Sylvania school board approves hybrid plan

Sylvania school board approves hybrid plan
(Source: WTOL)

SYLVANIA, OH (WTOL) - The Sylvania School Board unanimously approved the hybrid redistricting plan for the 2018-2019 school year.

After six months of debate, Sylvania School parents and students now know their future.

"I'm happy that it's over," said Sarah Goodnough, a Sylvania parent. "I'm happy that we have a decision and we can move forward."

The school board unanimously approved the recommended hybrid redistricting plan for the 2018-2019 school year.

While the vote was quick, one board member spoke up saying he would reluctantly vote yes, but believes this is a watered-down version of what the district should have done.

Finally, a redistricting plan for Sylvania.

"I'm happy that my children are going to be given the opportunity to grandfather in," said Sarah Goodnough. "They would be going into fifth grade when this goes into effect, so now they have the opportunity to finish out elementary with their current Central Trail Elementary classmates."

Some parents were happy with the unanimous vote for Sylvania Schools redistricting plan and some were not. While the vote was uncontested, one board member believes it's not as good as it could be and is "watered down."

"I am of the belief that if we had let our paid professionals the administrators and teachers who are trained to educate our children and do what's in the best interest of the 7,500 students the recommendations for redistricting would be different, yet we decided to listen," explained David Spiess, vice president of the Sylvania School Board. "I also believe we have missed an opportunity to enhance the educational experience here in Sylvania considering what our peer districts, specifically Anthony Wayne and Perrysburg have done with their 5/6 and 7/8 building structure."

The board approved plan creates direct school feeder patterns and new boundary lines. It also allows students to stay at their current school from k-8th grade if they want.

"I think ultimately the impact isn't as big," said Adam Fineske, executive director of teaching and learning and task force leader. "It may take a little bit to get the impact we wanted originally, but the goals being met, we're doing that. We're better balancing our enrollment, we're better utilizing our district resources in a more efficient manner and we're balancing our class sizes and those were our three goals."

Sylvania School Board President Stephen Rothschild says, despite the vote they are still "One Sylvania."

"It won't matter what school they (students) are going to," said Rothschild. "They are going to have the opportunity to receive the same kind of experience because that's the district that we are."

The approved hybrid plan also includes a policy and process for incremental redistricting, meaning every 2-3 years the district will evaluate their growth and enrollment if needed.

District officials say they now can begin the work of transitioning.

They expect to have a lot of conversations in the future and hope to have open houses
for students and parents to explore their new schools.

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