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Pocatello/Chubbuck school board tables boundary changes decision

The Pocatello/Chubbuck school board has tabled the decision on boundary changes.

That decision was met with lots of applause from the audience.

The board made two decisions at Thursday’s meeting.

First, the board decided to rescind a previous decision to not grandfather in current students of full time faculty at the high schools. The only ones grandfathered in for staff were the children of varsity coaches. The board said Thursday night they did not feel good about that decision afterward, so they reversed that decision. Students of full-time faculty will be allowed to attend the school where their parent works, even if it is not their boundary school.

The second decision was about the boundaries. The board said they didn’t like some of their options, so the new proposal for boundary lines was rejected.

The board then made an announcement that it was going to table the decision on boundary changes for now. It wanted to get more public involvement and input before moving forward.

It does not yet know how it will do that, the next step will be making a plan on how to do that. It feels more public input is needed before a final decision is made.

“I’m glad they finally listened to the public and decided to get community involvement,” said Daren Crockett, a parent of a high school student. “I wish they would have done that to begin with. I’m very interested because they didn’t say how they were going to involve the public so I’m interested to see how they’ll do that.”

“I think it was the right decision and I’m proud of the board for acknowledging that,” said Matt Fullmer, another parent. “I felt sorry for the board to a certain degree because I felt like they didn’t get a lot of information presented to them, they didn’t have a lot to work with. I like to think they realized that and they’re going to ask for more involvement, more information going forward.”

“I think given the amount of input that people wanted to give and share, and the fact the public felt it was a very rushed process, that this perhaps was a very good step, to take a step back,” said Mary Anne McGrory, a teacher at Alameda Middle School and President of the Pocatello Education Association.

Though parents and students were both happy they were going to include the public more, most still don’t like the idea of boundaries at all.

“Anything that excludes school of choice is the wrong decision,” Crockett said.

“I definitely think the open boundaries are the way to go,” Fullmer said.

“I think both systems have benefits but also cost,” McGrory said. “I also know that for families who are used to school of choice and have not had boundaries, it’s a hard process to change.”

Ultimately, the board plans to have a final decision by March.

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