Traci Anderson 0

Keep Mills Together

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We, the undersigned, object and firmly disagree with the proposed Southwest Middle School (SWMS) boundary plan put forth by the Facility Use & Boundary Task Force (FUBTF) on Oct. 7, 2008 for the Apple at Work Bond Program. The families of Mills Elementary and residents of our surrounding community overwhelmingly voted in favor of both the 2004 and 2008 AISD bond packages because we believed the Austin Independent School District and its elected Board of Trustees when they said “every Austin student, family and school will benefit from the investments made under the 2004 and 2008 Bond Programs.”1 The proposed plan not only rips apart our Mills community, it has singled out and isolated less than 100 Mills children who will no longer be allowed to track to middle school with their life¬long friends. Entering Middle School is a crucial crossroads in a child's development. It is well documented that pre-existing strong community connections increase student success. These children will be required to make all new connections in middle school. This puts them at considerable risk. The risk is repeated once again when they track to a different high school from the majority of their peers three years later. The process used by the FUBTF is flawed. Even to the casual observer the map, as currently drawn, represents blatant gerrymandering. These 100 children from Mills are the only children being asked to make the sacrifice of being separated from the vast majority of their friends. The boundaries need to make sense for every family and every child attending AISD schools in Southwest Austin, not just the residents of one community or another. This plan creates real anxiety in the child who knows that she or he will be sent to middle school where they know virtually no one. A community cannot be defined as the houses that are on one side of a gully or on this side of a street. A community is the people you see each day, the people you know and trust to be the village that helps to raise your child. Mills Elementary is one such community. We have been together for over 10 years, please don't divide us. We know each other, we know each others children and we are counting on our community to keep our children safe, strong and well as they enter the very difficult transition to adulthood. We, the undersigned members of the Mills family, including our Circle C brethren, our surrounding Mills community, and residents of Legend Oaks, Estates of Shadow Ridge, and Villages of Western Oaks, DEMAND that this plan be pulled off the table and revised in such a way that all Mills students attend the new Southwest Middle School with their elementary school family. 1 Source:


The Mills family, including our Circle C brethren, our surrounding Mills community, and residents of Legend Oaks, Estates of Shadow Ridge and Villages of Western Oaks.


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