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Boundary Changes Studied
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Two meetings have been hosted on the proposed boundary changes for the Escalon Unified School District, designed to shift more students to Van Allen Elementary, moving some from the Dent Elementary site.

District Superintendent Ron Costa said the goal is to equally distribute students, as the rural Van Allen campus has room for more students and the Dent campus, on Yosemite Avenue in the city, is overcrowded.

"We had the meetings at both sites and with both meetings combined we probably had less than 20 people." Costa said of the informational sessions. "There were people in favor of it, others were upset."

School officials and those tapped for the redistricting committee discussed options and also took comments and questions from residents about the process.

"There were questions on why we are doing this," Costa said. "They also asked how we are doing it and if there are other options we have."

Some spoke in favor of the redistricting, others had concerns and Costa said the committee still has a lot of information to consider before making recommendations for the boundary change.

"The next step is that the committee will get together when we come back from winter break," Costa said.

That meeting is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 11 and Costa said he anticipates the committee will draft their recommendation at that session. They then will provide a report, and possible recommendation, to the school board for consideration at its Jan. 18 meeting.

Costa said the area between Dent and Van Allen will likely be broken up to more evenly distribute the students.

Any boundary change that would shift students to a new school site would not take effect until the start of the 2011-2012 school year.

Committee members working on the proposal are Joel Adams, Jennifer Franzia, Rick Guevara, Jim Murray, Justina Percey and Michelle Sandoval.