West Ada School Board unanimously votes to approve school boundary changes

Posted at 8:17 PM, Jan 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-17 00:27:04-05

The West Ada School District Board of Trustees unanimously passed a motion to change school boundaries for existing elementary and middle schools Tuesday night. The decision comes after months of discussion and public meetings.

With the addition of Star Middle School in the Fall of 2018, district leaders were forced to draw boundaries for the new school, ultimately impacting existing boundaries.

Estimated enrollment numbers for the new Star Middle School are around 583 students in 2018, growing to 904 students by 2022, with a capacity of 1,000.

Several elementary and middle schools in West Ada currently surpass max capacity.

The Board of Trustees took many factors into consideration after receiving public feedback, including maintaining neighborhood continuity, the safety of students and distance to and from school.

At the meeting, members of the public expressed support and disapproval of the proposed boundary changes. A majority of those speaking out against the changes are parents and students involved in the existing Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program that currently keeps deaf and hard of hearing students with their peers as they move from Ponderosa Elementary to Sawtooth Middle to Rocky Mountain High.

The proposed changes will ultimately force some deaf and hard of hearing elementary students from Ponderosa to now attend a middle school different from their existing friends and peers.

After the Board passed the motion to change the boundaries, the Trustees expressed commitment to ease the burden of impacted students and encouraged members of the community to come forward with ideas on how to make this a smooth transition for all students.