Wentzville parents express safety concerns over proposed school boundaries

WENTZVILLE, MO (KPLR) - Wentzville mom Lynn Harris is concerned about the safety of her two elementary school children if a newly proposed school boundary plan is approved by the Board of Education next month.

"We hope the school board will reject the new boundary proposal" said Harris.  "I think they have better options that they can utilize and I hope the school board rejects the proposal" she said.

If approved, Harris' second and third graders will be moved from their current Peine Ridge Elementary School to Heritage Elementary.  It's not the change in schools that concerns Harris, but the new routes her children and others living in her subdivision will have to take.

"It's in the best interest of my kids and the kids in the subdivision not to be on the highway" Harris said.  "I think it's in the best interest of the school to keep the kids off of the highway" she said.

Harris says currently, her children travel less than two miles on US 61 from their home to Peine Ridge Elementary.  If approved, they'll have to travel longer distances on an already treacherous highway.

"15 miles on the most dangerous highway in St. Charles and Lincoln Counties... we don't want our kids on that highway any longer than they have to be" said Harris.  "We don't want to add more kids, more buses on an already overtaxed highway" she said.

School district officials say student safety is always their number one priority.  They say in the months it's taken to draft the proposal, they analyzed student safety, growing enrollment numbers and input from the community.

In a statement to Fox2, district spokesperson Mary LaPak said:

As the fastest growing school district in the state, opening new schools and changing boundaries is a familiar process in the WSD. The Boundary Committee that has met since March had a monumental task addressing the boundaries for our nine existing elementary schools and our two new schools to accommodate growing enrollment as well as our shift to k-6 buildings. They did an exceptional job formulating a Boundary Proposal which will be presented to our Board of Education for approval next month. We understand students and families grow attached to their school community and we recognize this is a very personal and significant change for some of those families. All our schools are outstanding places to grow and learn and we have a caring and exceptional team of educators that will ensure every affected student has a smooth transition and an opportunity to succeed.