By Jim Shilander
Residents of Ladera Ranch told the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday, April 23 their children, who were expecting to attend San Juan Hills High School, were being directed elsewhere in the district despite having priority slots for the school.
Parents said the community, which is zoned to send approximately 75 percent of its students to San Juan Hills and 25 percent to Tesoro High School, has one middle school. They said this led to the development of friendships among students, who will now be separated.
Community facilities district funds from Ladera Ranch were partially used to help fund the construction of San Juan Hills, giving students in the area priority. Even students in the Tesoro zone are supposed to be given priority over those from other parts of the district, they said.
Parents said approximately 56 students were sent to Tesoro despite the priority listing and others, with lower school-of-choice priority—including students from San Clemente and Dana Point—had been given spots at the school.
A review of the lottery process used to assign students to their schools of choice will be agendized for May, district officials said.