JERSEY SHORE - To decrease confusion and find a better way of determining what school each student will attend, the Jersey Shore Area School District presented options for a boundary system at Monday's board meeting.
Dr. Dorothy Chappel, assistant superintendent, said the process to look at boundaries started about two weeks ago, when she met with all building principals. The group looked to find a way of cutting down transportation and make a logical guideline for student attendance.
Bruce Boncal, instructional technology specialist, said questionable practices for students' attendance need to be fixed. One of the problems is that some students are from the same block but are attending three different schools. The district also is taking students from Avis Borough and sending them to Salladasburg Elementary School.
"We're going across the district," Boncal said.
Boncal mentioned that students from the Black Forest/Cedar Run area have an "exceptionally long" bus ride. He estimated those students ride about 2 1/2 hours.
"That's longer than going from here to Harrisburg," Boncal said.
By creating a boundary system, the district would be able to cut down transportation time and potentially bus runs. Boncal showed a map and explained how buses are "zig-zagging all over the place."
Chappel explained the school district now allows parents to request for their children to attend certain schools and also moves students in order to balance out classes in each grade.
In the first of two options Boncal presented, the Jersey Shore Elementary boundary would run through the borough to Railroad Street. It would run to Baer Street and Old Route 220. Students in Porter Township and Route 44 North of Pine Creek Trading Post also would attend Jersey Shore Elementary.
Avis Borough and Pine Creek Township would go to Avis Elementary. The school also would take the students at the Jersey Shore Elementary boundaries at Railroad Street and on Route 44 North.
Nippenose Valley Elementary will take students south of the river, Antes Fort and beyond. Salladasburg Elementary will receive students along Route 973 and Route 220 near Linden.
In the second option, Jersey Shore Elementary would include Railroad Street, Dennison, Hiller Hill and that general area. Avis Elementary would lose those students in Railroad Street.
Nippenose Valley Elementary would go beyond Antes Fort and Salladasburg would remain the same as the first option.
Chappel recommended going with the second option as the first would put Avis over capacity.
To help ease "congestion" and create better "flow" with bus traffic, Chappel said the district is looking to stagger start times in different buildings.
Board President Robert Pryor said it will be better for teachers to move to accommodate the students than having the students move.
"It's got to be cheaper to have the teachers follow the kids rather than the kids follow the teacher," Pryor said.
Keith Barrows, of Porter Township, applauded the efforts of the district.
"I think that's finally some decent analysis," he said.
Chappel said the district would like to have a decision on boundaries relatively soon.
"We're basically at a cross roads. We have to make a decision," Chappel said. "Anyway we do it, it's going to be a very difficult task."