FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – Hamilton Southeastern schools will move forward with a redistricting plan for the 2015-2016 school year.
The school board voted to pass the interim Superintendent’s recommendations at a Monday evening board meeting.
Officials say the plan affects about 2600 kids from K-8 in the district, but about 1200 students initially will have the option of being grandfathered into the plan. Click here to see the plan.
The interim superintendent recommended that third, fifth, and seventh graders have the option to be grandfathered into the program, and to stay to finish out their remaining year at their respective schools. If they choose to do that, their parents will have to provide their transportation. That motion also passed Monday evening.
Officials said it was a difficult decision, and they were pleased to hear from more than 7,000 people through surveys, public meetings and emails. Officials say they poured through each of them.
“We did our very best to be good listeners, and to make the changes that were possible,” said Dr. Williams Carnes, HSE Interim Superintendent, as he presented to the board Monday evening, explaining there was no ‘perfect’ plan, but this was the best way they’d decided to move forward.
They say it’s all because the community is growing, populations are shifting and school leaders say they need to utilize each school to the fullest.
“To really make the facility usage work, and balance things out, we have to move students. That’s a tough decision,” said John DeLucia, HSE School Board President. “I think there is a good consolation in grandfathering, and that was because of public input.”
Dozens of parents showed up Monday evening to share their thoughts and personal situations, both in support and against the plan.
The interim superintendent also recommended taking a look at the district’s long term goals as the community grows, and also at redistricting for the high school. The board decided to save that recommendation to discuss at a later time.
The district will now move forward to begin the transition. The redistricting starts for the 2015/2016 school year.
Down the road, administrators at Carmel Schools are also evaluating the need for redistricting.
“The objective is to provide a long-range solution to resolve overcrowding of facilities and provide more stability for students and families,” Dr. Nicholas Wahl Superintendent of Schools.
Next month, a consulting firm will present recommendations.
This story will be updated.