R-3 seeks citizens to help with boundary lines, name for new school

Residents in the Platte County R-3 School District have two unique opportunities to assist officials starting this summer.According to a release, the district will accept volunteers to serve on a boundary adjustment committee as well as submit name suggestions for the new elementary school. In April, voters overwhelmingly approved a $0.43 per $100 of assessed-valuation property tax increase to fund a $29 million project to deal with continued growth in student population. The biggest piece of construction comes in the form of a new elementary school located east of Fourth Street/N Highway and south of Emmy Lane on what is known as the “Duncan Property.” The building is scheduled to open for the 2016-17 school year.

To accommodate that change, Platte County officials must adjust the district boundary lines to divide Platte City students between Siegrist Elementary and the new building. The Platte County Board of Education hopes to approve the adjusted lines at its December 2015 meeting.

“What this building allows us to do strategically is it allows us to start serving students in a kindergarten through fifth grade format,” Platte County superintendent Mike Reik said. “That will require us to look at boundary lines, and that does come with some concerns, some trepidation. But at the same time, it will allow us to take that first step into a concept that will allow us to serve our students equitably and adequately, ensuring programs are the same at all elementary buildings and every student has access to quality programming.

“This is a very important project to the Platte County School District, maybe more important than some other recent projects.”

Patrons will drive the process through the soon-to-be-formed committee. Those interested in serving can complete the online application located under the “Strategic Plan” link of the district website (www. plattecountyschooldistrict.com) or pick up an application at the District Education Center, located at 998 Platte Falls Rd. in Platte City.

Applications must be completed by Wednesday, July 1.

The board will meet next week and determine a set of community values and criteria for the committee to follow when considering boundary adjustment scenarios. The Board will assemble the committee in August and have members meet with a third-party demographer to assist in considering logistical issues associated with defining attendance areas such as enrollment balance, socio-economic balance, transportation distance/safety, maintaining neighborhoods and subdivisions, and future growth throughout the fall of 2015.

The general public will then be provided with the opportunity to give input before its final approval. All committee meetings, public feedback meetings and board meetings will be advertised in advance and open to the public.

In addition to the boundary lines, district officials want help in determining the name for the new building.

Residents will be invited to submit name suggestions by filling out a quick online form which will be linked to the district’s website (www. plattecountyschooldistrict.com) under “Announcements,” or by filling out a suggestion form at any PCR-3 school. The process will start July 15, and suggestions can be submitted up until August 23.

Suggestions should include the proposed name and why the name was recommended. Board Policy FF provides guidelines on the process for naming new facilities.

A board-appointed committee consisting of community members, students and staff will meet to narrow the suggested names and recommend a “short list” for consideration which will go to the board at its September meeting.

The board will have final approval for the name.