Greenfield School Committee begins talks on redrawing district map

  • WALL

  • WEDEGARTNER

  • PROIETTI

  • JOHNSON-MUSSAD

Staff Writer
Published: 3/11/2021 4:55:16 PM

GREENFIELD — The School Committee has begun discussions about how it might redraw school district maps to make which elementary school a student attends more equitable.

Redrawing school district maps would mean moving students into one building and deciding what would be done with the other buildings. Currently, elementary school students attend one of the following schools: Newton, Green River (which is currently closed), Federal Street and The Discovery School at Four Corners.

School Committee member Jean Wall, who is heading up the Ad Hoc Redistricting Subcommittee, said the advisory committee will first evaluate the racial and economic inequalities.

“That’s where they are,” she said. “In the elementary schools, because everyone is split up. All middle-schoolers and high-schoolers are in the same buildings.”

Wall said the goal is to have elementary school students travel from grade to grade together, so that everyone has the same opportunities.

“It’s a good time to talk about this,” Wall said. “Everything is in chaos because of the pandemic, so we might as well talk about this as well.”

School Committee Chair Amy Proietti said because it will be a multi-year project, she’d like to encourage residents throughout the city to get involved.

“We can’t dodge the issue,” School Committee member and Mayor Roxann Wedegartner said. “If we do this, we also have to decide as a city what to do with the other buildings. That would obviously have serious financial implications.”

Wedegartner said that while neighborhood schools are part of Greenfield’s history, it’s not really appropriate at this point in time.

“But, we need real plans before we do anything,” she said.

For instance, Wedegartner said, if the city found itself with a couple of empty school buildings, one might be able to become the administrative building that would house the superintendent and other administrators.

School Committee member and former Greenfield School Department Superintendent Susan Hollins said there will have to be a lot of discussion and thought before making such a move, because switching schools can be problematic for some children. She said the goal should be to make sure children have the opportunity to learn to the fullest, whatever the eventual decision.

The advisory committee meets the second (9 a.m.) and fourth (6 p.m.) Thursdays of the month. Wall said one morning and one evening time was chosen so that anyone and everyone might be able to attend.

“We want this to be transparent and inclusive,” she said.

Glenn Johnson-Mussad, who heads up the School Committee’s Racial Justice Advisory Subcommittee, said it might make sense for the two advisory committees to work together on redrawing the school district.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.

Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.


Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
 

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy