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Southwest Allen approves redistricting plan

December 5, 2018

No one challenged the Southwest Allen County Schools board’s unanimous redistricting decision Tuesday that will affect students at two buildings.

It applies only to students living in an area bound by U.S. 24 and Liberty Mills, Amber and West County Line roads.

Those students currently attend Covington Elementary and Woodside Middle School.

Beginning next academic year, they will attend Lafayette Meadows Elementary and Summit Middle School, with some exceptions. Current fourth-graders may stay at Covington and current sixth- and seventh-graders may stay at Woodside if parents provide transportation.

High school students aren’t affected because Southwest Allen has one high school, Homestead.

Superintendent Phil Downs said he received only one email expressing concerns since he presented the recommendation to the board two weeks ago.

The move is a way for the district to manage growth without disrupting a large number of students, he has said.

Board member Mark Gilpin commended Downs for providing options, soliciting community feedback and making adjustments, thus demonstrating the district listens to input.

It’s also fortunate that the district’s schools are comparable, board President Meagan Milne said, adding students will get an outstanding education wherever they attend.

In other business, the board approved the Jan. 31 retirement of Phyllis Davis, the longtime human resources director.

“It’s been an honor,” Davis said after the meeting, noting she established Southwest Allen’s human resources department.

It is “extremely difficult” to retire, she said, but it is time.

She has worked for four superintendents since joining the district in 1992 and has hired most of the current staff, she said.

Along with taking pride in the district’s benefits program, Davis said she is proud of the “consistency and longevity we have with many of our employees.”

Lu Ann Erickson will take over the position effective Dec. 17.

Downs recognized Davis for her contributions, noting the district has more than a month to “acknowledge and recognize the incredible job that Mrs. Davis has provided to Southwest Allen County Schools.”

asloboda@jg.net

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