LSR7+Insider Article

CFMP: Boundary Changes Were a Last Minute Add-On?

A concerned citizen sent LSR7+Insider an email exchange which he/she obtained from LSR7 through a Missouri Sunshine request. The email exchange appears to show that the LSR7

Administration decided to evaluate boundaries a week and a half before the second round of the CFMP Phase I engagement series and that the consultants at DLR and LINK were strongly against adding this topic for evaluation.

The consultants warned the district, but it appears the district did not listen.

You can read the emails obtained in the slider below.

It also appears that the contracted consultants were unsure of the scope of work and final "deliverable" the district was aiming to provide, even after the first Phase I engagement series community meeting in September, 2018. Michael Akin, President of LINK Strategic Partners, writes that boundary analysis "wouldn't be a quick exercise that we can fit into Series 2, if we want to do it in an authentic and defensible way."

Yet, in spite of the warning from LSR7's paid consultants (Phase I paid them nearly 260K), boundaries were discussed during the second part of the Phase I engagement series, which was held a week and a half after these emails were sent to Dr. Emily Miller, LSR7 Interim Superintendent (formerly Assistant Superintendent of Special Services at the time of this email exchange), and Kelly Wachel, former Executive Director of Public Relations.

Also revealed in these emails is an "increased scope proposal that was requested for the current work." Given that a revision was approved by the board in August, there is reference to another "revision" to the work in this email along with implied increase in work scope related to boundaries; it seems clear that the scope defined in the original request for proposal was not well thought out, and perhaps school boundaries had already been pre-planned before the community was asked to engage in discussion. If you recall, the boundary discussions led to divided neighborhoods, people selling their homes to move back into a specific school attendance area, heated discussions, children in tears begging to be able to stay at schools where bonds had been created, news media coverage, and so much more.

Why did the district throw boundaries into CFMP even though DLR strongly suggested that this specific topic needed more time and thought? What else does the community not know? If we keeping digging for information and asking questions, what else will we find?

More to come on these issues as information develops.