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Old 03-25-2013, 09:11 AM   #1
Shea&Van
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OT - Elementary School Redistricting Process

Hi everyone,

This probably belongs on the Community Board, but some of the threads there get a little scary to me. And, this board has always been so friendly. I hope you don't mind me posting here.

We just found out that our children's school will be starting the redistricting process for August. We have heard through the rumor mill, that our area is one that will be sent to another school. There are many issues to that for us, both logicitially and emotionally for my kids. But the biggest issue is that the school we currently use is one mile from our home and the "new" school is more than eight miles from home. Not a huge distance, but our in-laws house is within walking distance to our current school and my parents like less than 1/2 mile to our current school. It makes life SO easy when someone is sick or even if one of the grandparents wants to drop by for lunch.

Granted, this is all hear-say now and we are thinking the worst, but I'm wondering if anyone has gone through this with their children? Did you have any success appealing the decision?

Some of the parents our area are organizing a letter-writing campaign to complain about the timing. The public hearings aren't until June/July and changes will go into effect mid-August. Doesn't really alllow those impacted much time. I'm not sure if participating in this campaign would make things better/worse?

My daughter is heart-sick hearing some of the other kids talk about moving schools and she is asking a lot of questions about it. What do I say to ease her mind and help her get through the next few months of school?

Any advice or insight would be most appreciated. The school is overcrowded and does need to be redistrcted. My issue is the speedy process that seems to be happening and the fact that there seems to be a no exception policy to what they decide. I also have issues that the public hearings are so close to the start of school. I would think it would take more time to hash these things out? It also doesn't really seeem "fair" as the obvious geographical boundaries seem to be ignored and it's falling more along the lines of some of our local election boundaries...

Just looking for some feedback...

Have a happy day everyone! Please no flames...it's always nice to be important but it's more important to be nice (or so that cliche goes).

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Old 03-25-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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I went thru it as a kid twice( not fun at all)..Despite parents petitions and letters it still happened, I am not sure what you can do..I went from walking distance to miles away over a major highway and NO bussing..Redistricting or Re-zoning districts is always going to effect someone unfortunately...My parents had to change around their work hours and try and find someone to take us to school..It was difficult.I hope it all works out for you
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Redistricting is always hard and always SO political.
In our district, you can appeal your school assignment based on childcare needs. So if you have a daycare provider that lives in the neighboring school, your kid can go to that school. SInce it sounds like your parents provide some childcare for you, I wonder if you'll be able to use that as grounds for a reassignment for your daughter.
Other than that, I don't have much advice. So sorry you all have to go through it!
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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It happened here last Sept and there were petitions, etc. and it still happened. USUALLY all other options have been evaluated and this is the last option that HAS to happen. I'm guessing it's the same for your district.

So I would say to accept it and focus on the positives. Unless your district has significant differences in your elementary schools - I would guess it will be the same as it is here. Everyone who was changing schools was just as worried, scared, upset as you are and now, 6 months later - I can't find ONE of them who is upset at all about this. Things have gone VERY SMOOTHLY and 99.9% of people are now happy on the other side of it all.

The CHANGE is the most difficult part is what I'm saying. So you too will get to the other side of this change.

For us, the positives have meant no more overcrowding at the one school. This has been a huge plus - we were using storage rooms as classrooms in years past. The kids who moved have also been able to meet so many more kids in the district. These kids will be 'ahead' of all the rest of us when we all merge into middle school. Anyway - it likely has to happen and luckily the reasons you state for your unhappiness are relatively small. You will get used to it and it won't be that bad.

Oh - almost forgot - Look now for one (or two) friends who will also be changing schools. If your dd doesn't hang out with any others who will be chaning - plan some playdates now. If she has a couple others who will be going to the new school with her - it will make it much easier on her. You likely would be able to request that they have the same teacher too to ease the transition to the new school.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:15 PM   #5
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Many, many kids have to deal with changing schools every year. Your kids will survive! Eight miles is not a big deal for the grandparents to go if someone gets sick. Emphasize the positive aspects to your child and tell her everything will work out; it usually does!
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
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I'm not sure there is much you can do. The redistricting begins with the annual census information and then is highly contested all around I'm sure. You mention that the existing school is over crowded. Maybe look at the positive that moving to a school with a smaller enrollment will be beneficial education wise. We have had this done several times around our areas.

