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Sharon Elementary Parents Launching Redistricting Petition Drive

Group of about 75 parents wants other options explored.

A group of about 75 Sharon parents will petition the school committee not to redistrict Sharon's three elementary schools in September 2012.

The redistricting task force will present its recommendations at Wednesday's school board meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. The school board is not expected to vote.

Cottage Street School parent Nancy Cochrane said Tuesday her group wants other options explored, such as phasing redistricting over five years.

Parents are concerned about children leaving schools where they're comfortable, and having children at two different elementary schools, Cochrane said.

"We're not against redistricting. We just don't think it's necessary at this time," said Cochrane, whose son is a Cottage third-grader and whose daughter will attend that school in the fall.

At at , the task force presented its findings -- including three options -- and solicited community feedback on redistricting's implications.

The move would create "educational parity" and "neighborhood proximity" among the , and , the task force said.

Cochrane said parents organized after that forum. They met April 7 and again Monday night. They also have met with Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Administration Timothy Farmer, who becomes superintendent July 1.

Although the task force's "intentions were very good," the options were based on "a potential, not an actual, increase in population," Cochrane said. Housing at the proposed Sharon Commons site is considered, for example.

The matter is "really a Heights-East issue," she said.

Farmer said at the public forum that East is underutilized.

Cochrane said that "I don't feel a child at Cottage should have to pay the price for this."

Switching schools is "a huge social and academic challenge" for students, and even harder for students with special needs, she said.

sharon crehan April 27, 2011 at 11:12 AM
I agree with Nancy,we should not have to switch schools based on a "potential" increase in population,and it is a hugh social challenge for students.
Nikole Kimberly Skoko April 27, 2011 at 03:18 PM
It's not a huge social challenge. There is only the possibility of personal and social growth for all of the children involved. Going outside of the box is not always a bad thing believe it or not. Just as having your child play on a sports team without 5 or 10 of his or her closest friends is room for new and exploration so is this new school proposal. It's not the worst thing in the world. Sharon is fortunate with high academic standards. Trust that. Trust that your child will absolutely flourish wherever he lands. Go with it.
sharon crehan May 03, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Going outside the "box" is great for some kids,but it is not for every kid.Just like playing on a team,some like it....other'slike individual sports! A 4th grader who has been attending a school from kindergarden who made friends through the years and has worked with teachers (whom they feel comfortable with)would be a social challenge to move them to a different school for one year and then make a move again to middle....when it is not necessary right now!
Nancy Cochrane May 12, 2011 at 05:31 PM
How we obtain personal and social growth is a matter of individual personal opinion not one we force on others. We are talking about children ages 5-9 not adults here. If Redistricting is not necessary it shouldn't be done!
Sharon Flaherty May 22, 2011 at 11:06 PM
If it is a such great idea to redistrict, Ms. Skoko, your child can take my childs place. Not every child will find "going outside of the box" fun. Some children are in sports and still have a tough time with this kind of social change. The School Committee needs to take the time to look at the numbers and not rush on a vote that can have a negative impact on many students. I guess moving a child is easy when it is not your child who has to move.

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