Maps with more detail

For more detailed maps that allow you to zoom in, see the attached documents below.

Parents had mixed responses to proposed changes to Bend-La Pine Schools’ geographic boundaries for its elementary schools Tuesday night, with some upset about their kids potentially being forced to leave their current schools for a new elementary in September.

“My kids are doing really well, and for consistency reasons, we’d like them to stay at the same school,” said Terra Duey, mother of twins in second grade at High Lakes Elementary. Her family lives in Awbrey Butte.

Three new potential boundary maps for the district’s elementary schools were unveiled on the district’s website at noon Tuesday in preparation for the new elementary opening in north-central Bend at the intersection of O.B. Riley and Cooley roads next fall. The district wants to balance enrollment for all schools.

Duey was one of many parents at the district’s Tuesday evening open house at Sky View Middle School, talking with the boundary committee members, who designed the three maps, and providing feedback.

The three maps differ slightly, but all of them show at least a decent portion of homes on Awbrey Butte moving from High Lakes Elementary near NorthWest Crossing to the new school, with two options showing the entire neighborhood moving.

Major changes will also be made at Lava Ridge, the other elementary school closest to the new school: All students north of Empire Avenue but west of the Bend Parkway would move from Lava Ridge, located near Juniper Ridge to the new school. A neighborhood that previously attended Ponderosa Elementary, located between Empire Avenue and Butler Market Road and mostly west of 18th Street, will either be rezoned to Lava Ridge or the new elementary.

Other elementary schools mostly had minor tweaks to their attendance area. No schools in La Pine or Sunriver were affected.

Duey wasn’t the only Awbrey Butte parent concerned about leaving High Lakes. Paige Willard, who said her children are in kindergarten at the northwest Bend school, said the new elementary is inconveniently located “in the middle of nowhere” and was concerned about her kids’ friend groups being broken up.

“They keep saying our whole neighborhood would move, but our neighborhood is the northwest quadrant of High Lakes,” she said. “Have you been to Awbrey Butte? The houses are like three houses away from each other. We’re not hanging out with our neighbors all the time; we’re hanging out with our friends from school.”

Kevin Caranna and his son, Rocco, were at the meeting as well. Although they live in Awbrey Butte and Rocco attends third grade at High Lakes, Kevin Caranna said, because it’s likely all of the neighborhood is moving, Rocco’s friends will move too, and “it’ll be easier.”

Assistant Superintendent Lora Nordquist said although she understood the concerns of parents, it made sense geographically to have at least some of the families that live in Awbrey Butte attend the new school.

“I love it that families and kids love their current schools, but if we want to balance enrollment and not build a new elementary school in five years, we’ve got to move kids to the new school,” she said.

Julie Linhares, mother of twins going into kindergarten next year, said she was expecting to have her kids attend the new elementary, as she lives off of O.B. Riley Road. She said she’s excited to have them eventually attend the new school and praised the boundary committee’s efforts.

People can comment on the boundary options either in person or through an online survey on the district website, which will be open from 4:30 p.m. Tuesday until 4:30 p.m. Dec. 10. This feedback will influence the committee’s final boundary map, district officials said.

The district’s second public meeting about the attendance area changes will be at Pacific Crest Middle School from 4:30 to 6:40 p.m. on Thursday.

The new school will open in September 2019 and hold 600 students. The attendance committee is expected to make its final boundary recommendations to Superintendent Shay Mikalson in January, and the new boundaries will go into effect at the start of the 2019-20 school year.

— Reporter: 541-617-7854, jhogan@bendbulletin.com

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