Ritenour Redistricting Project
On April 13, 2023, the Ritenour School District Board of Education approved new boundaries for all elementary and middle schools to help create a balance in enrollment based on the capacity of each school. It’s the first time that Ritenour has made significant changes to its elementary school boundaries in more than three decades.
Ritenour School Boundary Changes FAQ
When will these changes take effect?
The new boundaries will be in place for the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.
How do I know if my address has been impacted by the change?
Click here to view a map of the new elementary and middle school attendance boundaries.
Click here to view the new elementary and middle school attendance boundaries.
When will families be notified of changes to their child’s school?
Ritenour will notify families in April 2023 if they have been impacted by these boundary changes. Ritenour will also share a questionnaire through the student information system in April 2023 to see if impacted students are interested in staying at their current school.
Can my child stay at their current school?
Students whose boundaries have changed will have the opportunity to stay at their current school for up to two years. Bus service is not provided. Families must provide their own transportation. Those families choosing to remain in their home schools must remain in good standing (no suspensions) and adhere to Ritenour attendance policies (be present and on time at least 90 percent of the time) in order for their child to stay at their current school.
I have an incoming kindergarten student who is not yet enrolled. Can they attend the school that their sibling is attending?
No. It is important for the new boundaries to be implemented next year and new students begin at the school in their attendance area. All incoming students must attend the school they are assigned to based on their residential address.
My fifth-grade student is making the transition to middle school, which middle school will they attend?
Fifth-grade students transitioning to middle school must attend the school they are assigned to based on their residential address that aligns with the updated attendance boundaries.
What are the new middle school boundaries?
The boundary changes create elementary feeder schools to each middle school.
Students from Buder, Iveland and Kratz elementary schools will now attend Hoech Middle School.
Students from Marion, Marvin and Wyland elementary schools will attend Ritenour Middle School.
Where will students attend summer school?
Students in grades K-4 will attend their current school for summer school.
Students in fifth grade will attend classes at the new middle school they will be assigned to for the 2023-2024 school year based on their residential address.
Students in grades 6-7 will attend their current middle school for summer school.
Students in grade 8 will attend summer classes at Ritenour High School.
How did the District come up with options for redistricting?
The approval of new school boundaries is the culmination of an 18-month process that involved extensive staff, parent and community involvement and feedback.
After months of collecting and analyzing data and examining building capacities, Ritenour began its public engagement initiatives. In December 2022, district administrators visited each elementary and middle school to work with staff and families to develop planning parameters. The process also involved an online survey to provide feedback.
A committee of district staff and administrators used current and projected enrollment numbers, birth data and feedback from the transportation department to develop three map models. Data from the State of Missouri, St. Louis County and the school district were used to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information was used for all decisions.
The map models were shared with the community at an open house on March 8, 2023 in the lobby of Ritenour Auditorium. More than 150 staff and community members provided feedback. Each attendee was asked to share their thoughts on each option and for the overall project.
As a result of the multiple community engagement meetings, Ritenour successfully identified the scenario to best address the district’s growing increased enrollment imbalances, to improve student safety and to better establish neighborhood school boundaries. That option was brought to the Board for approval on April 13.
How many current students are impacted by these changes?
The approved plan impacts 790 current students in the district, including 635 elementary and 155 middle school students.
Can I request which school my child will attend?
Parents/guardians cannot request which school their child attends. The school a child attends is based on the location of the family’s main residence. Students whose boundaries have changed will have the opportunity to stay at their current school for up to two years. Bus service is not provided. Families must provide their own transportation.
When were the new boundaries approved?
On April 13, 2023, the Ritenour School District Board of Education approved new boundaries for all elementary and middle schools to help create a balance in enrollment based on the capacity of each school. It’s the first time that Ritenour has made significant changes to its elementary school boundaries in over 30 years.
How can I best support my child during this transition?
The biggest piece of advice is to stay positive! Children often learn behaviors from adults, so during transition times like these, it is important to remain optimistic and provide positive support for your child as they transition to their new school. Each Ritenour school has highly-qualified teachers and administrators who provide excellent teaching and learning opportunities everyday in all our classrooms. Ritenour schools are welcoming to all and we are taking extra steps to welcome all students and families to their new schools.
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
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 2023: Community meetings to share updated school boundary maps and gather 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 later this year.