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De Pere amends elementary boundaries

By Lee Reinsch

DE PERE – With a 5-2 vote, the De Pere School Board voted to accept the recommendations of the boundary line committee and amend the boundary lines for elementary schools in the De Pere school district.

Voting nay were Dan Van Straten and Mark Meneau.

Van Straten said he voted against the reconfigured boundaries because he believes the projected increase in student enrollment won’t be distributed evenly among all three of the Unified District of De Pere’s elementary schools.

He said projections show that in the next few years, several hundred new students are expected to enroll in schools on De Pere’s east side.

Heritage Elementary and Susie C. Altmayer Elementary are expected to take the lion’s share of the enrollment increases, Van Straten said, while Dickinson is expected to stay status quo.

Heritage’s current student body of 424 students is projected to grow to 544.

Altmayer has 459 students and is projected to increase to 502.

Dickinson, with 427 students, is projected to stay the same.

“I thought the Angels Path area should be with Dickinson Elementary,” Van Straten said.

The way the new boundaries are drawn, Heritage and Altmayer are expected to absorb all of the newcomers, while Dickinson will not, he said.

“With the new growth in the area, it was an opportunity to have new families in the school,” Van Straten said. “I don’t want Dickinson to be another inner-city school.”

A boundary committee, composed of parents and citizens, served as a focus group for the rezoning.

The district held three open houses to solicit input and feedback from residents in recent months.

Some boundary committee members reported at a meeting last month they felt the selected option benefited the most families and said some who didn’t benefit from it supported it anyway for that reason, while others did not.

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