According to Ellen Ishkanian’s story, “Parents question school project,” in today’s Globe West, Zervas parents want to know why their school has to absorb the overcrowding problems that are happening across the school district. She wrote that at last week’s meeting with district officials, “parents asked why their school was being used to solve problems that are systemwide.”
I think that statement sums about what bothers me about this Zervas discussion. The answer, to me, is obvious: because you’re part of a larger community. The Newton schools have a problem — overcrowding. The people who have been studying the issue for many years are saying that the best solution is to enlarge or rebuild Zervas. Why shouldn’t the Zervas community help solve the problem?
It’s been said here and elsewhere that the community feels blindsided, that people never expected that the size of the school would change so drastically. I can understand that Zervas parents would expect to get a renovated school at a slightly larger size. But from the outside looking in, as a parent whose kids went to Countryside — a school where enrollment ranged from 475 – 500 — I’m left wondering: Why shouldn’t Zervas be as big as the schools surrounding it? If the city needs more space for elementary school students, how could we possibly renovate a school without adding a significant amount of space?
Zervas families have been lucky to have such a small school tucked into a neighborhood. If they want to make that same community feeling work in a bigger school, they can. Things don’t have to stay the same to produce great results. Regardless, it’s not just about Zervas.