Thursday, April 6, 2017

Key dates in redistricting proposal process set

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas is considering feedback from community members before making a final redistricting recommendation to the Board of School Committee on Monday, April 10.

The proposal will be phase I, after the Board of School Committee voted last November to approve several parameters to guide Dr. Vargas in the redistricting process:
●          Use a phased-in approach that starts with a feeder pattern;
●          Be mindful of budget implications; and
●          Consider external and internal community engagement

Parents, teachers and community members have attended a series of ten public forums to ask questions and offer input on a draft proposal that includes a revised feeder pattern among Manchester’s schools. While the current system splits groups of students from some single elementary schools between multiple secondary schools, proposed changes would streamline neighborhood school assignments so that all graduating students from one elementary school move on to the same middle and high schools.

A more predictable feeder pattern will help schools foster a stronger continuity of programs between grade levels. Children also will be able to maintain strong relationships throughout their school years instead of being separated from friends. In addition, parents would know with confidence which schools their children will attend based on home elementary school instead of street address.

Dr. Vargas will present final recommendations for phase I of redistricting to the full school board at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, April 10 at 7:00 pm. No vote will be taken at that time.

On Tuesday, April 11, the Special Committee on Redistricting will hold its meeting and hear public comment on Dr. Vargas's final proposal. The meeting will take place at Southside Middle School at 6:30 pm.

A special meeting of the full Board of School Committee to vote on the superintendent’s redistricting plan will be held on Wednesday, April 19 at 7:00 pm.