Alpine School Board members unanimously approved new elementary school boundaries in Vineyard and fast-growing Saratoga Springs during a meeting Feb. 23.
The new boundaries take effect once the new schools open next fall.
The goals of assigning these new school boundaries were “keeping students in a reasonable proximity of their school, keeping communities together, and stabilizing enrollment over time,” said Alpine School District assistant superintendent John Patton.
The Saratoga Springs boundary decision presented a challenge to members of the school board. The debate was how to change some of the school boundaries in the areas surrounding the intersection of Fairway Boulevard and Redwood Road in order to make room in the boundary map for Saratoga Springs Elementary.
“This one’s a tough one,” said board member Julie King. “It’s so much easier when we can just split a school in half. This one’s a hard one because it’s impacting four different schools: the new school, Saratoga Shores Elementary, Sage Hills Elementary and Springside Elementary.”
King said she believes the district will see a great deal of expansion in the coming years, and this new boundary will facilitate growth in the area.
“I think the Saratoga Shores projections are off,” King said. “I think that they’re going to grow a lot faster than what we’re predicting, so I have to bring Springside and Saratoga Shores down enough to allow them the ability to expand, not knowing when I’m going to be able to build another school in that area to offset that growth.”
Board member Amber Bonner said she hopes the community will have adequate time to adjust to these changes in the coming year.
“I think boundary changes are so hard,” Bonner said. “We love that all of our people love their schools, and I know how hard it is to have kids moved to another school. My hope is that this current boundary proposal is not going to change for hopefully a while for some of these schools.”
The board set the boundary for the new elementary school in Vineyard north of Center Street and south of 1600 North.
“The community is largely in favor of this. As you look at the boundary line running across Center Street, it is just a very good natural geographic boundary. It splits the distance between the two schools nearly evenly and allows both schools to grow which there is significant planned development in both areas,” Patton said.