At its meeting on Jan. 9, the Auburn City Schools Board of Education will vote on proposed changes to the elementary school boundaries.
In November, two public forums were held to garner public input, and the proposed boundary plan was made available online alongside a survey.
About 70 people attended the forums, according to consultant Scott Leopold, with 25 individual surveys being collected at the meetings. Online, 185 surveys were submitted.
"Survey responses were overall very positive," Leopold said. "More than 50 percent were positive; more than 70 percent were positive or neutral. We did have some group discussion."
Based on feedback, only one minor change was made to the plan. The change will affect only about 20 students living on White Street, allowing them to continue to attend Cary Woods Elementary instead of being changed to a different zone.
"Most are walking to Cary Woods," Leopold said.
The plan as well as a walk-through video of the proposal can be found on the school system's website, www.auburnschools.org. A version of the presentation is also attached to this article. The plan will stay online for residents to review before the plan comes to a vote at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
"We will, as we have over the last two months, take comments and suggestions and consider those," DeLano said. "It's a big change; we have impacted as few students as we could, but it is a serious matter, and we'll make sure we're paying close attention to this action."
The proposed boundary changes start with Auburn Early Education Center and Ogletree Elementary School. Students north of I-85 and East Samford Road will move from attending AEEC and Ogletree to Dean Road Elementary and Wrights Mill Elementary. This would allow for future growth at the AEEC and Ogletree pair, which would see a reduction of 61 students.
Meanwhile, students living west of North Donahue Drive would be moved from attending Dean Road and Wrights Mill to going to sister schools Richland Elementary School, Creekside Elementary, which is currently under construction, and Yarbrough Elementary School. The proposed configuration for the three schools would be for Richland to house kindergarten through first grade; Creekside to house second through third grades; and Yarbrough to house grades four and five. This boundary change would impact 169 students.
A second boundary change affecting Dean Road and Wrights Mill would involve students living north of Glenn Avenue who would normally be students of AEEC and Ogletree or Cary Woods and Pick elementary schools to attend Dean Road and Wrights Mill. This would impact 219 students and would result in a net increase of 49 students in Dean Road and Wrights Mill.
Sister schools Cary Woods Elementary and Pick Elementary would see a reduction of 94 students after those south of Opelika Road and West Drake Avenue move to attend Dean Road and Wrights Mill elementary schools. This would take Cary Woods from 103 percent capacity to 92 percent and Pick from 85 percent to 78 percent.
Students west of North Donahue Drive would move to attending Richland, Creekside and Yarbrough elementary schools from Dean Road and Wrights Mill. Looking at projected enrollment and the additional students coming in from the boundary change, these schools will see an increase of 190 students.
Currently, Richland is at 108 percent capacity and Yarbrough is at 102 percent capacity. Once boundary changes occur and the new elementary school opens, Richland will be at 77 percent capacity; the new elementary school at 83 percent; and Yarbrough at 79 percent.
At its regular meeting this week, the Board of Education not only heard the updated boundary plan, but also approved a donation of about $650,000 from local nonprofit People Reaching Independence Through Development and Education. The donation will fund scholarships to students that reside in public housing.