Redistricting effort invites community input


Students eat lunch in the FHS cafeteria, where the first redistricting meeting was held on Oct. 24. The second one will take place at HSE.

Chatter grew as the cafeteria flooded with parents and HSE school board members on Oct. 24. That night, a public forum meeting was held to discuss redistricting for elementary, junior high and intermediate schools. The board proposed three different plans, which had been previously presented to a November focus group. They are centered on reducing overcrowding at many of the elementary schools, which now are at capacity.

Current Boundaries:
– Schools face an overload of students and between 60 and 64 percent of intermediate/junior high (INT/JH) students attend the school geographically closest to them.
– The feeder splits at Harrison Parkway ES and Sand Creek ES, meaning that students from these schools are being split between INT and JH.
– At Harrison Parkway ES 62 percent of students are currently attending Fishers JH/Sand Creek INT while the other 38 percent are enrolled at Riverside JH/INT. Similarly at Sand Creek ES, 26 percent of students will go to Fall Creek JH/INT and having the remaining 74 percent attend Fishers JH/Sand Creek INT separating students who have been together and moving kids furter from their homes.
– Overused schools include: Brooks School Elementary, Durbin ES, Fishers ES, Geist ES, Hoosier Road ES, Lantern Road ES, New Britton ES, Thorpe Creek ES and Hamilton Southeastern INT and JH.

Scenario 1:
– 3,568 students will move from their current school district to a neighboring one.
– Includes a boundary line through Durbin to eliminate overcrowding in their ES.
– Now, 54.8 percent of elementary students attend their closest school and 65.3 percent INT/JH students will go to their closest school.
– All ES students move onto the same districted INT/JH due to 100 percent feeders, this remains constant in each scenario.
– Decreases overuse of schools, with now only Cumberland Road ES, Fishers ES, Geist ES, Hoosier Road ES and Lantern Road ES being slightly overused.

Scenario 2:
– Attempts to minimize overuse of schools once again, moving 3,747 students from their district to a new one.
– 50.6 percent of ES students attend their closest school while 62.3 percent of INT/JH students are enrolled at their geographically closest school.
– Here there is more overuse than scenario 1, with Durbin ES, Harrison Parkway ES, Hoosier Road ES and Lantern Road ES experiencing more crowding.

Scenario 3:
– The third scenario focuses once again on minimizing overuse of schools and moves the most students from district to district, with 4,159 students being redistricted.
– In this scenario, 59.8 percent of ES students attend their closest school while 60.7% of INT/JH students are enrolled in theirs.
– Fishers ES, Harrison Parkway ES, Hoosier Road ES, Lantern Road ES, New Britton ES and Thorpe Creek ES all remaining over capacity.

For those who wish to provide input on the redistricting decisions, there will be another public forum held at HSE high school on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. in their main cafeteria. The final redistricting plan will be announced after the board decides what fits the needs of the community most.