Some boundary changes could be in store next school year in Shawnee Mission schools, but no school closings will be recommended. That is what Shawnee Mission Superintendent Jim Hinson says will be coming in April.
Hinson said the district is still working through the data in a demographer’s report that explored population and enrollment trends. Any boundary changes for next school year in areas where “we have capacity challenges” will be brought to the board at its April meeting, he said. The recommendations will not include any school closings. The district is currently working on design of a new administration building that would consolidate and close several buildings housing district personnel who are not in the classroom.
Any boundary changes will attempt to keep elementary schools in the same high school feeder system, Hinson said. He pointed out that current kindergarten enrollment is the largest since 1995 and that since the 2008-09 school year, incoming kindergarten classes have been larger than the exiting senior class. “Those are great indicators,” he said.
The district also has budgeted for 10 additional teachers for next year that can be placed as needed to address enrollment shifts. The board has heard complaints from parents — as it did again this week — about class sizes in some elementary classrooms.
Hinson said any of the changes recommended in April “will not be massive” as the district attempts to address the class size challenges. He had previously said that some of the more controversial recommendations in the demographer’s report would not be implemented. The push by Gov. Sam Brownback to fund all-day kindergarten would have required more space in the elementary buildings, but that proposal appears to be dead for this session.