School district implements changes

MINDEN - The Douglas County School Board has approved two measures that will result in major changes in at least five schools.

The board voted to change the boundaries for the two Valley middle schools - Carson Valley Middle School and Pau-Wa-Lu - in order to send more students to Pau-Wa-Lu next year and alleviate overcrowding at Carson Valley.

This school year 1999-2000 Carson Valley's enrollment is 824 students, putting the school at 100 percent capacity. This left the school with very little flexibility to serve its existing special programs. If the school grows as projected based on the building of housing developments in its zone, Carson Valley would be over capacity and result in classes larger than district norms as soon as next year, 2000-2001.

Pau-Wa-Lu, on the other hand, has a capacity to serve 950 students, and its current enrollment is 758.

The board approved, with one dissenting vote - Michele Lewis, who resides in Ruhenstroth - moving the zone line to transfer students from Ruhenstroth, Bodie Flats and the Pinenut area from Carson Valley to Pau-Wa-Lu starting next school year. This will move about 70 students to the larger Gardnerville Ranchos school.

Any students who are currently enrolled at Carson Valley will be allowed to remain there and finish remaining grades before graduating to Douglas High School, said Director of Business Services Rick Kester. At that point, Lewis asked if that such rules would also apply to siblings.

"Well, if we do that, we could conceivably go clear back to kindergarten, and we really don't want to postpone this measure aimed at giving CVMS some relief," Kester said.

Lewis said she would like the district to consider transportation to accommodate Ruhenstroth parents who will find themselves in a bind when their children go to Pau-Wa-Lu rather than to a more convenient downtown Gardnerville where Carson Valley is located.

"The buses have to go through town anyway," she said. "I'd like to see an after-school bus that would take them to, say, Lampe Park, where a lot of our kids play ball. There is already a bus that goes to the swim center."


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