Melinda Bialke 0

Boundary Changes: Bluff Creek Estates

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This petition is for the Bluff Creek Estates neighborhood, just east of Chanhassen High School, north of Lyman Blvd and West of Audubon Rd. We are in opposition of the boundary change to Chanhassen Elementary away from Bluff Creek and to Pioneer Ridge away from Chaska Middle School West. This change is affecting approximately 25 children.

At the District Feedback Session on April 6th, the task force committee laid out the school board criteria for how they chose our neighborhood to be moved. We do not feel our neighborhood meets the said criteria for the following reasons:

Attend the school as close to home as possible

  1. Bluff Creek Estates is one mile from Bluff Creek Elementary School
  2. Kids from our neighborhood can safely ride their bikes or walk to school via the trail system without having to cross a major road.
  3. We value the relationships that have been built at Bluff Creek Elementary including the families, teachers and staff and have several parents that are very active in the PTO, holding board and committee chair positions.

Future Growth

  1. There are currently 25 K-8 students in our neighborhood. In 5 years, there will be approximately 5 students attending Bluff Creek Elementary. This is not a case of making a significant impact to overall numbers at Bluff and serves to alienate these children from their close friends and the environment in which they are comfortable, happy and thriving.
  2. Our neighborhood is an established neighborhood and no new homes will be added
  3. Our neighborhood has very low turnover rates. Only 10 of the 77 homes in our neighborhood have turned over in the past 5 years (12% turnover rate). 4 in the past two years (5%).

Move as few students as possible

  1. Our children need to be thought of as more than a number.
    1. When you move our small group of kids you are alienating them from their peers and the environment that they know. They don’t have the comfort of moving to a new school with a large group of kids. You’re actually making an already hard situation even harder. If a goal is to increase and sustain the enrollment at Chan Elementary and avoid reaching capacity at Bluff, how does moving a small group of children do this?

Efficient Transportation

  1. Our neighborhood is one mile from Bluff Creek. We are one of the closest neighborhoods to school.

Minimize dividing communities

  1. If the proposed school changes go into effect, our neighborhood would be divided.
    1. Children would be going to potentially several different schools.

    Our recommended solutions.
    1. Relocate Kinder Academy to Chanhassen Elementary. This is a program that continues to grow in enrollment and is an excellent way to give Chanhassen Elementary a boost in enrollment year after year.
    2. Align the middle schools so students attend middle school with who they will go to high school with. This gives kids a sense of identity and community. Allows kids to stay with the peers they have grown up with.
    3. Modify the grandfathering recommendations, allowing any students in our neighborhood that are enrolled at the start of the 2016 school year to stay at Bluff and Chaska West.

    Based on the points above, we feel our neighborhood does not meet a majority of the criteria laid out by the school board. Therefore we ask that you strongly reconsider moving the Bluff Creek Estates neighborhood to Chan Elementary and Pioneer Ridge Middle School. Please do not take these kids away from their peers and the environment where they are happy, comfortable and thriving.

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