April 11, 2002 11:00 pm

A committee to set new elementary school boundaries in La Grande is forming and looking for members.

The citizens-school district committee will work with the district to map the future of La Grandes elementary school program.

Committee members will be parents, school board members, school district staff and other community people.

Appointments to the committee will be made by April 26. Anyone interested should call 663-3200.

The first meeting to organize the 35-40-member committee and its subcommittees will be May 6.

Reports and subcommittee recommendations will be made to the committee on Sept. 2, and the school board will receive the recommendations Sept. 10.

The subcommittees and their tasks follow.

Boundary Subcommittee: members will develop boundary plans for three-elementary and four-elementary school designs. The school district has five elementary schools now but will have four following the closure of Riveria Elementary in June.

The number could fall to three if voters approve a bond levy to build a new larger elementary school. Under one proposal, if a new school is built Willow and Island City elementary schools would close after the building opens. The school board has not developed plans for a bond levy.

K-6 (kindergarten through sixth grade) Subcommittee: this subcommittee will research and study the configurations and the instructional model elementary schools may use in future years.

The subcommittee will look into such issues as having clusters of students from certain grades at schools. For example, the subcommittee will study whether it would be feasible to have all the districts kindergartners and first-graders; second- and third-graders; and fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at separate schools.

Middle School Grade 6-8 Subcommittee: this group will look into the possibility of moving the school districts sixth graders to La Grande Middle School. The middle school would then serve students in sixth through the eighth grades. The middle school has room for sixth-graders because of declining enrollment.

Dick Mason