School board not expected to vote on redistricting Monday night

The Board of Education is not expected to vote on a redistricting plan when it meets tonight at Milford City Hall but rather to discuss several issues related to redistricting.

At the last redistricting workshop, several matters came up, such as before and after school child care costs at the various schools, and the idea of allowing fourth graders to stay at their current school for fifth grade, even if redistricting calls for a move.

“Monday’s meeting is simply another workshop,” said School Board Chairman Susan Glennon. “Administration was asked to look into the concerns about the difference in cost between the before and after care programs at Pumpkin Delight/John F. Kennedy School vs Meadowside and Mathewson and to look into options to grandfather current fourth graders who will be entering fifth grade in September.”

“There are no action items on the agenda – no vote,” Glennon added. “We are a ways off from being ready to vote on a plan.”

Previous workshop

Some parents who spoke at a Milford elementary school redistricting workshop Tuesday, Feb. 17, asked the Board of Education not to move forward with any of the options presented so far by the consulting group Milone and MacBroom.

Next school year the elementary schools are expected to go from the current K-2/3-5 configuration to a K-5 configuration, with preK at four of the schools. An imbalance in student populations between the west side and east side of town required redistricting.

Parents in general who spoke at a redistricting meeting last week said they aren't happy that so many students will be moved from the schools they currently attend.

Rebecca Augur, of Milone and MacBroom, responded to the comments by saying there is a lot of movement because the schools on the west side of town have a greater number of students than the schools on the east side. The student population in Milford is declining, but it is declining faster on the east side, she explained.

“We need to shift students toward the east where you have room,” Augur said.

Laura Katz, a local parent, said seeing so many dramatic changes in her child's early education is “frustrating.” Her child was to be a fifth grader at Meadowside next year but now will be redistricted along with 12 other students from Meadowside to Calf Pen Meadow for her last year of elementary school.

“The final year in elementary school is a big deal for these kids,” Katz said.

She asked that next year's fifth graders be grandfathered in and allowed to stay in their current school.

Cherie Agresti's child is in the same boat. “Fifth grade is everything to them,” she said.

See the maps

Parents can view the redistricting information presented to the board by going to the school board website, milforded.org. There are maps showing the proposed district lines so parents can see which elementary school their children would attend under the various proposals.

The Monday, Feb. 23, meeting will start at 7 p.m., at Milford City Hall.