Redistricting Updates

Oct. 10 Committee Meeting

Announcement:
We added an additional committee meeting to the schedule on Monday, Oct. 29, in response to feedback from the committee.

Minutes:
The committee approved the minutes from the Sept. 26 meeting.

Committee Review:
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Paul Kelly reviewed the maps that committee members drew at the last meeting, the data about how each map did according to the Board’s criteria, and the feedback that the committee members provided in the Park Hill Listens online tool between Sept. 26 and the Oct. 10 meetings.

He shared that we got more information about subdivisions from the Platte County Assessor, and he showed how the committee could correct the small number of situations where a map divided a subdivision.

Executive Director of Quality and Improvement Dr. Mike Kimbrel addressed the committee’s feedback about scoring the maps. He said we asked the committee to stick to certain ranges in order to score the maps, because this ensures a focus on the Board’s criteria. However, he said the small amount of discretion the committee members have for scoring gives them the opportunity to make a difference in the outcome. He demonstrated how this happened in the recent round of scoring.

Committee Recommendations:
Committee members met in their table groups to discuss the next step for the middle-school scenarios, then they reported out their thoughts. They shared opinions about improving the maps as well as about improving the overall process.

Committee Work:
Committee members worked with their table groups to develop additional middle-school map scenarios that incorporated the best ideas from the previous round. The committee will again score the maps against the Board’s criteria, and the highest-scoring maps will move forward to be used for creating the elementary scenarios at the next meeting.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet next from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, in the media center at Plaza Middle School.

Oct. 10 meeting handouts (PDF)
"A" scenarios, data sheets and discussion on Park Hill Listens
"B" scenarios, data sheets and discussion on Park Hill Listens

Sept. 26 Committee Meeting

Minutes:
The committee approved the minutes from the Sept. 10 meeting.

High School Scenarios:
Dr. Paul Kelly, assistant superintendent for business and technology, shared with the committee the results from its scoring of the high-school boundary scenarios. Committee members drew their ideas for the scenarios at their Aug. 27 meeting, then they scored them at their Sept. 10 meeting, according to the criteria set by the Board of Education.

Dr. Kelly said the top-scoring scenario would move forward for further consideration, but that the next two scenarios in the rankings were almost the same as the top scenario. Therefore, in order to give the public some choices during the public comment period in November, the fourth-ranked scenario would also move forward.

Scenario A for the high school boundaries would move an area on the west side of the district from Park Hill South High School to Park Hill High School and an area on the east side of the district from PHHS to Park Hill South.

Scenario B for the high school boundaries would move an area on the east side and a small area near Plaza Middle School from PHHS to Park Hill South.

Middle School Boundary Ideas:
Dr. Kelly reminded the committee about keeping the Board’s criteria in mind, and then he provided maps to each small table group for them to draw their ideas for the middle school boundaries. Half of the groups used maps with one of the two high-school boundary scenarios, and the other half used the other high-school scenario.

The maps showed the committee a half-mile radius around each middle school, so they could, if they chose to, consider the students right next to a school as they drew their boundary ideas.

Park Hill Listens:
Nicole Kirby, director of communication services, shared that we are using a new tool called Park Hill Listens, which will be an online hub for our district’s public engagement. In addition to our comment portal and our nomination form for the Park Hill Star award, we will use this tool to get feedback about major issues like redistricting.

Right now, you can find information about the redistricting process on Park Hill Listens, including the timeline and links to the resources on this website, and you can use the tool to ask questions.

In November, after the committee narrows down its scenarios, the public will be able to review all the remaining boundary ideas and provide detailed feedback. The tool for the feedback will allow people to see each other’s comments and to like the comments they agree with by clicking on a heart. You will be able to sort the comments to see which receive the most hearts.

Kirby shared that there is a redistricting committee section on Park Hill Listens, where the committee will be asked for feedback about the process so far. This discussion will go through Sunday, Sept. 30. From Wednesday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 7, the committee will use this tool to review the scenarios they created for the middle schools and the data for each scenario. They will discuss what they like and don’t like about each scenario using the same ideas-and-hearts method.

