It’s been 13 years since Missoula School District One set the boundaries for its elementary schools, but with the growth in population and movement of families, the time has come to reexamine those boundaries to better serve the community.

The school district is growing, and over the past 11 years, MCPS has grown by almost 800 students.

MCPS Superintendent Mark Thane said the Smart Schools 2020 project now being half completed has made the study necessary.

“It’s time to take a look at the capacities that we’ve created and take a look at the enrollments that are approaching those capacities, and see if, in fact, we need to consider any adjustments to boundaries,” said Thane. “In our current analysis, we have four of our nine elementary buildings that are basically at the capacity that was set by the Smart Schools 2020 facilities planning, and we have three others that are sitting at less than 75 percent of capacity.”

Thane said the boundary study will closely follow the growth of the city and the county.

“It’s like time for us to take a look at our boundaries and to come to understand what the city and the county growth plans look like, what new subdivisions there may be in the offing and development opportunities in the community,” he said. “Along with that we need to take a look at our bus routes and how we transport students to school, we need to take a look at geography, with such features as the river, the interstate and busy streets and how those might impact students, so it’s just a good chance to take a comprehensive look at our boundaries.”

The boundary study will include:

  1. Meetings at each of the nine elementary schools (1 per school) to gather parent, student and staff input.
  2. Open House Meetings (3 evening meetings) to apprise the entire community of the process.
  3. A community advisory committee which will review drafts of boundary options and make final recommendations to the MCPS Board of Trustees.