Wednesday, July 27, 2016

District buys news elementary school site in North Liberty

New school site is outlined in orange; click to enlarge.

The big news at the board meeting tonight was that the board gave a unanimous go-ahead to the purchase of land in northern North Liberty to use as the site for an elementary school. (We could not talk about the purchase in advance, for fear of derailing the purchase negotiations.)

Though the board did not make any decision about how the site would fit in with its long-term facilities plan, my own strong preference (and, I think, the likely outcome, though I can’t speak for the board) is to open Grant Elementary School on this newly purchased site in 2019, instead of on the site in northern Coralville (the “Scanlon site”) that the board initially identified.

There are several reasons why it makes sense to alter our plans in that way. Under our most recent information, there are currently 10 elementary school students within a mile of the Scanlon site. Go out two miles and you’ll find over 200, but many of those are very close to our existing elementary schools. The area around Scanlon is being developed, but the growth won’t happen overnight. So to fill that school in 2019, we would have to run many buses to it, which would require scarce general fund money. Alternatively, we could run fewer buses but open the school at significantly less than full capacity, which means it would not serve its intended function of alleviating overcrowding at the other North Corridor schools.

By contrast, the North Liberty location would enable us to fill Grant largely with kids who live within two miles and so minimize busing costs. (The Cedar Springs and Fox Run neighborhoods alone contain hundreds of students.) Unlike at the Scanlon location, the developments (and thus the kids) near the new site are already there, not just anticipated in the future. That means that the new site will enable Grant to have the greatest possible impact in alleviating overcrowding at the other North Corridor schools.

And by opening Grant at the North Liberty location, we avoid having to move the Cedar Springs neighborhood twice. Under the elementary boundaries the board adopted earlier this year, Cedar Springs, which currently attends Garner Elementary, was reassigned to Penn Elementary as of 2019. But it would make no sense to move Cedar Springs to Penn if we anticipate eventually opening a school near Cedar Springs and having to move those families a second time.

Another advantage of the North Liberty site is that it already has utility infrastructure in place, while there is some uncertainty about whether the Scanlon site will have infrastructure in place to enable construction to start on schedule.

Finally, opening Grant at the North Liberty location would make it easier to persuade people to vote for the bond that will be necessary to pay for the construction of a new school. It will be hard enough to persuade people to vote for a bond that will close and demolish an existing elementary school (which I will continue to advocate against). It will be that much harder if we tell people that we’re doing it because we’re building a new elementary school in an area of very high-end development where there are currently ten kids within a mile, and where the cost of the busing that would be required to fill that school when it opens could be nearly what it would cost to keep Hoover open. It would be much easier to convince people to build a school in a neighborhood where hundreds of kids will be within walking distance and where many are currently attending a school (Garner) that is projected to be three hundred kids overcrowded by 2018.

What should become of the Scanlon location? The district will still own the land there. It makes a lot of sense to consider that the location of the *next* North Corridor elementary school, after Grant. There is a lot of growth expected in the North Corridor, and our enrollment projections may justify another elementary school there in the not-too-distant future. But by then, the developments will be further along and we will be able to fill more of the seats with walkers.

Changing the location of Grant would have domino effects, however. For example, in my view, the board would have to reconsider the wisdom of adding 175 seats to Garner and would have to think about whether we should add capacity elsewhere instead.

Opening Grant at the North Liberty location would also require that we change the 2019 elementary boundaries that the board adopted earlier this year. It would not make sense to send Cedar Springs and Fox Run to Penn, since Grant would now be their walkable neighborhood school. In my view, it would also not make sense to send the North Lincoln area to Grant, and the same may be true of the northern part of the Wickham zone that was slated to become part of Grant.

