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Lifelong Learning

School Board approves elementary attendance areas for 2017-18

October 27, 2016

With the opening of Dorothy Dodds Elementary School next fall, Moorhead Area Public Schools formed a task force to recommend elementary attendance areas for the four K-4 elementary schools. The task force’s report was presented to the School Board Oct. 10. A revised recommendation was approved by the board Oct. 24.

The 15 members of the district’s Attendance Area and School Start Time Task Force met July-September 2016 to determine the process for recommending elementary attendance areas and start times for all schools.

Parameters discussed by the task force were globally efficient, use natural boundaries, be mindful of time on the bus, diverse population, schools as close to neighborhoods as possible, time of pick up, run routes as efficiently as possible, target size for elementary schools of 750 students, and financial responsibility.

Task force members reviewed their recommendation for attendance areas and start times at the Oct. 10 meeting. Start times were recommended to remain the same as they are currently.

Board members questioned higher projected enrollment at Ellen Hopkins Elementary than the other elementary schools and asked for more information about the diversity of students at each elementary school based on projected enrollments.

Parents had the opportunity to ask questions about the attendance areas during conferences Oct. 17-18, and district administrators attended October PTAC meetings.

The board asked district administration to revisit the task force’s recommendation. The revised plan, which includes additional demographics information about students based on projected enrollment, moves additional students from Ellen Hopkins Elementary to S.G. Reinertsen Elementary to allow for growth at all four schools.

The report, which was approved Oct. 24 by the board, is available on the district website at The map and descriptions of the each school’s attendance area are included in the report.

The Forum story is available at

Moorhead Area Public Schools does have a process for parents to request an attendance area exception. That process occurs in early spring, and further information will be shared with parents.

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