Some parents are upset by the South Washington County School Board’s approval of a new attendance boundary for Valley Crossing Community School and angered by uncertainty surrounding their children’s future school.

Before an overflow crowd of teachers and parents - two of whom were kicked out for repeated interruptions - board members voted 4-3 Thursday to draw new northern elementary school attendance boundaries as the district takes over ownership of Valley Crossing in Woodbury. The plan establishes a boundary for Valley Crossing and adjusts lines for Liberty Ridge, Bailey, Middleton, Red Rock, Royal Oaks and Woodbury elementary schools.

The plan does not go into effect until the 2017-18 school year but already has upset parents whose kids will move from the Liberty Ridge Elementary boundary to Valley Crossing. They do not know whether Valley Crossing will retain its alternative curriculum design and open classroom format or be converted to a traditional grade school. They say they could be forced into an educational format ill-suited for their children. They also claim the plan limits their education and busing options in ways other District 833 parents will not experience.

“It’s the fact of the uncertainty of the delivery,” said Ben Hooley of why parents like him are upset about the district’s approach to Valley Crossing. Hooley said he attended a school similar to Valley Crossing when he was young, but his daughter needs a traditional educational environment like she experiences now at Liberty Ridge.

District administrators have said existing Valley Crossing parents as well as parents assigned there under the new boundary will help shape that school’s future curriculum.

“We need to set the boundaries in place so that we can get to that next step,” board member Katie Schwartz said.

But creating the boundary before determining Valley Crossing’s future bothered others.

“I don’t think we should make parents have to fight for the kind of delivery their kids are going to get,” said board member Katy McElwee-Stevens. She said she is a fan of Valley Crossing and supports the school’s current curriculum model but did not want to send her own children there.

Parents who turned out at the Thursday meeting came predominantly from the Dancing Waters and Powers Lake neighborhoods in Woodbury that are being shifted from Liberty Ridge to Valley Crossing. They flooded board members with emails and phone calls in recent days, and then showed up with signs opposed to the plan and some repeatedly interrupted the board’s discussion. Their interruptions drew multiple warnings before Chairman Ron Kath removed two people and pleaded with others to remain respectful.

Parents Robert and Sarah Turner were kicked out. Sarah Turner said later she does not want her children in an alternative curriculum like what Valley Crossing offers now and what she suspects the district will decide to keep.

“My kids do well in the traditional setting, so I would never change that for them,” she said, adding she wants her children in a “neighborhood school.”

Sarah Turner echoed other parents’ concern when she said she does not believe the district will change Valley Crossing’s educational format because then it would lose families who favor the nontraditional approach.

That will certainly happen, warned Valley Crossing parent Mary Yapp in an interview. District 833 parents like herself, as well as families from other districts who open enroll to Valley Crossing, will go elsewhere, Yapp said. That will affect District 833’s enrollment and budget.

“You’re counting on our dollars,” Yapp said of per-student state aid, “but guess what? They won’t be there.”

Board members Schwartz, Ron Kath, Tracy Brunnette and Michelle Witte voted for the boundary change. Joe Slavin and Sharon Van Leer joined McElwee-Stevens in opposing the plan.

Board members and district administrators on Feb. 4 will begin discussing the process that will be used to decide future Valley Crossing curriculum and building design.

The boundary change was prompted by District 833’s decision to purchase Valley Crossing from the Stillwater and North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale districts. For 20 years the three districts jointly owned and used Valley Crossing. District 833 opted to buy the school to accommodate overcrowding in some of its elementary schools rather than build a new building.

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