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The Battle for Bay Farm

Submitted by on 1, September 10, 2008 – 8:45 amNo Comment

Looks like there’s quite the battle brewing over kindergarten classes at Bay Farm Elementary. Right now, they’ve got four classes. But sometime over the next few weeks the district may trim it to three, and parents and teachers are seeing red.

Parents and teachers complained that moving their kids to another school just as they’re getting established would present an unfair hardship, and they said they’re concerned about the practical (think day care and driving) and other impacts of moving kids out of their neighborhood to attend school. They want their kids to stay at Bay Farm, and they asked whether kids from other schools (like Amelia Earhart, the other elementary school on Bay Farm Island) could be brought there.

They pleaded with the district for an opportunity to be involved in the decision making process. And they questioned why the district didn’t provide over- and underenrollment numbers for each school. Newly minted Student Affairs Officer Jeff Knoth offered district-wide numbers, broken down only by elementary, middle and high school levels.

But Knoth questioned whether the district could get principals, teachers, parents and others together and decisions made by the 20th day of school, when any moves would have to take place to even out the classes as required by the teachers’ contract with the district. He said the district’s executive committee will decide where and if classes get cut or students get moved.

Knoth said he’ll have an update at the next school board meeting.

The parents’ comments followed a presentation by Knoth on the district’s current enrollment status in which he warned the district may have to close a kindergarten class or “make other moves” that students, parents and teachers wouldn’t like.

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