Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Zoning changes for the 2015-16 school year

A small number of Clark County School District (CCSD) schools will be impacted by zoning changes for the 2015-16 school year. The changes were approved by the CCSD Board of School Trustees on Feb. 26.

Gordon McCaw Elementary School, which becomes a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) Magnet school in 2015-16, will share a zone with Robert Taylor Elementary School. It’s expected that most of the McCaw students who applied to attend the Magnet program will be accepted. Students in that zone who do not wish to attend McCaw will be assigned to Robert Taylor instead. The change does not affect kindergarten students.

Previously, McCaw was nearly 31 percent under capacity, which means nearly a third of the classrooms in that building went underutilized. Adding the Magnet program will allow the school to be used at full capacity while giving students the benefits of learning opportunities with specific themes.

Clarence Piggott Elementary School also will become an International Studies Magnet school in the next school year. Students who are not accepted to or do not wish to attend Piggott will be rezoned to D’Vorre and Hal Ober Elementary School. Again, kindergarten students will not be affected in this area. Also, an area of future growth was reassigned from Piggott to Ethel W. Staton Elementary School.

Trustees also took action on that same area of future growth that was zoned for Johnson Junior High School. This area will be zoned for Rogich Middle School in order to provide feeder school alignment.  Like Piggott, Johnson will become an International Studies Magnet school in 2015-16.

Attendance zone boundaries for all CCSD schools are reviewed annually. The process begins in September and ends in late March. Members of the Attendance Zone Advisory Commission (AZAC) work with district staff and consider input from the public before making their recommendations to the Board of School Trustees regarding attendance zones.

Rick Baldwin is the director of Demographics, Zoning and GIS for CCSD. He said the total number of students to be affected by the 2015-16 rezoning is relatively small compared to previous years. “If you look at the students who applied for these new Magnet schools, nearly all of them are already enrolled at those schools and that is where they will likely remain.” He added, “Once the Magnet schools’ lotteries are completed, very few students will actually be moved.”

Baldwin said AZAC considered a variety of factors this year prior to making rezoning recommendations. “They looked at some very large-scale rezoning areas, but ultimately they found that truly we are running out of schools that have available space. Thus, any large-scale rezoning we could do would just rebalance overcrowding to equally overcrowd entire areas as opposed to one or more schools in those large-scale areas.”

Baldwin emphasized that the rezoning does not fix the overcrowding problem of the district. He said, “This is because our needs are far greater than any ability we have to fix them without being able to build new schools.”