Middle schools added to redistricting

Center Grove has again updated its redistricting plans and is now including the middle schools.

The new plans now would move 758 students — nearly 10 percent of the school district’s total enrollment — to other schools.

Parents will get another chance to weigh in on the proposed plans at a meeting next week. The school board is expected to vote on finalized plans next month.

Center Grove officials announced in January that they needed to move at least 370 elementary students to different schools. The moves were necessary to make room at Maple Grove Elementary and Center Grove Elementary schools, which are running out of room due to continued growth on the south side of White River Township.

Residents told school officials at a public meeting that they were worried about whether the moves were enough to handle the growth. The original plan didn’t include any mention of either of Center Grove’s middle schools, and residents told school officials to make any changes they thought they were going to make now: They don’t want to do this again in two years if the school district keeps growing.

Administrators have been working since January to update their plans. Earlier this month, school officials anticipated at least 500 elementary students, or 15 percent of the Center Grove’s youngest students, would have to change schools. Now the plan is to move 566 elementary students.

School officials also are recommending moving 192 students who attend Center Grove Middle School Central this year to Center Grove Middle School North next year.

That means a total of 758 students would change schools under the recommendations.

Residents will have another chance to share comments, questions and concerns about the new plan at a meeting on Wednesday at Center Grove High School. Then officials will have two weeks to make final adjustments to the redistricting plan before the school board votes at its March 19 meeting.

The school district needs to finalize the plans in March so officials can work with parents to make preparations for the move, including signing children up for kindergarten, Superintendent Richard Arkanoff has said.

The areas with the most students moving under the new plan are in Woodfield/Tuscany Village, where 127 students would go from Center Grove Elementary to Sugar Grove Elementary; Brookhaven, where 80 students would move from Sugar Grove Elementary to Pleasant Grove Elementary; and Kensington, where 53 students would go from Maple Grove Elementary to Center Grove Elementary.

Also in Woodfield/Tuscany Village, 66 students would go from Center Grove Middle School Central to Center Grove Middle School North.

Center Grove officials started seriously considering redistricting late last year. Maple Grove and Center Grove Elementary schools have nearly run out of room for students because more residents are moving into neighborhoods in the southern part of the school district, including Kensington and Brookhaven.

Now Center Grove is close to enrolling the number of students officials expected to have by 2022.

The goal of the redistricting is to ensure Center Grove has enough room for all of its current students, and to create space so the school district can handle additional growth, school officials have said.

Center Grove has no immediate plans to construct a new school but is moving forward with construction projects at Center Grove Elementary, North Grove Elementary and Center Grove High School. Renovations at Pleasant Grove Elementary also are expected to start later this year. The projects at Center Grove Elementary and Pleasant Grove Elementary include adding classrooms, which should help handing the growing number of students, Arkanoff has said.

By the numbers

Here is a look at Center Grove’s redistricting plans:

370: Original number of elementary school students the school district expected to change schools.

566: Updated number of elementary school students to change schools.

758: Number of students at elementary and middle schools that will be impacted by redistricting.