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School Committee Tables Redistricting Vote

The Winchester School Committee will meet Tuesday, June 19 to discuss any redistricting plan updates.

The tabled the proposed redistricting plan per Superintendent William McAlduff’s recommendation.

Although McAlduff said he believed the plan was on track when , , he recommended both him and the committee take more time to assess the feedback.

“It appears to me to review all the feedback, questions and concerns in a thoughtful and responsive manner simply requires more time,” he explained.

School Committee Member Cindy Bohne agreed and made the motion to table the redistricting item till the next regular meeting on June 26.

Bohne said the committee needs to take the proper amount of time to be thoughtful and deliberate with this issue even if it requires delaying the vote.

The superintendent said with this time he will further examine the enrollment numbers and projections and present to the committee additional recommendations or suggestions.

The Redistricting Advisory Committee has looked at 30 different options over a period of six months. School Committee Chairman Christopher Linskey asked committee members to revisit older plans per community suggestions.

Linskey said he believes newer members may not be able to recall the older maps or public hearings, and he would like the committee to review those plans once more.

Other School Committee members made requests such as grade level break downs, more public documents and updated enrollment projections to be available by the next meeting.

“I do remain steadfast that a redistricting must occur, and a vote must be taken,” McAlduff said.

The school committee will hold a meeting to discuss any redistricting plan updates at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19 in the auditorium. Updated presentations and documents will be available on www.winchesterredistricting.com.

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Honest Abe June 08, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I commend Mr. McAlduff and the school committee for finding the courage to reconsider and for "taking the time to get it right" a consistent theme voiced by residents from all school districts at Monday's public hearing.
DeVallon Bolles PhD June 08, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Any plan adopted should focus on (a) proximity to school. (b) ensuring as far as possible a diverse (ethnic/race, income etc...) school population (c) serious future student numbers.
K.Wolfson June 08, 2012 at 05:04 PM
We are asking the wrong questions/trying to rectify the wrong problem. The focus should be on making all schools desirable. There are clearly schools that people are moving to and those people are moving away from.... How do we fix what is broken? All too often school committees think that moves (moving poor teachers, moving students, etc.) solve problems. In truth such moves just make the problems someone else's problem. Nothing is fixed with this philosophy.
Winchester Parent June 08, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I strongly agree with points a and c; however, I respectfully disagree with point b. It is called "busing", it it rarely successful and it is in conflict with point a.
Flaubert Machismo June 08, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Wolfson - You are absolutely incorrect. The bottom line is that no one wants to leave their school. The schools are all desirable. I have been to every meeting and no one has given the reason they don't want to switch the lack of desirability of a particular school (other than that clown DeNatale).
L. Rizkallah June 08, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I agree with the previous comment regarding the focus of the plan being proximity to school and reaching sustainable numbers in each school, but also feel that complete ethnic/economic diversity in each school is unrealistic and frankly impossible if proximity is prioritized as an overwhelming number of parents have clearly stated they desire. I have been at these meetings and there is no talk of any school being more desirable than another. People just want their kids to have that sense of community that a neighborhood school provides. I think if lines are drawn with proximity in mind, people will still have that, though it may take a little time to adjust to their "neighborhood" being to their left rather than their right.
Winchester Coalition for a Safer Community June 08, 2012 at 09:25 PM
All of the schools are desirable, which is not surprising because they are all excellent. The focus of the redistricting needs to be on reducing overcrowding so that 1) every school's enrollment is as close to its ideal capacity (not its "emergency capacity") as possible and 2) any overcrowding still remaining is shared more or less equally across town (rather than one or two schools bearing the brunt). I commend the Superintendent and the School Committee for revisiting the assumptions and data underlying the proposed report and for taking the time to make sure that the best plan is the one that is ultimately approved.

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