New Elementary and Middle School Boundaries Approved for Ritenour School District
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.
The new school boundaries will go into effect at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.
Click here to view the new elementary and middle school attendance boundaries.
The boundary changes create elementary feeder schools to each middle school. Currently, students in some schools are divided into different middle schools. Under the new plan, three elementary schools will feed into 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.
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.
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.
A total of 790 current students in the district will be impacted by the approved plan, including 635 elementary and 155 middle school students.
Students whose boundaries changed will have the opportunity to stay at their current school for two years, but families must provide their own transportation. The district will share a survey in April to see if impacted students are interested in staying at their current school.
Ritenour partnered with Creative Entourage to build recommendations for the boundaries. Creative Entourage, a national demographic planning firm for school districts located in St. Louis, provided the district with enrollment projections, planning units, building capacity information and GIS mapping tools to support this process.
“Making boundary changes for school assignments is challenging, but sometimes necessary. Everyone involved in this process appreciates how very personal and significant this change is for some students and families,” said Ritenour Superintendent Dr. Chris Kilbride. “This option offers the best solution for the district with respect to meeting the established goals of our project.
“We appreciate our staff, families and community for their time, commitment and tremendous feedback as we make these changes that will shape the future of our district.”