On the border, school board approves redistricting plans for ‘17-’18

The final redistricting plan for the Mehlville School District was approved by a vote of 5-1 by the Board of Education Thursday, March 9.

After months of planning and trial-and-error, the committee presented their final draft in hopes of equally distributing student populations between schools, allowing for “equal opportunities at a building that was maybe underutilized rather than one that is over capacity,” Kelly Roberts, co-chair of the redistricting committee, stated in a previous interview.

This plan allows 93 percent of students to remain at their current schools. A new revision to the plan calls for all current high school students to be grandfathered into their current school. If a high school student wants to remain at his current school, he must complete a form posted on the Mehlville School District website.

School-choice is also available to students, but is determined on space in each grade level and school, according to the school district.

While the sophomore, junior, and senior classes may look similar next year, the freshmen class will increase. The new redistricting plan will allow for all current eighth graders attending Bernard to go to Oakville High School. This year, approximately 70 percent of previous eighth graders attended Oakville and 30 percent attended Mehlville High School, according to Bernard principal Lori Sullivan.

This spike in the freshmen class is cause for concern, but guidance counselor Mr. Steven King has a positive outlook. “We do a real good job here and our teachers do a great job and so I think we’re a good school to be at,” King stated in a previous interview.

This new redistricting plan was met with some opposition. Some neighborhoods are having to switch their feeder pattern entirely. This poses a challenge, as some families have always anticipated attending Oakville and now have to attend Mehlville.

Despite opposition, many people agree that redistricting was necessary. “(Redistricting) has to be done. It’s not a question,” Jen Kiphart, a redistricted resident who spoke at the board meeting stated.