The committee’s discussions on Park Hill Listens will be visible to the public, although only committee members will be able to participate.

On Monday, Oct. 8, the committee will get a form to score the middle-school scenarios according to the Board’s criteria, which they will complete by the next day.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet again from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10 in the media center at Plaza Middle School.

Sept. 26 meeting handouts (PDF)

Sept. 10 COMMITTEE MEETING

Announcement:
Dr. Paul Kelly, assistant superintendent for business and technology, announced that the district hired Business Information Systems, LLC to serve as our demographer for this redistricting process. This company will provide us with data about each of the scenarios the committee develops, so they can determine how well the ideas meet the Board of Education’s criteria.

Minutes:
The committee approved the minutes from the Aug. 27 meeting.

High School Scenarios:
Dr. Kelly showed the committee the different scenarios they drew up at the last meeting (see handouts below). Because several of the groups came up with identical ideas, there were a total of seven different scenarios for the boundary between the Park Hill High School and Park Hill South High School attendance areas. Some of the ideas focused only on moving areas on the east side of the district, and other ideas would move areas on both the east and west sides of the district.

Scoring the Scenarios:
Dr. Mike Kimbrel, executive director of quality and evaluation, took the committee through a scoring exercise to see how well the different scenarios each met the criteria set by the Board of Education.

For each of the criteria, he gave the committee a data sheet that showed not only how each scenario would affect the high schools (on the data sheet in blue), but also how it would affect the middle school students (on the data sheet in green). See the handouts below.

The data sheet for maintaining subdivisions did not have data, because, while we have good information about official subdivisions, we do not know all the neighborhoods in which residents consider two different subdivisions to be one cohesive neighborhood. None of the seven maps divided any known subdivisions.

He provided the committee with ranges for the criteria, to give them a framework for analyzing the data. The ranges identified what would be considered optimal, adequate, acceptable or undesirable for each criterion.

The committee members entered their scores electronically. District staff will bring back a result for the high school scenarios at the next committee meeting.

Introducing the Middle-School Discussion:
Dr. Kelly reminded the committee that we will go from one sixth-grade center and two seventh-eighth middle schools to four sixth-through-eighth middle schools next fall.

The committee will try to create four balanced attendance areas for the middle schools that feed cleanly into Park Hill High School and Park Hill South High School. This part of the work will begin at the next meeting.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet again from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26 in the media center at Plaza Middle School.

Sept. 10 meeting handouts (PDF)


Aug. 27 Committee Meeting

Introductions:
Board President Bart Klein welcomed the committee and thanked the members for their work. The committee approved the minutes from the last meeting.

Information Flow:
Dr. Mike Kimbrel, executive director of quality and evaluation, explained how committee members can handle the qualitative data they get. This includes questions and comments from friends and neighbors. He reminded them to direct people to the website, where we have answers to all the Frequently Asked Questions, as well as to send the feedback they hear to Nicole Kirby, director of communication services. Mrs. Kirby will use the feedback to keep adding answers to the FAQ page.

Data Resources:
Committee Chair Dr. Paul Kelly, assistant superintendent for business and technology, shared several sources of data and information to help committee members as they tried to come up with redistricting suggestions. In particular, he spent some time highlighting the enrollment maps and charts in the district demographic profile. He also reminded the committee that he would take their ideas to the demographer to find out how each suggestion would impact students in Park Hill.

Student Enrollment & Demographic Data

Geographic Data Resources

Redistricting Goals:
Dr. Kelly reminded the committee that its purpose is to develop a recommendation for the Board of Education. The Board will vote on committee’s recommendation in December.

He shared that we have 73 square miles in our district, with about 11,500 students. The last time we redistricted the elementary boundaries was 2012, and the last time we redistricted the middle school and high school boundaries was 1996.

Our goals for each level are . . .

