The Deer Valley Unified School District

The Deer Valley Unified School District governing board, after tabling the issue at its Jan. 14 meeting, was scheduled to vote on proposed boundary changes at its Tuesday, Jan. 28 meeting. 

After tabling the issue at its Jan. 14, then giving it further study at a Jan. 21 special meeting, the Deer Valley Unified School District governing board was scheduled to vote on new high school boundaries Tuesday, Jan. 28. (The Tuesday meeting took place after Peoria Time’s print deadlines.)

Several from Arrowhead Ranch near Peoria in north Glendale are not happy about the expected changes.

Thomas Cramer, president of Arrowhead Ranch Phase One Homeowners Association, sent a letter to the DVUSD board Jan. 24. (A copy of the letter was forwarded to the Peoria Times.)  

“The directors and homeowners of Arrowhead Ranch Phase One wish to express their strong opposition to the redistricting of the school boundaries which would cause our High School students to attend Deer Valley instead of Mountain Ridge High School,” Cramer wrote. 

“Arrowhead Ranch opened Mountain Ridge and helped make it an A+ school. Our homeowners/parents have chosen our neighborhood based on it being in the Mountain Ridge boundary and to change it after 25 years should not be an option.

“Shifting our kids to a much lower-performing school is unacceptable.”

The HOA president noted Mountain Ridge High School is rated the No. 48 school in Arizona, nearly 100 places higher than Deer Valley High.

“Our 1,530 homeowners and their families are in overwhelming opposition to this proposed move and would like the board to consider a different option,” Cramer wrote.

The district’s Jan. 21 presentation stated the high school boundary changes are necessary to “provide for a sustainable balanced projected enrollment over all five high school campuses,” and “delay the need for a high school number six.”

Vocal opposition from Arrowhead Ranch at several meetings apparently delayed the decisions. 

“The high school boundary decision was tabled on Jan. 14 to be able to provide more information to our Governing Board and to allow more input from the community,” said Jim Migliorino, deputy superintendent of DVUSD’s Fiscal and Business Services.

However, when asked if any modifications to the proposed changes were made since Jan 14, Migliorino said::

“No changes have been made to what was proposed.”

The Jan. 21 study session included this information on the slide “Proposed High School Boundary Changes”:

Deer Valley High School

• Increase attendance area on western boundary.

Mountain Ridge High School

• Increase attendance area on northern boundary.

• Decrease attendance area on southern boundary.

On its website, the district noted, “Current open-enrolled students in high school will not need to reapply to continue attending their current high school. 

“In addition, all current high school students will be allowed to continue at the high school where they are currently attending.”

More detail was provided at the Jan. 21 study session:

“High school boundary changes will be effective for the 2020-21 school year, allowing current attending students to continue at their current (2019-20) designated high school through graduation as well as 2019-20 eighth graders and their siblings to be able to continue at their current (2019-20) designated high school through graduation, per a Transitional Plan to be developed and approved by the superintendent.

“Transportation services will be provided for these students until June of 2022.”

The presentation stressed that, though they may be difficult, the changes are necessary.

“Transition to new school attendance areas, while necessary, is never easy. Encouraging social/scholastic continuity, providing students with un-crowded facilities and exercising fiscal responsibility are competing but essential goals.”