Parents Weigh In On Proposed Westerville Boundary Changes


UPDATED: Wednesday February 20, 2013 9:06 AM

Additional options for redistricting elementary students are on the table in front of parents in the Westerville City School District.

Alcott Elementary School was packed during the community open house on Tuesday night, when parents weighed in on the two new options for school attendance boundaries.

The district now has presented a total of five options for parents to consider, adding two additional options since last week.

For parent Jamie Conley, whose 9-year-old attends Hanby Elementary School, the options were a bit overwhelming.

“It is huge, and there are so many kids, and, of course, you don’t want your schools overcrowded, then your kid doesn’t get the attention they need,” Conley said. “I understand, but it is frustrating.”

The plans could shake up some schools more than others.

“Under these current proposals, at least 42 percent of our students will be affected no matter what change is adopted, and we, like the community that we have at our schools now, want to try to preserve that as much as possible,” said parent Jeff Johnson.

District officials said they have to realign the attendance boundaries because of growing enrollment.
    
Officials said they also want to have a better proportion of demographics throughout the district.

As an example of the changes, according to the district, 13 percent of Alcott Elementary students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Any of the realignment options would change that to two to five percent.

The district said in terms of non-white students, Alcott has 24 percent. Realignment would change that to 16 to 18 percent, officials said.

Parents said that they hope the district continues to take their feedback into consideration.

“They do want parent input, and they have always asked for parent input as long as I have been in the system,” Conley said.

District officials said the feedback they received was the inspiration for adding two additional attendance boundary options that were introduced on Tuesday.

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