School board approves boundary change between Washington, Coral Canyon elementary schools

Washington County School District office in St. George, Utah, on July 25, 2019 | Photo by Ryann Richardson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Washington County School Board approved a boundary change between Washington Elementary School and Coral Canyon Elementary School at their Tuesday meeting.

This map illustrates the proposed boundary change between Coral Canyon Elementary and Washington Elementary schools, location and date unspecified | Image courtesy of the Washington County School District, St. George News

The vote comes a month after it was tabled at a previous school board meeting and after months of discussion, as previously reported by St. George News. 

The change will affect 80 children and their families who live in between Washington Elementary and Coral Canyon Elementary, specifically in the Pine Valley Townhomes. The change will not be put into effect until the first of next year; and at that time, the school district will hold an open house for parents to learn about the change and the two schools, Rex Wilkey, assistant superintendent for elementary education, told St. George News. Parents will also be able to petition the school to continue sending their children to the same school if they like. 

The change was recommended because Coral Canyon Elementary currently has too many students within its boundary and Washington Elementary doesn’t have enough, Wilkey said. The boundary change will more evenly distribute the students to schools. Students who live in the Pine Valley Townhomes and currently attend Coral Canyon Elementary will be moved to Washington Elementary. 

“This proposal is the only way we can bus all the kids,” board member Craig Seegmiller said during the meeting. “We’re trying to make sure these kids can get bussed and not have to walk.”

The school board held a public hearing for community input on the boundary change, but no members of the public came forward to address the board on the issue. However, six community members addressed the board about boundary changes in Central, Pine Valley and Enterprise. Boundary changes in that area have not been proposed by the board and the board has no plans to address such proposals at this time, Kelly Blake, board president, said at the meeting. 

Washington County member Craig Seegmiller expresses his doubt over approving a boundary change between Coral Canyon and Washington elementary schools, St. George, Utah, Jan. 12, 2021 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Community members expressed concerns about rumors in the school district about such a boundary change and said they strongly opposed it and would like it to remain off the board’s radar. 

“Wherever these rumors come from, or wherever they started, it’s not from us as a district because we haven’t done anything; we’re not proposing anything,” Superintendent Larry Bergeson said at the meeting. 

He added that when and if the board does decide to propose a boundary change, parents will be notified through various channels including email, the school district’s website and direct information from the district and the schools. 

“It’s not a secret,” he said. 

In other news, the board voted to approve proposed priorities projects such as new playground equipment and roofing repairs, which will be included in next year’s budget.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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