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JCPS changes school assignment boundaries following anger from some Highlands parents

The plan would have impacted those who would attend Atherton, Ballard, Waggener, Fern Creek and Jeffersontown High Schools.
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 3:31 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After some parents in the Highlands voiced their concerns that their middle school students would no longer be assigned to go to high school together under JCPS’s proposed student assignment plan, the district adjusted some of the boundaries.

Dena Dossett, chief of accountability, research, and systems improvement for JCPS, told WAVE News parents were upset after learning the new, proposed school choice boundaries would mean some middle school students attending the same school would be split up between several different high schools when they enter 9th grade.

The plan would have impacted those who would attend Atherton, Ballard, Waggener, Fern Creek and Jeffersontown High Schools.

JCPS’s initial proposal would have divided the Highlands district at Bardstown Rd., so students living on the west side of the road would go to Atherton High and those to the east would attend Waggener High.

The complaints pertain to a small piece of the complex plan the district has configured to give every JCPS student a choice to go to school close to home, in hopes of making the student assignment plan more equitable.

JCPS shifted the Bardstown Rd. boundary slightly east, according to Dossett, to ensure 100 percent of the middle school students in the same school who live in the Highlands can attend the same high school together.

“The changes that we’ve made really have to do with making sure that our students are able to go to school with their peers throughout their educational career,” Dossett said.

However, some JCPS parents posted on social media explaining how the boundary changes would negatively impact their children and change their school choice.

One commenter expressed her concerns and wrote the school assignment plan is supposed to be about equity, but the plan allows parents from one of the most “affluent neighborhoods to hand pick one of the highest performing schools,” referring to Ballard High.

Others commented the boundary changes appear to be “taking away choices for some students and giving more choices to other students.”

The district hosted three in-person feedback sessions for parents to learn more about the school assignment plan and share their thoughts. On April 14, only seven parents showed up to the forum.

JCPS has encouraged families to provide feedback on the proposed plan; 500 parents have responded to the district’s online survey.

“We feel that it’s important for our families and our students to have a voice in the changes we’re making,” Dossett said.

Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said the board will likely vote on a final plan as early as late May. If passed, the plan would go into effect at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.

Families can type in their address to discover their dual resides choices through this website.

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