Boundary changes coming to Moorhead Area Public Schools

Photo by: Moorhead Area Public Schools
Photo by: Moorhead Area Public Schools

(Moorhead, MN) -- The Moorhead School Board, in its Monday night meeting, has approved new attendance area boundaries within the district.

The attendance areas are being adjusted to alleviate capacity issues that the district is experiencing at elementary schools on the south and east sides of the city.  

“The district continues to experience steady growth," said Superintendent Dr. Brandon Lunak in a statement released to WDAY Radio. "We are nearing or at capacity at Dorothy Dodds and S.G. Reinertsen Elementary schools. Our newly built career academy and operations center allowed us to shift some programming, freeing up space at the elementary level, but requiring some realignment to increase our elementary school capacity."

A survey was conducted to gain input from district families and a task force made up of elementary parent representatives and school district administrators developed recommendations that were presented to the board in March. A second iteration requested by the board to balance student needs, numbers and sections was approved on Monday. The District says the plan takes into consideration target class size and growth potential at each school, socio-economic factors across the elementary schools, transportation impacts, fiscal responsibility and geographic distance of neighborhoods to the elementary school.

So, what does that mean for current students in MAPS? Approximately 277 of them will be impacted by the change that will begin in the 2022-23 school year. Families are in the process of being notified by the district and an exception process has been established for families who would like their students to stay at their current school.

“We are thankful for the task force’s diligent work to sift through many options keeping all students and families in mind and for administration’s flexibility to iterate further," said School Board member Melissa Burgard. "As always, helping students to thrive is our mission and utilizing our facilities to the absolute best of our ability not only benefits students, it benefits taxpayers as well."

Superintendent Lunak added that while it may be a challenge for impacted families to adjust to, he calls the boundary changes necessary to accommodate the growth happening in the district and community. "Our desire is to re-balance the elementary schools to continue to provide each student with the positive physical, emotional and educational environment they deserve to further grow and thrive.”