District Boundary Planning Process Steps

GK12 - District Boundary Planning Process Steps

Boundary Planning Process Steps

The following has been prepared as a guideline as a district embarks upon the task of changing enrollment areas. This document has been created with input and participation from several GuideK12 customers based on the insights and experience they have shared.


  1. Superintendent develops goals and objectives as a first step to introducing the potential enrollment boundary project / or challenges — with the political realities and policies understood
  2. Superintendent shares and edits goals and objectives with the Board of Education
  3. Superintendent and Board of Education, with the district's administrative team, sets goals and defines process
    1. What is to be accomplished and why?
    2. If it is to be a committee process, which is recommended:
      1. Who will be on the committee? (should be as representative as possible — including parents, teachers, administrators, community members, other school personnel)
      2. How will committee members be selected?

      *Note: Committee should be balanced, having a cross-section of members — but should not have too many members that would make the process too cumbersome and inefficient.

    3. Set timeline — how does that connect to important school year dates?
    4. Define communication process to the public for beginning, middle and end of process
    5. Identify subject matter experts
  4. Gather and prepare resources and data
    1. Recent/current comprehensive facility data with current building capacities
    2. Recent/current demographic information and enrollment projections
    3. Current and projected budget issues
    4. Any other pertinent research information should be provided (by the district) to the committee. Committee members would be expected to share any research.
  5. Create a communication plan for all stakeholders
    1. Develop a community outreach model.
      1. Contact local papers and news media. If district has a public relations firm, they should be involved from the outset.
      2. Decide if outside input will be allowed and how it will be gathered (online, in person at committee meetings, at board meetings)
    1. Include a committee update as a 'standing' Board agenda item
    2. Discuss communication plan for once a final decision is made.
      1. Outreach to families affected
      2. New maps distributed
    3. Discuss how the community and stakeholders will be informed before, during and after the decisions. Where will maps and proposals be posted — online, local shops, district offices, buildings etc?
  6. Committee work:
    1. Decide how the group will provide input (sub-groups, on-line discussion, etc.)
    2. Decide how committee work will be documented.
    3. Decide how feedback will be recorded, tracked and incorporated by the committee.
    4. Understand all local/state requirements that may impact any decisions
    5. Monitor committee's progress to determine that it is clear on the purpose of the committee and that private agendas are not surfacing
  7. Committee Management
    1. Decide the charge to the committee
    2. Decide who will facilitate the committee's work. (Typically, the superintendent is an ad hoc committee member and does not chair the committee. An outside facilitator often works well.)
    3. Set timeline and meeting dates
    4. Committee will develop options based on documented information that has either been presented to them or researched by them.
    5. Committee will present scenarios to the Board of Education who will make the final decision through a formal vote. Prior to a board vote, the proposal is shown at a public hearing/ meeting (To be objective and independent, it is not advisable for a Board member to sit on the committee.)
    6. The committee considers the public input and makes adjustments as needed and then submits to the School Board for the final vote. This may be a multi-step process to gain public approval and input.
  8. Post-decision
    1. Notify affected families in writing
    2. Post changes on district's website

Special thanks to the following for their writing, time and input:

— Joan Townley, Office of School Planning and Research (Western Suffolk BOCES, NY)

— Ruben Morales, Miami-Dade and other GuideK12 district interviews






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