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Sat, Feb. 29

School zoning meeting set today

KINGMAN - A proposed zoning change to a different middle school for about 140 students living northeast of Kingman will go before the Kingman Unified School District today for a vote.

The students, who are slated to attend the sixth through eighth grades at White Cliffs Middle School, are residents of an area that runs from Route 66 and Castle Rock Road to Hackberry. KUSD currently provides buses that route them to their destination.

About 45 of those students will be entering WCMS from Cerbat and Desert Willow elementary schools, while the remainder is already attending WCMS. The zoning change would send them to Kingman Middle School instead, then on to Kingman High School.

So far, the proposal has brought no opposition from students or parents in the affected area. At a town hall meeting last week at La Senita School, about 10 KUSD staff and governing board members gathered to explain the proposal and answer parents' questions. But no parents showed up at the event.

"I think no one is here because they understand the reason why we are doing this and think it's good for the kids," said Jeri Wolsey, curriculum director for KUSD, at the meeting. "They do care, but I think this makes sense to them and they didn't feel they needed to come to the meeting."

Wolsey said KUSD mailed letters to each family impacted by the proposal and posted the information on its website. The district is hoping to make the change to help even out the number of students at the city's middle schools. The student population at WCMS, which opened in 2010, is almost at capacity now.

The zoning change also will allow the district to streamline its system of student advancement. Currently, students from WCMS and KMS can attend either high school, and those participating in the district's Cambridge preparatory program, which offers a high school diploma in 10th grade, are funneled to Lee Williams High School.

The district is implementing a new STEM academy program this fall at KHS focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. Students from the middle schools can elect to take the program, beginning in sixth grade at KMS and move on to the next level at KHS.

Wolsey said the proposal ensures that for the first time, all KMS students will go to KHS, and all WCMS students will attend LWHS, unless they are participating in Cambridge or STEM programs or they fill out attendance exception paperwork.

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