Youngsters who live in the small Leavenworth County community of Fall Leaf are attending school in Eudora this fall, more than a year after their parents launched an effort to get them there.
Fall Leaf residents worked for the transfer of about five square miles from the Basehor-Linwood school district to the Eudora district, a move that became official earlier this year after receiving the stamp of approval from both school boards and the State Board of Education.
Residents stressed they weren't dissatisfied with the Basehor-Linwood schools, but felt more ties with Eudora. Plus, students were traveling 20 miles to attend Basehor-Linwood High School when the Eudora school was less that five miles away.
Flooding in July wiped out Leavenworth County Road 1 where it crosses the Kansas River, linking Fall Leaf and Eudora. But the Leavenworth County public works department repaired the road in plenty of time for Fall Leaf youngsters to cross the bridge to school in Eudora.
Eudora Supt. Dan Bloom said bus service to the Fall Leaf area has gone smoothly.
"We didn't have any problems," he said. "We had more problems picking up kids in Weaver Bottoms. There were two or three days we couldn't get in there."
Bloom said six Fall Leaf junior-senior high school students already were enrolled in Eudora before the transfer took place, and an additional 14 youngsters have since come to the district. Eight attend the junior-senior high, and 10 are students at Nottingham Elementary School. Two more elementary school youngsters are expected to attend Nottingham when they recover from injuries they suffered in a summer car accident.
Mark Elmer lives in Fall Leaf and said his five children were excited to attend school in Eudora. His three oldest -- a senior, sophomore and seventh-grader -- were students at Eudora Junior-Senior High School last year.
"They all wanted to go because they didn't want to ride the bus so far," he said.
His other two children had been enrolled at Linwood Elementary School, but the sixth-grader and first-grader now board a bus each morning for Eudora.
"They love it, every one of them," said their father.
While most Fall Leaf residents embraced the transfer to the Eudora school district, John and Kathy Garrison moved from Fall Leaf to rural Linwood in part to keep their two children in Basehor-Linwood schools.
Mrs. Garrison said her daughter, a second-grader, and son, a kindergartner, enjoy school in Linwood, and since the family was thinking about moving to a larger home anyway, the Garrisons decided to stay in the school district.
"That's where they started and that's where their friends are," she said. "We were happy with it and didn't want to change."
She said she didn't feel bitter about the Fall Leaf transfer. In fact, she's glad the Fall Leaf community got what it wanted.
"I'm really happy everything turned out like it did," she said.