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School boundary changes under scrutiny

Suzie Harrison

An impending boundary change for Laguna Beach schools has sparked

opinions, thoughts and concerns among district officials and parents over

what would be the best course of action.

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The change was necessitated in order to balance the enrollment at both

El Morro and Top of the World schools. Projections for next year’s

enrollments are 465 for El Morro and 720 for Top of the World.

This year will create a new problem of filling classrooms.

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Construction and expansion of El Morro will leave some of the classrooms

empty with enrollment rising.

At the May 14 Board of Education meeting the board discussed the

causes and some possible solutions, but Laguna Beach Unified Supt.

Theresa Daem said they needed more time to assess, study and meet with

PTA and parents to get their input before bringing their determination to

the board at the next board meeting May 28.

Daem has addressed the issues extensively at five different meetings:

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with the El Morro staff, the Top of the World staff and PTA, Dawn Mirone

of Laguna Beach Unified Faculty Assn. and El Morro PTA.

The meeting on Monday morning at Top of the World was packed with

concerned parents and was contentious.

The agenda of the meeting addressed a description of the problem,

steps to be taken, status of work to date, realistic options and a

question and answer session with suggestions.

There are four proposed boundary changes: one would move all

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kindergartners to El Morro; the second would move Aliso Viejo

kindergartners, first- and second-graders from Top of the World to El

Morro; a third would transfer Top of the World students enrolled in the

CLC program to El Morro, which is seen as the least-effective option.

The fourth option is the complete redistribution of kindergarten

through fifth-grade students to Top of the World.

The exact plan has not been decided yet and will be announced next

Tuesday at the board meeting.


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