Print Bridgeport may change schools
Written by Greg Ruland   
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 06:00

Children who live in Bridgeport east of the Verde River could begin attending school in Cornville instead of Cottonwood depending on the outcome of a border review by Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, Superintendent Barbara U’Ren said.

The Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District is studying changing the boundary for Oak Creek School. If approved, students in Bridgeport east of the Verde River would attend school in Cornville.The change in attendance boundaries would not come prior to the 2011-12 school year if it happens at all, U’Ren said.

COCSD Board of Governors directed the superintendent and her staff to pursue the review during its regular meeting July 13.

“We’re in the very early stages of the process,” U’Ren said. “We’re very excited about the possibilities.”

Should the board vote to change the boundary it would impact scores of students who live in Bridgeport and in the Rocking Chair Road neighborhood, she said.

Instead of attending Dr. Daniel Bright School, Cottonwood Elementary School and Cottonwood Middle School, the new boundaries would require many students east of the Verde River to attend Oak Creek School in Cornville.

U’Ren said parents will have several chances to voice concerns about the proposal, the first at a COCSD board meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 10, at district headquarters, 1 N. Willard St.

The board wants to review the issue because a move in boundaries would equalize the number of students at each of the schools in the district, U’Ren said.

“Oak Creek School has space for children and we need to have more children for that school to operate more efficiently,” she said.

The change would benefit Oak Creek School by eliminating some combined classes where students of different grade levels attend the same class. In classes which are not blended, teachers can focus on the needs of students in a single grade level, she said.

The change may cause some parents to be concerned Oak Creek School will not be as accessible to them as the schools in the city.

“On the other hand, they may also see Oak Creek School has that rural atmosphere with an excellent education,” U’Ren said. “They might like that K-8 delivery.”

Other parents may be concerned about the increased distance from home to school because Cottonwood is closer than Cornville for many of the affected students. However, it will take buses nearly the same amount of time to transport students, whether they attend Oak Creek School or a school in the city, U’Ren said.

“Everybody is probably very happy with the school they are attending presently,” she said. “I think there will always be the concern that it’s new — it’s a change.”