More than 80 parents, students and community members flooded the Chandler Unified School District’s governing board meeting Wednesday night armed with statistics, maps and letters of concern.
The Seville Master Planned community residents pleaded with school board members to make changes to the administration’s boundary recommendations for Riggs Elementary School, slated to open this fall.
The district recommended sending most of the community to the new school near Riggs and Recker roads. The main part of the community is located in one square-mile bounded by Chandler Heights to the north, Recker Road to the east, Higley Road to the west and Riggs Road to the south.
However an older part of the community is just north of that area and district officials say adding the extra squaremile could cause overcrowding at the school
Most of the students in that area attend Weinberg Elementary School.
Parent Charles Anthony said he and his family moved to the Seville community because of the dream that was sold to them: a self-contained area with a school at the heart of the community.
Now he said he is frustrated that his children would be separated from their friends who also live in the area and stressed that he wanted a “partnership” with the district.
“If the data comes back and the school would be overcrowded, we’re pretty smart people,” Anthony said.
The group presented a fourpage letter to board members asking them to consider their concerns, citing “... validation of numbers” as one reason the plan presented needed to be adjusted.
Ruth Truman, Shea Homes Limited Partnership director of special projects and land department attorney, presented additional maps to board members and more recent figures projectting the number of students that could reside in the area.
Associate Superintendent Jeanette Polvani said projections are based on data estimations from several months ago and agreed to take a look at the homebuilder’s more recent figures.
District officials will also create another map to include changes suggested by the group.
Board member Karen Clark said boundary changes are always challenging, but “as much as I want to make sure the Seville community is happy, our job here is to look out for the best interest of the district.”
Board members are scheduled to vote later this month on new school boundaries proposed for Riggs and Fulton elementary schools and two other yet-to-be-named schools slated to open for the 2008-09 school year.
At the urging of a parent, newly-elected board president Charlotte Patterson agreed to consider postponing the vote until early February, pending discussion with the district’s Superintendent Camille Casteel.