PROVO — At the Provo School District, they call it "the triangle" — a huge section of town stretching from downtown Provo to the Springville line.

Specifically, the neighborhood ranges from I-15 to University Avenue between 600 South and 1860 South.

About 400 students live in the area. Many are from low-income families, some are from households that do not speak English and some live in public housing.

Those students mostly attend Spring Creek Elementary, but that may change.

The Provo School District Board of Education is questioning whether it can unify the neighborhood and help the kids by moving them to other schools closer to home.

"The demographics suggest they're walking families," school board president Darryl Alder said. "They walk to Reams (grocery store). They walk to church, if they go to church."

The school district is also looking to fill Amelia Earhart Elementary, which will lose hundreds of students when an elementary school opens next fall in the Lakeview neighborhood.

The school district on Wednesday night showed the public its school boundary proposals, which would place students from the triangle area in other schools.

By shifting the students to other schools, however, the percentages of disadvantaged students will change throughout the district.

Academics can be affected, board member Sandy Packard said, when schools have more than 40 percent disadvantaged students.

The proposed boundary maps could increase Franklin Elementary's low-income and poor students to 77 percent.

Franklin principal Marlin Palmer loves the students and their families, which he called "solid," but worries about changes at his school.

"Students that come to school not reading at all are way behind and take a lot of extra time with the teacher," Palmer said. "Where can we hire tutors? We have limited resources."

But Ted Kelly, the district's administrator over federal programs, noted schools with high numbers of disadvantaged students receive money from the state and federal governments that can be spent on tutors, other staff and other programs.

Kelly does not necessarily think having schools with high numbers of disadvantaged students hurts academics.

Lorena Camacho lives near 800 West and 600 South. Her children, ages 8 and 10, attend Spring Creek Elementary.

"It's really difficult," said Camacho, who does not have a car. "Sunset View is too far to walk and it's about a mile," making her children ineligible for busing.

Camacho wishes her children could attend Franklin Elementary, which is close by and safe to walk to.

"Spring Creek is on the opposite side of Provo" from her home, she said. "The real problem with Spring Creek is not so much getting there. They ride the bus. But when we have to pick them up, it's hard."

Another open house for the boundary proposals is scheduled tonight from 6-8 p.m. at Sunset View Elementary, 525 S. 1600 West.


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