Whether you’re an expert (a member of the Redistricting Committee or an engaged parent, perhaps) with a strong opinion or creative alternative, or just an Arlington resident with a question to ask, we want to hear from you on Arlington Public Schools’ redistricting plans, before the School Committee’s vote on Thursday, June 14.
You can submit a “Letter to the Editor” to Arlington Patch Editor John Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org (be sure to include your full name and address, and please explicitly state that your email is intended as a “Letter to the Editor”), or, if you have a quick thought, you can respond in the comments section below.
About 50 Arlington residents, mostly parents in buffer zones H and J, did attend Thursday’s School Committee meeting to discuss the latest proposal, Draft 6D.
This map is basically what School Committee members will be voting on next week, other than some minor changes to buffer zones J and K involving potentially dangerous crossings at Park Avenue, according to Superintendent Kathleen Bodie.
Some issues to consider when writing your letter:
- Buffer Zone H ( or ) is the only buffer zone where students would either walk or take the bus depending on what school they attend.
- Buffer zones J and K ( or ) do have potentially dangerous crossings at Park Avenue. Again, this issue may be resolved before Thursday’s meeting.
- Are buffer zones (or “uncertainty zones” as parents called them Thursday) the best way to go? Do they affect property values? Are they bad for neighborhoods?
- Can you think of any alternatives, such as incentive programs that could alleviate the schools’ uneven populations without redistricting?
- Do you need something clarified? It’s been a long and complex process, so don’t be afraid to ask questions as well.
Despite the contentious nature of redistricting, more than 20 parents spoke eloquently on it Thursday, giving thanks to the administrators, School Committee members and parents who worked hard on the plans, even if they disagreed with the outcome.
“It’s been a respectful process,” Bodie said.
After the discussion, School Committee member William Hayner made a motion to have Bodie bring an earlier redistricting map with a shift in school-district lines instead of buffer zones to Thursday’s meeting, in addition to Draft 6D. His motion passed 5-1, with chairwoman Kirsi Allison-Ampe casting the dissenting vote. Earlier in the meeting, Bodie said that parents were against changing school-district lines at the beginning of the process.