I remain mystified by the board’s decision to approve those elementary boundaries. Not only did we do so over three years in advance of the opening of the new schools and without updated enrollment projections, we did so just hours after the closed session at which we agreed to pursue the North Liberty purchase. I still don’t understand why the board majority chose, on that very same night, to tell hundreds of people that they would be zoned for Grant Elementary—or why, as recently as six weeks ago, board members were saying that the elementary boundaries were “final”—when we all knew that we were pursuing a significant change. We were bound to keep the property negotiations confidential, but nobody forced us to rush elementary boundaries through in a way that would mislead so many people.

But this property purchase is great news, and I hope it will demonstrate that yes, the facilities master plan can be changed without the sky falling. In my view, we should continue to look for ways to improve the facilities plan as we head into the 2017 vote on the bond proposal (which is now estimated to be for approximately $190 million, unless the state approves an extension of the SAVE tax).

Please chime in with any comments about the property acquisition. Are there counterarguments to moving the location of Grant to the new site? If the location is moved, what changes would you suggest to other aspects of the facilities plan and to the elementary boundaries?


Lydia F. said...

I'm loving this new plan, but maybe that's because I am in favor of walkable schools and I live in Cedar Springs. :) Lots of reasons for Cedar Springs residents to be in favor of putting Grant in this location. I also love that the school is in close proximity to both upper and lower income neighborhoods, and sandwiched between two walking/bike trails. So much win. :)

sara defurio said...

Love the new plan for the location of Grant. Living in cedar springs this is a very positive solution to cut down on transportation costs and carpool lines at schools.

Mike and Lianne said...

I think this looks like a great idea! Makes so much more sense for the near future.

Chris said...

Thanks, Lydia and sara. Just to reiterate, though: it's premature to refer to the North Liberty site as the new "plan" for Grant. All the board has done so far is approve the purchase of the property. Deciding to open Grant there instead of at the Scanlon site will require a vote of the Board. Though I support that idea and think it is likely that the full board will also support it, we haven't yet taken that vote.

Anonymous said...

Nice location. I hope that there are or can be sidewalks/trails from the scales bend neighborhoods over to this location.

The board may wish to consider a bond limited to the construction at just this location rather than the all or nothing risk that is involved with the megabond now under consideration.

Unfortunate that so much money was spent on the Scanlon site which could have been better used otherwise.

Anonymous said...

The district needs to establish boundaries which make maximum use of the existing facilities. Lincoln needs to be fully utilized, including taking into consideration that some logical Lincoln students may be moved if/when the Forest View mobile home park is redeveloped.

And the southern boundary of Liberty High needs to be moved upwards - that's the best way to delay the need for an addition.

Split junior high and elementary feeder schools are not the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

The comments under the North Corridor Parents facebook page make it look like the superintendent talked about the property purchase with former board member Jeff McG before the meeting. This doesn't seem right. Shouldn't the super share the info with everyone at the same time?

Like · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs · Edited
Jeff McGinness
Jeff McGinness Speculation based on direct conversations with the developer and SM.
Like · Reply · 15 hrs · Edited
Katy Lenoch DeMeulenaere
Katy Lenoch DeMeulenaere Jeff McGinness I'm confused. So at the board meeting tonight when Lynch said they couldn't talk about the FMP and what changes would be coming as a result, (but would in the coming weeks) you're saying that Steve Murley talked personally with you about the FMP changes?
Like · Reply · 1 · 15 hrs · Edited
Adam Loria
Adam Loria Was also at the meeting tonight. While it was not directly stated, Director Liebig brought up the point this would be a great spot for the school in '19 to go. So, while Jeff McGinness may not be on the board anymore, his "speculating" as you called it was the same thing discussed tonight.
Like · Reply · 15 hrs
Jeff McGinness
Jeff McGinness Katy - I am assuming the board couldn't discuss the FMP because it wasn't on the agenda and doing so would be an open meetings violation. Property accusations are done in closed session to avoid property bidding/speculation - though the meetings are and have been noticed so that alone tends to raise the assumption of property for a new school. Now that it's done they can put it on an agenda publicly discuss its implications to the FMP.

Yes, I have had conversations with SM, board members, developers, City officials, etc. about the FMP and timetables as I remain actively engaged.
Like · Reply · 1 · 15 hrs

Anonymous said...

