The Shakopee School Board approved the final East-West Middle School rezoning option at a school board meeting Dec. 9.
The new boundary splits east-west along Marschall Road until the border hits Valley View Road and touches Independence Drive and 17th Avenue. Students living in the Windermere, Amberglen, Countryside and Prairie Meadow developments would attend West Middle School. Students living in Canterbury Commons, Sarazin Flats, Ridge Creek, Summit Preserve and other developments on Shakopee’s far east side would attend East Middle School.
With the new zoning, the margin between West and East middle schools for students who receive free and reduced lunch, as well as the English learner students, will be one percentage point. The special education margin between the two schools will be zero. The population difference after the next six years will be 22 students.
The middle schools are presently operating under a feeder model, which assigns students to East or West middle schools based on the elementary schools they attended.
The new boundaries affect 422 sixth- and seventh-graders who will be assigned to a different middle school.
“We acknowledge there’s a concern and we’ve gone through a lot of work to rebalance,” Superintendent Mike Redmond said at the Dec. 9 meeting.
For students who have been reassigned to the opposite middle school and wish to stay at their current school, requests for intra-district transfers may be made, the school board determined Dec. 9.
Requests made by students who will be in eighth grade for the 2020-21 school year will be prioritized. The district will allow a difference of up to 150 students between the two middle schools. If intra-district transfer requests result in a difference greater than 150, a lottery will be used to determine which students will be granted transfers, prioritizing the incoming eighth-graders.
A shuttle transportation service running students between the two middle schools will be available before and after school for those students who are granted an intra-district transfer. The shuttle service will only be offered for eighth-graders for one year. If the buses have additional space, the district will offer transportation for other grades.
The rezoning is due to lopsided headcounts between East and West middle schools — a result of budding developments throughout the community, Shakopee Schools Assistant Superintendent David Orlowsky said.
As of this year, there are 1,173 students enrolled at West Middle School and 746 students at East Middle School. Each building was designed to hold about 1,000 students.
The intra-district transfer application deadline is Jan. 31.
“I do want the public to know that the board did get all the email questions and concerns,” board member Kristi Peterson said. “We did see everything, we did hear (parents) out at public forums.”
Prior to the final rezoning decision, the school district held two separate listening sessions in which board members listened to parental input.
Board member Judi Tomczik thanked parents who showed up to the listening sessions.
“Any time we can hear from our community is really a blessing,” she said.