Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Seven parents speak up at School Board meeting on overcrowding

Seven parents addressed the School Board and Superintendent this Monday about problems with the reboundary process underway to relieve overcrowding at Rosa Parks.   Beth Zimmerman indicated all three scenarios presented by the Boundary Committee exceeded the true capacity of the schools with 713 students.  She suggested 667 is closer to true capacity.  The committee's total capacity includes the 10 portables which stress capacity in the playgrounds, gym, rest rooms, and common area.  Lunch must be held in classrooms and one 5th grade gym class has 62 students in it.  Beth urged the Superintendent "to fine tune" the reboundary plan to account for true capacity. 

Julie Ann appreciated the temporary boundary committee's work but was concerned the true enrollment for Rosa Parks was not presented at the open house or posted online.  She asked for transparency to collect acceptable feedback.  A concern was grandfathering was allowed and would keep enrollment at 700+ which was too much.  She was bothered that she read about this in the local media and had to call Communications Director Kathryn Reith for confirmation.  Julie Ann said, "The Grandfathering omission does not reflect the openness and honesty critical to developing trust to maintain a positive approach to  problem solving."  She concluded, "Thank you for listening and understanding how important transparency is to developing trust-based relationships with key stakeholders."  

Karen Swenson said the most important decision criteria identified in the surveys was "maintaining integrity of  the neighborhoods."  She was concerned that North Deveron neighborhood of 29 students was not included in the Wilder reboundary.  These students are expected to walk one mile to Rosa Parks along woods under the  most popular Scenario C. 

The last speaker was frustrated with the complexity of the re boundary process.  He thought it would be a lot simpler and was upset with capacity problems of walking outside to bathrooms and not sharing recognition awards in one assembly room. 

The School Board commiserated and asked for updated reboundary information on the website.  Superintendent Pierce said she wouldn't hold any information back.  The survey deadline is December 10 and all new reboundary information and feedback forms are found here:  http://www.lwsd.org/News/temporary-boundary-change/Pages/default.aspx.  

By Bob Yoder

 

7 comments:

Rosa Parks Parent and Community leader said...

Evergreen already has 9 portable and 116% over original building capacity. We want the district to be aware that when the mass growth (current K, 1st, 2nd graders) reaches middle school it is unacceptable to put these children in an also overcrowded middle school.

Anonymous said...

The School Board should get this redistricting in gear for Rockwell as well. We also have doubled up PE classes, no leveled reading or math classes, portables, and all atnan aging school. And the houses keep coming up. Where is the strategic planning?

Evergreen and Rosa Parks Parent said...

All you have to do is count the kids in 4th & 5th grade today attending the feeder schools to Evergreen to see that this school is going to grow by 125+ kids for the 2013-14 school year and to attendance of over 1000+ kids in the 2014-15 year. Can we hope that LWSD board is already making plans to accommodate all these kids at the middle school level???

Rosa Parks parent (from Facebook Page) said...

I just counted kids in all the feeder schools to Evergreen for today's 4th & 5th graders. Assuming my math is correct from the enrollment report on LWSD.ORG, EMS goes from 754 today to 873 kids in the 2013-14 school year and 1,069 kids in the 2014-2015 school year. So it's not even just Rosa Parks - our kids are facing overcrowding all the way through... Oh yeah and did I mention that I didn't even add in any new growth from RR East?? This is just existing enrollment.

Rosa Parks parent (Facebook comment) said...

Not sure how I feel about all of this any more. With any scenario Rosa Parks will still have way more students than it should, we will loose great teachers, and we are dividing neighborhoods.

Facebook page commentor said...

Why not temporarily bus kids to schools with room to adjust to enrollment? Much better than an overcrowded school

Anonymous said...

In all three scenarios, Rosa Parks will stay near 700 students which means a loss of about 4 teachers. This decrease will probably happen through attrition as some teachers will voluntarily move to another school. Last year, I believe 6 teachers left the school for various reasons.
If the district put teachers jobs first, Rosa Parks would be over 1,000 students in a building built for 483 before a new school opens....As Chip Kimbal said, it's the parents who have a hard time with change.

 
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