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OPS gets public feedback to draw new high school boundaries

Posted at 10:12 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 23:12:15-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It's a decision OPS is not taking lightly. A comprehensive rezoning of high school boundaries.

The district is holding public meetings at every high school, with Central getting the spotlight Monday night.

"I'd like to see all the schools be so congested, I know Central is, but I also know the long history of a lot of families that want to come here. So looking mostly there's consistency across the board from schools so they all benefit,” says Central alum, Alicia George.

The folks in attendance were given three different boundary map options and let people sound off on pros and cons.

Everybody at the meeting had different priorities. Some want a middle school to stay in Central's boundaries, while others want to make sure neighborhoods that historically feed into Central, continue to do so. But multiple people say whatever plan they choose is fine, if, they still allow students to choose their school.

"Well that's been the strength of this school for decades, you will see about 25 to 40 percent of the students opt in to where their natural boundaries would have been,” says Central alum, Dick Zacharia.

OPS says students will still have options.

"Yes, we're a district committed to choice and choice will be a part of our student assignment plan which will come once we identify the boundaries for those schools,” says Anne Macfarland, Supervisor of Community School & Family Engagement for OPS.

Still, the district wants to get these boundaries right.

Presenter Tracy Richter says they considered a number of things when drawing up the three plans. That includes balancing out students with different racial and economic backgrounds.

All of this with the ultimate goal of keeping the district schools at or below their capacity.

After all seven high school meetings take place, they'll likely combine the suggestions with a compromise plan. Eventually the OPS school board will be given a suggestion in September.