Re-1 school boundary changes could affect 96 elementary students |

Re-1 school boundary changes could affect 96 elementary students

If you have kids and live west of the Roaring Fork River or south of 22nd Street in Glenwood Springs, changes are afoot. Boundary changes, that is. Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Fred Wall detailed the proposed boundary changes between Glenwood Springs and Sopris elementary schools Monday night at the GSES Literacy Night. Wall said the changes are necessary to balance student populations at both schools, plan for housing growth at Glenwood Meadows and in southern Glenwood, and to take advantage of new classrooms now under construction at Sopris Elementary.The district also didn’t want to split families between two elementary schools with the boundary changes, so officials decided to allow siblings of current fourth-graders to attend until they finish their education there. For example, Wall said, if a family will have a fifth-grader at GSES next school year and has a sibling who will be a kindergartner there next year, both will be able to continue at GSES until they finish their education there. Only when a family has no children at the school will the next child in line be asked to begin his education at Sopris Elementary. In other words, no student currently attending GSES and his or her siblings will be affected by the boundary change, except that they will not be able to ride a bus to school after next school year. Wall said busing from the affected areas to GSES will end after next school year and students in those areas will only be able to take buses to Sopris Elementary. Another reason for the change was the unexpected extra 100 students that showed up at GSES this year, said Sopris Elementary Principal Howard Jay. The changes must be approved by the RFSD school board before they take effect. While change may sound scary, said GSES Principal Sonya Hemmen, parents are welcome to visit the school to ask questions and see maps of the affected areas. Approximately 96 children will be affected by the change, Wall said. The area currently in the GSES district that will change to the Sopris Elementary district includes:• All streets west of the Roaring Fork River and adjacent to Midland Avenue from Overlin Drive south to Hager Lane – including the Red Mountain subdivision. • All streets east of Grand Avenue and Glen Avenue from 22nd Street south to the Roaring Fork Marketplace, excluding Blake and Bennett avenues to their intersections with 23rd Street, but including Crestwood Drive north of 23rd Street. • The Oakhurst townhouses, the Morgan Mobile Home Park and the Terrace Apartments. Though there are safety concerns with students walking from the Red Mountain subdivision to GSES, they can still walk there after the change, but will not be able to take a bus after next school year, Wall said. Those students will be able to ride the bus to Sopris Elementary. The boundary changes won’t affect class sizes at Sopris Elementary, he said, adding that the district is trying hard to keep the cultural and economic profile of each school balanced. As to future housing at Glenwood Meadows, RFSD Transportation Director Larry Estrada said district officials haven’t decided where the kids living there would attend school, but that decision may not have to be made until the development gets under way, perhaps several years from now. Parents in the affected areas were sent a letter on Friday notifying them of the potential changes. Wall said he has yet received little feedback from parents. Parents are invited to a public open house about the boundary changes at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Sopris Elementary School.

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