Possible boundary changes in Jordan School District leave parents concerned

Posted at 9:42 PM, Dec 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-30 23:48:15-05

SOUTH JORDAN -- Parents called it musical chairs. They're upset over a proposed plan to bus their kids to other schools in the Jordan School District to deal with overcrowding.

A nearly $500 million bond to build new schools in the district failed in November.  District officials say after years of growth, some of these schools don't have room for all the students.

"The bottom line is we're trying to shift some of the burden of overcrowding from schools that are extremely overcrowded to schools that have some room left in them," said Sandy Riesgraf, director of communications with the Jordan School District.

Riesgraf said, in all, 15 schools are affected. A dozen of them are elementary schools such as Bluffdale, Butterfield Canyon and Daybreak. A couple middle schools are also affected.

The schools have been divided into northern and southern sections based on city lines. Each section has been given a few options but at a community meeting with roughly 100 parents, it was clear, many parents didn’t like the options on the table.

In some cases, parents can choose what school their child is bussed too.  Others say they don't have that option.

"The district gave our area four options -- and in all four options, our neighborhood, the Vista West neighborhood, is being sent to Terra Linda. They haven't given us any choice," said Jamie Larsen, one of several concerned parents.

"We just feel like these have been thrown at us and we've been given no choice so that's our main objective."

Parents say their children’s' education will be disrupted and they won't be able to attend the middle school they want to. Some feel the district is trying to rush a plan through that parents only heard about a couple weeks before Christmas.

"We'd really like to collaborate with the district instead of trying to push this agenda through as quickly as they're trying to do it and potentially not making the best decision for our children," said parent Travis Johnson.

"These are just proposals right now,” Riesgraf said. “We're ready and willing to hear any and all options that people have that they think might be viable for us."

Riesgraf stresses that these are simply proposals and there will time for debate.

The district is hosting a few open houses in January, plus the school board is asking for feedback through an online survey.  The school board may vote on the proposals at the end of January.

Provide feedback for proposed boundary changes for elementary schools here.

Provide feedback for proposed boundary changes for middle schools here.

If approved, the changes would impact the 2014-15 school year.  Some parents are preparing alternative options and hope the school district will put the matter on hold for a year to allow for more community input.