Monday, August 22, 2016

Final four redistricting plans chosen for consideration

The Special Committee on Redistricting has narrowed the field of plans from twelve down to four. Each of the 12 plans considered was evaluated against the nine goals determined by the committee. The scores for all of the plans and the goals areposted online under the redistricting tab at

“The Mayor’s Plan” scored the highest number of points.  It moves fifth grade up to the middle schools and eighth grade into the high schools. The developmental preschool would be in neighborhood elementary schools. This plan would be free up about 20 classrooms citywide for redistricting.

The next highest scoring concept was “The Superintendent’s Plan.” It adds an addition onto the back of Jewett St. School and reconstructs the driveway and parking to improve traffic flow as well. The addition would house a citywide developmental preschool program which is now utilizing space at five elementary schools. Making those current preschool classrooms available across the city will help facilitate redistricting, and the addition will help accommodate a growing special needs pre-school population.

The third plan to make it through for consideration is “The 2007 Plan,” named for the year it was first developed.  In this plan the elementary schools on the west side – Northwest, Gossler Park and Parker-Varney – all become lower elementary schools for grades pre-k -3.  Parkside Middle School would accommodate upper elementary grades 4-6. West would become a middle/high school for grades 7-12. Moving the developmental pre-k program to these three west side elementary schools frees up approximately ten elementary classrooms citywide for redistricting.

The final proposal in the top four is “The Junior STEAM Program at West Plan.” It recommends making all four middle schools grades 5-8. As a result, 42 elementary classrooms citywide would be available for redistricting. All seventh and eighth graders could elect to attend a newly developed Junior STEAM Ahead program at West High School, which would help offset the increased numbers in the middle schools and would help promote the high school-level STEAM Ahead program at West. They could then return to their regular high school or elect to stay at West beginning in ninth grade.

The special committee will meet every week now through September to finalize a redistricting plan.
·         August 23: A meeting with the Transportation Coordinator and the Developmental Preschool Director.
·         August 30: A round table discussion with the middle and high school principals
·         September 8: A round table discussion with elementary principals
·         September 12: Open forum with teachers and the public
·         September 23: The final meeting to select a single plan to move forward

The special committee will use October, November and December to familiarize the new superintendent, the community, and the board of school committee with the redistricting plan before it is presented to the board for a vote at its January 9 meeting.

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