If the Moffat County School Board passes a proposed redistricting plan, there will be a number of upset parents driving in from west of town.
More than a dozen parents came to ask questions or to share thoughts and concerns about the plan to shift students from Ridgeview Elementary to the newly renovated Craig Elementary School during a parent advisory committee meeting Tuesday night at Ridgeview.
"It's completely asinine," said Lynnette Running, who has one student attending Ridgeview. "Most people who will have to move will drive by Ridgeview on their way into town. It doesn't make sense for someone coming in from Maybell to have to keep driving into town or to watch Ridgeview as they drive in."
Pete Bergmann, Moffat County School District superintendent, said the change would be difficult for a lot of families, but that the plan to redistrict was completely necessary.
"Change is difficult for everyone - parents, teachers, students," Bergmann said. "But it's important for us to recognize change when it's placed on the table. We had to choose the change that would produce the positive results for the students of Moffat County. We had to follow the route that was most conducive to the most happiness for the most people."
There were few options that the School District could have explored, Bergmann said. He said there is no room inside the school for expanding classes, unless modular units are added.
Bergmann said the plan to redistrict would move more than 300 students next year and that the best way for Ridgeview Elementary to move forward in one of the fastest growing regions of Craig is to have a shift in the lines.
"We had to take a long look at the changes and ask ourselves, 'What would be the best for the most students?' And the administrative team, the school board and the SAC decided that this would be the best option," he said.
Bergmann added that Ridgeview would have the most changes because of its size.
"Ridgeview is the smallest school in the district physically, and there is very little room for growth," the superintendent said. "There's one extra room, but if we wanted to expand the school, we'd need to put up modular classrooms outside.
"CES has the most room in the district, and we want to see CES become a three track school," he said. A three-track school has three sections of each grade.
Bergmann said that Sunset and East Elementary schools are "50-50 schools" because there are either two or three sections for each grade.
"We had to change the boundaries to balance the enrollment at the schools. Right now, Ridgeview is bursting at the seams," Bergmann said. "This way, we can manage to keep quality class sizes, but when we looked at our projected enrollments (for next year), we had to change the boundaries."
In February 2008, there were 234 students enrolled at Ridgeview, Bergmann said. A year later, the total had increased to 280 but "not even including the 20 or so kids we've picked up since Christmas," he added.
Parent Jeana Wamble, who would have one student attending Ridgeview next year, said that parents in the center of town should have to change because the commute is much shorter within the city limits.
She said that because she lives further outside of town, the drive to Ridgeview is only five minutes, but a change to CES would add another 10 minutes.
"(The redistricting plan is) totally illogical - it might be the best plan, but it's not logical," she said.
Running said that even with her child at Ridgeview, the bus ride still can take more than an hour. She said that the change in schools would add more time on a bus for her daughter.
"It's frustrating," she said. "She gets out of school at 3:25 p.m., and she doesn't actually get home until 4:20 to 4:30 p.m., assuming the road is in good condition."
Bergmann said that there could be a better way, but he hasn't found it yet.
"Something different could work, but at the end of the day, 330 people are going to a different school next year," he said.
The Moffat County School Board will make a decision regarding the redistricting lines during its March 26 meeting.