School board members today to discuss new boundaries and other ways to handle an expected increase in students over the next several years.
Some school leaders feel boundary changes are a given, but board member Norm Walker said he will propose that the district reopen Arroyo Elementary School as a fundamental school. Simi Valley's fundamental schools encourage parental involvement and enforce strict rules, enabling transfer of students who do not meet certain standards or have disciplinary problems.
There are hundreds of parents on waiting lists for the district's two fundamental schools, Walker said. Transforming the shuttered Arroyo into a kindergarten-through-eighth-grade fundamental school would also ease overcrowding in other classrooms throughout the district, Walker argued.
School board member Janice DiFatta said new boundaries are unavoidable.
The board will also discuss selling district-owned property and buildings, DiFatta said.
Year-round school will also be on the agenda, but board President Carla Kurachi has said she thinks the board will reject that as a way to handle growth. DiFatta noted that year-round school is an option if overcrowding is serious.
"As long as we have schools that can be reopened, then there wouldn't be a need for year-round school," DiFatta said, referring to four schools the district shut down when enrollment tailed off several years ago.
Recent estimates indicate that enrollment will jump by 25%, or 5,300 students, by 2006, according to Mike Murphy, a school board candidate. He led a committee that analyzed enrollment figures and made recommendations to the school board.
Today's meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the district offices, 875 E. Cochran St.