1,700 Mesa students to change schools under district proposal - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

1,700 Mesa students to change schools under district proposal

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Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 1:06 pm | Updated: 6:03 am, Wed Dec 7, 2011.

Nearly 1,700 students will be shifted around Mesa's junior high schools under a proposal being presented next week to the district's governing board.

Earlier this fall, the Mesa Unified School District voted to close Brimhall and Mesa junior high schools as neighborhood campuses to address shrinking enrollment and budget issues in the district.

Brimhall will become home to students currently attending two Franklin back-to-basics elementary campuses, Franklin Northeast and Franklin South, as well as Franklin Junior High. Most of the buildings at Mesa Junior High will be demolished. The city may find another use for the campus in the future.

With those closures for next fall, the district's boundary committee held public hearings to present proposed changes.

Students currently in the Mesa Junior boundaries would attend either Rhodes, Kino, Stapley, Poston or Taylor junior highs, depending on where they live.

Students currently in the Brimhall boundaries would attend either Taylor or Fremont junior highs. There are about 660 students now at Brimhall and 690 at Mesa Junior High.

But the changes go beyond shifting students from those two campuses.

Some families at Stevenson Elementary School have asked to be switched into the Smith Junior High School boundaries, a proposal that will also be considered by the governing board next week. Those students currently would attend Fremont Junior High.

About 100 students would be shifted from current Kino Junior High boundaries to either Poston or Stapley junior highs. And, 94 would be moved from Rhodes Junior High to Carson Junior High.

"There is a little bit of a domino effect because of moving the population," said district spokeswoman Helen Hollands. "We know in several instances ... a few of those students are already under boundary exception to go to the new junior high school."

In other words, the students now attend the school they would be shifted to next year.

Only the boundaries of Shepherd Junior High and Summit Academy, an International Baccalaureate campus, are not addressed in the proposal. Mesa's Franklin schools operate under an open enrollment policy which allows students from anywhere to submit an application to attend. They do not have set attendance areas.

There were about a dozen community members at last week's public hearing at Brimhall Junior High. Another public hearing was scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday night at Mesa Junior High.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6549 or mreese@evtrib.com


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