Nov. 29 BOE meeting recap


Josie Baker

The KSD BOE discussed their progressions on new elementary and middle school boundary adjustments.

Multiple community members brought up issues including pornographic material in KHS library books and the history being taught in school, at the Kirkwood BOE meeting held at North Kirkwood Middle School on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Other topics included critical race theory, student enrollment projections and elementary and middle school boundary adjustments. 


Community members discussed the graphic content in the library, one member said there are “20 pornographic readings” and then began reading excerpts from the books. Some of these books include “Handmaid’s Tale”, “Looking for Alaska”, “The Hate you Give”, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue”. This caused controversy amongst the room because there was a child present while the pornographic material was being read. In past BOE meetings, community members also discussed the books allowed in the KHS library.


The community members also spoke about the history curriculum taught throughout KSD. One member spoke out and stated, “History should be taught upon what happened, not to blame each other based on race.” Other community members, who spoke at the meeting, agreed with the statement and said KSD needs more “immersion” throughout the school.


The BOE also discussed upcoming elementary and middle school boundary adjustments, prioritizing elementary schools staying together into middle school instead of separating them. Dr. Matt Bailey, assistant superintendent of student services, shared stories of Tillman Elementary parents whose children and their friends had to go to a different middle school after attending the same elementary school for several years. Bailey showed the board the boundaries of Meacham Park where kids might go to three different elementary schools just from that neighborhood. 


However, when feedback on whether Meacham Park’s boundary lines needed to be changed was collected, Bailey said there was not a clear answer and KSD will continue to collect feedback. 


Making sure that this process includes transparency is important to KSD, said Bailey. He told the board, “We want to make sure that folks most impacted by boundary adjustments have a voice.” 


Considerations for boundary adjustments also include the rise of students in KSD throughout the last few years. In 2021 alone there was an increase of 78 students throughout all grade levels. Dr. Charles Kofren, geodemographic studies consultant for KSD, shared a plan to increase enrollment in the next few years.  Kofren projected that in 2026 there would be an expansion of students by 3% (167 students).