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W. BOUNTIFUL PARENTS OPPOSE BOUNDARY PROPOSAL

The proposed changes in high school boundaries in South Davis County are only a week old.

But opposition in one community has spread faster than you can say "school bus."Many West Bountiful residents, whose children have attended Viewmont High School since it was built in 1964, are unhappy that their kids would be required to be bused across town to Bountiful High School.

About 100 residents met in West Bountiful Elementary School this week to discuss their concerns. More than 90 signatures were collected on a petition that will be sent to the Davis School Board.

The group, led by elementary school teachers Diane Smith and Kathy Scott, has scheduled another meeting for Tuesday, June 12, at 8:30 p.m. in the elementary school.

At issue is the district's goal to alleviate overcrowding in Davis and Viewmont high schools and better utilize Bountiful High School, which is operating below student capacity.

A plan developed by district consultant Reed Call, former Granite School District chief, would, by 1993, shift about 380 Davis High students to Viewmont, 530 Viewmont students to Bountiful and 120 Bountiful students to Woods Cross.

The new boundaries would take effect in fall 1991, but the plan would be phased in so students who are sophomores this fall would not be affected.

During a school board meeting May 29, Call said he tried to align the boundaries in a way that would not split communities. For that reason, he proposed that all of West Bountiful be transferred to Bountiful.

Because many West Bountiful students are already bused to Viewmont, busing would not be an issue, Call said.

But busing is a major issue, according to parent Carole Zesiger, who said only about 30 or 40 students use the buses, which are available only to students living on 1100 West and beyond.

"That's because most of them walk to school," Zesiger said. "We have nothing against Bountiful High School. They have a fine academic program. The problem is they are taking children who can walk to school and busing them."

The petition citizens are sending to the school board states: "We chose an area to reside that was within walking distance for our elementary, junior high and high school children. This proposal will now alter that premise."

Zesiger said several West Bountiful residents feel that they and their children have been "yo-yoed around for 20 years" by boundary changes.

West Bountiful children presently attend two different elementary schools, two junior high schools and one high school.

The high school boundary proposals are being evaluated by four "reaction panels" comprising patrons from each of the four high schools affected. The panels must report their findings and counterproposals, if any, to Call by June 25.

A public hearing before the school board will be held Aug. 7.