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Dilworth Sedgefield schools

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Please join us as we reach out to our neighbors in Dilworth and the Dilworth elementary community regarding the proposed school assignment plan.

We are asking for your signature on the letter below, in order to show our support for this wonderful opportunity to improve our neighborhood schools.

Please add your name and, if you have young children, include their ages.

To the Dilworth Elementary Community:

We, the undersigned parents and friends of Sedgefield, Colonial Village, Selwyn Farms, and Collingswood write in an effort to address concerns that we have heard expressed by our Dilworth elementary community and to encourage your support of the proposed school assignment plan.

Please know that we share your concerns. Over the past fifteen years, our neighborhoods have seen rapid change, with post-war housing and an aging population being replaced with renovations, new construction, and young families. Throughout this same time period, there have been continual discussions as to how to turn the Sedgefield schools into true neighborhood schools, not economically segregated but better reflecting the diversity of the dynamic neighborhoods in which we live.

Because of the high poverty concentration at those schools, and (until recently) the relatively low number of children in our neighborhoods, we simply have not had the critical mass to effect meaningful change at the schools. We strongly believe, however, that the time is now and that the proposed school assignment plan offers the best opportunity to create strong community schools and help remediate a situation that reflects poorly not only on the neighborhoods involved but on our city as a whole.

But we need your help: Please help us build on your success in Dilworth and leverage your expertise in creating such a great elementary school.

In asking for your help, though, we want to to emphasize that you will not be alone in your efforts and to stress to you our commitment to this task. There are active, engaged, and willing parents in our neighborhoods who will work to make this transition as smooth as possible. A group of parents are already in place, having come together organically in response to CMS’s suggestion of the potential for a partial magnet programs at the Sedgefield schools. Its members have met and established relationships with CMS staff including Superintendent Clark, Assistant Superintendents Sullivan and Craven-Howell, and Principals Cooper and Turner and stand ready to assist in this transition.

Moreover, various faith communities, neighborhood groups, and service agencies have expressed their commitment to assisting students, families, teachers, and staff in overcoming any challenges that we face as we come together to create strong new schools for all children in our communities.

But let us not just focus solely on the challenges. Have you seen the gorgeous campuses lately? The space? Both Sedgefield Elementary and Sedgefield Middle have more interior capacity and open leafy exteriors that rivals any in CMS. We understand that tours of the facilities for interested families are being planned in the coming days.

The campus of Sedgefield Middle is particularly lovely, walkable from many parts of Dilworth, adjacent to Sedgefield Park (which itself sits on the border of Dilworth and Sedgefield), and with a view of Uptown from its top-notch ball field. Moreover, a natural area adjacent to the campus and the park is accessible to students and remains the property of CMS, after a successful effort spearheaded by the Sedgefield Neighborhood Association to prevent its sale last fall. The school was not too long ago a well-regarded junior high, and it has the potential to be the centerpiece of the community.

We hope you will join with us in dialogue over the coming weeks and look forward to working with you in obtaining answers to lingering questions and developing creative solutions to particular concerns that you may have.

We know we will see you at community engagement sessions but also want to extend a warm invitation to join us at the 19th annual “Sedgefest” at Sedgefield Park on May 6 beginning at 11am and running until 2pm.

We hope to see you there!

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