Waukee Parents Fed Up With Students’ School Location Changes

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WAUKEE, Iowa  --  Many Waukee parents whose children are open enrolled in the school district are fed up after learning their kids are being sent to a school they didn't originally plan on.

Waukee Community School District superintendent Cindi McDonald says it doesn't matter which school the kids attend because the education they receive will be the same at all locations.

"Almost three people a day move into Waukee, sometimes even on an hourly basis," said McDonald.

More people moving in means more students attending school.

“In a growing district, it is not uncommon to see some buildings that enrollment increases rapidly," McDonald said.

This year, the fastest growing school is Grant Ragan Elementary. To alleviate the potential overcrowding, the school district decided to move 52 students who live outside the district to Walnut Hill Elementary.

"If we don’t have to move students 19 days before the beginning of the year, we prefer not to do that," McDonald said.

Jen Eckerman, a parent of one of those students, is upset that she must tell her son he has to change schools again.

"We are dreading telling the kids, it was hard last year," she said.

And the constant change hurts her son's education.

"I think it’s good for kids to have a sense of community and consistency within their grade school years. These are important years in their life, and having to uproot them is a hard thing for kids to do," Eckerman said.

The school district says change is a risk parents like Eckerman take when they open enroll.

"When a family chooses open enrollment, we're very intentional to make sure they understand that, because we don't want them to come back and say 'we didn't know,' so we are very intentional about that communication," McDonald said.

Parents hope there is an end in sight.

"It feels definitely unfair. We just want our kids to be treated the same as other kids in the Waukee School District"

But the Waukee School District says there’s no guarantee.

"We can't make any promises in terms of the future, but what we will do is really watch carefully how the students are impacted in the future," said McDonald.