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school boundaries to be examined


by michael strand salina journal

a committee of 32 has been named to study attendance boundaries in the salina school district and recommend changes to the salina school board by the end of the year.

at tuesday night’s meeting, board members approved the makeup of the committee as well as a broad area of responsibility, including working with the stilwell-based consulting firm patron insight to gather community input, working to increase public awareness of why the district is looking at changing boundaries and recommending boundary changes.

superintendent rob winter said he expects the committee to start work after labor day and have a recommendation to the school board by late december or early january.

winter said a decision on any changes needs to be made “in a timely fashion, so parents will be aware as soon as possible.”

while elementary school boundaries were redrawn just a few years ago, as the district went from 12 elementary schools to eight, the middle school and high school boundary — generally along republic avenue — has been unchanged since 1960.

mostly to the south

the city has grown mostly to the south since then. as of aug. 13, salina south high school had 1,096 students enrolled, while salina central high school had 866. south middle school had 852 enrolled, to lakewood middle school’s 740.

the committee’s job, winter said, “is (to study) more than just whether the boundary needs to stay at republic.”

committee members are:

nschool board members gary denning, larry michel and jim dubois;

n district administrators rob winter, superintendent; ken kennedy, director of operations; and carol pitts, coordinator of public information;

nparents greg bengtson from central, linda bowell from south, brenda sydow from lakewood, shelly flores from south middle, jessica allen from coronado elementary, sean tubal from cottonwood elementary, amy freelove from heusner elementary, shane sankey from meadowlark elementary, adam bonilla from oakdale elementary, shawn cox from schilling elementary, shan copeland from stewart elementary and hope varela from sunset elementary;

ncommunity representatives steve ryan, catherine craft, bob haworth, tom perez, sean morton, jennifer foster, steve thompson and dr. trent davis;

nteachers deanna cullins from central, anna bonilla-gordon from south middle school and melinda eitel from stewart elementary;

n and building administrators ken stonebraker from salina south, mike lowers from lakewood and tina daniels from coronado.

yearly budget approved

in other business, the board:

n gave final approval to the 2010-11 budget, with total spending of just more than $115 million and a property tax rate of 58.730 mills, up from 58.495 mills last year.

n approved purchasing a new water heater from systems 4 for $33,435 for lakewood middle school, replacing one that has started leaking. director of operations ken kennedy said repair of the existing one had been estimated at more than $28,000.

n approved allowing roughly 15 thespian students at central to travel to the international thespian festival in lincoln, neb., in june.

n reporter mike strand can be reached at 822-1418 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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