December 9, 2004
Every junior high school in the Chandler Unified School District will have new attendance boundaries next year after the governing board voted Wednesday to make room for the district’s fifth junior high school.
Payne Junior High, named for retired Chandler educators Willie and Coy Payne, will open in July near Higley and Riggs roads with about 500 to 600 seventh- and eighthgraders who otherwise would have attended Santan K-8 Campus.
Meanwhile, about 100 students from Willis Junior High School will move to Andersen Junior High School, and about 125 students from Santan K-8 will move to Bogle Junior High School.
All current seventh-graders affected by the boundary changes may choose to finish junior high school where they are now or move to their new campus for eighth grade. The district will provide transportation for these students to either school.
Although boundary changes often stir strong emotions from the public, the unanimous vote came with few parents or students in the audience and no requests for open discussion.
District spokesman Terry Locke said the Chandler district is used to growth and is well practiced at opening new schools. He said public meetings that the district launched several weeks ago kept parents informed throughout the process and contributed to the quiet vote Wednesday.
"We have a process where you can come give your input," Locke said. "There’s just public engagement from the very first step."
As development continues in south Chandler and Gilbert, the new junior high will serve about 1,000 students.