Elmwood Elementary School

Elmwood Elementary School in Mechanicsburg would be converted to a districtwide center for grades 4 and 5.

Sentinel file

Mechanicsburg Area School District officials presented the school board Tuesday night with a proposed map of realigned attendance zones for district students that would become effective with the 2018-19 school year. The proposal would most directly affect students in the elementary grades.

Officials said they devised the proposed zones using criteria of student impact, equity and enrollment.

“We’re trying to impact as few students as possible and equalize enrollment,” Assistant Superintendent Alan Vandrew said. “For equity, we looked at the district’s geographical areas, demographics and specialized education programs.”

A map of the proposed realigned attendance zones will be posted soon on the district’s website for public consideration, Vandrew said. The school board is scheduled to vote on the proposal on Nov. 14.

Last month, the school board authorized architects to design renovations and expansions to Broad Street Elementary School, Northside Elementary School, Shepherdstown Elementary School and Upper Allen Elementary School. All would be configured as buildings for grades 1, 2 and 3.

Also last month, board members unanimously agreed for architects to prepare advertisements for contractor bids for converting Elmwood Elementary School into a district center for grades four and five. The plan also involves moving the district’s offices on Elmwood’s second floor to another location and converting the floor into 15 classrooms.

The Kindergarten Academy’s configuration will remain the same but with building renovations and the addition of a classroom wing to accommodate enrollment that continues to grow at a steady pace. A second floor, which will be added at the academy, will serve as the new location of the district’s administration offices.

Vandrew said that the district’s building plans aren’t likely to change at this point.

“I’m sure there are people who will be affected by this scenario, but I’m impressed by how connected this (proposed map) is,” school board member Layne Lebo said.

In a related matter, district officials will present a revised district transportation plan relating to the proposed 2018-19 zone changes on Oct. 24. The school board could also vote on this by Nov. 14. The school board is expected to finalize principal assignments relating to the upcoming building changes on Oct. 3.

Finally, district staff will be surveyed in November regarding professional assignments for the upcoming school year. Those discussion will continue into the new year before a decision is made.

“There’s a lot going on here. There’s no doubt about it,” Superintendent Mark Leidy said.


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