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4J’s New Map: School Closures Shift Enrollment

February 3, 2011

By Kate Renner

EUGENE, Ore. — Since the 4J School Board voted to close four of its schools, that means more than 800 students will be affected next year.

The district will have to draw out boundaries, and students will have a new commute.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster ride for 4J parents and school board members.

“We’re really sad.  We were hoping at least to get another chance,” said Becky Thompson, parent of Crest Drive kindergartener.

Crest Drive students will move a little more than two miles down Storey Boulevard, making Adams Elementary their new home.

“It’s just a shame to see such a good school go,” Thompson said.

Meadowlark students have to travel about a mile and a half down Cal Young to Willagillespie.

Parker is being shut down and is the only school to be split into two.

“The boundaries haven’t been set, but basically students living northeast of Parker will go to Camas Ridge.  Those living southwest of Parker will go to Edgewood.  But the caveat is the middle school boundaries haven’t shifted, so the neighborhood school for these kids will be Roosevelt Middle School.

“People are pretty hurt, pretty crushed.  This is a community that’s coming to a close, and that doesn’t feel very good,” said Scott Marsh, Parker Elementary.

The students with the longest commute next year will be Coburg kids.  They’ll attend Gilham five miles south on Coburg Road.

“You can’t really ride your bike down Coburg Road to go to Gilham,” said Andrea Van Meter, Coburg Charter School Commission.

But Gilham isn’t Andrea’s boys only option next year.

The school board approved sponsoring a new charter school at Coburg Elementary.

“We were ecstatic to hear about the charter getting approved, we’d been waiting for a long time to find out,” Van Meter said.

“Hopefully most of the staff and a lot of the other students will go with us,” Thompson said.

And even though mom is sad saying farewell to Crest, Jace has a kid’s resilience.

“(I’m) kinda happy ’cause I only get one recess and on my next school I get two.//’Well that’s ’cause you’ll be a first grader,'” said Jace and his mom.

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