I know it is hard on the kids, but surely there are others that they know in the same boat. You can't be the only family this is affected from the old school. I don't say this to be harsh, only as a discussion with your children that some of their friends will be moving with them as well. That is a positive. Plus they get to meet some new friends. Just a thought.

I guess at this point you have to wait and see what rumors are true and what are not. I do wish you the best and hope whatever happens it benefits your children in the long run.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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We have been though this several times over the years and its never easy. I know in our area there are kids that have been to 4 schools in 5 years and have never moved.

Do you have open enrollment? We have it now that you can go to any school that will accept you as long as you are willing to provide transportation. They wanted to send my DD to a failing school across town and that wasn't going to be an option for me. We were able to send her to a 4 star school 7 minutes from our house instead of a failing school 38 minutes from home. I would ask if that is a option. If not, there may not be much you can do about it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback!

It is most appreciated. I, too, was redistricted three times in elementary school and it was very difficult for me. I was a shy child and it was really difficult for me to make friends at a young age and then I ended up starting school in one spot, redistricted in 2nd grade, and again in 5th grade. I can remember the anxiety I felt as a youngster and I didn't want to do that to my kids. It's one of the reasons we picked the area we picked to build our home. We figured that having a school so close to our house would sort of protect us from having to switch schools for the kids.

Our parents do help us out, but our children do attend a wonderful child care center nearby so I definitely don't want to saddle the grandparents with running them to/from school every day. Figuring out all the logistical stuff seems overwhelming when everything works like clockwork now.

I don't know what we'll do, but whatever happens I'm sure it will all work out. I just hate knowing that my little one will have that scared feeling starting over with a new building and new friends.

In any case, I do appreciate the comments and kind words. Here's hoping for the best!

Happy day everyone!
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shea&Van View Post
It is most appreciated. I, too, was redistricted three times in elementary school and it was very difficult for me. I was a shy child and it was really difficult for me to make friends at a young age and then I ended up starting school in one spot, redistricted in 2nd grade, and again in 5th grade. I can remember the anxiety I felt as a youngster and I didn't want to do that to my kids. It's one of the reasons we picked the area we picked to build our home. We figured that having a school so close to our house would sort of protect us from having to switch schools for the kids.

Our parents do help us out, but our children do attend a wonderful child care center nearby so I definitely don't want to saddle the grandparents with running them to/from school every day. Figuring out all the logistical stuff seems overwhelming when everything works like clockwork now.

I don't know what we'll do, but whatever happens I'm sure it will all work out. I just hate knowing that my little one will have that scared feeling starting over with a new building and new friends.

In any case, I do appreciate the comments and kind words. Here's hoping for the best!

Happy day everyone!
Like I said I went thru it as a kid and my DD went thru it 2 yrs ago..It was hard at first, but we focused on the positives and made the transition as easy as we could for DD..It will all work out
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
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Our school redistricted twice while my daughter was in elementary school. By the time they make the decision or it has come to that point, any petition is probably mute. Try to see what you can do, but normally it is in the best interest of the children. Less crowding. Being a military brat, I went to 9 different schools from K-12. It is an adjustment (I was shy) but kids are very resilient. Think of all the positives that will happen and she will follow your lead.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:15 PM   #11
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This happens all the time here in Las Vegas... If the school is that overcrowded there are really only two choices.... Rezoning or going year round. It is not as bad as you think it is. Kids make new friends.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:42 PM   #12
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Guurrlll, I'm close by in Loudoun, where the school district was recently sued over new boundaries. Parents lost. In 20 years my neighborhood has been to 4 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 2 high schools. One more middle school in 2014 and we should be done moving.

As far as the fight goes, do your homeowrk. Call the admin offices and find out what is really happening and when. Know your attendance zone. Know the school board policy, the official one. What is the time frame they should be giving you? Does your school district have busses? Are you currently walkers? School boards don't like to take kids off sidewalks and put them on school busses if they can help it. What is being built in the future? Are you likely to be moved again? Document a majority voice. Attend hearings in one identifiable color, like red.

Get all the information and then really look at it. We successfully lobbied once not to be moved because we knew there was a school being built later in our neighborhood. They let us stay. However, my son took art in the hallway and the new school had 13 kids to a class. Had we known that ahead of time, we probably would have thought twice about fighting.

Here's the thing. Your kids will be fine. If they move they will go with their neighborhood friends. They will see all the same faces on the bus. They will have the same curriculum. The routine will be the same. Heck the building may even be the same. You treat it like a nonissue and they will too.
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