Board Approves Elementary Boundary Changes
Posted February 5, 2019
On February 4, 2019, the Westside Board of Education approved a change for elementary school boundaries. This change was made after listening to constituents from across District 66 and reviewing the Boundary Committee’s work and feedback. These changes affect the Loveland, Sunset Hills and Swanson school communities. For most addresses, there will be no change.
The Sunset Hills attendance boundary will expand slightly to include two sections:
- the area including and west of 87th Street between Pacific Street and the Papio Creek; and
- the area west of 90th Street to 102nd Street between Pacific Street and Leavenworth Street.
- Leavenworth Street addresses from 90th to 96th Street are not included in the expanded Sunset Hills boundary.
All current K-5 Loveland and Swanson students living in the affected areas will have the option of remaining in their current school or attending Sunset Hills. Their younger siblings not yet of school age will also be eligible to enroll at the current school, as long as the family still has a child attending that building when the younger child begins attending Kindergarten. We will be contacting all impacted families by mail and asking that they declare their intentions for the 2019-20 school year no later than March 15, 2019.
In all other cases, resident students seeking to attend a school other than the one associated with their residential address may submit an In-District Transfer Request (IDT) form to the Office of Student Services. These forms must be delivered no later than March 15, 2019 for the 2019-2020 school year. Forms can be downloaded by clicking here.
These new boundaries preserve an element cited as important throughout our boundary discussions: respect for neighborhoods and their school communities. Because the new boundaries move only narrow areas contiguous with Sunset’s current boundary, they minimize the impact on existing Loveland and Swanson neighborhoods, rather than cutting deeply into them.
This new configuration also meets other criteria set by the Board of Education, including
- keeping class sizes small, fostering a stronger academic environment
- meeting fiscal and operational responsibilities
- maximizing use of taxpayer-approved facilities
As Sunset Hills grows into a full two-section school, it will also impact the District’s operational budget. That impact depends on how quickly the growth occurs based on the number of families that opt for the grandfathering, as well as the turnover of homes in the newly modified attendance areas.
Finally, safety is an important consideration, and we are continuing our discussions with the City of Omaha to ensure that crosswalks and signage are in place for those walking to school. A lack of sidewalks inside our neighborhoods can make it difficult for parents to allow their children to walk or bike to school. We anticipate that a significant number of parents will continue to transport their children to and from school.
Thank you to all who were engaged in this important, yet challenging, process. Please know all feedback was heard and taken into account, and we continue to appreciate the passionate investment our entire community has in our school district.