New school year begins with new elementary boundaries
The Fort Dodge Community School District is beginning the school year with new boundaries for its elementary schools.
The FDCSD board approved the boundaries in January. The boundaries directly impact where students are sent based on geographic location.
The changes were made in part because students were not attending the school closest to their home, according to Jesse Ulrich, FDCSD superintendent.
“It is important for students to be able to attend their neighborhood schools,” Ulrich said. “These are the kids that live together, play together and learn together.”
He added, “It helps families with transportation challenges by allowing more students to walk to school or be dropped off close to where they reside.”
The district’s elementary schools include Butler, Duncombe, Cooper and Feelhaver.
Brad Niemeyer, FDCSD director of transportation, said fewer students will need to be bused.
“We are busing fewer students due to the boundary changes,” he said. “Duncombe’s boundary has fewer students riding the bus. We are busing approximately 90 less students this year as compared to last year. This is about equal to the number of Duncombe students who are no longer eligible for busing. Unfortunately, with the boundary changes, there are some students who were eligible for busing in the past who are not eligible this year.”
When the boundaries were finalized, some families were not assigned to the school they wanted, according to Jennifer Lane, FDCSD director of communications and community relations.
In that case, the district allowed parents to request an in-district transfer.
Lane said the district received about 150 parent requests for in-district transfers.
The district accommodated about 125 of those, Lane said.
In-district transfers will need to be made on annual basis, according to Lane.
Ulrich said, for the most part, registration went well this summer.
“With the transition to online registration and the boundary changes we experienced a few bumps along the way, but overall have had positive feedback regarding the process from both parents and staff,” he said. “In serving nearly 4,000 students and planning for potential enrollment increases, it is important for the district to have a clear boundary policy that allows for the most efficient and effective use of our resources to best serve our elementary students.”
Classes start today across the Fort Dodge Community School District.
View the 2018-2019 elementary boundary map here
High school classes start at 7:55 a.m. and all other students start at 8 a.m. Doors at the high school open at 7 a.m. and all other schools open at 7:30 a.m. Breakfast is served beginning at 7:30 district-wide.