Split feeders don't feel like the end of the world until it is YOUR kid that is facing losing their closest friends as they transition to junior high school. There are numerous good reasons why most districts use a linear feeder system.

Anonymous said...

The thing with split feeders is that you don't lose friends. You keep the old and get new. It's a small town in many ways and kids see everyone at sports, etc or just around town.

What makes it a problem is so few are currently affected. If it was more common it would be a non-issue.

And my kids were in the minority who were not able to follow their friends and peers. They survived quite nicely.

You can't have diversity, nearby schools, and a pure feeder system. I am not convinced that a pure feeder system is the most important of these three.

Anonymous said...

Makes incredible sense... hope your fellow board members can see the light.

Anonymous said...

If your kid is an introvert and not in sports? Shy? JP Claussen understood that for some kids it could be devastating, while others would still thrive. Too bad more people can't understand that. Just because your kids survived quite nicely does not mean all will survive quite nicely.

Furthermore, I'm pretty sure that during the extensive community feedback used to support May 2015 boundaries, that one of THE strongest preferences was linear feeders. But now some want to ignore that community feedback to pursue their priorities? Got it.

Anonymous said...

You can have one or perhaps two, but not three of these: diversity, closeness, or a pure feeder system. Which negatively affects the least amount of people? my choice is the feeder system.

nbd said...

Here is a new FB page featuring News, Blogs and Discussion of the ICCSD.


The PC is not cool said...

Hello! I'm writing a follow-up Press-Citizen story on the land purchase last night for a new elementary in North Liberty and the possibility of relocating Grant to that spot in 2019. I'm hoping to get parents' input for this story and/or future coverage. If you have any thoughts, feel free to email or call. I'm at hhines2@press-citizen.com, or 319-887-5414. (Post by reporter Holly Thayer from the Press Citizen, and was posted on the Discuss IC page).

I hope this reporter will find more voices for her story than from the Discuss FB page.

Mary M said...

Good location Chris. Thanks you. Hopefully ICCSD can also mitigate the flow of students enrolling out of the district.

FYI....Below is what ICCSD's consultant, Hanover Research, wrote about feeder systems.

"Research also suggests that high-achieving students tend to benefit more from linear pathways, which reinforce existing social structures and achievement patterns, according to the report. Low-achieving students, on the other hand, can benefit from mixed or divergent pathways because social relationships are reconfigured, giving them a second chance.”

See http://www.hanoverresearch.com/2014/04/09/iowa-city-community-school-district-officials-discuss-possibilities-for-transitioning-students-using-hanovers-research-as-guiding-point/

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a long term plan that builds Grant on the new site, that repurposes North Central to a grade school, that builds a new junior high on the Scanlon site, and that expands the Wickham boundaries West and North.

Kirsten F. said...


I appreciate your thoughts and in many ways can see the logic in what you are proposing. My concern is that the "ripple effects" that you mention are significant. Because of the policy that indicated the school would follow strict feeder systems, moving Grant impacts where children will go to Jr. High and where they will go to high school. Liberty High School is scheduled to open in 1 year and the Board announced that students within the Grant attendance zone would be attending Northwest Jr. High and Liberty High. So, if Grant "moves", won't children who were told they were going to Liberty now potentially be going to a different high school? The Liberty PTO has formed and kids have already begun practicing for the Liberty High football team, which will be playing games soon. They have worked really hard to create a sense of team identity and excitement. District employees have already begun building that sense of school community and now the Board wants to redraw the attendance line again?? If you advocate for relocating Grant, won't you necessarily reopen the secondary boundaries issue as well? And if that is that case, how do you plan? How do you hire teachers if you don't know how many students are going to be in the building? And how do you assign teachers? And how do you plan course offerings and schedules without knowing how many students there are going to be? My child, who is going to be a freshman this fall said it best when he commented, "I just wish the Board would decide. I was upset when I thought I would not go to West like I planned but I am not anymore. At this point, I could get excited about either high school but I can't. Because they won't decide, I can't get excited about anything and I don't really belong anywhere". I would love to know your thoughts on what you think I shold tell him?

