At Monday evening’s Worthington Board of Education meeting (12/9/19), Assistant Superintendent Randy Banks and several staff and community representatives made the second phase of recommendations for changes to school feeder patterns beginning in the fall of 2021. As Superintendent I accepted those recommendations and the board voted 5-0 to approve the recommendations.
The passage of the 2018 bond issue provided the funding necessary for the district to proceed with Phase One of our Master Facilities Plan. Phase One provides capacity for our elementary schools by moving 6th grade to the middle school in the fall of 2021. It will address our aging buildings by rebuilding Worthingway Middle School and Perry Middle School (Perry would reopen as a 6-8 grade middle school, while Phoenix and Worthington Academy and Rockbridge remain on that site). The plan balances high school enrollment by moving to four traditional middle schools (plus Phoenix) with two middle schools feeding to each high school and by moving a current TWHS feeder elementary to the WKHS feeder pattern.
In our 2019 Winter Newsletter that was mailed to all homes in Worthington, we outlined four tasks for the Feeder Pattern Committee:
- Determine which elementary school will shift to WKHS – the committee has identified its top considerations for school selection: student diversity, travel time and distance to school and enrollment at each building.
- Establish WKHS feeder pattern – reassigning which elementary schools feed into either Perry or McCord Middle Schools.
- Establish TWHS feeder pattern – reassigning which elementary schools feed into either Kilbourne or Worthingway Middle Schools.
- Make suggestions to ensure a smooth transition – implementation of communication and welcoming strategies, early enrollment for families and a possible grandfathering process for families.
On March 25, 2019, our Feeder Pattern Committee presented their first recommendations to our Board of Education in order to balance the high schools over time (view the slide show here.) The committee recommended that Slate Hill Elementary move to WKHS.
The committee reconvened this fall and came to a recommendation for elementaries feeding into middle schools. The task before the committee was reassigning which elementary schools feed into either Kilbourne or Worthingway Middle Schools and reassigning which elementary schools feed into either Perry or McCord Middle Schools.
After the recommendations from the committee, students from Brookside and Bluffsview will move from McCord to Perry. In addition, students from Slate Hill will also attend Perry moving from Worthingway. Students from Wilson Hill will move from Kilbourne to Worthingway.
The Thomas Worthington Feeder Pattern will be:
Kilbourne Middle – Colonial Hills, Evening Street
Worthingway Middle – Wilson Hill, Worthington Estates and Worthington Park.
The Worthington Kilbourne Feeder Pattern will be:
McCord Middle – Granby, Liberty and Worthington Hills
Perry Middle – Bluffsview, Brookside and Slate Hill
In addition, our new schools are to open in the fall of 2021. We estimate that 35-40% of this year’s 6th-grade class will need to begin 7th grade in one middle school and then attend 8th grade in their new middle school. For instance, a 6th grader at Bluffsview would spend 7 years at Bluffsview, one year at McCord, one year at Perry and then four years at WKHS. Finally, our current 5th graders and current 4th graders at all elementary schools will exit elementary school the same spring (2021) and will be the first 7th graders and 6th graders at the middle schools district-wide.
Later this spring (April 2020), district administrators will set up a meeting at each elementary school to provide information on the proposed 6-8 middle school schedule, transportation additions or changes, and to discuss what individual school traditions may look like for the 2021-2022 school year. This will happen a full 15 months before the actual transitions occur providing us time to listen and make adjustments as necessary.
If you’d like to learn more about the feeder pattern change process please visit the feeder pattern page on the Worthington Schools website. https://www.worthington.k12.oh.us/domain/1131
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent