• Folsom Attendance Boundary Revisions header graphic

    Update: Nov. 7, 2019 Board of Education meeting

     

    After months of public input and analysis, the Board of Education did not take a vote on the two high school feeder options presented at its Nov. 7 meeting. Board members directed staff to bring back three options with more information for our next regular meeting on Nov. 21. Those options are:

    • Shift of Blanche Sprentz Elementary to Sutter Middle and Folsom High, effective 2020-21: No changes would affect current students in grades 6-8. Current elementary school students would be assigned to their new middle school in 2020-21. Enrollment at Vista del Lago would be capped at 1,900. 
    • Shift of Blanche Sprentz and Folsom Hills to Folsom High, effective 2020-21. For middle school: Blanche Sprentz to Folsom Middle, with option to choice into Sutter Middle; and Folsom Hills to Sutter Middle, with option to choice into Folsom Middle. No changes would affect current students in grades 6-8. Current elementary school students would be assigned to their new middle school in 2020-21. Enrollment at Vista del Lago would be capped at 1,900. 
    • No change in attendance boundaries. Enrollment at Vista del Lago would be capped at 1,900.

    Under all options, the Board asked that the District design new marketing strategies to help attract students who may be interested in attending Folsom High School. 

    Staff is following up on the Board’s request and will provide more information in the meeting agenda, which will be posted online by the end of the day Friday, Nov. 15 and will be found online here once posted. 

    In other action: The Board approved a minor adjustment to shift a portion of Cordova Villa Elementary to Natoma Station Elementary, Sutter Middle School, and Folsom High School, effective in the 2020-21 school year. This change will support the more efficient transportation of students and does not affect any other elementary attendance boundaries. Under the recommendation, a small portion of the boundary that includes the Oakbrook Apartment Complex (24 students) and the Twilight Mobile Home Park (four students) will be shifted. This adjustment affects a total of 28 students, including 19 in grades K-5, three in grades 6-8, and six in grades 9-12.


    Nov. 1, 2019 Update: Board proposals and student survey

    Thank you to all of you who have partnered with us since earlier this year when we began the process of working with our families to adjust attendance boundary feeder patterns in Folsom. On Thursday, Nov. 7 the District will ask the Board of Education to select one of two options brought forward after months of analyzing resident student projections, ThoughtExchange survey results, community forum discussions, attendance boundary committee discussions, and student input. 

    Please keep reading this update for information on:explainer graphic text box

    • which proposals will be brought forward to the Board of Education
    • detailed results from our recent student surveys
    • links to the most recent Thoughtexchange survey results 

    Boundary scenarios and phased-in implementation (“grandfathering”): 

    Based on public input and enrollment analysis to date, District staff has narrowed down proposed high school feeder pattern options to:

    • Scenario 2A: Folsom Hills Elementary to Sutter Middle and Folsom High School
    • Scenario 3: Blanche Sprentz and Folsom Hills to Folsom Middle and Folsom High School. 

    Additionally, to help ease the transition for impacted students and households under either scenario, the District also is proposing a phased-in implementation that includes exemptions (grandfathering) and school choice priorities.

    To see the full recommendation and rationale that will be presented to the Board of Education, please click here and scroll down to Discussion/Action Item X.a. “Folsom Attendance Boundary Change Effective 2020/21 School Year.” At that link, you will find: 

    • A detailed rationale for the recommendation, including enrollment projections under both scenarios
    • Advantages and disadvantages of both scenarios 
    • A detailed plan for a phased-in implementation: Grandfathering, School Choice and Interdistrict Transfer Permit Criteria

    Student survey results: 

    On Oct. 29-30, the District offered an anonymous, optional online survey to fifth-grade students at Blanche Sprentz Elementary, Folsom Hills Elementary, and Folsom Middle School. A total of 1,216 students participated in the survey, which asked for their opinions on attending Folsom High School, the importance of an elementary-middle-high school continuum, and following their older siblings to high school. The following is a detailed recap of the results: 

    Fifth-grade results: Of the 143 fifth-graders attending Folsom Hills and Blanche Sprentz elementary schools, 83 students, or 58%, participated in our online survey administered by teachers. Nearly 70% of participants did not have an older sibling attending high school.  (As a recap, here are the questions students were asked, and here are the prompts teachers used to help prepare students for the survey.) 

