Proposed new Millard school boundaries come with plan to limit families' disruption -
Published Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 2:36 pm
Proposed new Millard school boundaries come with plan to limit families' disruption

The Millard Public Schools would use grandfathering and a sibling rule to protect students and families from the disruption of next year's sweeping school attendance boundary changes.

A proposed transition plan released Wednesday would give all current middle school students and fifth-graders the option to remain on their current school track.

Grandfathering would allow elementary students to finish in their current building.
Siblings could stay together at the same school.

“That will probably placate the concerns of 90 percent of the people,” board member Mike Kennedy said.

The proposed boundary changes are the most significant since Millard West High School opened in 1995.

The transition plan, which affects all schools but Reagan Elementary, would take effect for the 2014-15 school year. There are separate, less flexible rules proposed for Reagan, which has experienced severe overcrowding.

Superintendent Keith Lutz is scheduled to recommend the plan to the school board for approval Dec. 16.

Lutz developed the plan, with his administrative team, after a series of community meetings on the proposed boundary changes, some of which drew stiff criticism from parents.

He said the plan, which amounts to a four-year transition, aims to limit the impact on families as much as possible through grandfathering and by accommodating siblings.

Millard high school enrollments   
School2013-142017-18* 2017-18**
*Projected enrollment with no boundary changes.   
**Projected enrollment with proposed boundary changes.   
Source: Millard Public Schools  

“We've stretched it out as far as we possibly can to have as small an impact as we can. But the bottom line is we have to move kids east because the facilities out west are full or going to be overfull,” he said.

His recommendation notes that grandfathering will affect but not undermine the goal of balancing out enrollments between schools in the east and west portions of Nebraska's third-largest school district.

“While grandfathering will skew enrollments to a degree, our schools can successfully manage these numbers,” the plan says. “We feel it is more important to accommodate our students and families.”

Lutz said he stuck closely to the recommendation of a parents committee that produced the initial boundary proposal.

District officials say they must adjust boundaries at the elementary, middle and high school levels, including shrinking the attendance boundaries of Millard West, to rein in overcrowding.

That would shift some neighborhoods in the Millard West attendance area to Millard North and Millard South.

Last summer, a consultant forecast continued rising enrollment in the southwestern and western parts of the district, but generally flat and spotty growth in the eastern reaches.

The rise of new housing subdivisions will push some schools over capacity, requiring the district to redraw boundary lines to assign some neighborhoods to different schools.

The greatest enrollment increases over the next five years are forecast at the middle and high schools, the consultant said.

The transition plan for Reagan Elementary provides less flexibility because of acute overcrowding, said Millard spokeswoman Rebecca Kleeman.

“It is already to the point that they can't handle any more,” she said.

Enrollment at Reagan is 717, nearly twice that of some other Millard elementaries and huge by elementary standards, she said.

Reagan students in kindergarten through fourth grade at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year would be assigned to their new school based on the boundary changes. Students with a fifth-grade sibling attending Reagan next fall could also attend Reagan by submitting a district transfer form.

Students in fifth grade at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year would be permitted to stay at Reagan.

Reagan is “busting out the seams,” Kennedy said.

“The problem is, we don't get to shut off,” he said. “We're not a private institution. So we have to take every kid who lives in that area that wants to come to our school, whether we're full or not.”

The rule for siblings aims to keep them together, Kleeman said.

“So if you have a kiddo in one building, we're not going to tell you you have to move the other kiddo to another building,” she said.

It's not a legacy rule, however, so if an older child already graduated from one high school, that doesn't guarantee that a younger child can go there, too, she said.

The proposed transition plan calls for new kindergartners to abide by the new school assignments unless the sibling rule comes into play.

The proposed attendance areas (PDFs)


Middle school

High school

High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
OPD safety expo set for April 26
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Crew working to disassemble International Nutrition plant
Woodmen request would take nearly $40M in valuation from tax rolls
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Arrest made in teen's shooting death at Benson's Gallagher Park
Section of 50th Street to close for bridge demolition
18-year-old arrested in stolen-car case
U.S. Senate candidate Bart McLeay trails his 3 GOP rivals in fundraising
86-year-old Holdrege man killed in weekend collision
New police gang intervention specialist knows firsthand about getting involved with wrong crowd
Finally. Spring expected to return. No, really: Warmer-than-average weather in forecast
Four, including Omahan, vie for police chief position in Council Bluffs
In TV ad, Shane Osborn says Ben Sasse 'beholden to Washington'
City Council OKs redevelopment plan for north downtown project
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Home alone: When burglar broke in, 12-year-old locked herself in bathroom, called 911
Ben Sasse raises more money than U.S. Senate foes Shane Osborn and Sid Dinsdale
Sweet deal on suite use has MECA board looking at written rules
Inmate accused of partially tearing off another's testicles charged with assault
Lawyer: Man had right to hand out religious fliers outside Pinnacle Bank Arena
Firefighters put out duplex blaze in N.W. Omaha
Coffee with a Cop set for Thursday in Benson
< >
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Jessica Lutton Bedient was killed by a drunken driver at age 26 in 2010. Thursday, the widowed husband and other family members will gather with others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to dedicate a permanent memorial to Jessica.
Breaking Brad: What do the moon, Colorado senators have in common?
How about that "blood red" moon Monday? It was as red as the eyes of a Colorado legislator.
Breaking Brad: Hey, Republicans, are you ready to be audited?
A quick list of audit red flags: 3) You fail to sign your return. 2) You fail to report income. 1) You are a registered Republican.
Breaking Brad: Next year, Bo Pelini brings a mountain lion to the spring game
Before the spring game, Bo Pelini carried a cat onto the field. With Bo's personality, it'd have been more appropriate for him to carry a mountain lion.
Breaking Brad: Bo Pelini's cat lets spring game intro go to its head
Coach Bo Pelini took the field before the spring game holding a cat aloft. Typical cat. He was undoubtedly thinking, “Sixty thousand people, all cheering for me!”
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Shoreline Golf Club
$40 for 2 Players, 18 Holes of Golf with Cart ($85 Value)
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »