Proposed School Realignment Angers Edmond Parents

Thursday, April 21st 2011, 2:40 pm
By: News 9

Jon Jordan, News 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma -- If a proposal to change redistricting lines in the Edmond Public Schools is approved, a number of parents could wind up sending their kids to different elementary and middle schools.

A boundary realignment committee made up of parents and school officials made a recommendation that would affect the Edmond neighborhoods of Ripple Creek, Whispering Creek and Summer Oaks. The committee recommended students who live in those neighborhoods and currently attend Charles Haskell Elementary School and Summit Middle School, be transferred to Sunset Elementary School and Central Middle School.

It's a proposal that has angered many parents. Carlos Moore and his wife Marcie passed out flyers warning other parents in the neighborhood of the possible change.

Carlos Moore stated in the flyer:

"These two schools [Charles Haskell Elementary and Summit Middle School] rank at the top or are the best public schools in Edmond. They are trying to send our kids to what some would consider Edmond's worst schools, Central Middle School and Sunset Elementary.

This is not a knock on those schools, but why would we want our kids to go from the best to the worst because some committee decided it."

Moore and other parents have demanded to know why students in their neighborhoods have to change schools, but those in the more "affluent" neighborhood of Bristol Park can continue attending the same schools.

When Brenda Lyons the Associate Superintendent of Edmond Public Schools was asked if Bristol Park was getting special treatment Lyons stated, "absolutely not." Lyons went on to say, "I would say look at history of Edmond Public Schools that's not how we do things."

But parents like the Moore's question whether Lyons is telling the truth, "if someone came knocking on my door asking questions that's what I would say too, but on the surface it's just too obvious, why aren't the newer schools being [sent to Sunset Elementary and Central Middle School]."

Edmond school officials say the realignment has nothing to do about wealth and everything to do with class size. Brent Lyons served on the committee as a district personnel member. He said Haskell Elementary School alone has grown from 723 students in 2004 to 919 students in 2010. At the same time Sunset Elementary school where the proposal would sent the students who now attend Haskell Elementary is operating well under capacity. Currently Sunset has 650 students well under the 770 students the school can operate with.

Lyons said overcrowding has become too big of a concern and adding additional classrooms to the schools currently overcrowded is no longer feasible.

The Edmond School Board will vote on the proposal in May. If the changes are accepted, they would take effect during the 2012 – 2013 school year.

Those parents who want to sound off of the proposed redistricting can speak at a public forum on April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Edmond Public School's administration building.