Boundary changes for Taft City School District elementary schools were approved Wednesday night, tweaking existing boundaries in an attempt to more evenly distribute the number of students at each school.

Boundary changes for Taft City School District elementary schools were approved Wednesday night, tweaking existing boundaries in an attempt to more evenly distribute the number of students at each school.

 

The Board of Trustees examined two proposals at its May 12 meeting, but those were altered after administrators and staff held meetings with parents at each school site – Conley, Jefferson, Parkview and Taft Primary.

 

Under the proposal adopted by a unanimous vote of the trustees, the numbers are more evenly distributed than with current.
Other factors considered included safe walking distances within one mile of each school site, minimizing the number of busy intersections that students must cross and allowing for two classrooms per grade level at each school.

 

“We’re trying to create a more stable set of boundaries to keep enrollments consistent,” said Greg Mudge, director of technical services for the district.

 

His slide presentation included maps showing existing and proposed boundaries along with enrollment projections.

 

Based on projected enrollments, Conley would see a decline from 246 to 228 students, Parkview would dip from 306 to 241, Taft Primary would increase from 202 to 222 and Jefferson’s enrollment would go from 170 to 212.

 

Children in Valley and Dustin Acres will be bused to Conley.

 

“This seems to have a negative impact on fewer people,” said trustee Keith McElmurry.

 

Three parents addressed the board with concerns based on the original proposals, but the plan adopted by the board resolved those issues.
Trustees also adopted without comment the first reading of a revised transportation policy that opens the door for changes in the distances from school required to provide bus service.

 

Supt. Ron Bryant said he will recommend that the distances be changed from three-fourths of a mile to one mile for K-3 students and one mile to a mile and a half for students in fourth through eighth grades.

 

This adjustment, coupled with the boundary change, will eliminate the need for one bus, which will be used to transport special education students to Bakersfield. 

 

At present, the County Superintendent of Schools office sends a bus to Taft and charges the district for that service.  Bryant said the district can save money by providing that service.