Newton’s Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman doesn’t actually use the word “redistricting” in this memo to Newton school families today.
Dear Newton Families,
As many of you are aware, we have begun an exciting time of facilities renovation and expansion in the Newton Public Schools. The recently renovated Carr School, which is currently housing the Angier School during its renovation, is a terrific modern facility. We expect our Long Range Facilities Plan to continue for many years. A key aspect of this plan is not only the rebuilding and renovation of aging buildings but also expanding their capacity to meet the needs of our growing population. A new Angier school will open in January 2016, with Zervas to follow in September 2017. A renovated or rebuilt Cabot is planned for January 2018.
We currently have schools that are over crowded and a few schools that will soon reach expanded capacity. As a result, we will address the student assignment process, a task that will involve moving elementary boundary lines. We expect that the student assignment plans will be addressed in phases, in order to match the timing of the various school construction and/or renovation projects. The initial phase for the first three schools will be addressed this year and additional phases will occur as the plan for rebuilding/renovating elementary schools continues for the next 15-20 years.
I am well aware that shifting elementary boundary lines represents a significant change. Please keep in mind that most residences across the City will remain in their current districts. However, our space challenges necessitate some movement. As a result, we have created a Student Assignment Working Group, which will develop criteria for evaluating various assignment scenarios based on mapping data and other information. A recommendation will be made to the School Committee by the end of the school year.
We fully appreciate that communication and community engagement are essential when making such changes. In addition to providing regular updates at School Committee meetings, there will be public meetings that will focus solely on this topic. Student assignment planning will be on the agenda when School Committee members join me at PTO meetings in each of the schools over the next few months.
Our goal is to develop a process that is thoughtful and sensitive. We will be certain to update you over the course of the year and further information will be provided on our website.
Superintendent of Schools