Chico Unified to change boundary lines for some elementary schools

The district's pretty flexible about choosing the school you want to send your kids to, but the leeway's made for some imbalance.

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 5:50 PM

"We love neal Dow, we feel very luck that when we got district, we ended up here," said parent and grandmother Lorelei Alexandre.

Alexandre was not happy to hear about a plan in the works at Chico Unified - one that would change the boundary lines, re-zoning a lot of the neighborhoods set for Shasta Elementary to Neal Dow or Marigold instead.

"All of the sudden they just change it without warning, and you can't do a thing about it, and your property value also plummets," said Alexandre.

This comes as new homes are continuing to go up to the Northwest of town.

But there's a section of older homes that will be re-zoned - a problem for families who chose their house based on an expected school district.

"Here I am in a house I cannot move out of and we have these districts and you're stuck in a school whether you like it or not," said Alexandre.

No one will have to switch schools - this will only go for students who have not yet started in the district. And no school should outshine another.

"Neal Dow is also being renovated, so is Marigold and they'll be larger, modernized, beautiful schools when this takes place," said CUSD Director of Facilities and Construction Julie Kistle.

So, if you happen to have a child who's currently enrolled at New Dow elementary and the boundary changes, all future children in your family will still get to attend that school.

The district's pretty flexible about choosing the school you want to send your kids to, but the leeway's made for some imbalance.

"Parent choice is really important here in Chico ... We're working it out everywhere else in the district except for Shasta. There have been times in the last 3-4 yeas where 'Form-10's' into Shasta have not been approved because it has so many students there already," said Kistle.

Many parents, of course, say they have faith in the CUSD and are fine with whatever school they're assigned to.

"I think Chico overall is a small town but it's getting bigger ... I think we're going to see a lot more production and needing a lot more schools!" said Neal Dow parent Dean Moreland.

Chico Unified has a few ideas for where to set the boundaries, and they're asking parents and community members for input.

Meeting will be held: Tuesday Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Marigold, Jan. 31 at 2:30 p.m. in the library at Neal Dow and Tues. Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Shasta Elementary.

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