Board of Education set to vote on proposed high school boundary adjustments

Irvine’s newest comprehensive high school is on track to open in 2016, necessitating some adjustments to IUSD’s existing high school boundaries.

Those adjustments were the subject of in-depth discussions during Board of Education meetings in March and May, as well as four parent forums that presented information and solicited community feedback.

Now, following months of analysis, high school boundary changes are coming up for a vote, with board members scheduled to take action at their next regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 19. (To access the latest agenda, click here.)

IUSD's fifth comprehensive high school is expected to open in August 2016.It’s important to remember that boundary changes wouldn’t take effect until the opening of the fifth high school in August 2016, and most IUSD families won’t be impacted. But planning for the new campus is an extensive process that requires establishing a dedicated attendance area. At the same time, modest adjustments are occasionally needed to balance enrollment districtwide.

While no current high school students would be affected, altered boundary lines could impact some students entering kindergarten through grade seven in IUSD, as well as kindergarten-through-eighth-grade students living within the boundaries proposed for the new campus.

The latest boundary recommendation represents the work of the district’s Boundary Advisory Committee, which includes a principal, a teacher, a student and two parents from each of IUSD’s four comprehensive high schools, along with district staff. You may remember that an initial draft was presented to the board at its March 4 meeting, which was followed by a series of parent forums. A revised proposal was brought back for a board discussion on May 27. (You can read our recap of the last meeting here.)

Meanwhile, boundaries aren’t the only important consideration for the new school. There’s also the question of how to build enrollment.

The district could, for example, require all ninth- and tenth-graders living within the new campus’ attendance area to enroll; or it could start the school with just ninth-graders; or it could require ninth-graders to enroll but give tenth-graders a choice. Each of these options has pros and cons that will be carefully weighed by the board.

Tuesday’s meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the District Office, located at 5050 Barranca Parkway in Irvine. It will also be broadcast on channel 39 for local Cox Communications subscribers and via AT&T U-verse’s government and public television menu.