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Committee Considers Adding Streets to Redistricting Map

Dedham's school policy sub-committee could move several streets, with very little effect for the 2011-12 school year.

 

Less than a dozen parents met attend a public meeting of the Dedham School Committee's policy sub-committee Wednesday where school officials proposed redistricting several more streets, at the request of some parents.

Wednesday's attendance was far less than the more than last week's School Committee meeting on the same issue.

Sub-committee members suggested moving the following streets to the Avery Elementary School:

  • Richards Street
  • Marsh Street
  • Newcourt Lane
  • School Street
  • Weatherbee Lane
  • Jersey Street
  • Autumn Lane
  • Michael Road
  • Babcock Place
  • Nay Circle
  • Norwell Road
  • Quaker Lane

According to school superintendent June Doe, only one student would be effected heading into the 2011-12 school year. Redistricting, as presently proposed, only effects a student if they are entering first grade and do not have a sibling in an elementary school.

The policy sub-committee explained the complex balancing act they performed as they took many meetings to put the new district map together.

The committee is taking into consideration maintaining neighborhoods, keeping class sizes consistent across the district, shrinking enrollment at an overcroweded , adding students to the brand new and increasing enrollment at an underpopulated .

"I don't think you're going to get an answer that is one plus one is two," committee member Dimitria Sullivan said. "For these purposes, this is a good balance."

Parents near Dedham Square suggested the committee add Norfolk and Church streets to the Avery district - instead of Riverdale. The committee said it would take those suggestions under advisement - and other streets off East Street - but they were disinclined from taking students away from Riverdale.

The committee briefly discussed moving all elementary students who live on the dozens of streets that could change schools, but members and administrators sternly squashed that idea as a poor option that would hurt studnets who've already begun their elementary education.

"People had asked this question several times last week," committee member Mayanne Briggs said. "I do not think it is best thing to do for students, for the schools schools - for the town. 

The policy sub-committee will meet again at 7 p.m. on April 30 at . 

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