It has been quite some time since I posted anything other than the occasional comment or two, as was politely pointed out to me after the Public Hearing on the school boundaries Monday night. Quite coincidentally, I was thinking exactly about posting here on Menifee 24/7 during the hearing.
As my wife and I were walking out to the parking lot after the hearing, I thought of something that I wasn't sure the district had considered or even thought of. I immediately wished I had thought of this during the hearing, because I certainly would have voiced my opinion during the hearing more than I already had. And since Steve has already done an outstanding job of detailing what happened at the hearing in his post, I won't elaborate specifically on the hearing.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, the idea I had was mentioned in an earlier comment to another blog entry. I learned of it as I was catching up on recent entries last night. So I took the idea, that at least one other person shares, and decided to elaborate on it. Essentially, this idea is to realign the school boundaries based on a system of natural attrition. I sent the following e-mail to the School Board this morning:
MUSD School Board members,Now, I realize there may be people that disagree with what I have recommended. I also realize that Ridgemoor students and families aren't the only ones that will potentially be affected by re-aligning the boundaries, but to me this seems to be the most amicable way to achieve the goals of the district with the least amount of inconvenience to families and, more important, students.
I was at the public hearing at Ridgemoor Elementary School last night (January 14). I'm sure it was quite obvious from the questions and comments of parents, me included, that we don't want our children moved for various reasons.
I completely understand (and in fact support) the desire to convert the district to a traditional, (or modified traditional), single track system versus the current year-round four track system. It makes sense both fiscally and educationally. For instance, my child is on track "B". Her school year starts in July, and she is immediately given a month "off-track" in August. This, in my opinion, is counterproductive for a number of reasons in my opinion. I won't get into my opinions because that is not the point of this e-mail.
Unfortunately I didn't think of this until after the meeting ended, but I would like to know if anybody in the district office has thought about re-aligning the school boundaries based on a system of natural attrition. This would be similar to the system that is used by districts when new high schools open. With very little impact, if any, it could work in this scenario as well. In fact, since I don't think Ridgemoor families are the only families that will be impacted by boundary changes, it will work for all scenarios. I think what I am about to propose should be given some thought. An outline of my proposal is as follows:
Obviously, these are just the basics. But please give this proposal some serious consideration. With a little effort and cooperation between parents and the school district, this would work. Although it wouldn't have the immediate impact of enrollment reduction, the district would still be able to reduce the enrollment at Ridgemoor, family lives would not be disrupted and, most importantly, our children would not be forced to go through what can be, based on personal experience, a very traumatic experience for a child.
- This proposal is based on Proposal 1 and the boundaries defined within it
- A specific date would need to be set for the new boundaries to take effect
- Parents of Ridgemoor students would be given the OPTION of moving their children to Evans Ranch or keeping them at Ridgemoor
- Students already enrolled would be allowed to stay at Ridgemoor until they complete the 5th grade if they so desire
- Younger siblings of current Ridgemoor students would be allowed to attend Ridgemoor through the 5th grade provided the older sibling is still enrolled at Ridgemoor at the time the younger sibling reaches school age
- Younger siblings of students currently enrolled at Ridgemoor would be sent to Evans Ranch if the older sibling completes the 5th grade before the younger sibling reaches school age
- New students already living in the area defined by Proposal 1 that have not reached school age will be sent to Evans Ranch
- New students moving into the area defined by Proposal 1 would be sent to Evans Ranch
Please feel free to contact me via e-mail or telephone if you would like to discuss this with me personally or if you would like further explanation of what I am proposing.
I'm also happy to announce that I have received a response from at least one of the board members and my recommendations have been forwarded to the district office.
More to come....