Key Points Heading into the Holiday Break

A few quick ES Planning updates as you are readying for the holidays…

  1. Goals of School Moves: It occurred to me that part of our communication problem with APS staff and School Board members seems to be that we keep objecting that Option 1 doesn’t really address APS’s six goals for the ES Planning Process–and this is because those goals are for the process *as a whole* not for the school move piece specifically. So I wrote to Lisa Stengle and team and asked them what their goal(s) were for the school move phase. Lisa wrote back last night to say that their goals for school moves are twofold:
    • Freeing up neighborhood seats in high-growth areas, specifically the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, and
    • Minimizing the possibility of long bus rides for some students who might have to travel farther to their neighborhood schools if McKinley and Reed are both open as neighborhood sites. Lisa notes that some of McKinley’s current planning units are closer to Glebe, north of Reed, and some pass by Ashlawn to get to McKinley. While our crack team of data-crunchers might have numerical arguments to make in response, my larger concern is that we have been told repeatedly that school moves are separate from boundary changes–so boundaries and busing shouldn’t be factoring in.

    Nonetheless, having APS articulate a more focused set of goals for the school move phase is helpful to all of us and should be front-and-center for the School Board as it votes on which moves, if any, make sense. The community-developed alternatives actually outperform APS’s proposal on freeing up needed seats in high-growth areas–an important point to drive home.

  2. Questioning Process: I created a one-sheeter that outlines some of the key process concerns that have emerged over the past couple months. It’s attached here–please reference it and share it in whatever ways you think might be helpful.

  3. NO School Moves?? Earlier today I sent a letter to the School Board and APS staff asking them to consider a proposal that is boundary-changes-only. The data crunching was done by our own Emily Chen, and thanks go to Francisca Winston for drawing up the accompanying maps. Kelly King and I decided to ride their coattails and sign the letter, too. 🙂  Again, please share as you see fit. Note that while I wasn’t comfortable sharing in detail some of the other community-developed alternative scenarios via PTA channels (because of negative impacts on other schools), because this one includes no school moves I think it’s a more “PTA-friendly” option to shop around. It has also gone to CCPTA and others.

Please reach out if you have any questions or ideas. The best things you can do at this point are to:

  • make sure your friends and neighbors are engaged
  • write letters to the editor using the various talking points shared (and one-sheeters attached), and 
  • contact the School Board. 

I am working on getting other school communities engaged via their PTAs, because I think this process should concern *all* of us. Your efforts to engage your friends at other schools would be helpful here, too.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS:

More soon,
Mary

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