Bonneville braces for elementary school boundary changes

IDAHO FALLS — Bonneville School District trustees are mulling three elementary school boundary change proposals, and could make an official decision next week.

For weeks, the district has gathered patron feedback via public meetings and a survey, and drafted three proposals for trustees to consider at their next meeting Wednesday.

The first proposal would relocate students in the Fallsbrook Mobile Home Court and near Ammon Road and First Street from Iona to Tiebreaker Elementary School.

Trustees could also settle on one of two other “competing” options to free up space:

  • Option “2A”: Relocate Woodland Hills Elementary School students west of Ammon Road to Hillview Elementary School.
  • Option “2B”: Relocate Woodland Hills students west of Ammon Road to Ammon Elementary School and Ammon students north of 25th Street to Hillview.

(Click here for maps and a more detailed description of the proposals.)

The district heard from a number of parents during a meeting at Sandcreek Middle School Tuesday. Opinions varied, but several attendees supported Option 2B, which would relocate Woodland Hills and Ammon elementary school students.

These parents cited two existing neighborhood “islands” in Hillview’s current boundaries. Option 2A would create a third.

“Anyone think Hillview is getting the short end of the stick?” parent Kamari Bruce Hearne wrote on the district’s Facebook page during the meeting. “Three different neighborhoods to that one school!”

After the meeting, Bonneville assistant superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme said parent emails and survey results largely reflect the same concern. Yet Woolstenhulme backs Option 2A because he believes it would stave off future boundary changes for longer.

Much of the district’s growth is occurring near Ammon Elementary, Woolstehnulme said. Option 2A would leave more room for growth at Ammon because it wouldn’t relocate Hillview students into Ammon.

“(Option 2A) buys us more time,” Woolstenhulme said.

The district had debated building both a new middle school and a $25 million elementary school to curb K-8 overcrowding. But citing legal concerns, and a fear of splitting voter support, trustees opted solely for the middle school measure, which passed in March.

Trustees could also leave boundaries as they are, Woolstenhulme said. However, this would leave Woodland Hills and Iona elementary schools over capacity — even with additional modular units.

“I’m certain there will be some type of vote (on May 9),” Woolstenhulme said.

Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

Devin was formerly a senior reporter and editor for Idaho Education News and now works for INL in communications.

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