Elementary school redistricting options to be presented at East Lyme forum
East Lyme — School officials will hold a forum on Thursday to update the community on plans for redistricting the town's elementary schools for the 2019-20 school year.
The community forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Mary Broderick Auditorium at East Lyme High School.
During the meeting, Milone & MacBroom will give a presentation and review maps of different potential redistricting scenarios, and parents will have an opportunity to ask questions, according to Superintendent Jeffrey Newton.
The Board of Education hired Milone & MacBroom to develop scenarios that revise the elementary schools' enrollment boundaries to even out student enrollment across the district's three elementary schools and account for future growth.
Currently, 368 kindergarten through fourth-grade students attend Flanders Elementary School, 173 students attend Niantic Center School, and 302 students attend Lillie B. Haynes, Newton said.
The school board asked Milone & MacBroom in developing the scenarios to create similar student enrollments at the three schools "to ensure equity in available resources across schools," according to a presentation last month from the firm. The board also wanted to ensure the redistricting plan is sustainable and allows for new housing developments and the growth of the student population, which is projected to grow over 10 years.
The board also asked the firm to try to create boundaries that keep neighborhoods together and limit student travel time, among other criteria, according to the presentation.
Find more details about the alternatives in the document below.
In its analysis, Milone & MacBroom considered factors, including student enrollment, population trends, planned housing developments in town and the future capacity at the three elementary schools, according to presentations to the school board. Construction to renovate the three schools is slated for June and scheduled to be completed in August 2019, Newton said.
At meetings last month and this month, the school board reviewed potential redistricting scenarios and narrowed them down. At the forum, Milone & MacBroom will present the options of Alternative 3 and Alternative 4, along with slightly revised versions, Alternatives 3A and 4A, for the community to view and provide feedback on.
Under Alternative 3, the enrollment boundaries would be redrawn so a projected 14 students would move from Niantic Center to Lillie B. Haynes; 85 students would move from Flanders to Lillie B. Haynes; and 96 students would move from Lillie B. Haynes to Niantic Center.
Under a modified version, Alternative 3A, a projected 14 students still would move from Niantic Center to Lillie B. Haynes, but more students — 105 in total — would move from Flanders to Lillie B. Haynes; and fewer students — 68 in total — would move from Lillie B. Haynes to Niantic Center.
Under Alternative 4, a projected 96 students would move from Flanders to Lillie B. Haynes, and 96 students would move from Lillie B. Haynes to Niantic Center.
That option also could be tweaked, Alternative 4A, so the same number of students would move from Flanders to Lillie B. Haynes, but slightly fewer students — a total of 71 — would move from Lillie B. Haynes to Niantic Center.
Maps and presentations are available on the East Lyme schools' redistricting website, bit.ly/ELredistrict.
Stories that may interest you
Maureen McCabe looks at the teacher's desk with Patrick Moore, dressed as George Washington, during a Presidents Day event at the Marcia Thompson Schoolhouse in North Stonington on Monday.
Superintendent Cynthia Ritchie has proposed a $72.1 million education budget for fiscal year 2020-21 with a 2% overall increase that Ritchie said is fiscally responsible and maintains a focus on student achievement.
The Representative Town Meeting is engaged in some economic gymnastics to keep residential beach parking prices from rising due to a new state sales tax.