Breakdown: Stillwater Schools Initial Boundary Change Proposals

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Stillwater Area Public Schools presented four options for elementary and middle school attendance boundaries beginning during the 2017-18 school year.

The boundaries are being redrawn after the school board voted to approve BOLD, which in part, closes Withrow, Marine and Oak Park elementary schools in 2017.

The district is also planning to open Brookview Elementary School, a new building in Woodbury, moving sixth-graders to middle schools and ninth-graders to the high school.

Two of the attendance boundary change options move students from both Withrow and Marine to Stonebridge Elementary School, while the other two options move students at Marine to Stonebridge and students who currently attend Withrow to Rutherford.

All four proposals split students currently enrolled at Oak Park Elementary between Lily Lake and Andersen elementary schools.

During the initial proposal, Superintendent Denise Pontrelli said district leaders have heard many parents asking for the choice of schools that are both traditional closed-concept schools and open classrooms.

Rutherford Elementary School cannot be transitioned into traditional classroom spaces, Pontrelli told the Board. Adding walls to create traditional classroom spaces in Rutherford isn’t feasible because of fire code.

However, Pontrelli said it is possible to transition Stonebridge’s open-concept classroom space to also accommodate traditional classrooms.

“We know and have heard that folks value the traditional closed model, and we know that we have many families who really value the open model,” Pontrelli said. “After the attendance boundaries are drawn, we will have a committee to look at what the learning environments look like throughout the district.”

Proposed Middle School Adjustments

All four options propose:

  • Students who attend Stonebridge, Rutherford and Lily Lake elementary schools will attend Stillwater Middle School.
  • Students who attend Andersen, Lake Elmo, Afton-Lakeland and Brookview elementary schools will attend Oak-Land Middle School.

District projections claim Stillwater Middle School will have 1,034 students in 2017-18, while Oak-Land Middle School will have 917 students.

Here’s a look at the projected “programatic capacities” of each school corresponding with the elementary school boundary change options:

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According to Stillwater Area Public Schools, these projections are based on an “ideal capacity for our programming, not on how many students can physically fit into a school.”

Here’s how the district explains “programmatic capacity:”

“The term “programmatic capacity” is not about how many kids can physically fit into a school, but rather how we staff our buildings. We’ve counted up the number of kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms in each building and accounted for an average of 25 kids in each class.

That’s the “programmatic capacity” you see listed in our boundary proposal.

But our staffing range actually allows for as many as 25.42 students in each K-1 classroom, 29.42 in each 2-3 classroom, and 32.42 in each 4-5 classroom. The programmatic capacity number for each school also doesn’t include specialized spaces – things like music and art classrooms, computer labs, or Special Education cluster spaces. These spaces could easily be used as classrooms, if needed.

The programmatic capacity listed in the boundary proposals provides room for about 10 percent growth in enrollment before the programming would be impacted. For example, the ideal programming capacity of Lily Lake is 550, but it could rise to 627 students before the class size average would increase or additional classrooms spaces would be needed. The actual physical capacity of Lily Lake is 828 students.”

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Here is a look at the district’s staffing ratio:

GradeLow end of RangeHigh end of Range
Kindergarten17.4225.42
First Grade17.4225.42
Second Grade21.4229.42
Third Grade21.4229.42
Fourth Grade26.4232.42
Fifth Grade26.4232.42
Open and Alternate Enrollment

Stillwater Area Public Schools will still allow for open and alternate enrollment when boundary changes are made, according to the district’s website.

“Our community values choice and we believe it is important for families to have the option to attend other schools within the district. As part of the boundary change process, all students will be assigned to a school within their attendance area, but will have the option to apply for alternate enrollment into the school of their choice.”

