Lincoln school district looks for solutions to overcrowding
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Lincoln school board must once again find room for a growing number of children in the district.
More than 800 students are now enrolled at Kooser Elementary, putting one of Lincoln Public Schools’ newest buildings over capacity, the Lincoln Journal Star reported . The school had less than 300 students enrolled when it opened nine years ago, which filled only about a third of the campus.
Proposed housing developments in the area could add another 200 kids in less than a decade, said Scott Wieskamp, the district’s director of operations.
A school board committee is reviewing how to address the growth issue in each of the city’s quadrants. The review is beginning with the northwest quadrant, which is the most challenging section because of its proximity to Interstate 80, U.S. 34 and the airport.
Possible solutions include changing the district’s boundaries, adding portable classrooms and closing schools to transfer students.
Shifting the boundaries around Kooser would mean some students would be transferred to Fredstrom Elementary in the Highlands, which is at about 80 percent capacity.
The committee hopes to create a long-term solution as demographics continue to change.
“We want it to be consistent for families,” Wieskamp said. “We don’t want to move them back and forth ... that creates chaos and uncertainty, and that’s not good for families.”
The committee is still in the early stages of the review and will eventually bring recommendations to the full board.
A proposed update to the board’s 10-year building plan recommends adding four elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com