by Alan McArthur
The Park Hill School Board has begun discussing a proposed change in elementary school boundaries ahead of a new development north of 152 Highway. The change will affect the Hawthorn and Renner Elementary schools.
The proposed change affects property south of Tiffany Springs Road and north of 152 Highway and also between Congress Avenue and Childress Road. The change was presented because of a new development called Riverstone, which is being built on property along Congress Avenue.
The development lists adding 280 single-family homes and 500 town/row homes. The district estimates the number of students from the development will be around 180 with 80 of those students in elementary level grades.
According to Paul Kelly, assistant superintendent of business services, the change will cover about 800 acres, but includes only one current elementary student.
“Ultimately this will impact 1 current elementary child,” said Kelly. “There is no impact on high school or middle school families.”
Kelly said the Hawthorn school has a better ability to take on more students than Renner.
The enrollment at Hawthorn for 2007 was 405 students and the enrollment at Renner was 458 students.
Before the boundary change is approved letters of notification will be sent to parents in the affected area and also to parents directly adjacent to the area.
According to Kelly, there are a number of elementary students who live along the north side of Tiffany Springs Road who will not be affected by the boundary change.
The change of boundary will be before the board at the next meeting on Thursday, June 26 so the board can take action on the issue.
During the month of July the school district will be operating on a four-day workweek to help employees reduce the amount of fuel consumed by driving to work.
The district may also try to work with the summer school program to change it to be four days a week also.
Board member Mike Otto announced he has accepted a job to teach as an elementary principal in Raytown and will be resigning as a board member. Otto said he has already resigned his teaching position at Park University and will begin at Fleetridge Elementary in Raytown in July.
Otto was previously the principal at Graden Elementary in the Park Hill School District for nine years.
“I am very happy for Mike, he has talked about this for some time,” said Dennis Fisher, superintendent. “Raytown's gain is Park Hill's loss.”