BOUNDARY BATTLE: Johnston Parents Unhappy

Johnston’s population is shifting so the school boundaries must shift too district leaders say. But parents say the district’s plan doesn’t work for them or their children.

The map of the Johnston school district is an uneven jigsaw puzzle that includes part of Grimes and is cut in half by Camp Dodge.

It’s a tough one to begin with, but now, the district needs to find a way to take pressure off two crowded schools and put more kids into one under-utilized school.  To do that, Johnston suggests shuffling 300 kids further away from home and that has parents upset.

“We think the plan as written right now is probably geographically illogical,” Dave Knudsen said.

The parents of those students got a chance to meet with district officials Tuesday night.

“Nobody wants their kids to move, they don`t want to lose their friends, I get that,” Jason Wuhfekuhle said. “But the fact of the matter is, you have to look at it big picture, and we have a problem with two schools.”

Superintendent Clay Guthmiller assured parents that the district was open to making changes to the plan, but he did admit that Johnston needs a solid plan in place before late winter, so time is of the essence.

Johnston redistricts its elementary schools about every six years. Guthmiller says each time that happens it’s impossible to make everyone happy in a popular, growing school district.

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