"We have this challenge of overcrowding. We have this challenge from the State [of Connecticut] of racial balance. How do we turn that into a positive?' asked Superintendent Dr. William McKersie
In a meeting of the Greenwich Board of Education Tuesday night
, Superintendent Dr. William McKersie presented the district administration's proposal to mitigate the issues of overcrowding and racial imbalance.
Dr. McKersie said "This is almost entirely a proposal based around choice or voluntary movement. Not based in any significant way at this point on redistricting or forcing students to go to new schools."
The administration's proposal combines the choice approach with the creation of two partial magnet schools at North Street School and Parkway School.
"To take the approach of creating two magnet schools -partial magnets that would still be neighborhood schools, to round out and strengthen our existing two magnet schools on the west side of town [New Lebanon School and Hamilton Avenue School]" added Dr. McKersie
The administration hopes the combination of choice and partial magnets will alleviate both demographic concerns at the same time but they acknowledged that more research and public imput will be required.
Dr. McKersie said "We can't come to you tonight as an administration and say that we know that this is the answer to meet the numeric requirements of the State racial balance issue."
Leslie Moriarty, Chairmen of the Greenwich Board of Education said "The Board [of Education] values the imput we receive from the public. The approach to these issues may have impacts on many families and we appreciate the timely and productive imput from the PTA Council, the individual school PTA's, parents, students, RTM members and other members of the public."