NOTE: This page contains two important items on the MCPS Boundary Study- Upcoming Meeting Information and an overall Parent Representative Update. Please read BOTH SECTIONS so that you’ve got all the information you need!
Upcoming Meeting Information
The Missoula County Public Schools elementary boundary study is underway, and all parents in the district are encouraged to read the available information online and participate in the process. Rattlesnake’s elementary school boundary is somewhat unique in that the two big parts (Rattlesnake Valley and East Missoula) are both bounded by mountains and highways. To facilitate an open and transparent discussion of how this boundary study will be structured, how parents can participate, and what is currently being discussed, everyone is invited to attend the Rattlesnake School Parent Meeting Wednesday, February 20, 2019, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in our library.
If you are unable to attend the Wednesday meeting, please note:
- A representative of the Rattlesnake PTA will take notes during the meeting. NOTES ARE NOW AVAILABLE HERE: https://rattlesnakepta.org/2019/02/22/rattlesnake-parent-boundary-study-meeting-summary/
- If you have a specific question or two that you want to ensure is addressed at the Wednesday evening meeting, please send it to the PTA’s general email firstname.lastname@example.org before 3pm 2/20 and we’ll print a list and bring it to the meeting! (please keep questions short to ensure this process is manageable for our volunteers!)
MCPS Elementary School Boundary Study Update
This update authored by Kristie Scheel, Rattlesnake School parent representative on February 15, 2019
The goal of the Elementary Attendance Boundary Study is to balance building utilization and reduce overcrowding in Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS). An advisory committee made up of parent representatives and MCPS staff was created to generate ideas and recommendations for achieving the study objective. The advisory committee will also receive guidance from professionals in the planning community. The framework for making the recommendations will be based on goals, guiding principles, and boundary criteria.
The Advisory Committee will listen to all public comment and look at data to vet out possible solutions, and then present some options to the community for feedback. This spring, the Advisory Committee will be making a recommendation to the MCPS Board of Trustees on any required adjustments to elementary school attendance boundaries.
Below are Important Dates, Informational Updates, and How to Get Involved.
- Rattlesnake School Parent Meeting: Wednesday, February 20; 5:30-6:30 pm, Rattlesnake School Library
- Advisory Committee Meeting #2: Thursday, February 28; 6-8 pm, MCPS Business Building Boardroom-915 South Ave.
- Community Open House #2: Monday, March 4; 6-8 pm, Russell School.
- Advisory Committee Meeting #3: Thursday, March 14; 6-8 pm, MCPS Business Building Boardroom- 915 South Ave.
- Community Open House #3: Thursday, March 21; 6-8 pm, Location TBD (a flyer will be sent out)
- Advisory Committee Meeting #4: Thursday, April 4; 6-8 pm, MCPS Business Building Boardroom-915 South Ave.
Informational Updates: what’s happening now?
The first Advisory Council meeting was held on January 30th, 2019. The purpose of this first meeting was to review current enrollment data and agree upon boundary selection criteria. Additional criteria discussed for boundary changes include:
- Avoid bussing that takes a student more than 20 minutes one way
- Transportation goals/values around bussing logistics and costs
- Equity in schools in terms of socioeconomics, student achievement/performance, special programs without excessive bussing or disruption to neighborhood cohesion
In addition, considerations will be given for selection criteria intended to reduce short-term negative effects of boundary changes for special cases that may occur over the next ten years including:
- Treatment of grandfathering in current students (and for how long)
- Treatment of siblings who haven’t entered school yet (and for how long)
- Criteria for access to special programs with a goal of equality of access
It is important to note that specific recommendations have not yet been made. The Committee is currently waiting for more data to come in regarding demographics, population projections, and planned growth + development throughout the district. Any ideas swirling around at this time are not concrete considerations on the table. No official recommendations will be made until the Committee is able to review community feedback and the new data. The public will then have opportunities to comment on the recommendations prior to sending to the Board for review this spring. The elected MCPS school board – not the advisory committee itself- will be responsible for reviewing the findings and making the final decisions.
How to Get Involved: Be informed. Stay involved. Share your thoughts!
Rattlesnake parents are encouraged to:
- Check the MCPS website for updates (https://www.mcpsmt.org/elementaryschoolboundarystudy)
- Participate in community open houses (see schedule above)
- Submit comments via the interactive comment map (https://www.mcpsmt.org/Page/13835)
- Send your comments to principal Pam Wright (email@example.com) and/or parent representative (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Read the demographic study once published (coming soon! Estimated publish date is prior to March 1st 2019, we will post it here when ready) to understand the data that the committee will consider.
- Attend committee meetings as observers