Boundary study
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2019 Boundary Study Executive Summary

2019 Boundary Study Executive Summary

Background

In its resolution regarding the Comprehensive District Design (CDD), the MPS Board of Education directed and empowered “the Superintendent to bring forth a set of recommendations, collectively known as the Comprehensive District Design, for Board action that incorporates the following:

  • Is accessible to all parts of the city
  • Is achievable and sustainable
  • Recognizes that racially and economically integrated schools benefit our students and are an asset to our community. Plans should:
    • Remove elements within our control that further segregation, including placement policies and school pathways
    • Reduce the number of racially isolated schools
    • Strategically place, draw boundary areas for, and enroll magnet schools that create integrated school environments without increasing segregation at other schools--any such magnets should be supported and funded accordingly
    • Not exclusively use the transportation of one group of students to achieve integration”

In order to facilitate the study, MPS provided data on our current student transportation to Edulog, the confidential company that provides our bus routing software and does boundary consulting for schools across the globe. Results of the study were presented to the Board on Nov. 23.

Goals of the Study

  • Reduce the concentration of poverty at any school to below 80% to support academic achievement and equity
  • Reduce racial isolation for students of color to below 86% to support integrated learning opportunities for our students
  • Realize potential transportation savings that could be reinvested in other areas such as reduced walk zones, before and after school academic programming and magnet schools

Questions Posed by the Study

  • Does a community school model have a positive impact on racial and socio-economic desegregation?
  • If so, how may this impact achievement?
  • How can shifting attendance areas impact EDIA (Equity and Diversity Impact Assessment -- being made public on Nov. 26) recommendations regarding placement protocols?
  • Can a Community School model support reducing transportation costs and route complexity, address community need for safety and improved achievement, and support greater access to high quality programming?

Phase 1 of the Study

  • School boundaries modeled to optimize racial and socio-economic integration and increase transportation efficiency
  • Schools are either elementary schools (K-5) or middle schools (6-8)
  • Assumption is that all students would attend their community school, as defined by the boundaries

Data from Phase 1

  • Schools over 80% poverty are reduced by two
  • Racially identifiable schools are reduced by five
  • Schools under 350 students in Zone 1 are reduced by two, schools under 350 students are more equitably spread across Zones 1-3
  • On average, schools’ percent of students proficient increases by four percentage points in math and reading.

Potential Savings and Reinvestment Opportunities

  • Magnet school placement and bell times have the potential to reduce the number of bus routes by as much as 20%
  • Magnet school placement and bell times will likely reduce cost savings
  • Less complex transportation routes positively impact bell times (three-tier system), driver shortages, and access to programming (pending EDIA), and delivery of services
  • Shorter walk zones as enrollment strategy could support student retention
  • Additional investments for potential placement policy EDIA recommendations

Phase 2

  • Further explore changing boundaries relative to cost, school enrollment/balance and projections
  • Propose magnet school locations and specialized programming based on efficiencies, equitable access and demand
  • Decide on the viability of strategic placement of “specialty schools” as a retention strategy
  • Decide on the viability of school closures due to declining enrollment and building size
  • Explore partnership with city government to offer affordable housing in mostly white segregated neighborhoods/community schools
  • Identify where to invest any potential transportation savings
  • Engagement with multiple stakeholders to refine plan