NPS sets boundaries for new elementary
NORMAN — School boundaries for Ronald Reagan Elementary, to open August 2012, were approved at Monday’s regular meeting of the Norman Board of Education.
Business Information Services of Kansas City, Miss., conducted a demographic and boundary study and made recommendations to the board.
“It was important to be logical and practical in this process and that we maintain the dynamics of each neighborhood. We are very pleased the new boundary map achieves those goals,” Superintendent Joe Siano said
The decision revises the boundaries of Kennedy, Madison and Washington elementary schools and leaves the rest of the district’s boundaries untouched, Shelly Hickman, director of the district’s community relations said.
Estimated enrollment allows for both improved enrollment and room for anticipated growth. The new school and boundaries will allow Kennedy’s enrollment to go from 604 in 2011-12 to a predicted 555 in 2012-13. Madison will go from 629 to an estimated 444, and Washington is anticipated to go from 648 to 506.
If all students in the redrawn boundaries choose to attend Reagan, at 1601 24th Ave. SE, the school will have an estimated enrollment at 441 for 2012-13.
All four of the elementary schools, despite new boundaries, will feed into Irving Middle School and Norman High School.
The district will accept applications for those seeking to remain at Kennedy, Madison or Washington, Hickman said, but those entering the fifth grade next year have the option of remaining at their current school without applying for a transfer. Younger siblings of fifth graders may also remain.
Hickman said the district will soon notify families within Reagan’s boundaries of the anticipated switch. The district has yet to determine how they will handle pre-enrollment.
Siano said he is pleased by the predicted enrollment distribution among the four schools.
“With renovations at Kennedy, Madison and Washington to be completed by the end of this school year, the predicted enrollment at the four schools for 2012-2013 will allow for future student growth at all four sites,” he said.
Pam Charlson, principal at Madison Elementary, said Reagan’s opening is much anticipated by staff and faculty at Madison.
“We are really busting at the seams,” she said. “They have not done any additions to this building knowing that this was coming and waiting to see what the impact would be.”
Despite the bond projects currently underway at many of the district’s schools, Hickman said all three of the elementary schools were considered to be at over-capacity and a new school was needed to relieve the demand.
Because official enrollment numbers are unknown, Hickman said she is unsure how many teachers from the district will be reassigned to work at Reagan or how many new teachers will be hired. The district is currently accepting applications for Reagan’s principal, and hopes to hire well in advance of the new school year.
“We think there’s going to be a lot of excitement because there is going to be a brand new, beautiful school and it’s also going to have some unique programs there like a French immersion program,” she said.
Reagan will be the site for the district’s pilot French immersion program with the University of Oklahoma, and Hickman said after a principal is hired, faculty and staff for the bilingual program will be hired.
Hickman said the school is well on its way to completion with a foundation laid and walls beginning to take shape.
Hannah Cruz 366-3540 firstname.lastname@example.org