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Published: Monday, 4/11/2005

Meetings will discuss redistricting proposal for Perrysburg schools

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A redistricting proposal for Perrysburg schools that would mean about 130 students would have to change the elementary school they attend, will be presented at community meetings this week.

School officials have proposed redrawing the district's elementary boundaries to balance enrollment at the four elementary buildings. If the proposal is approved, Toth and Fort Meigs would lose students, while Frank and Woodland would gain students.

"We'll have years where some grade levels in some buildings will be above our target for pupil-to-teacher ratios, but we're trying to avoid that consistently happening," Superintendent Michael Cline said. "This plan does impose the balance that we need for each school."

The district will hold informational meetings about the redistricting plan in the Commodore Building on Indiana Avenue at 1 and 7 p.m. tomorrow, 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m. Saturday.

"We want to explain some of the challenges in trying to even out enrollment," Mr. Cline said.

The redistricting proposal is based on target student-to-teacher ratios of 20:1 for kindergarten classes; 22:1 for first, second, and third grade classes, and 25:1 for fourth and fifth-grade classes.

Some of the district's elementary classes have as many as 28 students. This year, the district is busing 11 students out of their neighborhood schools to keep class sizes down.

The redistricting would go into effect next school year.

"There's a lot that maintains the current status," school board member Walter Edinger said. "This won't be as dramatic for nearly as many people as redistricting might."

The redistricting proposal tries to plan for growth in the district over the next 10 years. It takes into account a recent recommendation by a planning consultant that the district remove fifth-graders from the elementary schools and construct a new building to house fifth and sixth graders.

In redrawing the boundaries, school administrators said they tried to give each elementary an area where future growth is expected, use logical borders for the elementary districts, and reduce the number of isolated areas that do not attend the same school as the surrounding neighborhood.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the redistricting April 18.

Contact Rachel Zinn at: rzinn@theblade.com or 419-410-5055.



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