Latest updates on the proposed boundary and program changes


Community members at the October 19 ONE by ONE Public Education Forum spent a lot of time talking about the proposed program and boundary changes for a wide swath of schools on the Westside, Northside, as well as schools in Arlington and the Southside. You can read more about their thoughts in this blog post. 

Since that meeting, however, a lot has happened. First of all, the school board will vote at its November 2 meeting to again try and extend the timeline for the decision until May or June of 2016. Second, members of the 11 working groups met for the first time on Monday, October 26 to meet each other, learn more about the process, and hear the most up-to-date proposals. As a member of the Oak Hill working group, I was there both to understand more about the process, but also as a participant.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • With 11 working groups, there are probably one hundred people participating in the process. The auditorium at Englewood High School felt pretty full last night.

  • The proposed changes fall into a couple of groups:

    • The transition of several elementary schools into either PK-2 or 3-5 grade centers.

    • The conversion of existing neighborhood schools into schools entirely dedicated to special programs.

    • The expansion of some existing magnet programs.

    • Some boundary changes that are exclusively to eliminate overcrowding.

  • Working group meetings are public meetings and subject to sunshine laws.

  • The role of the working group is to hold public meetings, take at least 30 minutes of public comment per meeting, to evaluate the proposed changes, and then at the end either accept, revise or reject the proposed changes. However, the district is not obligated to accept the recommendation of the working group.

  • The working groups are supposed to finish their work by November 20, but can take longer if they feel it is needed.

  • I saw many working group participants who have been openly supportive of and skeptical of the plans — and that’s a good thing. A diversity of viewpoints will make the process strong.

As this process gets started, our research team — we have two new research analysts and we can’t wait to introduce them! — is firing up the engines and will be sharing some analysis in the near future. In the meantime, see below for a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation that Superintendent Nikolai Vitti presented to the working group members on Monday evening. 

DCPS Presentation to Boundary Change Working Groups on October 26, 2015 from Jacksonville Public Education Fund

What questions do you have about the proposals? Leave them in the comments and we’ll get them to the research team for more investigation. And check out — we’ll start posting the latest updates and resources to this page.






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