School boundary issue causes confusion

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Madyson Short, a third-grader, has been going to Whitson Elementary since kindergarten. Last Thursday she was sent home with a distressing note to give to her mother, Jessica Ramsdell. It was a letter saying that she had to re-enroll her daughter to another school by August 29 because they lived outside of the USD 501 boundaries.

“This is not the first year we’ve been out of district,” she says. “So I was very surprised to get this letter this year.”

She had already paid the tuition and bought school supplies but even with a tuition reimbursement Ramsdell says that she couldn’t afford the transfer.

Luckily, Topeka Public Schools came through for Ramsdell and her daughter after she sent an appeal.

“They didn’t want to disrupt her. They understood that she had been there since kindergarten. So they told us she could stay.”

But she is not the only parent who received a notice. More than a dozen parents may have to enroll their kids in an entirely different school district. Topeka Public Schools says that there were more than twenty letters sent out across the district.

“In looking at those classrooms we started looking at students attending those classrooms and we discovered that we have some kids who either don’t live in the Topeka Public School Boundaries or are not attending the home school within their boundaries,” says Misty Kruger with Topeka Public Schools.

She says that each case is handled differently.

“In this particular case, last year the school had an extra third grade class. We estimated that we could drop that grade at that school by one classroom and we ended up having families move into that boundary area.”

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