I have heard lots of discussion in our community about the potential redistricting of our elementary schools. Unfortunately, much of what is being circulated is rumor, speculation, or outright wrong. In this post I will respond to the rumors I have heard.
Rumor: We have a capacity problem at Pocopson Elementary.
Fact 1: We are almost at capacity at Pocopson Elementary, but there is not yet a serious problem. Instead, the Administration and Board are getting out ahead of what could be a future problem.
Rumor: It has already been decided to redraw elementary school boundaries.
Fact 2: On October 13, the Board approved the engagement of expert advisors who specialize in school district demographics, projections, and mapping. The advisors will do one piece of work: develop a robust and detailed enrollment projection for our elementary schools, using current boundaries. The projection will help us determine if there is a capacity problem at any of our elementary schools. We do not know yet that there is a capacity problem. And if there is a problem, is it short-term or long-term?
Rumor: Boundaries have already been redrawn, just not released.
Fact 3: This current phase of work will only develop enrollment projections. We do not intend to develop, discuss, or evaluate boundaries. Nor will we look at options to rebalance enrollment across elementary schools during this phase of the study. Neither the Board nor the Administration has considered, reviewed, or discussed any solutions beyond the guiding principles found here.
Rumor: This isn’t really about enrollment. It is really an attempt by the Board or Administration to do [insert theory here].
Fact 4: No – this really is only about a very narrow and specific issue. – do we have a capacity problem at Pocopson Elementary that might compromise the quality of our educational program and diminish the learning of our students? And if so, what should we do to relieve that problem?
Rumor: It has already been decided that neighborhood XYZ will be sent to Elementary School ABC.
Fact 5: If there is a capacity problem at Pocopson Elementary, solutions will not be examined until the first phase of work is completed in late 2014. While it may be hard to resist the temptation to look at district boundaries and speculate on ‘solutions’, please know that none of these rumors originate with actual work going on with our advisors. My advice – ignore these rumors. If we determine there is a capacity problem, no solutions will even be developed for discussion until (at the earliest) January 2015. And as they are developed, the community will be fully informed and involved in the decision.
Please add other rumors in the comments and I will address them.
For more, see my earlier posts: