Gilbert Public Schools considers boundary changes for next school year

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Gilbert Public Schools is inviting the community to three public meetings in the coming days to comment on proposed boundary changes for the district’s schools.

The changes, if adopted, would start in the 2019-20 school year, the district’s Marketing and Communications Director Dawn Antestenis said in an email.

“The goal is to ensure the district can continue to give all of our students and families a superior education while maximizing the use of our school buildings,” Antestenis said in the email.

The three meetings are scheduled at 6 p.m. for these dates and sites:

• Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Greenfield Junior High;
• Thursday, Dec. 6 at Highland Junior High; and
• Monday, Dec. 10 at Mesquite Junior High.

Each meeting will have discussion on changes that will impact nearby schools. The changes each meeting will be focused on include:

At Greenfield:

• Moving Val Vista Lakes Elementary from Highland Junior High and Highland High to Greenfield Junior High and Gilbert High;

• Moving the Pioneer Elementary area between Baseline Rd and the US 60 (Superstition Freeway) from Mesquite Junior High and Highland High to Greenfield Junior High and Gilbert High;

• Moving the Mesquite Elementary boundaries west of Lindsay Road from Mesquite Junior High to Greenfield Junior High; and

• Moving the Liv Northgate apartments and the new Morrison Ranch developments of Lakeview Trails Southwest and Lakeview Trails Southeast from Greenfield Elementary to Finley Farms Elementary.

At Highland:

• Moving Superstition Springs and the Boulder Creek Elementary area between Power Road and Sossaman Road from Desert Ridge High to Highland High;

• Moving the Boulder Creek Elementary area between Power Road and Sossaman Road from Desert Ridge Junior High to Highland Junior High;

• Moving the Highland Park Elementary area of the Highland Groves neighborhood from Greenfield Junior High to Highland Junior High; and

• Moving the new Eastmark area north of Warner Road from Canyon Rim Elementary to Meridian Elementary.

At Mesquite:

• Moving the Settler’s Point Elementary boundaries from South Valley Junior High to Mesquite Junior High;

• Moving the square mile Settler’s Point Elementary physically sits in from Campo Verde High to Mesquite High. All of Settler’s Point Elementary boundaries would then feed into Mesquite High instead of the current split between Mesquite High and Campo Verde High.

The district has provided maps of the proposed changes here.

Families who wish to continue sending their students to schools under the old boundary may continue to do so and receive transportation from the district for the 2019-20 school year. However, beginning with 2020-21 such families would have to provide their own transportation.

The district began considering making changes in 2016, when it formed an enrollment management planning committee, which was tasked with reviewing and addressing factors that influence GPS enrollment, Antestenis said.

Boundary changes were identified as a factor that could positively influence enrollment, she said. A consultant then was employed to review different options, resulting in the proposed changes.

For community members who cannot attend a meeting, they can provide feedback online at www.gilbertschools.net/news/new_boundaries.

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Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.
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