FDCSD will place cap on elementary schools

The Fort Dodge Community School District will place a cap on the number of students enrolled in each grade of its elementary schools, but it will retain space under that cap to accommodate children who move into the district.

Eight spots will be left open per grade at Butler Elementary School and Duncombe Elementary School.

Four spots will be left open per grade at Cooper Elementary School and Feelhaver Elementary School.

The cushion will help prevent the schools from filling up, which will make it easier for students moving into the district to attend the school closest to their home, according to Jennifer Lane, FDCSD director of communications and community relations.

“We think it’s really important that if you move in you can go to your neighborhood school,” Lane said. “That’s why we changed the boundaries. We want that to apply to all kids.”

She added, “With each building, we feel it is important to leave a cushion or some space.”

The FDCSD board approved new boundaries for its elementary schools in January.

The changes were made to hopefully land students in the schools closest to their home, Lane said.

“We had a lot of kids who were not going to the school that’s closest to where they live,” she said. “That’s why we made the boundary changes.”

Lane said some students who are attending a particular school this year, may not be attending that same school next school year.

“When we start shifting them back to their home school, that school might not be the one they want,” she said.

In that case, Lane said parents will have the opportunity to request that their child attend a different school.

“We are going to have a process where families can request an in-district transfer,” Lane said. “If they want to attend a school that is not their home school, they can fill out an in-district transfer request.”

Lane said those forms will be available during registration this summer.

She said the in-district transfer process will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

“In order to have your request date stamped and put in the pile, you will have to have all of your registration forms completed and returned with payment,” Lane said.

The requests will also need to be made annually.

“Parents will have to make that request annually, because as the population fluctuates there may not be room at a certain school,” Lane said. “It does become an annual request.”