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Full crowd hears proposal on attendance center boundaries

Members of the public attended the first of the Tea Area School District’s two public meetings on elementary school attendance center boundaries Jan. 21.

After Superintendent Jennifer Lowery presented information to a full room, she shared the proposed dividing line of James Avenue. Those north of First Street and west of James Avenue would go to the district’s first elementary school, Legacy Elementary. Those south of First Street and east of James Avenue would go to the district’s newest school, Venture Elementary, on the south end of town.

Lowery presented information on district policy, current growth projections, natural physical boundaries and five-year Tea area development plans that the board has reviewed in making a suggested boundary.

Lowery noted that the district had 693 students in 2003 during the first year of the district. This school year they have 1,906 enrolled. The average increase in students over the last 15 years has been 80 students per year. However, that average increase in students has been 100 in the last three years.

She said they like to aim for 500-550 students in each elementary school. Right now, Legacy has 720 students.

“Legacy is over full right now,” she said.

Using the proposed dividing line, Legacy would house 459 students and Venture would have 323 starting the 2019-20 school year.

With proposed development in the next five years from developers, Venture would acquire 366 students from new development. Frontier Elementary, the district’s furthest north elementary school, would have an additional 280 students in that time frame. Districtwide, there is potential for 927 new students in the next five years due to development.

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