Central Unified School District is hoping to open the doors of the new Justin Garza High School to students next August, barring any pandemical restrictions.
But what part of the district will those students come from? That’s the question trustees will be pondering at tonight’s school board meeting, when they take their first look at three options for drawing attendance boundary maps for Garza High and Central East High.
As any school official and parent knows, school boundary lines are mighty important decisions, so the trustees will be considering a range of factors, including current demographics.
A staff report says 4,254 students attended Central East and Central West last year, and 2,488 new housing units are expected to be built in the district in the next six years, resulting in an increase of 355 to 365 high schoolers over the period.
District spokeswoman Sonja Dosti said Tuesday that Garza High is expected to open with ninth and 10th graders who would be joined by incoming classes in subsequent years.
Town Hall Meetings On Tap
The boundary line vote will come at the Oct. 27 board meeting after the district conducts town hall meetings in October to seek community input on where the lines should be drawn.
The staff recommendations take into account a number of factors, including school enrollment data, demographics, student safety, municipal boundaries, and community and neighborhood identity.
All three options would put most of the western and northern portions of Central Unified in the Garza boundary area. The school, now under construction at Grantland and Ashlan avenues, is in the northern part of the district.
Under Option 1, the Garza area would wrap around the Central East area like a giant letter C, including southern portions of the district as well as northern and western neighborhoods. The district estimates that Garza’s enrollment would be 1,807 and Central East’s would be 2,341 under this option.
Central West would be converted to a school of choice with a strong agriculture program, Dosti said.
Option 2 would extend the Central East attendance boundary southward to the southern edge of the district, shifting the enrollments to 2,008 at Garza and 2,139 at Central East.
Under Option 3, a chunk of the northeast portion of the district east of Highway 99 would be in the Central East attendance area, with 2,151 students at Garza and 1,996 at Central East.
Each option identifies the elementary schools and the portions or entire middle schools that would feed into the two high schools.
Central Unified’s High School Attendance Boundary Options