the district.

The larger design team will look at attendance boundaries for Valley Crossing, Liberty Ridge, Middleton, Royal Oaks, Bailey, Woodbury, Red Rock and Newport elementary schools. It will include district administrators as well as principals and two parents from each of the affected schools, District 833 Communications Director Barb Brown said.

The group will develop multiple attendance boundary proposals to be vetted at community meetings in November before recommending one plan to the School Board, which will make a final decision in January 2016.

The new boundaries would go into effect for the 2017-18 school year.

The district last redrew its elementary school boundaries in 2007-08 and put them in effect in fall 2009, Vogel said. The intent is to create boundaries that can last for about 10 years.

If the district’s referendum is approved this fall, a team of administrators and parents will be formed in February 2016 to adjust elementary school attendance boundaries for the southern half of the district, Vogel said. That would include Cottage Grove and St. Paul Park schools.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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