Norwin school board nixes plan to fix Hahntown attendance zone
When Norwin school officials redrew school boundary lines in 2007 to accommodate the opening of Hahntown Elementary, five streets were assigned to the wrong elementary school.
Last Monday, the school board considered — then scrapped — a proposal to fix the mistake beginning with the next school year.
“The reason this occurred was an error on the district’s part,” said board President Robert Perkins, who said only six students currently are attending the wrong school.
The streets assigned to the wrong grade school are Kingsbury and September lanes; Sandy Hill and Nike roads; and Oakside Drive. Students from those streets should be attending Sheridan Terrace Elementary instead of Hahntown, according to district officials.
The six children who might have been affected by the change all live on Kingsbury, according to Natalie McCracken, the district’s assistant superintendant of elementary education.
Over the past several months, officials have discussed correcting the error, but Perkins said “it would be more palatable to do it when we are shifting the whole school district around instead of singling out the six kids.”
Although there aren’t any immediate plans to redraw elementary school boundaries, Perkins said, it eventually will happen.
“I have no doubt that we’re going to have to do it. We’ve done it before,” he said.
The attendance areas for the district’s four elementary schools periodically are redrawn to prevent buildings from becoming crowded as neighborhoods grow, according to Rod Stewart, the district’s director of transportation.
Board member Darlene Ciocca said it makes sense to wait until boundaries are redrawn across the district instead of making a change now.
“There’s a chance that they (the six students) will be moved again, which could be difficult for these parents,” she said. “I say, ‘Leave them where they are for now.’ ”
Board member Thomas Sturm said he preferred to move the students to their correct school starting with the next school year because, based on his experience, there is no guarantee that children won’t have to switch schools more than once to accommodate shifts in population.
“When I first moved here (in 1975), our assigned school changed three years in a row,” Sturm said. “It’s possible that it could change back and forth for these children because it has happened in the past.”
Stewart, who was directed to prepare the measure for the board’s consideration, said that given the likelihood that redistricting is “coming down the road, it just wouldn’t be a popular decision” to move students at this time.
Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at [email protected].