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BN: Belgrade schools to study attendance boundaries

As Belgrade grows, so does the pressure on the schools. A ‘reshuffling’ of which addresses addend which schools may be a result.

Belgrade News – Diana Setterberg, staff writer Sep 17, 2020

Even as Belgrade schools students, teachers and staff settle into an anything-but-normal pandemic routine for 2020-21, administrators are turning their attention to planning for next year.

On Monday, the school board authorized forming two committees – one to determine new elementary school attendance boundaries for the 2021-22 school year, and the other to recommend a name for the new elementary school currently under construction on Bolinger Road.

Superintendent Godfrey Saunders said community members interested in serving on both committees are being sought.

The boundary committee, whose work may take several months, will evaluate demographic data, Belgrade’s growth projections, and transportation considerations as it decides which schools will serve the district’s various neighborhoods.

Other factors to be considered include ensuring that contiguous boundaries are maintained whenever possible and “grandfathering” students who wish to continue attending their current elementary schools.

The elementary attendance boundaries must be redrawn because the as-yet-unnamed Bolinger school will open next fall and the Heck Quaw building will be closed for renovations for an as yet undetermined purpose. Saunders told the board Monday it’s time to begin “serious discussions” about the Heck-Quaw project.

Saunders said he hopes the process of naming the new elementary school will be exciting for a community that has been weathering the difficulties of the pandemic for the past six months, giving people the opportunity to “talk about new things other than COVID.”

Though the final decision on a name will be made by the school board, Saunders anticipates the community will enjoy participating in the naming process. He joked that “things like Westslope Cutthroat” probably will be thrown out, in reference to the short-lived decision in Bozeman to bestow the name “Westslope High” on the district’s second high school (now called Gallatin High).

Source: Schools to study attendance boundaries