Groton would have to redistrict in three to five years to keep the population balanced in its middle schools, a consultant has found.
The district The firm is looking at enrollment trends to help Groton come up with a plan to provide racial balance in the public schools.
The school board will discuss the report at its meeting on Aug. 13, but one finding is that population in the two middle schools will become uneven over time.
West Side Middle School would grow to more than 600 students while Cutler Middle School would fall to about 400 students, forcing Groton to redraw boundaries in three to five years.
School Business Manager Carolyn Dickey made reference to the changing middle school populations during a joint meeting of the Groton Town Council and school board, and said the full report from the consultant would be forthcoming.
Interim Superintendent Randall Collins said during a telephone interview later that demographic findings are going to affect future decisions.
“That, I think, is going to influence the discussion of two versus one middle school,” Collins said. “So if you go with two middle schools, you’d have to do that with the knowledge that you’d have to redraw the boundaries every few years.”
The council and three members of the Board of Education met jointly on Thursday to talk about forming a task force to come up with a plan for future school construction.
Town officials plan to ask Mike Zuba, associate senior planner with Milone & MacBroom, to facilitate discussion of that group. After the council and school board meet with Zuba, the task force would be appointed.
Mayor Heather Bond Somers said the group has 18 potential members, but others may be added before final appointments are made.
Zuba has suggested that each school involved have a representative from the Parent Teacher Organization.
Somers said she’s also heard from residents about the makeup of the task force.
“They don’t want it completely stacked with teachers, principals and central office staff,” she said. “They want input from the town.”