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vote No on Option #3

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The Sylvania redistricting process is a challenge for families, teachers, school board members and task force members alike. But we must take our time. We must gather all of the facts and consider the impact of our decision for the long-term.

The latest redistricting update for Sylvania Schools was presented on April 8, 2017. The redistricting options include a choice between option #1 and option #3. In option #1, Maplewood would remain an elementary school.

In option #3, Maplewood's grade K-4 students would be moved to Whiteford Elementary school. Maplewood would become a 5-6th grade school. Option #3 would affect ALL Maplewood families. Option #3 would also affect some Highland Elementary, Central Trail Elementary and Whiteford Elementary families. Students would experience 4-5 school transitions over the course of their education in the Sylvania school system.

This is a significant restructuring of the Sylvania school district. It is important that community members understand the implications of the redistricting options. There are many things to consider, particularly the costs and benefits of each option, and the impact on our students’ education.

The redistricting task force has indicated that creating an "adequate" class size is a priority. By closing an elementary school, how would class size be affected? Our goal should be to keep student-teacher ratios low.

If we eliminate the jobs of our Maplewood K-4 elementary teachers, can they be moved to the junior high level? What happens to Maplewood teachers who have served our community well for years? If enrollment changes and we find that we need another elementary school again, can we attract quality elementary teachers back to our community?

It is likely that the redistricting process has been driven largely by financial concerns for the district. Each option will involve some expense, but without a cost-benefit analysis examining each option in light of current and predicted future enrollments in our school system, it is difficult for community members to make an informed decision on the best course of action. Renovating the newly rebuilt Maplewood school is a questionable use of taxpayer dollars that requires further explanation.

What is not clear from the redistricting videos is whether the Sylvania community is growing in size. If Sylvania has heavy enrollment on both sides of town, with it being heaviest on the west side of town, then do we need another elementary school on the west side? Or another junior high on the west side? Does it make more sense to build a larger elementary in the west, and move Highland staff there? Are there better options we have yet to explore?

Northview, Maplewood and Highland are located close together, creating a concern with traffic patterns. How will that be addressed in option 3?

How will property values be affected by longer commutes to school if option #3 is adopted?

There are many unanswered questions such as these. As a community, we cannot be satisfied with a quick, short-term fix. We need long-term solutions that are financially responsible and socially acceptable. We need a plan based on sound projections of future enrollment, a cost-benefit analysis, and a recognition of our long-standing community history.

Maplewood is not just a school. It is a family.

Let’s keep it that way. Please sign this petition to vote No on Option #3.

Update 4-12-17:

It is clear that the school board is deciding between redistricting options 1 and 3. Please support option 1. Option 1 for One Sylvania.

Please oppose option 3, on the grounds that option 3 will move Maplewood K-4 students to Whiteford, making for long bus commutes. It will also eliminate our long-standing Maplewood elementary family, require 4-5 school transitions for students in Sylvania schools, potentially hurt our property values and require taxpayer dollars to renovate the newly rebuilt Maplewood building.

The board estimates that renovating Maplewood for 5-6th grade will cost about $100,000. They expect that teachers will be shifted to other schools without job loss, despite significant restructuring.

The board is taking comments for the next 2-3 weeks. Please sign this petition, complete the redistricting survey and email the entire board with your comments.

Here is the school board contact info.

Here is the link to the redistricting survey, click on the small blue button at the link

Thank you!

Option 1 for One Sylvania.

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