Consultant: Bartholomew schools need redistricting

A consultant for Bartholomew Consolidated Schools is suggesting the school district consider redistricting its elementary schools to better meet upcoming demographic changes.

Jerome McKibben with McKibben Demographic Research analyzed the trends affecting the population and school enrollment and said the school district will need to adjust enrollment areas to meet the future needs caused by shifts in population.

McKibben broke down census figures and trends for each of the district schools and presented his findings to the school board at a presentation at last night’s school board meeting. He said that the county’s strong economy is providing a lot of young families that will keep local school enrollment growing. But there are also areas of the school district with very stable, older populations that are no longer putting children through school.

Which means the population is not growing evenly across all school areas. He said that the school district has staved off some of the hard redistricting choices with the creation of the Columbus Signature Academy magnet schools, but upcoming changes will be necessary.

“Most school districts should redistrict every 10 to 15 years,” McKibben said. “However most school district boards and administrators would rather have a root canal daily for six months rather than go through redistricting.”

He said the distribution of students is “out of whack” and that the change would be desperately needed within five years. He estimated that redistricting could save the district more than a million dollars a year in transportation costs.

School board member Bob Abrams joked that outgoing Superintendent John Quick would be coming back to orchestrate a redistricting project, but Quick assured the board that was not going to happen.

In other business, the school board congratulated the top 10 seniors from Columbus North and Columbus East high schools. Quick pointed out that these students started kindergarten the same year he became superintendent.

Top 10 seniors from Columbus North:

  1. Eva Yezerets
  2. Zoe Arbuckle
  3. Aditya Mantri
  4. Adam Ruble
  5. Tyler Heathcote
  6. Johanna Anderson
  7. Marlee Reisinger
  8. Elizabeth Bell
  9. Mason Mitchell
  10. Emma McAlister

Top 10 seniors from Columbus East:

  1. Nicholas Andrie
  2. Kaleb McCarter and Kailey Warner
  3. Alex Galle
  4. Madison Albright
  5. Maelyn Kiser
  6. Clara Villalon
  7. Nathaniel Reed
  8. Mariela Miranda Molina
  9. Olivia Fahey
  10. Kaitlyn Emmert