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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 02/27/13
for middle schools
by CHRIS GRAYParents in the Romeo Community Schools district will have a two year's notice that their students will go to a different middle school.
Observer Staff Writer
The Board of Education voted 4-2 to re-drawing boundaries that will level out the enrollment between its two middle school buildings in the next three years.
Vice-president Sara Murray and Trustee Gus Demas cast the dissenting votes. Trustee Chris Young was not present for the Feb. 19 meeting.
The updated numbers for enrollment at Powell Middle School (PMS) are reported at 740 students and 515 students at Romeo Middle School (RMS), so school officials decided to re-district to balance the numbers.
The re-districting will change the boundary so any students north of 29 Mile Road and west of Campground Road will go to RMS. This excludes the subdivisons of Stratford and Ravine at the Orchards.
Superintendent Nancy Campbell said the re-districting was done to have around 100 students moved over a three-year period. The plan moves 28 students in 2014, another 28 in 2015 and 41 in 2016.
The overall savings from the re-districting will be about $12,000 a year.
Board President Anita Banach said she was for the re-districting since the district's Stragetic Plan calls for balancing middle school enrollment.
"This plan starts working toward that, it gives people two years notice," she said.
Murray said the only objection she had was that it excluded the two subdivisions. Campbell said if the subdivisions were included, 72 more students would be moved than desired, leading to the opposite problem of RMS having too may students.
"The two large subdivisons have a lot of our school age children in them," Campbell said. "So in six years I would've had the same problem."
Demas again voiced his concerns about the conditions of RMS. He said serious discussions had taken place with closing the building in the past, and given the financial constraints the district is facing, wondered if it was a prudent decision to re-district.
"I would hate to have had students, their lives changed and parents coming to RMS, and the board having to make some kind of decision that certainly is contradictory to what we're trying to achieve," he said.
He added that RMS has some structural issues that should be addressed, and suggested the re-districting be built around repairing the school.
Secretary Joe Fortuna said if a building needs to be closed it'll affect the students regardless of the new boundaries, so having the re-districting in place would possibly negate the need for a closure.
"You're going to have 500 kids with their lives changed if we close a building," Fortuna said.
Treasurer Chris Giancarli said there is no financial option to close a building since there would be no place to house the students, but agreed there are structural concerns at the RMS to address.
"Absolutely that building could use several million dollars of improvements, but that's not a financial reality," he said. "That would probably be some type of bond measure that'd have to go to the community."
Banach said the district should communicate any changes made and agreed that the closing of a middle school building while keeping the same grade structure wasn't a good plan.