KJ said...

The board had spoken previously about finding an alternative for Grant Elem., and I think this new location would be an excellent location.

In regards to some of the boundary discussion above...I think it's safe to say that Alexander and Kirkwood's fate has been sealed as far as the bussing goes. As an Alexander parent I can absolutely say that I'm deeply concerned about what this will do to our families as well as Kirkwood families but it's entirely out of our hands at this point. I've been advocating for a change in secondary boundaries for Alexander for at least a year. Of course I'm not ready to give up but really, what else can we do? We could continue to complain and offer examples of why this will not be good for our families but it's clear that what we have to say DOES NOT MATTER. I think it would be a good idea for the Alexander and Kirkwood families to get together and come up with a list of barriers/concerns they foresee in regards to the boundaries and then present it to the board to find out how they plan to address them.

As far as Murley discussing the land acquisition with former board members before discussing with the general public or having it go to current board vote...are you surprised? The reality is if it's something that Murley could be punished for, it will never happen. Murley gets away with more crap than anyone I know and the district does NOTHING!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:59 PM:

You said: "You can have one or perhaps two, but not three of these: diversity, closeness, or a pure feeder system. Which negatively affects the least amount of people?"

As it stands now, for many in our district we have already lost closeness at the secondary level. Many more will be enduring split elementary schools for the next 3 years - or more if you have your way. We also don't have balance in many of our elementary schools. Looks to me like we have 0 out of 3. With the exception of some improvement of secondary balance at City/Liberty High, nothing has really been gained and much has been lost for many students and their families.

And what has been gained, has come at great expense of quite a few students and families both FRL and nonFRL. (North Wickham, North Lincoln, Alexander, Kirkwood). The people that voted Roesler in, clearly wanted balance but knew they didn't have any skin in the game so it was a win-win for them. For others, it is a loss-loss.

Chris said...

Thanks, everyone, for the comments.

Anonymous (9:54) -- Yes, there is already a bike trail serving the property and connecting it to Fox Run. You can see it along the western edge of the property in the Google maps satellite photo here.

Anonymous said...

Murley's now estimating the bond at $190 million? Ouch! Has a bond this big ever passed in Iowa before?

Chris said...

Really interesting comments on the tradeoffs involved with not splitting feeders. There are good points on all sides, which is what makes these issues so difficult. The rapid growth in North Liberty is really creating an ongoing disequilibrium that makes some degree of disruption impossible to avoid, though there are different ways to deal with it. One reason (not the primary one) I was reluctant to assign Kirkwood to Liberty was that it appears likely that putting Kirkwood there will quickly result in the building being over capacity (even assuming that our capacity determinations may be too low). There's reason to worry that Liberty will end up being over capacity even after it receives its 500-seat addition, since the district's age-progressions do not account for likely population growth via new developments. (See Michael Tilley's post here.) So if Kirkwood stays at Liberty, it's likely only a matter of time before we hear arguments that some other feeder school has to leave it. It's hard to come up with a great candidate for which area should be reassigned out of Liberty if that occurs. The alternative is that Liberty be expanded to become larger than the other high schools, which is also objectionable to many people.

To me, the assignment of the North Lincoln area to North Central and Liberty makes a lot of sense. But I admit I see some appeal to keeping North Lincoln at Lincoln Elementary, though that would require splitting the feeder after sixth grade (since Manville and Parkview would go to Southeast and City). My concern is that we barely have enough planned elementary capacity in the North Corridor to accommodate the growth we expect up there, so assigning North Lincoln there would just create an additional capacity need, requiring a larger bond, while the existing capacity in Iowa City is sufficient to accommodate North Lincoln. So I'd at least entertain the split feeder idea for that reason, and since I get the sense that many families there would prefer the split feeder Lincoln-NCJH-Liberty path to the Lincoln-Southeast-City path. But once Kirkwood is reassigned to Liberty, I won't be surprised to hear arguments that there is no longer room at Liberty for North Lincoln--after all, the argument would go, removing North Lincoln makes more sense than removing a North Liberty school--and that the area should go back to Southeast and City.

