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Empower each individual to make responsible choices, meet challenges, achieve personal success, and contribute to a global society.

January 28, 2014

 

Please join us: The Class Size Management Work Group will hold a public forum on its draft Flex Zone Plan on Wednesday, February 11, at 7 p.m. at Craig Elementary School. All community members are encouraged to come and learn more about flex zones and ask questions.

 

Class Size Management Work Group outlines draft "flex zone" plan for Board of Education; February 11 public forum planned

More Information

The January 27 meeting of the Board of Education included a status report on the Class Size Management Work group. The group has been working since the summer to develop options to improve how the district manages and balances class sizes across the elementary schools.

The work group includes parents, elementary principals Dr. Shireen Fasciglione (Hillside) and Debra Berndt (Birchwood, Van Antwerp Principal Luke Rakoczy, the district registrar, Transportation Department staff, and Interim Superintendent John Yagielski.

At the Board meeting, it shared its latest thinking on the issue by outlining a draft plan for elementary "flex zones." Flex zones are geographic areas in which there is more than one potential elementary school assignment for the purposes of balancing class size.

The work group believes that over the long-term, these zones provide a solution to this issue without disrupting current families. No students would be moved from their current school and siblings would stay together, under the draft plan.

"After months of studying this concept together, our group believes this has the potential to vastly improve our approach to managing class sizes without moving any current students or redistricting," Interim Superintendent Yagielski said. "Our work indicates that this concept can serve as a more sustainable solution to this issue by providing ongoing flexibility rather than abrupt changes."

Yagielski emphasized that the plan remains in draft form, and the group is very interested in community feedback. A public forum is scheduled for Wednesday, February 11, at 7 p.m. at Craig.
Here is an overview of how the zones would work, based on the group's working proposal:

  • There would be six flex zones across the district, which in total would include parts of each current elementary attendance zone to allow flexibility for each building.
  • Four of the zones would have two potential school assignments, and one would have four.
  • The zones would be effective with new registrants and the entering kindergarten class for the 2015-16 school year.
  • No current students would be moved from their present school. In flex zones, younger siblings would automatically be assigned to the same school as older siblings when the family has children continuously enrolled there.
  • Families living in flex zones will be given the opportunity to state a preference from among the schools designated for that zone at the time of registration.

Following the February 11 forum, the work group plans to consider community input, make adjustments, and finalize recommendations for the Board of Education.