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Central Unified School Boundaries Will Change. Which Maps Did Trustees Choose?
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By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 4 weeks ago on
May 29, 2024

The Central Unified School Board approved Option F for the new high school attendance boundaries. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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After lengthy deliberations that included town hall meetings and an online survey, the Central Unified School Board voted 4-3 Tuesday night to adopt new attendance boundary maps for elementary, middle, and high schools.

The new boundaries will take effect with the 2025-26 school year.

The board’s split vote, with Board President Naindeep Singh Chann, Vice President Yesenia Carrillo, Clerk Nabil Kherfan, and Trustee Joshua Sellers voting in favor and Trustees Jeremy Mehling, Phillip Cervantes, and Richard Solis voting against, reflects how controversial boundary line changes can be for districts.

Central Unified’s need for realignment comes as the district prepares to open a new elementary school at Shields and Brawley avenues and as enrollment grows with the addition of new housing developments putting further strain on two of the district’s three high schools.

But the board’s choice of Option F on Tuesday raised the ire of some community members on social media. The people posting questioned why the board approved an option that had only been recently developed by a three-member board subcommittee and for which the community hadn’t had the opportunity to review and comment, as they did the other options.

A screenshot of a private Facebook group, Keeping Central Unified, that was shared with GV Wire displays an open letter to the School Board from one community member posted after Tuesday’s vote:

“Dear Central Unified Board of Trustees, Your lack of care and concern for our central families is appalling. You send out surveys and ask for our input only to blatantly disregard it. Not only did you rush into this decision without even being able to answer basic questions from the families you claim to serve, but you did it knowing full well that YOU, as a board, weren’t even satisfied with the maps presented. YOU should all be ashamed of yourselves! Today you failed our Central United (cq) students and families.”

Option A Had Widespread Community Support

Most of the public comments made at Tuesday’s meeting were in support of the Option A high school map and option 4 for the elementary schools.

Solis said the majority of people who had contacted him were in support of Option A, and he made a motion for the board to approve that option after a motion was already on the table to approve Option F.

He warned that no matter which map was selected, it would cause heartburn for some families.

“To be totally truthful to the community, there is no perfect map that I’ve seen,” he said. “Each map displays different concerns to the people that are using it, whether that’s elementary, middle school, or high school. So for you and the community that seem to think that you have the perfect map, let me warn you, there is no perfect map. So all you can do is pick a map that addresses the majority of your concerns.”

Singh, who served on the board subcommittee that approved the Option F map, said that it will go the furthest to solving some of the dilemmas facing the district: How to balance enrollments with the opening of the new elementary and among the three high schools, one of which had been designated a school of choice but which was not being chosen by enough students.

High School Enrollments

Enrollments at Central High, the school of choice, have been outpaced by those at Central East and Justin Garza high schools. Overcrowding at the nearly-new Garza High forced school officials to hire extra staff to provide security at lunchtime there.

The board is having to contend with decisions made by previous boards, Singh noted, including building two high schools less than 2½ miles apart.

The new boundaries will align middle and high school enrollments for the first time, which will enable students to start building relationships as middle schoolers and continue throughout high school, he said.

New Attendance Boundaries

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Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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