Carol Johnstone

Petition to Improve the Educational Opportunities for all Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School Students

Carol Johnstone
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The Huntingtowne Farms Elementary reassignment offers a rare opportunity to create a relative balance of economically and non-economically disadvantaged students in our area which is a CMS Board of Education stated priority for student assignment. The distribution of economically disadvantaged students across elementary schools in CMS’s South Learning Community is unacceptable. Huntingtowne Farms has one of the highest EDS percentages in the area (84%) while adjacent schools (some 2-4 miles away) have EDS populations of less than 20%.This is unjust to students and leads to inequality in educational opportunities.

We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our CMS Planners and Board of Education to make boundary recommendations and decisions consistent with their guidance statements that will balance the population of economically disadvantaged students (EDS) in our area and as a result benefit all the children in this part of the county.

As a community, we have two recommended approaches for improving the balance in student population at Huntingtowne Farms Elementary and surrounding schools.

1. Reconfigure student assignment boundaries to more evenly distribute economically disadvantaged and non- economically disadvantaged students throughout all elementary schools in the South Learning Community. Our goal should be for all schools in the area to have similar demographics. This could be accomplished through the pairing of nearby elementary schools in the area. For example, create a K-2 (lower school) and a 3-5 (upper school) pairing between Huntingtowne Farms and Beverly Woods (2 miles apart). In this option the IB partial magnet might move to Starmount Elementary. Alternatively, boundaries for all schools in the area could be redrawn in order to ensure a stronger balance of students.

2. Rethink the current partial magnet program at Huntingtowne Farms and increase the number of magnet seats by at least 50 percent. In order to attract more students from outside of the home area, the partial magnet program at Huntingtowne Farms could potentially change to the more popular STEM/STEAM or dual language partial magnet.

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