Board of Education examines redistricting for elementary, middle schools

Due to the construct on Coleytown Middle School due to the mold, the BoE has considered redistricting areas to help balance the amount of students at the schools as Westport’s enrollment is declining.

Photo by Katie Simons ’22

Due to the construct on Coleytown Middle School due to the mold, the BoE has considered redistricting areas to help balance the amount of students at the schools as Westport’s enrollment is declining.

Katie Simons ’22, Arts Editor

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The Westport Board of Education (BOE) discussed plans to redistrict the elementary and middle schools at a meeting on Sept. 23.

Although redistricting would balance out the recent decrease in enrollment in the Westport Public Schools system, no decisions have been finalized.

The BOE discussed two different scenarios, Scenario 8b and Senario 8c. The scenarios were created to keep the schools that fed into Coleytown and Bedford the same. However, the scenarios would move an average of 25% of elementary students to different districts.

Scenario 8b would move more students from Coleytown Elementary School (CES) to Kings Highway Elementary School (KHS). And a small section of students from Long Lots Elementary School (LLS) to CES. It would also move 162 students from Saugatuck Elementary School (SES) to KHS. Additionally, some Greens Farms Elementary School (GFS) students would go to SES and other students from KHS would move to CES. This would ensure that no single school is overloaded with students. This plan would also move the Stepping Stones Pre-school out of CES and move it to another school, possibly LLS.

Scenario 8c focuses mostly on striking a balance to keep four teachers in each team at the middle schools, opposed to the six teacher solution that is being considered. This plan would move 62 students from SES to KHS, instead of the proposed 162 students from Scenario 8c. A few smaller areas that are already changing their school districts would change to another school district in the plan to help make the bus routes more cost-efficient. This plan would also attempt to overload CES and KHS to help reach a more balanced middle school at Coleytown Middle School.

Parents voiced their concerns that they believed the BOE is rushing into these plans too quickly, without considering more details. Including, the enrollment figures used at the meeting were from the past school year, as the official numbers for this school year were not public until Oct. 1. Parent Noah Fenn expressed his concern with the outdated numbers.

“It’s something that we really need to keep in mind,” Fenn said.

Meg Himes, the Co-PTA president at Bedford Middle School, also brought up that the BOE needs to consider how the traffic would be impacted.

“I would like the traffic and traffic patterns in town to be understood to intelligently redistrict,” Himes said. She would also want the BOE to consider the most environmentally-friendly solution when it comes to how the bus routes would change.

I would like the traffic and traffic patterns in town to be understood to intelligently redistrict”

— Meg Himes, the Co-PTA president at Bedford Middle School

Parents also voiced their concern that the BOE is not considering how it will affect the school communities as a whole.

“This is about the community. This is about the families,” Fenn said. “Their school [and] friends are being impacted.”

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