District offers youngsters open enrollment - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

District offers youngsters open enrollment

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Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 5:49 am | Updated: 7:10 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Chandler Unified School District is trying to offer a group of families a compromise that would allow them to apply for enrollment at Riggs Elementary School in the fall.

But the parents say the offer isn’t good enough because it doesn’t guarantee their children or new residents moving into the area a permanent spot at the new school.

District officials came up with the compromise after about 80 parents and residents who live in the northern part of the Seville master-planned community protested the district’s boundary recommendations, which used Chandler Heights Road as the northern dividing line, cutting through the subdivision.

The parents contend they should be included in the boundaries with the rest of the residents because the school is located in their community.

About 180 students live in the area where the group resides and growth is still expected, said district spokesman Terry Locke. “It’s a heavily populated area,” he said.

District officials aren’t making any promises about how long families will be able to remain at the school, though they will have open enrollment priority.

“We can’t guarantee anything because we don’t know what the future’s going to bring,” Locke said.

Locke said the district felt comfortable with the compromise because buildout in the Seville community is not expected for at least another six years. In that time, the district plans to open four or five new elementary schools in the immediate area.

If included with the proposed boundaries, the district would likely have to return to the board in about a year to have boundaries redrawn because of the new schools planned for the area, Locke said.

School board members will vote on proposed elementary school boundaries Wednesday night and if the district’s recommendation is accepted, parents in the area would receive top priority if they applied for open enrollment by March 10, Locke said. This is the first time the district has offered top priority for open enrollment to anyone. Open enrollment is done on a space-available basis after children who live within the drawn boundaries are enrolled.

Parent Jeff Miller said he’s still holding out hope that the residents will be included in the school’s final boundaries.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed. I’m not a quitter,” Miller said. “I’m not happy with the proposal that’s suggested, but I’m hopeful the board members will see through what the administration is recommending and do the right thing.”

Chandler Unified School District meeting

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: District office, 1525 W. Frye Road

Topic: Board members will vote on proposed elementary school boundaries

Information: ww2.chandler.k12.az or (480) 812-7000

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