All of which is just to echo the commenters who have said that we can't have everything: clean feeders, socioeconomic balance, equal sized high schools, low busing costs, geographic proximity, a passable bond proposal, etc. Which one(s) get sacrificed will, if nothing else, be an interesting study in whose values and interests prevail and whose don't.

Anonymous said...

Chris, I am a North Lincoln parent. The current feeders for us is: Lincoln-NW-City, or Lincoln-SE-City. I know a few sixth graders that have chosen NW. If we are going to Liberty, then the feeder becomes Lincoln-NC-Liberty. For the sixth graders that will start at NW in about two months, this means they will be the only ones in NW to go to Liberty, everyone else will go to West in their class.

Not a good situation. There are two months before school starts. That is enough time for the Board to decide and come up with a plan so these kids can avoid that. I don't think that is too much to ask and I don't think that is too difficult a task to achieve.

You know, at this point, I no longer care what the board decides--you people simply don't know what you are doing. Only thing I need is a decision so I can plan.

Frank said...

I agree - with the above post - this situation is getting ridiculous - almost comical if our children's future was not at stake. We live in the North Lincoln area as well and it seems that every 3 months things change drastically. I think most of us can deal with any reasonable long term options that are selected, but you can't keep changing things on us this quickly. I know we are all "rich" and "white" and can afford to just have the nanny drive the kids to school or move to a different school, but it still makes things very challenging to plan when one day we are going to West, then to City, then to Liberty, then back to City. I have no insider information, but based on things I am seeing and reading I personally think that there are shady activities going on with Murely, certain current board members, past board members, developers, etc. This has become very political and the appearance is that education is not the top priority here. I am really hoping the bond will pass because if it does not we will be in serious trouble but I have doubts that it will. This administration is incompetent - we need to clean house starting at the top and start fresh.

Frank said...

Sorry to keep ranting but this is so frustrating - it doesn't matter what projects are promised with the bond or what the FMP shows - once the bond passes and they get this huge chunk of money and everything will change up again. I am guessing some of the projects currently attached to the bond are just to try to get it to pass - then that money will go elsewhere. I know that everything changes and we have to sometime adjust our plans, but come on - first - this is what the admin is getting paid the big bucks to figure out and second - things have not been so transparent in the past so we are skeptical of your motivations and competency. I should say that I can't decide if you are incompetent at your job or very competent and just really deceptive - maybe you have a secret FMP in place. Whether this is reality or not - this is what people are thinking. I think the biggest problem with the bond passing is trust. We can't trust what will happen bases on previous actions and how often things have been changing.

Anonymous said...

Frank is right. This whole thing smacks of the Hoover tactic - the one where promises were made about the RPS helping everyone and then, once the vote was in, announcing the premade decision to tear down Hoover.

And why did we spend so much money to buy the Grant I site? We can't just spend money and buy what we want and then change the plan. Don't we highly pay administrators to make the right decision about what site to buy and to do so the first time around?

Between the money which could have been saved on the Hoover II bait and switch deal and the cost of the Grant I site, we could have built the new elementary on the recently purchased Grant II site and renovated Hoover I.

The bond will fail unless it is very much cut down in size and limited to specific identified projects.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing your blog Chris. Many of us appreciate it.

If Kirkwood and Alexander students travel, north Lincoln and others should also. Otherwise, the busing plan trouble.

North Lincoln isn't one big neighborhood. It's different subdivisions so it could be split.

What will parents and students give up to pay for busing Roesler and his group campaigned for? Music, administrators, schools?

With what we know about concussions, is the board thinking about how this will impact the athletic facilities plan?

The bond is gigantic. How will we afford it?

Chris said...

