Immediately after the School Committee’s Nov. 5 vote to adopt Map 1, I contacted the School Committee and CC'd Superintendent McAlduff to request, once again, clarification regarding the fate of the four houses on Washington Street that are located between Westly and Oak streets. A week later, I had not received a response. Unbeknownst to me, other parities also wrote to the Superintendent requesting information regarding the fate of the four houses on Map 1. They were informed that Map 1 was in error in that half of our block was incorrectly colored.
My question for the RAC and for the Town of Winchester is: Did the School Committee vote for a map with mistakes? Are there other incorrectly colored areas? And if so, are post-vote changes permissible?
The people in this neighborhood can’t help but feel jerked around. The RAC specifically talked about not slicing and dicing neighborhoods or areas, but yet, this is precisely what has happened.
The School Committee did not base their final decision upon the goals they set this summer. They were presented with an excellent alternative plan, K Flex, for which there was a great deal of community support. The Superintendent recommended it. It was an opportunity for Winchester to be brave like other surrounding communities that are adopting alternative solutions to redistricting. Winchester had a chance to set an example, but they took the easy way out.
Everyone acknowledges that redistricting requires compromise, but there must be justice and logic governing decisions that impact the daily lives of our young families. The current assignment of neighboring households to different schools smacks of an arbitrariness, which has created anxiety and anger on Washington Street. Surely this outcome was NOT the desired outcome of decision makers who are entrusted with the welfare of our children. Please School Committee, do what is logical and just: revisit Map 1 and preserve all neighborhoods that are slated for disruption.
Sally Ann Handelsman McCarthy