Veritas School is ground zero for student population growth in Manteca.
That’s because the attendance area that has been in place since the campus on Pagola Avenue to the southeast of the Union Road and Atherton Drive intersection opened goes all the way to Highway 99 in the east. As a result the bulk of the new home construction south of the 120 Bypass is happening in the current Veritas attendance area.
A study completed in the fall of 2017 analyzing districtwide attendance patterns that will be updated annually showed that Veritas School — with a design capacity of 860 students — would have 1,362 students by 2021 if attendance boundaries aren’t adjusted.
Manteca Unified staff is currently using input from two well-attended workshops conducted in the past five weeks at Woodward and Veritas schools to consider possible tweaks for the board to consider based on points parents raised.
When a decision is finally made next month by the Manteca Unified trustees, the new attendance boundaries they adopt will go into effect the next day for any new families moving into the impacted areas south of the 120 Bypass. For existing families the switch won’t impact them until the 2019-2020 school year. Even so, they can opt to have their students enrolled this school year to be grandfathered in via priority registration to stay at the school they are currently attending. Siblings of students enrolled as of May 2019 are included in the priority registration if they apply in the 2018-2019 school year to be “grandfathered.”
The bulk of the existing Veritas School attendance area south of Woodward Avenue is targeted to be placed in an expanded Nile Garden School attendance area.
A section of the Veritas School area southwest of the 120 Bypass and Main Street where there are currently no homes would go into the Sequoia School attendance area.
Portions of the current Veritas attendance area east of Main Street are targeted for inclusion in an expanded Lincoln School attendance area.
The proposed changes as they stand now would address two issues that parents have raised over the years.
uExcept for current students that opt to stay at Veritas by being grandfathered in, students will no longer have to cross busy Woodward Avenue.
uClassmates promoted into high school would no longer be split between Sierra High and Manteca High. The proposed Veritas School attendance area is entirely within the Sierra High attendance boundaries.
The plan as outlined means growth can be accommodated for a number of years with existing campuses where there is now capacity or where just the adding of classrooms can take enrollment up to targeted cap of 1,000 students for elementary schools as established by board policy.
Existing campuses have expensive support facilities in place such as multi-purpose rooms. The modernization of Lincoln School added a new multi-purpose room and was done in a manner that a classroom wing can be added fairly quickly.
The upcoming modernization at Nile Garden School will also include a multipurpose room. Additional classroom wings will also eventually be added at the campus.
A new elementary school costs at least $30 million to build.
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