When you take a chunk of Bearden students and send them to West while sending a chunk of West students to Bearden, you are not “making adjustments for growth”, you are making socio-economic choices. Doubling students travel time and taking them away from their neighborhood school puts them at an increased risk for accidents, takes away their sense of community and fills schools with students who have no vested interest in their school. Surely you have seen all the research emphasizing the importance of students and families being active participants in their schools. Telling families that they should have siblings in two different high schools is absurd. The public hearings were clearly pointless.
My daughter has visited and toured Bearden several times. She has met with teachers, signed up for activities and registered for classes. She has tested out of classes and is actively trying out for band. My oldest child will still be at Bearden next year. During the past four years I’ve gotten to know many of the teachers and most of the school administration. This is our neighborhood school. This is the school that we planned on all of our children attending. We chose our home based on the schools. Now we are supposed to send our child across town to a school in a neighborhood that we would never choose to live in with teachers, staff and students we don’t know? When she gets her driver’s license, she will be allowed to travel only short distances. You are telling us to send her to a school far beyond what she will be allowed to travel. That eliminates her attendance at any after-school activities.
Please don’t do this. Please let students within a certain distance of a school remain with their neighborhood school. The criteria set forth by personnel and the School Board last year when all this re-zoning began was to: (1) Listen to public input, (2) Keep feeder schools together and (3)Look at safe methods of transportation. That is not what is happening to us.