An estimated 875 students could be enrolled at Miwok Village Elementary School during its first academic year that begins next July.
The Elk Grove Unified School District staff anticipates that population after the school board approved the school’s attendance boundary at their Oct. 5 meeting.
“Anytime we talk about the opening of a new school and the associated attendance boundaries, that’s a very positive thing and it’s an exciting thing for the school district and the community,” said Rob Pierce, the district’s deputy superintendent of facilities and business services. “But we do need to appreciate, respect, and understand; that means change.”
Miwok Village’s boundary area will cover nearly half of nearby Zehnder Ranch Elementary’s current boundary area. Both campuses sit in Elk Grove’s rapidly growing Laguna Ridge area that includes the city’s District56 center and the future Sky River Casino.
The district staff is already planning three more elementary schools near Miwok Village, which is being built at the corner of Whitelock Parkway and Lousada Drive.
“That’s how quickly the area is going to grow and that’s how dense it’s going to become,” Pierce said.
During the board meeting, he noted the lack of streets shown at a future school location on a Laguna Ridge map.
“The open space in the southern region is being rapidly developed as we speak,” Pierce said. “It’s happening faster than aerials and databases can keep up.”
Zehnder Ranch, which opened in 2017, does not have room to serve the 1,404 students who live in its current attendance boundary. The campus has a peak capacity at 1,270 students.
Starting next year, Zehnder Ranch will serve students who live east of Bruceville Road, south of Elk Grove Boulevard, north of Whitelock Parkway, and west of Highway 99.
Miwok Village campus’s recently approved attendance boundary runs from Whitelock Parkway to the north, Bruceville Road to the west, Highway 99 to the east, and Kammerer Road to the south.
The district staff proposed an attendance boundary they believed would balance enrollment at Miwok Village and Zehnder Village, and would not require the district to soon change attendance boundaries due to a rapid rise in enrollment. Staff members also gathered feedback held at community meetings about Miwok Village earlier this year.
“We don’t want to adopt a boundary today that we know is going to change in short duration and further affect our families,” Pierce told the school board.
Pierce’s staff did not propose changes to the attendance boundaries of Carroll, Castello, Franklin, and Hein elementary schools in the nearby East Franklin area.
Trustees unanimously chose Miwok Village’s “Alternative A” option after they followed the district staff’s recommendation.
Pierce said this option allows Miwok Village students and parents to not have to cross Whitelock Parkway to travel to their campus. Zehnder Ranch’s estimated enrollment will also be stable with 1,050 students in the 2022-23 school year and 1,025 students two years later.
However, Pierce warned that Miwok Village’s enrollment could sharply rise to 1,475 students in the 2024-25 school year, which could require a change to its attendance boundary.
Pierce said that Miwok Village will open with a year-round academic calendar where students are placed in different “tracks” or class schedules so that the campus will not be overcrowded. The school’s capacity for a traditional academic calendar is 958 students, while the year-round schedule will enable them to serve up to 1,218 students, according to Pierce’s presentation.
In August, the Elk Grove school board named their district’s 43rd elementary school as a tribute to the Elk Grove region’s earliest residents, the Miwok tribe.