Redrawing the lines: School borders a tense subject for Papillion La Vista

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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) -- Tensions ran high Monday night at the Papillion La Vista school board meeting. High school boundaries are up for discussion. Residents in new, developing neighborhoods are speaking out against the changes.

"All of us have been wondering since we heard about this, why us? Why North Shore? Is it just so you can draw a straight line on a map? Because we are as far west as you can get." said Holly Anderson, a Papillion La Vista mother who lives in the North Shore neighborhood affected.

From Cornhusker Road to Lincoln and from 96th to about 132nd is the rectangle drawn across the school border map that will be involved in the proposed changes.

"Instead of a 5 minute drive the commute would be more like 15-20 minutes one way," explained Eric Horne. He and his neighbors are all moving in to newly built homes. They moved there specifically to be close to the newer southern high school.

"There will be buses that pass each other going two different directions to two different high schools," said Anderson at the meeting.

The school board members are left with a tough decision. As their cities grow so does their student population. Over the next ten years it's projected to increase by nearly twenty percent

"A boundary change is going to have to happen somewhere," said one board member. The question they have to answer is where does it work best?

"Trumble Park is at 1.2 miles away from Papillion La Vista High School, Carriage Hill is 2 miles," said Anderson as she proposed other neighborhoods that are much closer to Papillion La Vista than her and her neighbors out further west.

"As tax-paying citizens they should lend a very willingly open ear to our concerns," said Horne.

The board has considered allowing any students currently enrolled in K-12 to be “grandfathered” into staying with the school track they’ve already been placed in. They would also consider exceptions for individual households. This means if your child isn’t in school yet they would still be allowed to go to the same school as the rest of the family.

A third high school had been discussed in the past but the Superintendent stated Monday that it’s not likely within the next 10 years. If that were to happen in the far off future then boundary changes would likely be discussed again at that time.

There’s still much to be sorted out. The proposed changes will be up for discussion this month and a decision could be made at the first school board meeting in February.