MODESTO -- Parents worried their children will not be able to go to Enochs High in coming years peppered Modesto City Schools administrators with pointed questions at the first of two public meetings on proposed boundary changes.
Tuesday night's meeting was held at Enochs. Tonight, a similar meeting will be held at Beyer High.
Several of the roughly 40 people gathered for the meeting said they had bought homes specifically to be in the Enochs area. "I just bought a house in this district eight months ago so my kids could go to Enochs, and now you're telling me my son's going to Enochs and my daughter's going to Beyer?" demanded a man who did not give his name.
Siblings, however, will be able to stay together, said Becky Meredith, director of planning and facilities support.
Karen Bartolozzi has lived in her house for 25 years but could lose the Enochs label. Her daughter's father lives in solidly Enochs turf, so a change of address to an equal-
custody parent will save her a spot, "but it doesn't solve the problem for all of her friends," Bartolozzi said.
A problem for Richelle Alva is what she sees as economic injustice. "Those are low-income apartments" in the area being moved, she said. A single mom in college, Alva said she pays $829 a month for a two-bedroom apartment in the Enochs area. To be in the revised boundaries would cost her more,she said, citing a one-bedroom unit she found for $1,299 a month.
Enochs High has 2,500 students, while other schools have far fewer, such as Davis High at 1,300. The shifts as proposed would affect about 300 students out of 15,000 in the district, Meredith said. None of the proposals are final until the Modesto City Schools board votes at its Feb. 4 meeting.
Meredith said the district will work to see that as many students as possible go to their school of choice. Because students in the area taxed to build Enochs must get priority, she said, "We didn't have a lot of options."
There are several ways parents can switch between schools, she said.
Continuing students: Those already attending a school will not be moved. Students starting in the years an older sibling attends a high school can go there as well.
Open enrollment: Johan-sen, Downey, Davis and Beyer accepted students from anywhere in the district until Dec. 1. That option will be extended for families in the affected areas.
Program choices: Each high school offers unique career-focused classes that students can apply to attend. Administrator Mike Coats recommended requests be in by spring break.
Federal sanctions: Because Davis and Johansen missed No Child Left Behind targets, parents must be given a choice of schools doing better. For this year, Davis and Johansen students were able to go to Beyer or Enochs. Coats recommended those requests be made soon as well.
A second meeting on the proposed boundary changes will be at 6 tonight in the Beyer High School cafeteria, 1717 Sylvan Ave.
On the Net: http://mcs.monet.k12.ca.us.
Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2339.