With one elementary school at maximum capacity, about 50 students will be moving to another Clark-Pleasant school, and children in new neighborhoods may be sent to a school that isn’t the closest to their home.
Grassy Creek Elementary is currently at capacity with 925 students, and school officials are making some shifts to help ensure the school doesn’t get too crowded. That includes moving students from an apartment complex to another school and redrawing boundaries for where children from a new subdivision that has not yet started construction will attend school, Superintendent Patrick Spray said.
School officials also are planning to use other options, including using portable classrooms in future years and giving parents the choice to transfer elementary schools if one is more convenient, Spray said.
Ideally, the school district could use a new elementary school sooner than the 2021-22 school year, when officials are looking to open Clark-Pleasant’s sixth elementary school. But with the school district’s finances, that isn’t possible any earlier, Spray said.
Growth has been a big issue for Clark-Pleasant, where multiple new subdivisions are proposed or under construction, especially on the east side of Greenwood along Worthsville Road, the west side near Honey Creek Road and in the town of Whiteland.
In the last 10 years, the school district has added more than 1,300 students and is the fastest growing public school district in the county.
The county’s second fastest growing school district, Center Grove schools, is adding a new elementary school that is already under construction and set to open in 2019. School officials have no plans to move students until that new school opens, spokeswoman Stacy Conrad said.
Clark-Pleasant officials had to wait until other debts were paid off from past projects before a new school could be built, Spray said.
Other elementary schools within the district have more room for students than Grassy Creek, and officials have been looking at ways to move students into those schools. Some modifications can also be made to the building, such as converting science labs to classroom space, but officials are exploring other options as well, Spray said.
Recently, officials decided to move 50 to 60 students who live in Village Crossing Apartments from Grassy Creek to Break-O-Day Elementary School. And students who move into new homes in the Heritage Trace neighborhood, near Worthsville Road and Emerson Avenue, will also go to school at Break-O-Day instead of Grassy Creek, Spray said.
That could be an option school officials consider for other new developments that would add students to schools that are at or nearing capacity, Spray said.
Portable classrooms also are likely going to be needed by the 2019-2020 and 2020021 school years, and will likely be needed at multiple schools, he said.
School officials also are considering another idea, which would give parents the option to send their students to a different elementary school if families provide transportation. Parents make that request from time to time, such as if another school is closer to their work or a relative who watches their children before or after school. And it is an option other school districts allow, Spray said.
The option also is a way to give parents the choice of what works best for their family, and could move students to less crowded schools, he said.
If school board members approve the idea, Spray plans to send out information and an application to parents, who can then request their student be moved. School officials would review and approve those requests based on how much space the requested school has, he said. How many families might want to use the option is not known, he said.