SD2 board talks school boundaries, committee structure

2012-01-23T20:15:00Z 2012-02-13T16:25:15Z SD2 board talks school boundaries, committee structureBy ROB ROGERS Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
January 23, 2012 8:15 pm  • 

Billings School District 2 trustees are trying to figure out how best start the process of redrawing school boundaries within the district.

During a special meeting Monday night, the board also discussed reorganizing its committee structure.

Trustees have considered redrawing boundaries for years, most recently after commissioning a demographic study of the district in summer 2010.

The board hopes to find a way to better utilize classroom space at all its schools and do away with some of the "pocket" boundaries — small clusters of students in one school's boundaries who are required to attend school somewhere else.

Staff members in the district have new software that came with the Davis Demographic study that allows them to generate numerous boundary scenarios.

Trustees just need to tell staff what they want to see in new boundaries, said Josh Middleton, assistant superintendent.

"We've been waiting for that direction," he said.

Over the next several months, trustees will decide what they want to have done.

Also Monday night, the board voted unanimously to create a planning and development committee that will be chaired by Trustee Greta Besch Moen.

Trustees spent a large chunk of the two-hour meeting trying to decide how best to revise its committee structure. Trustees voted to do away with its past committee structure a year ago. 

The board ended the discussion with a good idea of what committees they wanted to create. But they struggled to decide how they wanted them organized and categorized.

Monday night's discussions on boundaries and committees came out of a three-day retreat trustees held in early January. At the retreat they tried to identify the biggest issues the district is facing.

Contact Rob Rogers at rrogers@billingsgazette.com or 657-1231.

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