More than 100 students who now attend the overcrowded Viewmont School will be bused to two other schools in the Murray School District this fall.
Beginning in the 1991-92 school year, the approximately 64 students who live in the Walden Glen and Cimarron subdivisions will be bused to Longview School, bringing that school's enrollment - once as high as 600 students - to 426 students. Approximately 58 students will be bused from the Walden Ridge area to Liberty School.Longview is at 6240 Longview Drive (560 E.), Liberty at 160 W. 6100 South. Viewmont is locted at 745 W. 5720 South.
Some parents of affected students reacted angrily Wednesday night when the Murray District board voted to change Viewmont's attendance boundaries to exclude relatively new subdivisions currently within Viewmont's attendance area.
The parents, many of whom supported year-round scheduling at Viewmont, say that the board's decision to bus Viewmont students to Longview and Liberty schools will help revive Longview's declining enrollment and Liberty's record of low test scores.
"For them (the board), it makes a lot of sense. For our children, it doesn't," said Walden Ridge resident Ray Diehl.
The boundary change will reduce overcrowding at Viewmont. The board in January abandoned the school's year-round schedule, adopted three years ago as a way to combat overcrowding. Busing, board members said at the time, would be necessary once the school returned to a traditional school year.
"We need to change our opinion of busing," board member Bruce Cutler said Wednesday, noting that parents support busing when it means their children won't have to walk to school through heavy traffic areas.
Referring to Liberty and Longview schools, Cutler said, "Yes, they have some problems. But they could also use some help. Let (the children) blend in. We as parents too often impose our opinions on our children."
Board member Laura Baker, in a review of the decision to return Viewmont to a traditional school schedule, said that around 40 families had moved from the area during the school's three years on its year-round schedule, and another 10 would have moved within the next year. Calls and letters from parents led her to believe the year-round calendar was the reason for the flight from the area.
Viewmont is the only Murray District school on the year-round schedule, and that uniqueness worked against it, Baker said.
Two other schools in the district - Horizon and Grant - were slated to go onto the year-round schedule, but the district's growth dropped off to the point where the board decided not to go ahead with those plans.
Parents dissatisfied with year-round schooling said it disrupted family schedules and left their children out of sync with other schools in the district, making it difficult to participate in extracurricular activities.
But teachers and other proponents of year-round scheduling said Viewmont students performed better academically because there was less "down time" between sessions.
Some parents who opposed the board's decision said they don't want their children, who at Viewmont contributed some of the district's highest standardized test scores, to go to Liberty, where test scores are much lower.
"The district is trying to improve Liberty on the backs of our children," said parent Tracy Harris.