Original URL: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/mesa/articles/1204boundary04Z11.html
Stapley students may head to Kino
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 4, 2003
Almost 200 Stapley Junior High School students will likely be
moved to Kino Junior High, despite protests from their parents and a divided
school boundary committee that expressed concerns of routing children to a
school where they "aren't wanted."
"It concerns me to send students to a school if they're not going to be welcome
there," said Lynette Richter, chairwoman of Mesa Unified's Planning and Boundary
Design Advisory Committee.
"Frankly, Kino would be getting some great kids," she added, addressing concerns
that the move would shift more minorities and less-affluent students from
Stapley to Kino.
The 10-member committee voted 6-4 Tuesday to recommend shifting the students
over the next three years. At least one committee member, Karen Stapley, whose
daughter attends Kino, said she would object to the governing board, which will
decide on the changes Dec. 16.
"I'll personally express my concerns to (governing board) President Suzanne
Davis," Stapley said, "because my child goes to Kino, and I don't think this
school can take all these additional students."
Under the proposal, 192 students would eventually be moved from Stapley to Kino.
Rerouted students include those from sections south of Thomas Road, north of
McKellips Road, west of Stapley Drive and east of Country Club Drive.
The committee also recommended granting preferred open enrollment status to 21
kids in the area bounded by McDowell on the north, Gilbert Road on the east,
Lehi Road on the south and Stapley on the west to avoid splitting up Lehi
Kino parent David Brake said he was disappointed with the board's decision.
Brake conducted a PowerPoint presentation comparing the schools' enrollment
numbers, demographics, student projections and square footage to build a case
against moving the students starting in 2004-05.
"Kino is a school that embraces diversity, which is why my children go there,"
he said. "So this isn't about ethnicity or socioeconomic bias. This is about a
smaller school that will be stretched to the max."
Unlike their junior high school counterparts, the parents of children attending
Las Sendas Elementary School were celebrating by the end of the three-hour
The committee had revised its initial plans to move about 120 kids from the Las
Sendas campus off North Red Mountain to Falcon Hill Elementary south of
Las Sendas students affected by the plans live in sections south of McDowell,
north of McKellips, east of Power Road and west of Hawes Road. The board will
also consider grandfathering in about 40 students from the triangular patch west
of the CAP Canal and east of Power Road.
After parental feedback from last month's boundary change meeting, the committee
amended its initial proposal to avoid forcing the students - most from the
Estates of Desert Shadows community - to cross the proposed extension of Loop
202 by the canal.
To accommodate the students, a special-education program and classes for English
Language Learners will be moved, extended-day kindergarten will be eliminated
and no new open enrollment will be granted at Las Sendas.
"We're thrilled that our kids will be allowed to stay," parent Kelly Colonero
said. "But the district should've done the freeway research before we
experienced all these sleepless nights."