Redistricting plan would move North Cumberland students to McCourt Middle

Redistricting plan would move North Cumberland students to McCourt Middle

CUMBERLAND – A redistricting plan necessitated by overcrowding at North Cumberland Middle School would move 26 students entering grade 6 at that school this year to McCourt Middle School.

Supt. Bob Mitchell, pictured, told the School Committee at its July 21 meeting that there were some trends shown during a geographic study of where students live and go to school that simply weren’t logical.

NCMS currently has 631 students set to return next month, while McCourt on the other end of town has 439. The problem is especially pronounced in grade 6, where there are currently no spaces available for a student living within the NCMS home school area.

Mitchell is asking the School Committee to make some room by moving the 26 students who should technically be attending McCourt anyway, as they’re living south of Route 295. He said officials saw this particular situation as an opportunity to start the conversation on further redistricting down the road.

The students in question attend Garvin Elementary, and most students at Garvin go to McCourt.

Mitchell is recommending that this process be done gradually. Those NCMS students in grades 7-8 who currently live south of 295 would be allowed to finish their middle school experience at that school. Those south of 295 who would have attended NCMS this fall would instead go to McCourt.

School Committee Chairman Paul DiModica later explained that the students set to be moved live off Bear Hill Road in the area of Cargill Road, and all go to Garvin, he said. Years ago, the district had to move children from that area for elementary school, he said, but the deal was that they would be allowed to go to NCMS.

“It never changed,” he said.

School officials say any siblings of the 6th-graders being moved to McCourt are also allowed to go with them.

DiModica said school officials have known this day would come, and he expects other changes to be voted on by the committee in the future.

Committee member Denis Collins said it’s a good option and he expects most parents will be fine with it, but he wants to give them an opportunity to share their thoughts. He made a successful motion to table a vote.

Member Mark Fiorillo said the change will be an “easy approval” for him when it comes up for a vote.

McCourt Principal Jay Masterson said the transition for the students is coming quickly, telling school board members to have anyone with questions about the situation to contact him and he’s happy to speak with families to address their comments and questions.

Comments

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