Board to decide destination of Riverside School students

The Lawrence school board probably will look to Interstate 70 as a boundary line for determining where to send current Riverside School students after the school is closed in May.

The board will be asked Monday to give preliminary approval for a boundary change that would permit closure of Riverside, 601 N. Iowa.

The first proposal up for discussion would send 47 Riverside students living north of I-70 to Deerfield School, while 41 students on the south side of I-70 would transfer to Pinckney.

Judy Roberts, who has a first- and second-grader at Riverside, said the preference of her neighbors north of I-70 was to go to the nearest school. In her case, that’s Deerfield, 101 Lawrence Ave.

“I’d be pleased,” she said, “because that’s our closest neighborhood school.”

Other options are to send all students to Pinckney, 810 W. Sixth St., or move those north of I-70 to Woodlawn or Langston Hughes. All scenarios send students south of I-70 to Pinckney.

President Scott Morgan said the board would begin with consideration of a division between Deerfield and Pinckney.

The public will be allowed to comment on the issue at the meeting, 7 p.m. Monday at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive.

Morgan said Riverside parents objected to requiring children to commute longer distances to Woodlawn and Langston Hughes.

However, he said, talk of directing Riverside students to Deerfield raised questions about crowding there. Deerfield is the district’s largest elementary school with more than 500 students.