Thanks for the additional comments. I agree that Lincoln, and especially North Lincoln, has gone through too many transitions and has been put to too many hard choices. That’s a big part of why I thought it was wrong to announce in May that North Lincoln would be assigned to NCJH and Liberty, when we were at that very moment pursuing this property acquisition that we knew could end up affecting that redistricting. I also agree that the clock is ticking and we need to settle the secondary districting as soon as we can. One reason I’m open to the split feeder idea is that it would more easily enable us to settle the secondary assignment now (by assigning North Lincoln to NCJH and Liberty), even if the elementary assignment is subject to change. I’m also in favor of allowing Lincoln kids who chose to transfer to Southeast the option to continue through the Southeast-City path without going through our usual voluntary transfer rules (as I described in the letter linked to here). But I do think it will be hard to justify going ahead with opening Grant at the Scanlon location, when the new location has so many advantages over it.

In general, I still believe that we should not have adopted 2019 elementary boundaries before first (1) getting updated enrollment projections, (2) discussing possible improvements to the facilities master plan, and possibly even (3) waiting until after the 2017 election when the bond will be on the ballot and when specific issues about elementary redistricting can be debated by the candidates. Each of those events has the potential to change the district’s plans, so adopting elementary boundaries before they occur seems like a recipe for needlessly generating expectations that we might not be able to follow through on. Changes to the facilities plan, such as the possibility of opening Grant in a different location—which I think is a great improvement—would be a lot easier for people to take if they didn’t trigger changes in supposedly settled elementary attendance zones.

As a veteran of the fight over the Hoover closure, I don’t blame anyone for being skeptical of the some of the districts’ decisions and processes. Any given board is going to be in the position of having to decide whether to stick with existing plans (made by previous boards) that do not seem like good ideas. Sometimes it makes sense to stick with imperfect plans just so as not to disturb settled expectations, but other times the disadvantages are just too great. On the flip side, the board has to recognize that its own decisions are subject to change by future boards who might not agree with them. Even board members who feel strongly that we should stick with existing plans have to recognize that future boards can always change them. That’s just part of what it means for schools to be subject to democratic control.


Chris said...


I don’t believe that the best way to pass a bond is to be a cheerleader for whatever the existing plan is, no matter what the objections to it are. I think we need to make sure that the bond proposal makes sense and is the best proposal we can go forward with. The question of whether the bond commits the district to the projects in it is a legal question that needs to be answered, because the answer can affect whether people are willing to vote Yes. And I agree that the bond’s chances are affected by the level of trust people have in the district’s leadership. That’s a big part of why I voted against adopting 2019 elementary boundaries that the board members all knew we might have to change very soon after adopting them.

There are lots of situations where, if I were the benevolent dictator, I would choose Policy X, but as a board member with a two-year term in a democratic system, I think that Policy X would be politically unsustainable and just end up causing disruption and backlash. I wish the board members who voted for the Hoover closure had thought about the issue in those terms, so I have an obligation to think about other issues in those terms, too, both as to bond passage and as to redistricting decisions. To some degree it’s guesswork about what the voters will do when faced with new tradeoffs, but it seems unavoidable.

In that light, what is the right answer to the question of who should go to Liberty High if the enrollment projections show that it will be overcrowded even after receiving its addition? We just had an election in which the candidate supporting FRL balance won. My own policy preference is to assign North Lincoln to Liberty, but, in light of those election results, don’t I have to worry about whether that decision will be politically sustainable? If I vote to assign North Lincoln to Liberty, am I guilty of just setting that community up for another disruption in a few years?

Anonymous said...

As long as this district has fluid/changing boundaries every few years to keep up with the "percentage" balance goals the district is going to be disrupted. The plan in itself is disruptive. Get ready for a wild ride.

Anonymous said...


Let's be honest, it's unlikely your board vote will matter as it relates to north Lincoln or otherwise in light of the election. Much like your go around with 3 board members reversing past decisions I suspect this board, as early as the second August meeting, will reverse your vote on the seondary boundaries and work to maintain SES balance. It's very unfortunate you and your 3 fostered in a "race to four" mentality in the board as now it's here it will be really hard to undue.

