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School assignment committee to hold Charlestown forum

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  April 24, 2012 11:57 AM

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Boston Public Schools plans to hold a public meeting in Charlestown about its changing school assignment policies.

The School Department’s advisory committee on school assignment is set to hold an open forum on Saturday, April 28 at the Warren/Prescott K-8 School from 9 to 11 a.m. to hear what changes parents would like to see be made to the school assignment process for grades K through 8.

The department created the advisory committee made up of nearly two dozen parents, business leaders, academics, and other professionals appointed by Superintendent Carol R. Johnson in February to recommend changes to the school assignment process.

The committee will spend nearly a year gathering public input and developing its proposals. Its recommendations are expected to be presented to the School Committee in December.

Under the current system, parents can apply to school in their designated geographical zone or schools in their “walk zone.” An algorithm then assigns the child to a school. But the sprawling zones and assignment process can send students to schools more than 7 miles away.

School and city officials hope a redesign of the process will limit the number of schools students can attend in order to curb growing transportation costs and allowing students to go to school closer to their homes and neighborhoods.

A community meeting will be held at Excel High School in South Boston at the same time as the Charlestown meeting, and a newcomer assessment and counseling center is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Madison Park High School in Roxbury.

The advisory committee held meetings in Allston, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, and Mattapan in March.

The School Department plans to host additional meetings in May and is working to set up meetings with School Parent Councils and community groups.
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Twitter: @YourCharlestown, @JohannaKaiser
E-mail: johanna.yourtown@gmail.com

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