East Side Union High School District trustees voted Thursday night to explore constructing a new building on the Evergreen Valley High School campus to ease overcrowding at the popular new high school.
With enrollment expected to exceed the school's capacity next fall, the district would probably install portable classrooms in the meantime.
In addition, the trustees voted to adopt policies that would require stricter documentation of students' legal guardians and prohibit parents from renting rooms near the school to establish an address within Evergreen's attendance area.
Evergreen's enrollment is rapidly approaching the school's capacity of 1,800, even though it has students in only three of its four grades this year. Estimates for 2004-05 -- the first year in which Evergreen will have students in all four grades -- show that enrollment could be as high as 2,170 next year.
The problem has divided the surrounding community, with parents circulating competing petitions seeking either to limit enrollment or to expand the school's capacity.
Parents, teachers and administrators offer several reasons for the high enrollment numbers. Some say a surge of residential development in the area has drawn many families to the community. Others say the economic downturn has prompted some parents to opt for public school over private school.
Still others suspect some families are renting rooms near the school or sending their children to live with relatives within Evergreen's attendance boundaries so that they can go to the school, which opened in January 2003.