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Boundary proposal for Harrison elementary changed

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Parent protests may have paid off in Davenport, where the school district announced Thursday that it has made significant changes to its boundary recommendation.

Superintendent Dr. Art Tate will make his final boundary recommendation to the school board on Monday, June 10th. During that presentation, Tate will recommend to the board that the boundaries for Harrison Elementary School remain as they currently are.

Last month, a proposal was presented that would have split up the Oakbrook neighborhood. That boundary map would have sent future neighborhood kids to further-away Fillmore Elementary, not Harrison.

Families took action against the proposal -- organizing protests, walks to Harrison, and starting a petition that garnered nearly 400 signatures.

Thursday, those families were excited and thankful to hear that the superintendent had taken their feedback into consideration.

“We wanted to express ourselves, but in a way that was meaningful and productive. I think that’s one of the lessons in it – that there’s reasonable people, and you just have to talk to them in a reasonable manner," said parent Gabe Knight.

Tate has said some of the reasons for the proposed adjustments were to eliminate overcrowding and balance building utilization. While Harrison is currently at 100% of its utilization, Fillmore sits at 72%.

Instead of changing the Harrison boundaries, the district now hopes to address the issue by adhering very closely to an updated transfer policy. It believes a stricter and more aggressive approach to checking that Harrison students actually live within the attendance area should help reduce enrollment.

A vote on changes to the diversity plan and transfer policy is expected at the board meeting on Monday, June 10th. The start time for that meeting has been moved up to 6:30 p.m. to accommodate extra discussion.

Tate will also change the boundary proposal in regards to the Eisenhower Elementary School district. Previous recommendations had approximately 60 students moving to McKinley Elementary School. The final recommendation will leave them at Eisenhower.

The school board is expected to vote on the final boundaries on Monday, June 24th.