Possible boundary changes in Jordan School District leave parents concerned

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SOUTH JORDAN -- Parents called it musical chairs. They're upset over a proposed plan to bus their kids to other schools in the Jordan School District to deal with overcrowding.

A nearly $500 million bond to build new schools in the district failed in November.  District officials say after years of growth, some of these schools don't have room for all the students.

"The bottom line is we're trying to shift some of the burden of overcrowding from schools that are extremely overcrowded to schools that have some room left in them," said Sandy Riesgraf, director of communications with the Jordan School District.

Riesgraf said, in all, 15 schools are affected. A dozen of them are elementary schools such as Bluffdale, Butterfield Canyon and Daybreak. A couple middle schools are also affected.

The schools have been divided into northern and southern sections based on city lines. Each section has been given a few options but at a community meeting with roughly 100 parents, it was clear, many parents didn’t like the options on the table.

In some cases, parents can choose what school their child is bussed too.  Others say they don't have that option.

"The district gave our area four options -- and in all four options, our neighborhood, the Vista West neighborhood, is being sent to Terra Linda. They haven't given us any choice," said Jamie Larsen, one of several concerned parents.

"We just feel like these have been thrown at us and we've been given no choice so that's our main objective."

Parents say their children’s' education will be disrupted and they won't be able to attend the middle school they want to. Some feel the district is trying to rush a plan through that parents only heard about a couple weeks before Christmas.

"We'd really like to collaborate with the district instead of trying to push this agenda through as quickly as they're trying to do it and potentially not making the best decision for our children," said parent Travis Johnson.

"These are just proposals right now,” Riesgraf said. “We're ready and willing to hear any and all options that people have that they think might be viable for us."

Riesgraf stresses that these are simply proposals and there will time for debate.

The district is hosting a few open houses in January, plus the school board is asking for feedback through an online survey.  The school board may vote on the proposals at the end of January.

Provide feedback for proposed boundary changes for elementary schools here.

Provide feedback for proposed boundary changes for middle schools here.

If approved, the changes would impact the 2014-15 school year.  Some parents are preparing alternative options and hope the school district will put the matter on hold for a year to allow for more community input.

2 comments

  • logic

    I can’t believe fox ran this story. They are as bad as ABC 4.
    Praise for Jordan School District Boundary Changes
    Jordan School district recently lost the vote for a half BILLION dollar bond. That hurt but they are working with it. They see the openings they have in some schools, and they realize it is more practical to move students than to go around collecting hundreds of dollars from every family. They are looking at year-round school, which may be a difficult change for some, but is a logical solution. I have spoken with many parents and teachers who resisted the system at first but ended up being great fans of year-round schooling.
    Unfortunately, a few noisy parents are causing problems for the district that may force the bond to be brought up again. Recently ABC 4, and now channel 13 did a story on these parents. I would like to address the story point by point:
    People say the new school is outside of their neighborhood. That is silly because their current school is in ANOTHER CITY. How is that considered in their neighborhood? Currently students cross 9800 south, where a jogger was killed just over a year ago, twice; once to get on the south side of the road where the sky bridge is, and then again to get back on the north side where the school is.
    Sandy Riesgraf, tells of students being bussed way north. EVERY parent involved in the story had their children being moved to a school .2 miles further than their current school. Both schools are less than 2 miles from their homes. Students being moved to the West Jordan school are already living in West Jordan; they currently attend school in South Jordan.
    They talk of neighbors not going to the same school as each other. This is because they live on the boundary line. Every home on every boundary line goes to a different school than their neighbors. This is not an arbitrary line, the cities used it as a logical dividing line as do other organizathions.
    Moving north .2 miles is not significant. ABC and FOX may have had a story had they interviewed parents whose children were moving from farther schools but ALL of these parents came from ONE school; the school where the kids are being moved an additional .2 miles.
    The district wants people upset. They want us to be all disappointed that we voted down their exorbitant bond so that they can bring it up again and West Jordan parents are playing right into their hands with the help of ABC.

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