Published : Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 7:58 PM
New school attendance boundaries will be among the items before the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) Board of Education on Thursday at its regular meeting. These draft boundaries have been developed after many meetings of the board Master Planning and Boundaries Committee and community input. The meeting will take place Thursday, October 23 at 5 p.m. in the PUSD Board Room at 351 South Hudson Avenue, Pasadena. Click here for the meeting agenda.
The new proposed boundaries before the board shift the geographic school boundaries of many PUSD schools but do not include any school closures. While these changes will take effect for the 2015-2016 school year, students will not have to change the school they are currently attending. Parents are also able to choose any school with space available through the district’s open enrollment process that begins in early January. Click here for the proposed school attendance boundaries.
Some considerations behind the proposed boundaries for the 2015-2016 school year include:
• Boundaries were carefully drawn with freeways, walking patterns, and neighborhood associations taken into account.
• Preference zones were expanded from the original .5 mile radius to match the natural neighbor walking areas around San Rafael and Field Elementary Schools. These two schools will be wall-to-wall dual-language immersion schools.
• Keeping neighborhood boundaries around magnet schools in order to continue enrollment at these schools; there is plenty of room at all magnet schools for anyone to attend.
• Jackson Elementary is treated as a magnet school with a neighborhood boundary although it also includes a dual immersion program that will not be school wide.
• Don Benito and Norma Coombs become neighborhood schools, but have plenty of choice/permit seats. Very little affect to enrollment based on the enrollment and neighborhood data is anticipated.
• Marshall Fundamental’s preference zone remains the same.
• Boundaries do not preclude students from applying for IB at Blair Middle School.
• Due to the size of Eliot Middle School attendance boundaries, it is split between Muir and Pasadena High Schools.
It is important to note that up to 40% of PUSD families choose a school that is not their neighborhood school. The district will continue with a robust choice/permit program. The board continues to value both neighborhood schools and choice for families.
Although school closures have been a topic of discussion by the Master Planning and Boundaries Committee, they are not part of the school attendance boundaries before the board at the November 24 meeting. A separate action before the board would direct Interim Superintendent Dr. Brian McDonald and staff to determine how best to serve the academic needs of all students by analyzing such areas as:
• How best to consolidate/maximize resources so that students have access to a well-rounded academic program
• Fiscal projections
• Impending construction projects
• School closures/consolidation
The board would further direct the superintendent to consider and utilize all data, including scenarios, historical data, declining enrollment and birth projections that surfaced through the master planning process. Staff would also meet at the district and school level to discuss the multiple proposed scenarios related to school closures, program consolidation, and school/program movement of locations. Staff would come back to the Master Planning Committee in early January to discuss recommendations and recommendations will be finalized for board action by March 31, 2015.
With an eye toward shifting residential demographics, declining enrollment within PUSD and the lopsided distribution of students at district campuses, the PUSD Board of Education created a Master Plan and Boundaries Committee to study possible school attendance boundary scenarios and other master planning issues for the district. The board committee is chaired by Dr. Mikala Rahn with Ms. Kimberly Kenne and Dr. Elizabeth Pomeroy also serving on the committee.
This limited term committee was tasked with the following:
• Examine feeder patterns and enrollment data, population data and school configurations
• Maximize school size/facilities, specialty programs and neighborhood capacity
• Examine where specialty programs are needed based on district value statements
• Examine strategies for increased enrollment at secondary level
• Focus on strategies for under-capacity, small schools
• Community outreach and public input on various boundary scenarios
Parents with questions about school enrollment or boundaries can call the PUSD office of Enrollment, permits and Student Records at 626-396-3600, extension 88340.
Event: PUSD Regular Board Meeting
Date/Time: Thursday, October 23 at 5:00 p.m.
Location: Elbie J. Hickambottom Board Room (Room 236), PUSD Education Center, 351 South Hudson Avenue, Pasadena.