Board aims for clear-cut, geographical high school boundary

Alternate A map

School trustees haven’t cast their official vote, but several
gave a preliminary thumbs up to a new high school boundary that
will split Gilroy along Hecker Pass Highway, First Street and IOOF
Avenue.
School trustees haven’t cast their official vote, but several gave a preliminary thumbs up to a new high school boundary that will split Gilroy along Hecker Pass Highway, First Street and IOOF Avenue.

Students to the north would head to Christopher High School, which opened in August 2009 at the corner of Day Road and Santa Teresa Boulevard in north Gilroy. Students to the south would head to Gilroy High School on 10th Street.

After much debate and several community meetings, the school district’s boundaries committee – a group of parents, teachers, school administrators and community members – drew up the current boundary prior to the opening of CHS. That boundary runs along Leavesley Road and Welburn Avenue to the east, then cuts a jagged path through the neighborhood surrounding Rod Kelley Elementary School and veers north through rural west Gilroy.

From the beginning, the boundary committee cautioned the public they would have to revise the boundaries once CHS was at full capacity. It originally opened with ninth and 10th graders. Next school year, it will open its doors to freshman through seniors.

Committee member Kermit Schrock presented two options for the new boundary, which were almost identical except for a pocket of land near Burchell Road. The first alternative would send students on Burchell south to GHS, but the boundary would run along First Street east of Santa Teresa Boulevard, then along IOOF Avenue and Leavesley Road. The second alternative is a much cleaner geographical boundary, trustees agreed, and would run along Hecker Pass Highway, First Street, IOOF Avenue and then back out of town along Leavesley.

“It just doesn’t make sense to take a little pocket out,” said trustee Denise Apuzzo, referring to the cluster of homes along Burchell.

The second alternative “makes sense,” said trustee Mark Good. “It really does. It’s a geographical boundary.”

Trustees made a motion to accept the second alternative but Superintendent Deborah Flores stopped them before they cast their vote, reminding them that the item wasn’t scheduled for formal approval until the Oct. 21 school board meeting.

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