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Plan to 'syphon' students could be killed

By: Laura Newell Telegraph staff writer
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A plan to split up students moving from middle school to high school could be quashed thanks to the efforts of some vocal parents. “The new recommendations were posted (Friday) and are going in front of the board Thursday,” said Matt Washburn, Folsom Cordova Unified School District director of facilities. “The final recommendations were developed after staff input, committee input, public forum input and online comment input,” Washburn said. “We are trying to listen to the parents and do what is best for these students. It’s a very emotional issue and we recognize that.” The issue concerned a group parents of Blanche Sprentz Elementary students scheduled to feed into Folsom Middle School. All students at Folsom Middle School would then go to Vista del Lago High School with the exception of those Blanche Sprentz students. They would go to Folsom High School. Parents of Blanche Sprentz students fought for continuity for all students between middle school and high school at two recent public forums. The district will make their final recommendation to the school board Thursday. “When the regional boundary was made in 2005, two years prior to Vista del Lago opening, we had to look at each school to see the boundary areas,” Washburn said. “The problem is we have the same size middle schools but not the same size high schools. So we needed to get about 200 or so kids to attend Folsom High School.” He said it was a geographical decision allowing for more capacity. “It was the best decision at the time,” he said. “the new recommendations ... allow students to attend the same middle school and high school as their peers.” Parents are hopeful. “They now are recommending the Blanche Sprentz be included in the Vista del Lago high school attendance area. This is what we wanted, fairness for the kids at Blanche Sprentz,” said Jolene Livingston, 44, parent of two children, one attending Blanche Sprentz Elementary and one attending Folsom Middle School. “Of course, the Board of Trustees needs to approve on Nov. 4. Our group will still be there.” Parents are feeling the pressure of the upcoming decision. “We are talking about human beings, not numbers,” said Brenna Degano, a mother of four. “The school board should do what is right, and accommodate all the students who attend Folsom Middle School and allow them to go on to high school with their peers.” Degano’s son, Beau Eaton, 12, currently attends Folsom Middle School and hopes to attend Vista. “I want to go to Vista,” Eaton said. “All of my friends have been going there.”