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Message From the Superintendent On Attendance Area Adjustments

November 22nd, 2019

Dear HCPSS Community:

Last night, the Board of Education took action on attendance area adjustments for the 2020–2021 school year, bringing to a close the first major phase of our boundary review process. This decision is on a scope far beyond any previous redistricting efforts and represents a significant course correction for our system, both in terms of school capacity utilization and in fulfilling the values for equity embodied in our Strategic Call to Action. Many of our schools have remained overcrowded for nearly 10 years, and last night’s Board action is a major step forward in addressing imbalances among our schools. Throughout this process, we have advanced a powerful conversation about the importance of equitable learning environments for all students.

I deeply appreciate the many staff members, Board members and others who have spent countless hours over the past several months working toward a plan that has the best interests of every child at heart. This process has been especially difficult because so many urgent factors are at stake in providing the best possible learning environment for our students. Our driving priorities have been to relieve crowding, advance equity by addressing the distribution of students affected by poverty across schools, and plan ahead for the impact of new High School #13, scheduled to open in fall 2023.

While it is not possible to create a plan that fully satisfies the priorities of every stakeholder, please be assured that each decision was made with the goal of giving all students full and equitable access to educational opportunities and supports. Last night’s action places us in a stronger position to continue our work in providing the targeted student and family supports, interventions and other strategies that will fully close opportunity gaps and enable every student to graduate well prepared for a successful life.

Regardless of your personal feelings about the outcome, please keep in mind that our children will take their cues from parents and other adults in how they react to these changes. By modeling an optimistic outlook, you will help them adjust positively to a new school and new classmates.

We now shift our focus to the next phase of the process: ensuring a smooth transition next year for you and your child. Plans are already in place to support students who will move to a new school, and for schools who will welcome new students. The following links and information may be helpful:

I realize this process has been very stressful for many families, and I appreciate and share your concern for your child’s well-being. I can assure you that every child in our system will continue to have access to a high quality education, excellent teachers, individualized services, and equitable learning and enrichment opportunities.

I am confident that each child moving to a new school will soon feel welcomed and comfortable in their new environment. Our principals and staff are preparing to provide supports for our families and ensure that this transition is as smooth as possible.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Martirano
Superintendent

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