Friday, May 29, 2009

School Redistricting Study:URGENT!!

Over the past few months, the Middletown Board of Education has been working with an architecture firm, JCJ, to figure out a short-term solution to overcrowding at Moody School and a long-term solution to redraw the lines for the entire district. On Tuesday night, JCJ recommended that the Board of Ed take no action for the upcoming year, as it would cause too much disruption for just one year, when a broader solution is on the horizon.

Over the last few days since the meeting, I've been speaking to NEAT members and recieved many requests for a letter that people could use as a template to voice their opinion to the Board of Ed. So, I've included a draft email below. You can copy and paste it into an email from your personal account and send it to:

Frechette, Michael , Senges, Barbara , John Hennelly ,,, Daniels, Sheila ,, Renee Johnson-Thornton , Keiser, Jay ,,,,

The Letter is below. I encourage you all to take the few minutes and send this email. It is important that the board understand how many people are concerned about this issue. If they only recieve two letters, it will send the wrong message that North End residents don't care. We do care, you've told me that you care, now tell the Board of Ed.

I am available to answer any questions by phone (860-346-4845) or by email ( Please feel free to call if you want more information or clarification.

Thank You for taking the time on this. It's really important. The board will be meeting on Tuesday to make a decision at 7:00 pm at the High School Cafeteria. NEAT will be carpooling and childcare will be available by request.


ps. you can read more about this issue at the following links:

Dr. Frechette, and Members of the Board:

As a member of the North End Action Team (NEAT), I support the recommendation made by JCJ at this past Tuesday's Board of Education meeting. Although many North End kids attend Moody school and are affected by overcrowding, it is in the best interest of the entire city to wait until JCJ's full report is complete to make any changes.

Over the last few months, you asked for citizen participation in this process. We participated. We came out to your workshops in great numbers, and at great inconvenience, because our schools and our children are important. Our voice informed JCJ's recommendation that you work toward a long-term solution and avoid a short-term band-aid. Should you ignore JCJ's advice and act on an unrecommended plan, you would also be ignoring us -- your constituents. That move would send a clear message to residents and taxpayers that our participation, input, and time isn't important.

That said, Chairman Raczka has said in the Middletown Press that doing nothing is not an option, and that moving students around is. We don’t think that's a solution.

Moving any student to another school affects not only the child, but his or her family, school, and neighborhood. Such significant disruption should only occur based upon a comprehensive look at the entire city. Since you are considering a long-term redistricting next year that would again move students, it would be irresponsible and inconsiderate of you to put students in the position of having to change schools twice in two years.

NEAT members have said all along that what is important is that:

1) No child should have to move twice and whatever solution is agreed upon for the upcoming school year disrupt as few kids as possible.

2) You can't solve a problem at one school by creating a problem at another. Macdonough should not become overcrowded so Moody doesn't have to be; it would be unfair to take North End families out of one overcrowded school and place them into another.

3) The North End is a neighborhood. To the extent possible, its children should learn together in the same schools and should not be spread out among many.

You should listen to the consultants you have paid to advise you. Please keep our concerns -- and our children -- in mind.

Thank You,



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