    When asked how they feel about the idea of going to Folsom High School: 

    • 40.9% said they are OK going to Folsom High, regardless of whether they attend Folsom or Sutter middle schools
    • 20.5% said they are not sure how they feel
    • 15.7% said they are OK going to Folsom High, but only if they can attend Sutter Middle first.
    • 15.7% said they only want to attend Vista del Lago (write-in)
    • 7.2% said they would like to attend Folsom High if they can attend Folsom Middle first (write-in)

    When asked if they agree that staying with the same group of friends from elementary through high school is very important to them: 

    • 63.9% agreed
    • 27.7% are not sure
    • 8.4% disagree

    When asked if they agree that going to the same high school as their older sibling is very important to them: 

    • 42.2% are not sure
    • 31.3% agree
    • 26.5% disagree

    Folsom Middle results (all grades): Of the 1,454 students attending Folsom Middle School, 1,133 students, or 77.9%, participated in our online survey administered by teachers. 59% of participants did not have an older sibling attending high school. As a recap, here are the questions students were asked, and here are the prompts teachers used to help prepare students for the survey

    Important note: Among all participants, 274 students, or 24.2%, reported they previously attended Blanche Sprentz or Folsom Hills elementary schools. The answers below are only those reported by students who previously attended either of those schools. 

    When asked if they agree that staying with the same group of friends from elementary through high school is very important to them: 

    • 72.6% agree
    • 17.5% are not sure
    • 9.9% disagree

    When asked if they agree that going to the same high school as their older sibling is very important to them:

    • 54.7% agree
    • 28.5% are not sure
    • 16.8% disagree

    Students were also asked, “If I had the opportunity to learn more about Folsom High School, I’d want to do that in the following ways (select any that apply).” Among all students surveyed, top responses included: 

    • Tour FHS campus (602)
    • Meet teachers (497)
    • Visit athletic programs (393)
    • Meet FHS students (352)
    • Visit clubs (205)
    • (Write-in) Not interested/don’t want to attend FHS/only want to attend Vista del Lago (103)

    Thoughtexchange survey results

    After our second public forum on Oct. 3, the District provided another Thoughtexchange survey to all Folsom families to gather input on the latest boundary proposals. 739 people participated. 
    Click here to explore the thoughts that were shared through this interactive website.


    Recap: Oct. 3, 2019 Public Forum

    What boundary scenarios were presented at the Oct. 3 workshop? 

    Taking into account the totality of feedback gathered since May 2019 and resident enrollment capacity projections, District staff presented six boundary scenarios during its Oct. 3 public workshop. Based on public feedback regarding a desire to maintain a middle-to-high-school continuum for students, each of the options linked below shows the differences in enrollment projections in two scenarios: 

    • students continue to Folsom Middle and then are redirected to Folsom High
    • students are redirected to Sutter Middle before moving on to Folsom High

    Click the links below to see the scenarios in more detail: 

    • Scenario 1 and 1A: Blanche Sprentz to Folsom Middle/Folsom High or Blanche Sprentz to Sutter Middle/Folsom High
    • Scenarios 2 and 2A: Folsom Hills to Folsom Middle/Folsom High or Folsom Hills to Sutter Middle/Folsom High
    • Scenarios 3 and 3A: Blanche Sprentz and Folsom Hills to Folsom Middle/Folsom High or Blanche Sprentz and Folsom Hills to Sutter Middle/Folsom High

    Important note: The District will continue to collect feedback (scroll down for more information) before making a formal recommendation on any scenario to the Board on Nov. 7.  

    At the Oct. 3 workshop, several Parkway residents asked whether the District would consider redrawing portions of Folsom Hills Elementary’s attendance boundaries and redirecting some neighborhoods to other schools, such as Empire Oaks or Oak Chan. Is that still a possibility? 

    The District is committed to continuing to study the issue. Given the multiple attendance areas that would be impacted by any changes, as well as considerations for impacts on programs, the District believes more time is needed to study these options. 

    Why did District staff remove from consideration boundary scenarios that included Oak Chan and Gold Ridge elementary schools? 

    Oak Chan and Gold Ridge were removed from District staff consideration after evaluating public input to date, including surveys and feedback during our Sept. 19 public forum. 

     


    Thoughtexchange Feedback: August 2019

    We launched a Thoughtexchange to solicit feedback from Folsom families regarding our first set of attendance boundary revision proposals. Feedback collected from Aug. 22-30 has been considered to help narrow down proposed changes. You can explore the results of this exchange with the interactive tools below.

