Cottonwood-Oak Creek considers boundaries for proposed K-8 merger

District looks for best way to split children into two schools

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District is considering school boundaries that would keep children “as close as possible to [their] home school and create more family-friendly schools.” Pictured, District Superintendent Steve King with a map of the district and 16 different zones where the district’s children live. (Photo by Bill Helm)

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District is considering school boundaries that would keep children “as close as possible to [their] home school and create more family-friendly schools.” Pictured, District Superintendent Steve King with a map of the district and 16 different zones where the district’s children live. (Photo by Bill Helm)

COTTONWOOD – At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District will hold its third and final meeting of the year geared toward the possible merger of Dr. Daniel Bright School, Cottonwood Elementary School and Cottonwood Middle School into two K-8 schools.

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Superintendent Steve King says that meetings will continue into 2018 as a Parent Advisory Committee has been charged with soliciting community information that could help him decide how to merge – or whether to merge.

As of the Nov. 29 meeting, King says that the district is moving forward as if Dr. Daniel Bright and Cottonwood Middle schools would become K-8 schools, and that Cottonwood Elementary School would be repurposed.

“As if” means that no decisions have been made, King says.

But the COCSD superintendent also says he would like more people to attend the meeting, and for more people to participate on the Parent Advisory Committee.

Creating family-friendly schools

Would Cottonwood-Oak Creek utilize traditional district/school boundaries, a modified open enrollment or a completely open enrollment?

Nothing is certain, King says. But the district is exploring boundaries that would keep children “as close as possible to [their] home school and create more family-friendly schools.”

Besides exploring boundaries, Cottonwood-Oak Creek is doing cost analysis to see what it would require to make a change in the three schools.

King says that the district is also looking at transportation, food service, “all the logistics before we can make a recommendation.

Boundaries

Superintendent King has been working with the district’s Student Accountability and Information Systems division to better understand where the district’s children live “so we can balance out the age groups, ethnicities and socioeconomic groups, so we don’t recreate why the schools were split in the first place.”

Prior to 2003, both Dr. Daniel Bright and Cottonwood Elementary schools were K-5 schools.

“This is what we’re doing so we can have a balance within our schools,” King says.

Wednesday’s meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium at the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Office, located at 1 N. Willard St. in Cottonwood.

Call 928-634-2288 for more information.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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