Highland Elementary Parents voice concerns on redistricting

Highland Elementary Parents voice concerns on redistricting

SYLVANIA, OH (WTOL) - Parents in Sylvania got their first chance to ask questions of the redistricting plan on Thursday. More than 100 parents showed up at Highland Elementary School to voice their concerns.

Parents were pleading their case in hopes of keeping Highland as a elementary school and not making it a middle school like one path of option three suggests.

Another major concern is bringing 5th graders up to the middle school level.

Parents of Sylvania school children had the chance to make their concerns known. Several asking about grade configuration in middle school.

"Every time I ask anyone, 'What do you think about adding a fifth grade to the middle school?' Everyone's response is, 'Why would you do that? Is your district struggling?'" said Jennifer Beaudoin, mother of a son going into kindergarten at Highland next year and a daughter who will start when the redistricting goes into effect.

"I get what you're saying," explained Suzy VanOrden, a mom to two children at Highland. "There is research for fifth and sixth graders. Where's the research for fifth through eight grade then?"

School officials fielded questions Thursday stating they will work to keep fifth and sixth graders together and seventh and eighth graders alike.

Parents at the meeting also raised concerns about the change in feeder patterns for the western end of the district.

"My youngest wants to follow in his brothers footsteps and go to McCord for three years then go to Northview and it would devastate him to have that change," said Wendy Baker, mom to a child at Highland and McCord.

"We built out here on the west side specifically for the track," explained Justin Carlton, father of a student at Highland.

Other parents asking questions about staffing, space and some wanted to know what the redistricting changes will cost.

"What's the cost of all of this," asked Kevin Kornowa, father of two children at Highland.  "The studies you have done?  You guys haven't shared any cost. We keep hearing efficiency with the bus route, but what are the real numbers we're talking about?"

While there was some concern all agreed they are lucky to be a part of Sylvania Schools. School and task force officials say they will take these parents concerns and address them as a group.

The task force will present their redistricting options at the school board meeting on Monday March 13th at 6:00 p.m. at Southview High School.

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