10:00 PM PDT on Sunday, September 4, 2011

BY DARRELL R. SANTSCHI
STAFF WRITER
dsantschi@pe.com

Parents of Colton Joint Unified School District students will get a chance to weigh in on attendance boundaries for a middle school in Bloomington and a high school in Grand Terrace.

Meetings are planned Tuesday in Colton and Sept. 20 in Grand Terrace, with school district trustees expected to make a final decision next month.

The $45.3 million Joe Baca Middle School on South Lilac Avenue in Rialto and the $143 million Grand Terrace High School on Main Street west of Michigan Avenue in Grand Terrace are scheduled to open in August 2012.

Two alternative boundary lines are being considered for each school, although those could be tweaked depending on parents’ reaction, according to district spokeswoman Katie Orloff, a member of the boundary committee.

“If there is a way to change boundaries and keep everybody happy I would love to know how,” Assistant Superintendent Mike Snellings told about 100 parents and students at a meeting in Bloomington Middle School last week.

Parents at that meeting came to find out where their youngsters would be going to school.

The district plans to shut Bloomington Middle School, on Orange Street south of Interstate 10, and shift its students to the new Joe Baca Middle School.

One of the alternatives, Orloff said, would redirect “a handful” of students in an industrial area south of the freeway and north of Slover Avenue to Ruth Harris Middle School.

Snellings said Bloomington Middle School may be used for some district offices, but that district officials have not made up their minds.

The long-awaited Grand Terrace High School would siphon students from the crowded Bloomington and Colton high schools, but not between the two existing high schools.

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