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October 26, 2014

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District considers school boundary realignments

Maps

Note: Current boundaries are outlined in orange in the elementary scenarios and green in the middle school scenarios. Proposed boundaries are colored.

Meetings

  • Southwest schools are invited to a public input meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at Durango High School to discuss all proposals affecting that region.
  • Northwest schools are invited to a public input meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at Cimarron-Memorial High School to discuss all proposals affecting that region.

More than 15 elementary schools serving Summerlin-area children are up for possible rezoning for next school year. A Clark County School District panel agreed Dec. 4 to move forward with three proposals that could affect hundreds of Summerlin students, in addition to those affected by an earlier decision.

Beginning in January, community meetings will be held by the Attendance Zone Advisory Commission to decide which proposal, or which parts of the proposals, should be given to the School Board in March as a final recommendation for rezoning.

The schools discussed Dec. 4 included: Kathy Batterman, John W. Bonner, Roger M. Bryan, M. J. Christensen, C. H. Decker, Herbert A. Derfelt, P. A. Diskin, Guild R. Gray, Keith C. and Karen W. Hayes, Walter Jacobson, Frank Kim, D'Vorre and Hal Ober, Clarence Piggott, Lucille S. Rogers and Ethel W. Staton elementary schools.

Linda Rankin Givens and Doris Hancock elementary schools were also discussed, but the commission agreed to drop both schools from possible rezoning this year.

On Dec. 2 three proposals were agreed upon that could move students from another 13 schools on the northern border of Summerlin, including Eileen Conners, Dorothy Eisenberg, Marc Kahre and Sheila Tarr elementary schools.

The commission also agreed Dec. 2 to two proposals changing the borders of Palo Verde and Bonanza high schools, moving up to 450 students.

Each of the elementary schools were being considered as a way to relieve crowding and use seats at schools currently under capacity.

Before the School District's official "count day," in which it obtained an audited count of how many students are at each school, Batterman was 4 percent over capacity, Rogers was 11 percent over, Bonner was 14 percent over, Ober was 19 percent over and Hayes was 29 percent over capacity. The rest of the schools ranged from 3 percent under capacity at Diskin to 30 percent under at Gray.

Commissioners are looking at the area to use the open seats at Gray, as well as at Piggott, which was 27 percent under, and Derfelt, which was 29 percent under capacity.

"Why should we build new schools when there's nine-month schools with open seats," Vice Chairwoman Barbara Moody said, relaying the message the School Board gave to the commission.

"It is moving a ton of kids," she said. "It's not something we like to do, but in the big picture, I don't see how this wouldn't last for a long time."

The commission voted to move the following suggestions forward as proposals:

  • The first would move Staton students living southeast of Crestdale to Bonner; Bonner students living east of Hualapai Way and south of Orient Express Court to Piggott; Derfelt students living west of Durango Drive to Piggott; Derfelt students living north of West Charleston Boulevard to Jacobson; Derfelt students living east of Buffalo Drive to Gray; Gray students living west of Buffalo to Derfelt; Roger Bryan students living north of Desert Inn Road to Derfelt; Rogers students living north of Peace Way and west of Cimarron Road to Roger Bryan; Rogers students living south of Peace and north of Tropicana Avenue to Kim; Kim students living northeast of Spring Valley Parkway to Diskin; Kim students living between Twain Avenue and Flamingo Road to Diskin; Kim students living north of Twain to Gray; Diskin students living north of Twain to Gray; Decker students living north of Twain to Gray; and Diskin students living in the community surrounded by Twain, Viking Road, Arville Street and Wynn Road to Decker; Ober students living in the area surrounded by Lake West Circle to Christensen; Hayes students living south of Tompkins Avenue and east of Tee Pee Lane to Rogers; and Batterman students living north of Hacienda Avenue to Rogers.
  • The second would move the same Derfelt students to Jacobson and Gray; the same Ober students to Christensen; the same Hayes students to Rogers; the same Rogers students to Roger Bryan; and the same Batterman students to Rogers. Additionally, Gray students west of Cimarron would move to Derfelt; Roger Bryan students north of Spring Mountain and west of Cimarron would move to Derfelt; and Rogers students living north of Tropicana would move to Roger Bryan.
  • The third is similar to the first, with no Bonner or Staton students affected, and no Derfelt students would be moved to Gray.

Parents of one community, the Monaco community, are set to move in two of the three proposals to Derfelt. The third splits the community in half. Several of those parents met with members of the commission and the zoning and demographics department before the meeting to come up with alternate ideas, some of which were presented at the meeting.

"We're ready," Lynn Dilloo, one of the parents, said. "We just want our community to stay together. We … appreciate what you do, and we're ready to support that change (to Derfelt)."

She was one of few parents happy with the suggestions. Some Derfelt parents were also pleased, as they were hoping for more students to make up for shortfalls the school has recently felt.

"We are desperately looking for more students so we can get back our assistant principal, and so our specialists don't have to travel to different schools because that's disruptive to our students," Linda Johnson, a parent, said.

Many other Bonner and Piggott parents spoke to express their distaste for the potential moves. Sharon Dattoli, director of the zoning and demographics department, said she is at this point comfortable with the proposal that doesn't affect Bonner, Piggott or Staton parents, but she did want to keep the options open.

Also discussed at the meeting were Sig Rogich Middle School and Walter Johnson Junior High School.

Before count day, Rogich was one of only two middle schools in the Las Vegas Valley over capacity by more than 8 percent. Rogich was 10 percent over and Hyde Park Middle School was 12 percent over. However, Hyde Park is a magnet school, therefore it's easy to control its population, Dattoli said.

Just east of Rogich is Johnson, which sat at 23 percent under capacity.

A previously approved proposal moved students living east of Hualapai and south of Charleston from Rogich to Johnson.

A second proposal would move those students as well as students living east of Hualapai and south of Orient Express.

The second proposal will move forward for public discussion, but would only be approved if the same boundaries are approved for change at the elementary level to maintain feeder school alignment.

Johnson parents begged for more students to prevent the loss of more teachers and programs and form additional programs, but many Rogich parents were not interested in having their children moved.

"I realize we would be a nice addition for them, but what can they do for us?" Dave Beatty, a Rogich parent, said.

Frances Vanderploeg can be reached at 990-2660 or [email protected].

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