IDAHO FALLS — Bonneville School District trustees adopted new elementary school boundaries during a special board meeting Wednesday night.
The board quickly and unanimously approved relocating students in the Fallsbrook Mobile Home Court and near Ammon Road and First Street from Iona to Tiebreaker Elementary School.
In addition, the board more hesitantly settled on “Option 2B,” a separate plan to relocate Woodland Hills Elementary School students west of Ammon Road to Ammon Elementary School and Ammon students north of 25th Street to Hillview Elementary School.
Click here for maps and a more detailed description of the changes.
Trustees and school leaders were split between Option 2B and a competing proposal, “Option 2A,” which would have relocated Woodland Hills Elementary School students west of Ammon Road to Hillview Elementary School.
Board chairmen Paul Jenkins, trustee Scott Lynch and assistant superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme each expressed support for Option 2A Wednesday.
Jenkins said Option 2B disrupts over 130 more families by requiring students at two separate schools to relocate. A higher proportion of poorer families affected by Option 2B also lacked the means to voice their concerns during recent board meetings and a series of public meetings devoted to the changes, Jenkins said.
These families should “have just as much right to stay in the school they are attending as anyone else,” Jenkins added.
Trustee Amy Landers acknowledged that Option 2B immediately relocates more students, but called it a more “stable” move that she believes will stave off further changes for longer.
Landers also cited past complaints from parents that Option 2B hampers the district’s efforts to establish more contiguous bounders. Two existing neighborhood “islands” already exist in Hillview’s current boundaries. Option 2A would create a third.
In the end, Jenkins and Lynch voted against Option 2B. Trustees Greg Calder and Chad Dance joined Landers in supporting it.
The changes will go into affect next school year.
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.