Las Vegas Sun

November 23, 2017

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Zoning options OK’d, move to School Board for approval

Students living in Madeira Canyon and Anthem Highlands will be moved from Coronado High School to Liberty High School next year, but some may have the option to remain if a number of students zoned for Coronado choose to leave and the School Board approves the recommendation.

The Attendance Zone Advisory Commission voted Thursday to recommend the change to Coronado's attendance boundaries to ease crowding at the school, which is 17 percent over capacity. The board also is trying to fill seats at Liberty, which is 29 percent under capacity.

The commission agreed, however, that students zoned for Coronado could attend Liberty if they choose, and the seats they free up at Coronado could be used by Madeira Canyon and Anthem Highlands students who wish to remain at Coronado.

Transportation would not be provided for any of the students, and the option would have to be taken for the remainder of the student's high school career, the commission decided.

That was one of several rezoning recommendations the commission settled on for schools throughout Clark County. The recommendations for elementary schools will be considered by the School Board on Feb. 24 and for secondary schools on March 3.

Coronado parents had asked to allow all current freshmen and sophomores to stay at their school through their senior year despite rezoning — an option called phasing. The School Board decided Jan. 22 that the option, which may be tried at the middle school level next year, needed to be studied further for high schools.

Current juniors are already allowed to stay for their senior year.

The alternative offered by the commission would limit the number of Madeira Canyon and Anthem Highlands students who can stay at Coronado to the number of students zoned for Coronado who choose to move to Liberty.

Some students may choose to go to Liberty to attend a less-crowded school or to play on the varsity sports teams, Zoning and Demographics Department Director Sharon Dattoli said. If students attend a different school through a zone variance, they are not allowed to play on any varsity team for the first year.

Several Coronado parents have expressed a desire to move their children to Liberty, but have not been given the opportunity, Dattoli said.

Liberty is 750 students below its capacity. This move would bring Liberty's population up by about 200 students.

It's not the 300 students the commission was originally aiming for, but, "It's a start," Chairwoman Becky Nielson said.

If the demand for Coronado seats is too great, the demographics and zoning department would need to hold a lottery, giving preference to students who have been at the school longer and who are more involved in sports and academic activities, commission members said.

Four parents showed up at the meeting, two to speak against the choice and two, a husband and wife, to praise the commission members for the work they have done.

"I really do think you guys are setting the foundation for smoother waters ahead," Steve Saladino, a Coronado parent and Madeira Canyon resident, said.

Saladino's daughter, a freshman at Coronado, has been highly involved in activities at the school, and at least one member of the Saladino family has been at every meeting to speak on her behalf.

Another parent, Gib Dawson, has also been at nearly all of the zoning meetings. He does not have any children at Coronado now, but was hoping his eighth grade son would be able to attend next year. The boy plays lacrosse and would not have the opportunity to do so at Liberty, Dawson said.

"There is a serious disconnect between your stated purpose and the end result," Dawson said, noting neither school would be within 200 students over or under capacity after the rezoning takes place.

A similar option was approved for Palo Verde and Bonanza high schools. Palo Verde is 14 percent over capacity and Bonanza is 9 percent under.

Current freshmen and sophomores being rezoned to Bonanza would have the option to stay at Palo Verde as long as enough students zoned for Palo Verde choose to go to Bonanza.

Based on e-mails and phone calls received, Dattoli expects several students will take advantage of an opportunity to move to Bonanza.

Frances Vanderploeg can be reached at 990-2660 or [email protected].

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