  • Balance the high school enrollment between Park Hill High School and Park Hill South High School. The two enrollments are currently very different.
  • As we move from a sixth-grade center and two middle schools for seventh and eighth grades to four sixth-through-eighth grade middle schools, we must balance the enrollments and align them to feed cleanly into Park Hill High School and Park Hill South High School.
  • As we open a new elementary school, we must balance our enrollment between the 11 elementaries.

Dr. Kelly shared that he hoped to have the committee work on ideas for high school boundaries in early September, and then work on elementary and middle school boundary ideas in late September and into October. We will get feedback on the ideas from the public in November, and then the committee will use the feedback to refine its ideas and finalize a scenario to take to the Board in December.

High School Boundary Ideas:
Dr. Kelly broke the committee members into groups and gave them large maps and equipment to draw lines. They worked together to try to develop ideas for high school boundaries that would meet the Board’s criteria as much as possible.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet again from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, September 10 in the media center at Plaza Middle School.

Aug. 27 meeting handouts (PDF)


Aug. 16 Committee Meeting

Introductions: Redistricting committee members introduced themselves to kick off the group’s first meeting. The committee chair, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Technology Dr. Paul Kelly, explained that we are holding the meetings in the media center at Plaza Middle School because it has enough room for seating for the public, in case anyone wants to come observe the committee’s meeting.

Expectations:
The committee will work to develop a recommendation to the Board of Education about attendance boundaries. Dr. Kelly shared the criteria the Board set for the redistricting process, and he explained that the Board wanted a clean feeder pattern, with the four middle schools feeding cleanly into Park Hill High School and Park Hill South High School. The Board, not the committee, will make decisions about how to handle requests like whether to allow fifth graders, eighth graders or seniors to remain at a school, known as “grandfathering.”

Dr. Kelly later shared with the committee members what they will and will not do in their committee role. He said they will be seeking feedback from the community to bring back to their meetings, where they would use the input, along with data and a decision-making matrix, to develop their recommendation. He told them they will not discuss any reconfiguration of grade levels, and they will not change the outside boundaries between Park Hill and neighboring school districts (they will only work on the attendance areas for our individual schools inside our district boundaries).

Committee Activity:
Committee members shared rumors and questions they are hearing in the community, in an activity led by Executive Director of Quality and Evaluation Dr. Mike Kimbrel. District staff collected the feedback in order to add more answers to the Frequently Asked Questions page here on the redistricting section of the website.

Communication:
We will get community input on the ideas of the committee later in the fall, with public input meetings and an online engagement process. Director of Communication Services Nicole Kirby said we will keep the community updated about the redistricting process with email bulletins, lots of details on the website, face-to-face presentations from the superintendent, video updates and school newsletters.

Effect of Redistricting on Students:
The Park Hill schools are particularly well set-up to make sure that a student who moves between our schools has a good experience, both educationally and personally, explained Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services Dr. Jeff Klein.

Our schools have a very consistent curriculum, approach to teaching, and resources at each location. We have the same level of rigor, and we have the same high quality of teachers at each of our schools. As a result of this consistency, our students’ academic growth is strong at every school in Park Hill. This is why our families love their schools, but it is also why families who move between schools find they have very smooth transitions and love the new schools as well.

After redistricting, our principals are planning activities to warmly welcome new students to their schools and make them feel part of their new school communities.

Redistricting Process:
Dr. Kelly explained that a demographer would plot every student in the district on the map, which will allow the committee to see how their ideas would impact families and gauge how well the ideas meet the Board’s criteria.

Over the course of the committee’s meetings, it will . . .

  • Use initial public feedback and board-approved criteria to create multiple scenarios for attendance areas.
  • Consolidate similar scenarios.
  • Send their ideas to the demographer to provide data for each scenario.
  • Evaluate the data about the scenarios in order to refine some scenarios and eliminate others.
  • Present the remaining scenarios to the public for feedback at public meetings and online.
  • Use the community feedback and the Board’s criteria to reevaluate the scenarios and identify the best scenario.
  • Take the final scenario to the Board for its decision.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet again from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Monday, August 27 in the media center at Plaza Middle School.

Aug. 16 meeting handouts (PDF)