Osseo Schools are considering a boundary adjustment proposal that will reduce overcrowding at Basswood Elementary. But this proposal has made some parents of the 149 affected Basswood students angry.
Some Maple Grove residents' assigned elementary school will be Oak View Elementary instead of Basswood Elementary effective July 1. Pending School Board approval on Jan. 21 at 6 p.m., Oak View will serve
students in grades K-6 beginning in 2014-2015.
"I have a first grade son who is devastated that he may have to leave the school that he’s come to love," said Rachel La Fleur. "We will now be forced to leave the school which is less than two miles from our house – straight up Vicksburg, through only 1 stoplight – and take him to a school 5 miles away. Basswood is the closest school to Plymouth, so it makes no sense that we are getting rezoned."
Residents are invited to learn more about the proposed boundary adjustment by attending an information session in Basswood’s Media Center on Tuesday, Jan. 14, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. or Friday, Jan. 17, from 8-9 a.m. District staff will provide information and answer questions.
Over the past few years, student enrollment at Basswood has grown, particularly in the lower elementary grades. In addition, with the uptick in the economy, new construction has resumed, adding two new housing developments to the current attendance area, according to the district.
"Many families believe that the process that has unfolded is deceitful as there was no communication with or feedback collected from any families in census area 284 prior to the recommendation being provided to the School Board," said Chad Wieneke, a parent of a fifth grade student at Basswood and a 2014-2015 kindergartener.
"It should be noted that Basswood is one of the top two performing schools out of 17 elementary schools in District 279 as measured by MCA test scores, whereas Oak View Elementary ranks in the bottom 40 percent (11th out of 17) of the district by the same MCA test score measure," Wieneke added.
Fifth- and sixth-graders may choose to stay at Basswood until they advance to secondary school, and the school district would continue to transport them to Basswood.
Even if they have older siblings who are choosing to remain at Basswood, students entering grades K-4 in Fall 2014 would attend Oak View, along with the fifth and sixth graders who choose to attend Oak View instead of Basswood. Open enrollment to Basswood will be closed in order to stabilize enrollment.
“We are looking forward to our opportunity to learn about the process and input that Ms. Reisgraf and Ms. Maguire utilized to make their recommendation to reassign census area 284 to Oak View Elementary," Wieneke said. "In addition, we expect to hear from District Administration regarding the short and long term strategy for Oak View Elementary as well as the long term vision for our overall school district.”
La Fleur believes there was no forethought into this plan.
"Make a move this year, move sixth grade out next year, then possibly more changes," she said. "All of these are detrimental to the young children who are trying to get a great education. Trust, consistency and a strong relationship with their school are all components of success. Strong communities equal strong schools, and that’s what we have here."
So far, over 400 concerned residents have signed an online petition entitles called 'Basswood Elementary Boundary Petition."
From the district: "At this time, administration has not developed any specific high school boundary adjustment proposals. A rumor is circulating that inaccurately assumes that an elementary boundary adjustment under consideration at this time to address overcrowding (moving one census area from Basswood to Oak View Elementary) also includes a high school reassignment to Osseo Senior High. This rumor is not accurate."
There's more going on during the boundary adjustment than Basswood, a separate proposed boundary adjustment would reassign Census Area 265 from North View Junior High to Maple Grove Junior High, creating a consistent junior high advancement pattern for students at Cedar Island, according to the district.
Is this fair? Do you thing think the district gave parents enough notification? Tells us below.