DPS discusses boundary line options, will seek public commentary

Illustration courtesy of Dearborn Public Schools A map shows a possible boundary line change option to increase student enrollment at Edsel Ford High School presented to the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education.

Illustration courtesy of Dearborn Public Schools
A map shows a possible boundary line change option to increase student enrollment at Edsel Ford High School presented to the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education is continuing its discussions to find a solution for overcrowding at Fordson and Dearborn high schools along with increasing enrollment at Edsel Ford High School.

Three options to address attendance were presented to the board during its Sept. 11 meeting, but no final decision was made. All suggested scenarios include additions at DHS and EFHS.

DPS Student Services Director Abe Mashhour said the first boundary option would better align the high school boundary lines to the middle school attendance ares within the district.

Suggested changes included DHS receiving all students from Bryant and Smith middle schools, EFHS getting students from Salina Intermediate, Stout Middle School and half of Woodworth Middle School and FHS receiving Lowrey, Unis middle schools and the other half of Woodworth.

Enrollment at DHS would decline from 2,087 students to 1,900, and FHS from the current 2,827 students to 2,780, while EFHS would increase from 1,512 to 1,880 students.

Under the second option DHS would get all students from Bryant, and some from Smith and Stout. FHS would receive all students from Lowrey and Unis along with part of Woodworth. EFHS would get all Salina Intermediate students and then some students from Woodworth, Stout and Smith.

Enrollment at DHS would decline to 1,800 and FHS to 2,780 students while EFHS would increase to 1,980 students.

For the third option, DHS receives all Bryant students and some from Stout and Unis, FHS would get all Lowrey and Woodworth students and some from Unis, and EFHS would get all students from Salina and Smith and some from Stout.

Enrollment at FHS would decline to 2,800 students and DHS 1,820 while EFHS would increase to 1,940 students.

All student enrollment estimates included total enrollment which also accounted for students who do not stay at the high schools all day because of off-campus programs. Those programs include dual enrollment; co-ops; Michael Berry Career Center; Henry Ford Collegiate Academy; and Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology.

The results of a boundary change will take four years to complete its impact, Mashhour said. If boundary line changes are made, they would not impact the upcoming school year and would only change high schools for incoming freshman. Students already in high school would not have to change schools.

After discussions of the three options, DPS Executive Director of Business Thomas Wall explained where funding could come from for the additions.

The additions for DHS and EFHS will possibly not cost residents any money because a bond would not be needed. Wall said the district can receive $24.5 million from non-voter limited tax bonds because of its state revenues and $7.7 million from the Wayne RESA Enhancement millage.

The district also has $2.4 million from the sale of Howe School and could use a portion of the $42.6 million from annual transfer to building and site fund.

During the meeting, the board requested information on busing costs for each possible boundary line change and architect ideas for options to add classrooms and cafeteria expansions at DHS and EFHS. Plans for an $18 million field house at EFHS will also be looked into to allow remodeling of the gym space into classrooms.

That additional information will be presented to the board during its Oct. 10 meeting and will be followed by community meetings from October to December. Following community input, a special meeting for the board could be held in January to consider the public’s feedback.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)