Prior Lake parents irked by possibility of re-drawn school district boundaries

Prior Lake parents are fired up over a proposal by the school district to re-draw boundaries and force kids to make room as leaders accommodate a growing population in the area.

A spokeswoman for the district says they have few options to make room for a community that just keeps getting bigger and trying to find space for all of these students.  

A new elementary school is set to be built next year, but families say it’s causing them a lot of disruption.

Kara Cuka demonstrates what her three children’s drive to school would look like as the Prior Lake-Savage School District goes ahead with a re-districting plan to accommodate a new elementary school that’s being built and more children than ever enrolling into the area.

Currently her kids attend Jeffers Pond Elementary School right down the street. About 75 other children at Jeffers Pond would be forced to go nearly five miles away to Westwood Elementary if the new boundaries become permanent.

“We talk so much about neighborhood schools and being able to walk to neighborhood schools and that’s super important to everyone in this community and in this neighborhood,” Cuka said.

Becky Schultz is another parent whose child attends Jeffers Pond and would be impacted. She and Kara have canvassed the neighborhood handing out fliers and trying to come up with solutions to present to the school board to displace the least amount of children as possible.

“We don’t understand how we are the ones being affected by the new school that’s being built on the other side of town,” Schultz said.

A spokeswoman for the district says changing the boundary lines for neighborhood schools is not unique, especially in communities that are growing at a fast pace.

School board leaders say they have had three meetings for residents to give input, but parents still don’t’ feel like they’re being heard.

“We’re the advocates for our children. We have to be their little voices. And we’re not going to stop fighting,” Schultz added.

The School Board is expected to vote on the attendance boundaries at their next meeting in June. If it goes through, they will be planning transitions events to help families on this big change for their children.