Ritenour School District Redistricting Project
Welcome to the Ritenour School District Redistricting Project Website. This will serve as the source for all information related to the process to develop a new set of school boundaries for Ritenour elementary and middle schools. This site will be updated regularly throughout the process so please check back often for new information.
On March 8, more than 150 staff and community members provided feedback on potential school boundary changes on Wednesday, March 8. Three different map scenarios were presented at the open house and all in attendance had the opportunity to provide feedback on each of the potential models.
Based on the community feedback, a final draft of the new school boundary plans will be presented to the Ritenour Board of Education for approval on Thursday, April 13. The new school boundaries, if approved by the Board, would go into effect for the 2023-2024 school year.
Click here to view larger versions of the three scenarios…
In December 2022, the Ritenour School District hosted meetings at each elementary and middle school to seek feedback that will help the district to re-draw elementary and middle school attendance boundaries. Dozens of families and community members also completed an online survey to provide feedback.
In-person and survey feedback are helping the district to develop planning parameters, which are characteristics that define a school attendance area. After discussing the potential planning parameters, families ranked their top priorities, which included:
Provide equity in class size, resources and staffing
To the greatest extent possible, avoid student crossing identified “dangerous” streets
Eliminate divided apartment complexes among elementary schools so students living in these complexes attend one elementary school
Provide equal classroom sizes that are at, or below, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) standards
Eliminate crowding and balance enrollments by schools
Minimize travel/maximize safety in travel; assign students to the closest school possible and don’t divide subdivisions and neighborhoods
The parameters listed above were given to a demographer who will create a map with updated attendance areas based on the feedback.
Enrollment in the Ritenour School District has been exceptionally steady since the 1980s, with between 6,000 and 6,500 students enrolled each year. But, in the past decade, the district has seen higher enrollments at the elementary school level. This has created an imbalance in the attendance of the district’s elementary schools. While schools like Kratz Elementary on the northern side of Ritenour have been gaining more students each year, nearly pushing them past capacity, some of our other schools like Buder Elementary on the southwest side of the District have experienced significant decreases in student enrollment.
In response to crowding at some schools, and to best address the educational needs of all district children, district schools have adapted and modified their physical environments in very intentional, thoughtful, and, at times, creative ways.
Ritenour seeks to involve the community to help redraw our elementary and middle school boundary lines to help balance the attendance in these buildings.
Making boundary changes for school assignments is challenging, but sometimes necessary, and we understand the outcome of our work may be difficult for some of our students and families.
Over the past several months, district leaders have spent time examining our current attendance boundaries and how elementary school student populations feed into middle schools. Ritenour has been working to collect data, analyze district maps and develop overall goals for the work (listed below.)
Overall Goals of the Work
- De-densify the schools in the north of the district
- Balance enrollment and class sections in grades K-8
- Create elementary “feeder” schools for middle schools - eliminate the division of elementary enrollment feeding middle schools (3 elementary schools attend Hoech; 3 elementary schools attend Ritenour Middle)
- Create a “community” and “sense of belonging” geographically among our elementary and middle schools.
The next steps for the project are to seek community input on potential redistricting options. Ritenour is working closely with Creative Entourage, a national demographic planning firm for school districts located in St. Louis, which provided the district with enrollment projections, planning units and GIS mapping tools to support this process.
- Dec. 2022: Community Engagement Meetings at all elementary and middle schools (completed)
- Jan. 2023: Present planning parameters developed in community meetings to the Ritenour Board of Education (completed)
- March 8, 2023: Community meeting to share updated school boundary maps and gather additional community feedback (completed)
- April 2023: Present final boundary plans to the Ritenour Board of Education.
How can I get involved?
There will be several large community meetings where boundary options will be presented to the community for feedback. Meetings will be held in person and virtually.
All information will be available on this website for anyone unable to attend the meeting.
All feedback will be compiled into a report and reviewed by the Ritenour Board of Education.