Redistricting appeals period closes; committee receives more than 100 requests

Redistricting appeals period closes; committee receives more than 100 requests

NORTH PROVIDENCE – After parents and guardians were informed of their elementary-aged children’s school placement last month in the wake of redistricting efforts, the School Committee is working through more than 100 appeals from those hoping to change their child’s assignment.

At the end of March, Supt. Joe Goho said an appeals committee met for several hours to thoroughly examine all of the appeals, noting that there were up to 120 or more appeals at that time.

“We want to try to accommodate as many families as we can, knowing that we also have contractual class size limitations and enrollment limitations to consider. We want to be very thoughtful with this process,” Goho said.

Regarding transportation, Goho said school leaders met with members of the bus company, Durham School Services, to “outline our expectations, the timelines and exactly what it is that we need so that we have enough time to be thoughtful about our transportation routes.”

The goal, according to Goho, is to have a draft transportation plan by April 22, and to have that plan brought before the School Committee at its April meeting. School Committee Chairman Frank Pallotta said that company representatives said they would have it by April 12.

“I do want to publicly say that Durham said repeatedly and clearly that they would meet our expectations and they would meet our timelines,” Goho said. “We did remind them of some of the things that have occurred in the past and some of the things that continue to occur. Thus far the whole redistricting process has going remarkably well and we don’t want busing or Durham to be the last leg or the component that puts a glitch in what thus far has been a very professionally run and successful community endeavor.”

Parents of children whose appeals are granted will not be provided with busing.

The final piece of the redistricting process, according to Goho, has been finalizing a new staffing plan, which came about as a result of the redistricting changes and closing of Marieville Elementary School.

Goho said he has met for several hours with human resources and the union to “put the final touches on a process that’s going to allow us to post open positions very shortly and then fill them in an expedient manner that allows us to adhere to the contract and also hopefully put the best qualified people in the best positions.”