With the proposal to close Lincoln and Whittier elementary schools and the option of school of choice being taken away, the Brainerd School District needs to redraw its boundary lines for the remaining elementary schools.
Redrawing the boundary lines is a recommendation that the Brainerd School Board Finance Committee will give to the school board Dec. 10. The finance committee met Thursday at the Washington Educational Services Building.
The redrawn lines will assist the district in balancing its enrollment among the elementary schools.
Brainerd Superintendent Jerry Walseth said, "We can't afford to have any disparity at our schools, by having one school with higher class sizes than the other. We need to provide each kid the right balance of school size."
Walseth said once the school district redraws its boundary lines, then it can reassign staff to buildings and classrooms.
Parents not only will not have the choice of what school their children may attend, but the finance committee also is recommending that parents not be able to choose their child's teacher.
Walseth said Harrison and Lowell elementary schools, which are smaller buildings, may only be able to safely hold another 40-50 students. He said the larger schools like Baxter, Riverside and Garfield will be able to handle more students.
Walseth anticipates that the administration will have the boundary lines and enrollment data complete by the latter part of December.
The committee also briefly discussed the enrichment program at Lowell. Walseth said at this time, the administration has no recommendation on what to do with the program. Walseth said that the district has to do more research on the program and differentiate what is fact and what is opinion.
"We're not prepared to address this yet," said Walseth.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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