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Parents oppose Summerlin middle school’s proposed zoning change

Parents filled the gym at Rogich Middle School in Summerlin on Monday night to voice their opposition to plans to redraw the attendance zone for the 2020-21 school year.

Two different proposals would move the school’s attendance boundaries south and west, redirecting new sixth-graders to Becker Middle School and Johnson Middle School instead. The purpose, according to Richard Baldwin, the Clark County School District’s director of demographics and zoning, is to address the overcrowding at Rogich likely to be made worse by new developments north of Far Hills Avenue.

Rogich has a capacity of 1,600 students but a current enrollment of over 1,900, leaving it at 118 percent capacity. Johnson has 1,420 spots for 1,574 students, according to district data, while Becker was about 100 students under capacity last year.

Planned residential development could add up to 100 students per year at Rogich, Baldwin said, with future developments adding even more. The boundary changes would rezone much of this new development to Becker.

Parent Heather Nelson told the Attendance Zone Advisory Commission members that the crush of students in the hallways at Rogich made it difficult for her son to navigate the school.

“The more we move out to other schools, the better,” Nelson said, adding that traffic at drop-off and pick-up was also an issue.

Other parents said they bought homes nearby specifically to send their children to Rogich and then Palo Verde High School. Natalie Cornejo told commissioners that she had been in the area since 2004 with the intention of doing just that.

Furthermore, Cornejo said, with overcrowding at Johnson, moving some students to that school would not alleviate the issue at that campus.

“It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Cornejo said, adding that she appreciated that her child currently enrolled at Rogich would be allowed to stay through middle school. “Age 12 is emotional enough without the pressure of being forced to switch schools.”

Other parents pointed out that rezoning would split up siblings and friend groups, potentially requiring some kids to make social adjustments once for middle school, and then again in high school. Still others said that Johnson had lower academic scores than Rogich, while a number of Becker parents spoke up in support of their school.

Sylvia Federico, a mother of six, said that rezoning could potentially mean that she would be forced to take her children to six different campuses. She said she would possibly consider moving if the changes were approved.

“Sending my children to five or six different schools would be a burden,” she said. “I would be pulling my hair out.”

Commissioners will consider these concerns and the two proposals at a meeting next week, according to committee Chair Albert Delgado, eventually presenting their recommendation to the School Board.

Delgado said hearing from parents helps commissioners consider factors such as safety and classroom conditions that can be difficult to assess from afar.

“We would rather see a good turnout and lots of comments than not,” Delgado said.

He also encouraged parents to contact their legislators to ask for more funding for school construction.

The Rogich meeting was the first of four zoning meetings being held this week to allow residents to voice their opinions about boundary changes at schools throughout the district. The rest can be found online at azac.ccsd.net.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter.

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