Las Vegas Sun

September 2, 2014

Currently: 104° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

EDUCATION:

Crowding at Henderson high schools to be addressed

Image

Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Home News

Students overfill the stairways and courtyard between passing periods at Coronado High School Oct. 21.

Click to enlarge photo

Hundreds of Coronado High School students pack the lunchroom during their 35-minute lunch period Oct. 21.

Rezoning meeting

WHERE: Edward A. Greer Education Center's board room, 2832 E. Flamingo Road

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Nov. 6

INFO: azac.ccsd.net

Students at Coronado High School, which has almost 500 more students than it is designed to hold, are scheduled to get a little more elbow room next year.

The Clark County School District's Attendance Zone Advisory Commission will look at plans next Thursday to reduce crowding at Coronado and Foothill High School, which is about 300 students over its capacity. Those plans are likely to include moving students to other Henderson-area schools — Liberty, Silverado and Green Valley High Schools.

Coronado is 17 percent over capacity with 3,117 students, and Foothill High School is 14 percent over with 2,580 students.

Liberty High School, on the other hand, is 29 percent under capacity with 1,853 students. Green Valley High School is 5 percent under capacity with 2,817 students, and Silverado is 2 percent under with 2,584 students.

At Coronado, crowding has been a problem for several years, but plans to even out the student populations at Coronado and Liberty started last year, Rick Baldwin, coordinator for the School District's demographics and zoning department, said.

However, those plans were postponed as the foreclosure crisis worsened, because School District officials thought Coronado would not gain and would possibly lose students this year, Principal Lee Koelliker said. Instead, the school grew by 100 students.

Foothill's crowding problem began last year, Principal Jeanne Donadio said. Normally the freshman class is about 500 students, but last year's class was about 700 students, she said, which resulted in four portables being installed on campus. The same happened this year, with another 700 freshman and an additional four portables brought in.

Coronado has adjusted to the higher number of students, Koelliker said, though it can be tough the first week of school.

"Every year our class sizes have been big, and I've always been able to adjust the staffing to alleviate," Koelliker said. "We haven't seen any negative effects. … We've absorbed the kids really well."

Crowding is new to Foothill, though, and Donadio prefers to address it now. The portables have allowed class sizes to stay within reason, she said, but it has caused other concerns for the students.

"It affects them at lunch time. The lines are a lot longer," she said. "It affects them in the hallways. It's harder to get around between classes."

The zoning commission will look at several ways to even out the numbers, Baldwin said.

"We're still in the very early stages," he said. "We'll meet with the principals, AZAC members and regions to talk about possibilities. … It's all about change and looking at ideas."

During the months-long process of rezoning, the scenarios may change several times before they are accepted as proposals, and again before they are recommended to the School Board.

All zoning meetings are open to the public. The meeting at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 6 will be an organizational meeting, Baldwin said.

Koelliker said zoning is his secondary concern, behind budget cuts. However, losing students does mean he would lose additional funding, in the form of state-issued per pupil funding, he said.

"With all the budget cuts we have to make, if we lose kids we'll lose even more money," he said. "We wouldn't be able to provide the services and programs we currently do."

Schools are allotted a number of teachers based on how many students are at the school, so losing students would also result in teachers being relocated to other schools.

At this point, Donadio said, she feels the negative impacts of zone changes are minimal and worth looking into.

"When it's all said and done, being over capacity impacts us more than being at capacity," she said.

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

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comment so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.