Anonymous said...

Undo...The voting block started with Swisher, Swesey, Cook, and Hoelscher and the diversity policy and those who helped them orchestrate that. I suspect you know that.

Based on your comments, it also appears you are the one fostering the "race to four" mentality and are counting on a return your voting block with Roesler's election. You are already discounting votes outside of your block. "It's unlikely your board vote will matter." Does your block plan on moving north Lincoln back to City?

Anonymous said...

The FMP and subsequent attendance zones were both approved with near unanimous board approval. Samantha Baruah was the sole nay on both. Hardly a "race to four."

Regarding north Lincoln, the entirety of the Lincoln attendance was assigned to CHS pre 2011. The newly changed attendance zones, those pushed through by Chris, keep North Lincoln at City. So, I'm not sure what you mean by your question about moving them "back" to City as they are already there.

Chris said...

Anonymous (2:45): You are incorrect. The secondary attendance zones I supported did not put North Lincoln at City.

Anonymous said...

Chris - If that's the case you should probably have the district correct the maps online labeled "approved secondary boundaries 2017-18" that have the entity of North Dubuque St until it reaches Overlook at CHS. Using the posted online elementary bondaries that includes the entirety of the north Lincoln area.

Chris said...

Again, that is not correct. The secondary maps are here. Look on the City High map. What is currently the Lincoln attendance area is in green, to the left. The northern portion is entirely outside the City zone, and in the Liberty zone. The brownish area that extends northward is Shimek, and remains Shimek (and thus Southeast and City) under the new boundaries.

If you do have an actual argument to make about which secondaries North Lincoln should attend, I'd be interested to hear it.

Anonymous said...

Chris - not sure where the link you posted is burrier within the district site. The secondary boundaries I noted are listed under the quick links on th board site - so it appears the most accessed portion of the board website is outdated.

Chris said...

The one I linked to appears on the district home page under "News." You are right that the one you found is out of date. That one shows the secondary boundaries adopted by the previous board (as you can see from where Kirkwood is assigned). The only reason North Lincoln appears to be assigned to City under that map is that the Grant attendance area had not yet been drawn.

Anonymous said...

LOL. North Lincoln is literally 5 to 10 minutes away from Liberty. And there is a bike trail connecting the school and that neighborhood. Now they are going to ride a bus across town to attend City? Man this is messed up!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that a larger issue that may arise for north Lincoln is if and how they can fit into Liberty given its size and the growth in North Liberty. When Grant was set to be on the Scanlon farms it seemed to make more sense as the North Lincoln kids would have possibly been shifted into Grant. However, if Grant is moved to the new site the question becomes which elementary school will north Lincoln attend. Will they remain at Lincoln or get shifted to Mann as some have recommended, or will they backfill into Wickham with a elementary zone shift to the north if Grant is placed on the North site. Either way, it seems they will have trouble finding a "home" in a school that feeds to Liberty. Oh, and all of that is not even considering the likely FRL factoring that will be measured when considering all of the options.

Chris said...

Anonymous (9:27) -- Just to be clear: There has been no decision made to move North Lincoln back to City High. Until the board decides otherwise, Grant is scheduled to open at the Scanlon location and North Liberty is slated to attend it. In my view, the new land purchase makes some changes likely, but those changes do not necessarily mean moving North Lincoln back to City High.

I think Anonymous (12:55) is right that moving Kirkwood back into Liberty will create secondary-level capacity issues that will have to be addressed one way or another. I think it's also true that moving kids from Lincoln to a North Corridor elementary school creates elementary-level capacity issues, too, given that there is already an elementary capacity crunch in the North Corridor. But there are multiple ways to address all of these issues, so it's hard to predict just how it will all hash out.

Anonymous said...

Any word why four board members were absent from the all staff kickoff on Friday?

Anonymous said...