    Click here to see an interactive report on top-rated thoughts and common themes.


    Survey Results: May 2019

    From May 22-30, the District distributed its first survey to all Folsom families with children enrolled in our schools. The survey asked participants to rank priorities they believed should be given highest consideration as we redraw boundaries. It also asked for questions and feedback about the process. 

    Nearly 3,600 participants responded to the survey, which was distributed by email and text message. 

    Click here for a copy of the survey to see how the questions were worded

    Click here to see a full recap of survey results


    Frequently Asked QuestionsTimeline for attendance boundaries process

    Below are answers to the most common questions we received during our process. We’ll continue to update this page as we move through the community engagement process (see timeline, right). 

    Why does the District want to change attendance boundaries in Folsom? 

    With two similar-sized, large middle schools feeding into two, different-sized high schools, existing feeder patterns have created overcrowding issues at Vista del Lago High School. Boundary changes will help our Folsom schools maintain the level of excellence our families have come to expect by better balancing enrollment capacity at our schools. 

    How soon will changes go into effect? 

    No adopted changes will take effect until the 2020-21 school year.

    Will any impacted families be exempt from the changes (grandfathered) in the 2020-21 school year? 

    The District intends to recommend to the Board of Education a policy that takes into consideration feedback from the community, reduces disruption on families, and balances the need to create capacity relief at the most impacted schools. A formal recommendation has not yet been developed. 

    Why was Vista del Lago designed to have such lower enrollment capacity than Folsom High? 

    Vista was built to accommodate the number of projected students generated by housing development. Today, the combined capacities of both high schools still provide enough space to house Folsom secondary students, but existing feeder patterns are sending too many students to Vista del Lago.  

    Do we allow non-Folsom resident students to attend Folsom schools? 

    Students who reside within a school’s attendance boundaries always have first priority in enrollment. After that, transfers from other schools inside or outside of the District are considered on a space-available basis. 

    Last year, the Board of Education approved criteria to determine additional registration priorities for the upcoming school year (2019-20). The priorities were developed to help Vista del Lago and District keep enrollment at a cap of between 1,850-1900 students - a short-term, temporary solution to help alleviate overcrowding.

    Click here to review the previously approved registration criteria.

    Current and incoming Vista del Lago students who live within the school’s attendance area were given top priority. The school continues to deny new Inter-District Transfer Permits (outside FCUSD boundaries) or new School Choice (inside FCUSD boundaries) requests at any grade level.

    Additionally, the school required three verified proofs of residency during registration, and it also conducted a residency audit.

    Will new boundaries affect my ability to choose special programs for my child, such as the FLES program or the Academy for Advanced Learning? 

    Families will still have the option to apply for these programs regardless of their attendance boundaries, and space availability will continue to be an enrollment factor. 

    Will development South of Highway 50 impact enrollment projections or boundaries? Has the District adequately accounted for planned residential growth in Folsom? 

    Development South of 50 will not affect north of 50 boundaries.  Sandra J. Gallardo is currently the elementary school for students in grades K-5 living South of 50 until the new Mangini Ranch Elementary School opens.  Folsom Middle and Folsom High schools are the schools for students in grades 6-12 living South of 50 until new secondary schools are completed. Both Folsom Middle and Folsom High schools have the capacity to house these students.

    When will the District build new schools to accommodate growth?

    The first school to be built South of 50 will be an elementary school. Additional elementary schools, a high school and a middle school will be built next as housing growth dictates. Those plans are in development. Here is more information.

    A school must have enough enrollment to support its operating expenses - teachers, custodians, bus drivers, and utilities for example. It takes about 250 students to open an elementary school, about 450 students to open a middle school, and about 650 to open a high school. It is anticipated that it will be several years before new housing developments South of 50 generate enough high school students to support the operation of a new school.

    Why can’t the District add capacity (portables, new construction, etc.) to Vista del Lago? 

    There is little available land on which to expand Vista del Lago. Additionally, new, permanent construction additions to existing schools can cost millions of dollars, and currently no funding source exists for such a project.

    Relocatable classrooms, or portables, are sometimes used when school buildings have reached their maximum capacity, providing some relief from overcrowding in classrooms, but increased challenges in cafeterias, playgrounds and parking lots. The District strives to make a boundary recommendation that considers reduced reliance on portables.

    Questions? Contact the Communication & Community Engagement office at (916) 294-9000 ext. 104530.