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Pleasant View Elementary’s school community is experiencing a mix of emotions as news unfolds about the school closing and which school students will be attending next year.
There’s “sadness at the loss of our community and the relationships we have developed over the years,” Principal Janace Fischer said. But there’s also “some excitement about the new opportunities and friends that await them.”
Gabrielle Kelly, 11, is a fifth-grader and has attended Pleasant View for seven years, since she was a preschooler. She says Pleasant View is a fun school, it is close to her house and all her teachers are nice.
“I will miss all my friends that will be in different places next year,” she said. “I guess at my new school I will meet some new teachers and friends, but it won’t be the same.”
School staff is conducting a number of activities to support the transition process for students and parents. Community meetings have already taken place, and open houses at Shelton and Welchester elementaries are planned for the near future. Kyffin Elementary, near Green Mountain, also will hold an open house. Students could choose to attend there through the district’s choice enrollment program.
On May 8, all Pleasant View students will visit their new schools. And in June, summer school will take place at Shelton and Welchester.
The hope is that students can make friends and become acquainted with the new buildings before school starts in August, Fischer said.
Jessica Estes, a parent of two children who attend Pleasant View, faces commuting issues next year. Estes drives her children to school, which only takes about five minutes.
Her oldest son will attend Bell Middle School next year, so Estes has chosen Shelton for her daughter Alexia, who is going into the second grade. However, if she is not accepted, she will attend Welchester.
“If Alexia attends Shelton, it would be a straight shot,” Estes said. “If I have to pick her up from Welchester, it’s one way to Bell then the complete other direction to Welchester.”
Estes has been talking with Alexia and explaining that some of the friends she has made at Pleasant View will be at different schools next near. But she keeps the conversation positive, Estes said.
“Whichever school she ends up at, she will make friends,” Estes said. “Also, a new building may be scary at first, but I tell her to look at it like an adventure — she gets to explore and discover a new school.”
New boundaries for elementary schools in Golden have been approved for the 2017-18 school year.
Because of the closure of Pleasant View Elementary School — which the Jefferson County Board of Education approved on Feb. 9 — new school boundary changes were needed for Shelton and Welchester elementary schools.
The changes — approved unanimously March 9 — incorporate the eastern portion of the Pleasant View boundary west along a line extending from 26th Avenue to Quaker Street then south along Quaker Street to Sixth Avenue, then east along Sixth Avenue to the Welchester boundary. The remainder of the Pleasant View boundary will be incorporated into the Shelton boundary. The site is in unincorporated Jefferson County, Golden and Lakewood.
Students from Pleasant View will continue to move up to Bell Middle School and Golden High School.
“When we looked at Pleasant View, we ended up dividing almost in half,” said Tim Reed, executive director of facilities and construction management for Jeffco Schools.
Based upon 2016-17 enrollment figures, the boundary modifications will result in 77 Pleasant View students relocating into the Shelton Elementary School boundary and 71 Pleasant View students relocating into Welchester Elementary School’s boundary.
“We just tried to make it as fair as we could,” Reed said. “You never know how parents will react though. Just because you end up in this boundary, that doesn’t mean that’s the school you will attend.”
An example of that is Pleasant View’s student population this year. The school, which has a capacity of 392 had 221 students as of the October count and an additional 55 preschool students. Of those, 192 live in the Pleasant View boundary. The other 73 students choice in. In addition, 144 students who are zoned for Pleasant View, already choice outto Shelton, Welchester and area charter schools.
This year, Welchester has a K-6 enrollment of 268 and 15 preschool students. The school has a capacity for 420.Shelton has an enrollment of 456 with capacity for 517.
A second preschool class at Welchester will be added and a preschool class at Shelton will be created to serve the students who previously attended Pleasant View.
Two bus routes at each school will be added.
No matter where students are zoned in the new boundaries, parents will still have the option to choice in and out of schools.
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