School board to host listening session on potential boundary shift

Published 8:07 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Albert Lea Area Schools board will host a listening session Thursday for those affected by the potential boundary shift between Lakeview and Sibley elementary schools.

The district is considering a boundary change due to a high population of enrolled students at Sibley Elementary School, a population not expected to decrease significantly with next year’s projected enrollment numbers.

The special school board meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the Lakeview Elementary School cafeteria.

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The redrawn boundary proposed at the April 15 school board meeting involved using County Road 46 as the new line, asking students living north of the road from the intersection of South Broadway Avenue and West Main Street out to the district’s western boundary to attend Lakeview Elementary School. This change would not include students living in Clarks Grove who are currently enrolled at Sibley Elementary School.

If the district shifts the line, next year’s fourth and fifth graders would stay, while future first, second and third graders at Sibley affected by the new boundary would be moved to Lakeview Elementary School. Siblings who could be split by the new line would have the option to move both students to Lakeview.

Executive Director of Administrative Services Kathy Niebuhr said April 15 that the boundary change could move close to 56 current students from Sibley to Lakeview. It could also move future kindergarteners, although projected enrollment numbers for kindergarteners fluctuates frequently.

The school board has not made a decision as to whether it will institute the new boundary. The public is invited to the listening session to see a presentation on the proposed boundary change as well as to engage in a listening session with the school board.