Until this school district has a leader who can manage the east side power grab, NO BOND.
Until this school district has a leader who can tell a school board what direction the district should be moving, NO BOND.
Until this school district has a vision based on quality evidence, NO BOND.

We currently have a school board moving forward on an agenda that involves regularly destabilizing boundaries. There aren't many other places in the country you can live where the home you buy has no consistent bearing on what school you attend. But it is good for City High so they can power grab and move the district in ways that are best for them.

Nice 300 student addition City High. And now you want to tear down Hoover and become the largest HS in the district? There's nothing wrong with Power Grabs it is just that some are more obnoxious and arrogant than others. The east siders have taken the cake with their equity for all BS. They weren't willing to integrate their own elementary schools in 2010 and today they have settled on busing the poorest and blackest of their elementary schools across town. Anyone want to guess what time they will be going out the door? Anyone want to guess what this town is going to be like with a group of unwanted being bused all over the place? How do you think civil unrest gets started?

District unrest will lead to civil unrest. NO BOND until this district has a leader to stop all this nonsense brought about by a political agenda and now educators.

Chris said...

Anonymous (5:56) -- I can't speak for the others, but I was traveling out of state.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful plan - kill a bond so our schools can remain overcrowded and out of date - and a half built HS with no athletic fields.

Anonymous said...

Passing the bond and moving forward with the current group of leaders? I don't think so. The district will be fine putting off the bond until new leadership is in place. Time for change.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with that --- the East siders and moderate Dems of JC seem to have their act together finally and successfully prevented a multi-east side candidate race that plagued them in past elections. Roesler won by a substantial margin over a candidate who had overwhelming support from every union group and liberal elected official. Coupled with that there was the attempted smear campaign that clearly backfired and support from other JCo Dem "leaders" like Jacoby, Dvorsky and Gross that failed.

BTW, a GO bond would be tied to the specific listed projects so it's not like whomever is "leading" would have much ability to change the projects once approved.

Anonymous said...

Roesler won by a slim margin despite having the full weight of the east side political machine behind him. Flipping 150 votes won't be a problem. Adding more votes won't be a problem. It's only a matter of time. The west and north are waking up.

Anonymous said...

August 24, 2016 at 8:21 AM, the east side political machine?? JP Clauson had the entire Johnson County Democratic political machine behind him, speaking of political machines. You are right about the west side waking up tho, hence the outcome of the special election. This is not about one side or area being a bad guy its about people all over waking up and realizing they need decent buildings that are not crowded and that all kids deserve good learning environments. Now lets work together to get the bond passed and quit acting like spoiled children.

Anonymous said...

LOL spoiled children. Every tick of the clock moves us closer to the end of the district FRL sham. Tick-tock. Tick-Tock. As for district funding needed for AC, classroom space, playing fields, etc. the money will flow. But first the sham will be ended. Tick-tock.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 4:32 - "BTW, a GO bond would be tied to the specific listed projects so it's not like whomever is "leading" would have much ability to change the projects once approved."

Nah, the sales pitch for the bond will list projects but we won't vote on the sales pitch.

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Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8/29/16 at 1:19 - State law actually requires the specific items in a GO bond to be specifically enumerated and the funds can only be used for the listed purposes. Started another way, we do actually vote on the specific items.

Anonymous said...

September 3 at 8:59: I hope that you are right but I am not sure that you are. I think the district would have to spend the money as specified in the ballot language. If this language said something like"the building and renovation needs of the district" and did not specifically identify what project, the money could likely be spent as chosen by the board. A huge bond such as the one being discussed (close to $190 million!) would require all the projects to be designed and bid before we know what they would cost and therefore before definite ballot language could be written. Otherwise, the board is going to have discretion. And cost overruns, etc will likely result in there being not enough money for all projects. Yet another reason to vote no.

Anonymous said...

September 5, 2016 at 11:17 AM: you said "...the board is going to have discretion..." Come on man, today is Friday. Saying that, you just scared the living hack out of me. This board, with discretion, that is a kiiiiilla combination!