Here’s a look at the initial attendance boundary change options:

School Boundary Change Option A-1

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Summary
  • Move all students who currently attend Marine and Withrow elementary schools to Stonebridge;
  • Move students in the Oak Glen neighborhood from Stonebridge to Rutherford;
  • Move students at Lily Lake who live north of Myrtle and south of Maple, and between the Jaycee Fields on the west and Second Street in the east will move to Stonebridge;
  • Move students who attend Oak Park and live north of Highway 36 (South Hill and area around the Washington County Government Center) to Lily Lake;
  • Move students who attend Oak Park and live south of Highway 36 to Andersen Elementary School;
  • Move students who attend Lily Lake and live south of Highway 36, and those who live west of County Road 5 and south of Orleans to Rutherford;
  • Move students who attend Oak Park and live south of Highway 36 to Andersen;
  • Move students at Andersen Elementary who live in West Lakeland north of I-94 to Afton-Lakeland;
  • Move students who live in the southwestern corner of the district, who attend Valley Crossing, and some students who currently attend Afton-Lakeland and Lake Elmo elementary schools will attend Brookview Elementary School in Woodbury.

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School Boundary Change Option A-2

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Summary
  • Move all of Marine and Withrow to Stonebridge;
  • Move students in the western portion of the Oak Glen neighborhood from Stonebridge to Rutherford;
  • Move students who attend Oak Park and live north of Highway 36 (South Hill and area around the Washington County Government Center) to Lily Lake;
  • Move students who attend Oak Park and live south of Highway 36 to Andersen Elementary School;
  • Move students who attend Lily Lake and live south of Highway 36, and those who live west of County Road 5 and south of Orleans to Rutherford;
  • Move students at Andersen Elementary who live in West Lakeland north of I-94 to Afton-Lakeland;
  • Students who live in the southwestern corner of the district, who attend Valley Crossing, and some students who currently attend Afton-Lakeland and Lake Elmo elementary schools will attend Brookview Elementary School in Woodbury.

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School Boundary Change Option B-1

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Summary
  • Move students currently enrolled at Marine to Stonebridge;
  • Move students currently enrolled at Withrow to Rutherford;
  • Move students in the eastern portion of the Oak Glen neighborhood from Stonebridge to Rutherford;
  • Move students who attend Lily Lake and live south of Highway 36, and those who live west of County Road 5 and south of Orleans to Rutherford;
  • Move students at Lily Lake who live north of Myrtle and south of Maple, and between the Jaycee Fields on the west and Second Street in the east will move to Stonebridge;
  • Move students who attend Oak Park and live north of Highway 36 (South Hill and area around the Washington County Government Center) to Lily Lake;
  • Move students who attend Oak Park and live south of Highway 36 to Andersen Elementary School;
  • Move students at Andersen Elementary who live in West Lakeland north of I-94 to Afton-Lakeland;
  • Students who live in the southwestern corner of the district, who attend Valley Crossing, and some students who currently attend Afton-Lakeland and Lake Elmo elementary schools will attend Brookview Elementary School in Woodbury.

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School Boundary Change Option B-2

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Summary
  • Move students currently enrolled at Marine to Stonebridge;
  • Move students currently enrolled at Withrow to Rutherford;
  • Move students who attend Oak Park and live north of Highway 36 (South Hill and area around the Washington County Government Center) to Lily Lake;
  • Move students who attend Oak Park and live south of Highway 36 to Andersen Elementary School;
  • Move students who attend Lily Lake and live south of Highway 36, and those who live west of County Road 5 and south of Orleans to Rutherford;
  • Move students at Andersen Elementary who live in West Lakeland north of I-94 to Afton-Lakeland;
  • Students who live in the southwestern corner of the district, who attend Valley Crossing, and some students who currently attend Afton-Lakeland and Lake Elmo elementary schools will attend Brookview Elementary School in Woodbury.

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Next Steps…

Boundary Change Informational Meetings

  • Monday, March 14 at 6 p.m. at Stillwater Junior High School
  • Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at Oak-Land Junior High School
  • Tuesday, March 29 at 6 p.m. at Stillwater Area High School

The informational meetings will begin with district administration giving a boundary changes presentation, followed by small group discussions that will then be shared with the larger group.

The meetings will be held in the school cafeterias.

The boundary committee will meet again on March 30 before presenting its final recommendation to the board. The board is expected to make a final decision on attendance boundaries on Thursday, April 14.

Guiding Principles:

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