School District to reconsider grandfathering Print
Community
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 16:25

School Board weighs its options after voting against incoming fifth-graders to attend current grade school

    The Grafton School Board is reconsidering its unanimous decision to not allow incoming fifth-graders to be grandfathered at their current elementary schools for the 2018-19 school year.  
    “I look at it as not grandfathering in any case, I call it a petition for emergency relief from assigned elementary school boundaries,” School Board member Paul Lorge said during a meeting on Monday, Nov. 27.
    The School District had to reassign students to schools because of a $39.9 million referendum approved by voters in April that calls for the demolition of Grafton Elementary School and the expansion of Woodview and Kennedy.
    Grafton Elementary School students will be assigned to other schools for the 2018-19 school year, but other elementary school students will also be affected.
    The attendance map that was approved by the School Board in September divides the district along Washington Street and First Avenue, with students living north of the border attending Woodview and those on the south going to Kennedy.
    The challenges the district addressed when redrawing the attendance map included balancing the number of students between the two schools, planning the busing routes and determining the travel times for parents.
    The School Board considered grandfathering current fourth-grade students so they could attend their respective elementary school for next year, but it unanimously voted not to pursue the grandfathering in October.
    “This is back on the table because several board members have reached out to Jeff (Nelson) and me, individually, saying they would like to revisit this one piece of that grandfathering request, so we can help out a small number of families and students who are caught in this ‘last year at my school’ dilemma,” School Board President Terry Ziegler said. “At the last meeting, we said we’re going to make a clean sweep, but we should help (families) if this doesn’t cause us other domino effects and problems down the road.”
    According to Supt. Jeff Nelson, he expects the total number of students to be reassigned to their current school would be 25.
    Nelson also said a survey will be sent to the students’ families to determine their level of  interest in being reassigned and the board will make its final decision in January.
    The families of the students would be responsible for providing transportation for their children and no siblings in different grade levels could be reassigned.