I continue to hear the same arguments over and over again pushing for C1. What some may not realize is that these problems don’t go away under their preference, they just shift to other neighborhoods.
Traffic is a common issue brought up, with a concern about increased traffic through downtown Prior Lake. How do you think the Northwood Meadows/Spring Lake kids are getting to Westwood? Through the same intersection you’re concerned about! Also, because more students are impacted in these southwest neighborhoods, that’s even more traffic going through downtown. Traffic is a concern in C1 and C4, and it is worse if C1 is chosen.
There is concern that Westwood will cause additional commute time disrupting family time. Valid concern, but again, this doesn’t go away in either scenario, it just gets pushed to other neighborhoods. I can assure you that before/after school commutes to Westwood from the southwest add significant commute time and time away from the family.
Lots of talk about neighborhood schools. C1 gives that to some neighborhoods, but it comes at the expense of other neighborhoods. If Jeffers is a neighborhood school boundary in C1, the Westwood boundary is the opposite of a neighborhood school, stretching as far west as possible in the district up to the northeast side of the lake. Some neighborhoods would get a neighborhood school, others would be out of luck.
Lastly, and most obvious, capacity numbers. Page 43 of the June 3 materials shows the capacity number under each of the three scenarios. All schools are the same under each with the exception of Jeffers and Westwood. B1 has a 10% difference between those two, C4 an 11% difference. C1 has a 24% difference, more than double either of the other choices. C1 pushes Westwood to 98%.
Not only do those neighborhoods deal with a longer commute, they are put in a school that will be overcrowded, resulting in much larger class sizes. Any board member considering C1 should have a good explanation as to why they are OK with a 24% capacity differential and why they are OK with putting one school at 98%.
Please remember that you are representing the entire district, not just those that showed up to the most meetings or wrote the most emails/letters. Each scenario may not be ideal for all, but C4 is the scenario that makes the most sense for the entire district.