Although enrollment is declining in most Mt. Diablo district schools, Delta View Elementary in Pittsburg has seen its enrollment skyrocket as new residential developments pop up around it.
To help ease overcrowding, the school board reviewed a plan Monday that would send 306 students who live north of Highway 4 to Rio Vista and Bel Air elementary schools in Bay Point, instead of to Delta View. A committee recommended the plan after studying maps and determining that space was available at the other two schools.
But some trustees expressed concerns about the proposal because it would require students to cross busy streets such as Willow Pass Road and Port Chicago Highway. The plan also calls for the district to eliminate busing for students in the area, which was previously provided on a temporary basis with the understanding that it would cease when roads were improved.
The district spends about $161,000 for four buses. After some trustees said they would like to continue providing the service due to long walking distances, Superintendent Steven Lawrence said the board could consider keeping two buses for Rio Vista and Bel Air.
About two-thirds of the students affected would go to Bel Air and one-third would go to Rio Vista, said Rose Lock, assistant superintendent of Student Achievement and School Support. Families that currently send students to Delta View would not be required to switch schools.
"Right now," Lock said, "we don't know where these families want to go."
Trustee Linda Mayo said the board should consider continuing busing for all students in the Bay Point and Pittsburg area, not just those who would be displaced under the plan, since many Delta View students would continue to walk long distances even if they don't switch schools.
"Many of our communities, whether it's in Bay Point or Pleasant Hill, do not have sidewalks," she said. "I wish that I could pick up the schools and move them to better places."
The board expects to vote May 6 on the boundary proposal.
Trustees also reviewed boundary changes approved last fall for a portion of Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek that allowed students to attend either College Park High in Pleasant Hill or Ygnacio Valley High in Concord. Now, all students in that area of the city will attend College Park unless they request transfers to Ygnacio Valley.