Continuing its commitment to “innovative problem solving,” Crane School District is proposing a rezoning of transportation and attendance boundaries for H.L. Suverkrup, Mesquite, Salida del Sol and Valley Horizon Elementary Schools.

Slated for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, the Country Meadows, Kachina Estates, El Pueblocito, Meadowbrook, Hettema Estates, Pfeiffer Estates, Sundance Village, Victoria Meadows and La Paloma Estates communities will transition from Salida del Sol to H.L. Suverkrup enrollment boundaries.

To present the proposal to the Crane community and gather feedback from impacted families, the district is hosting a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Valley Horizon cafeteria, located at 4501 W. 20th Street.

The proposal makes sense, Superintendent Laurie Doering said, because it offers a “smooth, more seamless” transition to the changes already set to take place in the upcoming year.

“Rancho Viejo and Salida del Sol are combining, which will be a lot of students for one school,” Doering said. “When Gowan leaves (Suverkrup) next year, Suverkrup will have an enormous amount of room. We wanted minimal disruption while still trying to not make one school super large and another school super small. It would just be a very big change to have almost 900 students at an elementary school.”

Another recommendation is to transition the Park West subdivision from Mesquite’s attendance boundaries to Valley Horizon’s.

The district organized these plans with the help of a “diverse, community-driven” transportation committee comprised of teachers, principals and parents who guided the proposal’s direction with families’ needs in mind.

“Children and parents sometimes have a hard time moving to another school,” Doering said. “They’re used to their own, and they have that community and sense of structure where they’re at. So we try to move students as little as possible, but we felt like there’s a real need for doing this for next year.”

Doering said the district is aware that some families may not feel comfortable switching schools – in these cases, there are still options.

“The key thing to remember is that if people do not want to go to the school they’ll be changing to, there’s always the opportunity to apply for open enrollment,” Doering said.

The deadline for open enrollment is Feb. 15. Applications are accessible online at craneschools.org/Enroll.aspx.

“What was nice, too, with the neighborhoods that were identified was seamless connection with transportation versus logistically transporting (students) even farther,” said Community Relations Coordinator Mario Hogue. “It’s actually more convenient, not only for parents but also bus transportation.”

According to the district, these plans were drawn with the future in mind.

“Our goal is to continue to increase enrollment, so this really allows our campuses to expand beyond two to three years – this really is a forward-thinking strategy,” Hogue said. “It’s really taking pressure off of Salida to allow them to grow more naturally.”

With the extra room that would be afforded by the boundary refiguring, Salida del Sol would be able to house a science lab or other programming spaces if students expressed interest.

“We think it’s a win-win and we just want to make sure that we put as much information out there as possible,” Doering said. “If people seem to be on board, our goal would be to bring this back to the Board for approval in February.”

More information can be accessed at craneschools.org and under “Events” on the Crane Facebook page, @craneschools. Maps outlining the proposed rezoning are available on the schools’ campuses.

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