The District is looking for parent/community feedback regarding a problem that needs to be addressed. The problem is that out of our approximately 600 Elementary students in the District K-5, approximately 380 live within the current VES designated boundary, and 220 live within the current EES designated boundary. The problem will continue to grow in the coming years, due to the vast majority of expected housing growth taking place within the VES boundary, as well as the fact that of our current 148 enrolled Kinders and 1st graders, only 46 live within the EES boundary. This problem manifests itself in different ways: transportation issues, unbalanced class sizes, loss of significant class time for students being bused and arriving too late to eat breakfast or are being pulled out of school early, additional costs and much more. To not address the problem would not be in the best interest of our students. For the past year, a District committee has met to discuss possible solutions. They are:
- Go to a K-2/3-5 model. Meaning one school would house all of the District’s K-2nd grade students, and one would serve the District’s 3rd -5th grade students. There are significant “pros” and “cons” to this model. A significant “pro” is that it would allow the District to have balanced class loads across a grade level. A significant “con” would be the difficulties and disruptions created for families with multiple elementary age students in different buildings.
- Re-drawing the District boundaries. This means taking the area that is currently identified as the VES attendance area and making it smaller. A significant “pro” of this model is that it would be much easier to accomplish this (vs. going to a K-2/3-5 model), and many people would not be effected at all. A significant “con” of this model is the tremendous disruption to families that would no longer be bused to their non-resident school, and that some families/areas that have always been “VES families” would now be “EES families.”
There are no easy solutions, but it is a problem that can be solved. And hopefully, once solved, will result in better services and educational experiences for our students. In the coming months the district will be communicating this problem in different ways, ending with a parent/community informational night, and survey to take place in late January or early February. Please share this information with your friends and family, and join the District in addressing this issue for the betterment of our students in the years to come.
Gary Carpenter-Supt., FRSD