Zone Variance Changes & Impacts

Talk of zone variances are being spread throughout Spring Valley High School and schools within the Clark County School District. Zone variance issues have been handed down to Change of School Assignments or COSA. Zone variances are given to people who are not within the three mile radius of the given school. 

COSA is a new authority figure that has been dealing with zone variances. Students that are under a zone variance would fill out an application in January by going to the COSA website. Then they must wait until they receive a response. Though, if applicants don’t make it to that deadline they may fill out a late application around April or May. Then, applicants would wait for a response either by the end of the school year or a week before school starts. 

“If you were a current 9th, 10th, or 11th grader on a zone variance last year, they grandfathered you in. That means you could stay where you were,” Spring Valley Principal Tara Powell said. Even if students are “grandfathered” in they won’t receive bus transportation unless they are in the International Baccalaureate program (IB) or zoned within three miles of the school.

Over the course of the year as the central zone variance authority has changed to COSA, those who had attended as a Spring Valley student during one of their first three years of high school were authorized to stay at Spring Valley. 

“There were a lot of schools who were well over their enrollment, and beyond capacity. Then there were other schools who were under enrollment, so this was a way to even that out a little bit,” Assistant Curriculum Principal Ancona said.

Assistant Principal Ancona suggests that by next year everything will go back to normal. She thinks that with COSA being set in place it will bring out a lot of consistency within schools. 

With constant overcrowding at schools, yet not an overwhelming amount of overcapacity it will take time to adjust. “I think it’s equitable. I think that it’s one more thing off of the school’s plate, like kids and parents can choose through a lottery process, but at the same time we are not over burdening schools,” Powell said.

Many students have been facing hardships trying to change their zone variance and go through the process. 14 year-old Shabaan Raouf who is a freshman at Durango High School, has been trying to attend Spring Valley with her sister already enrolled on campus. Yet due to a shortage of seats, she wasn’t accepted. 

“When I called COSA for the first few times they wouldn’t pick up, but when they did pick up the phone they tried to find alternative ways by telling me to go to my zoned school or for my sister to drop out of the IB (International Baccalaureate) program and attend Durango with me,” 14 year-old Shabaan Raouf said. 

She talked to CCSD and Spring Valley as well, but they both redirected her to COSA. When in contact, COSA would repeat what they previously stated without any further advice. 

Zone variance issues have a big impact on the home and school life of the student. The recent changes have caused Raouf’s parents to wake up early to drop off both her and her sister at two different schools. This is majorly inconvenient. 

Parents and students were left unaware of the zone variance authority being changed. “I didn’t know about COSA when the authority changed. I only found out when registration started,” Raouf said. Many other students have reported having similar issues.