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Oswego School Board Approves New Boundaries

Dec 12, 2016 09:52PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Hundreds of Oswego School District 308 parents worried that their junior high students would have to switch schools mid-stream can breathe a bit easier. 

While the School Board voted unanimously Monday night to approve secondary education Boundary Option 3B for the 2017-18 school year, the district also will allow all current junior high students to stay at their schools.

That means next year's seventh and eighth-graders will stay put, as well as current sixth-graders. Current fifth-grade students impacted by the 3B boundary changes will see those changes in 2017-18.

The decision was made after board members debated whether choosing 3B over 3C, which would have left students at their schools, would have been worth the social and emotional toll of moving junior high students to a new school. 

"When you're talking about 12- and 13-year-olds, I just can't imagine that," said Board Member Danielle Paul. 

Parent Julie Lanzara, who has been a vocal opponent of option 3B because of the impact on junior high students, said she was very happy with the School Board's decision. 

"We are ecstatic that our incoming Traughber 7th and 8th graders are not uprooted," she said. "Our only focus was their educational stability. Thank you to the school board for all your hard work and much thought for our students."

The need for boundary changes was precipitated by a School Board vote earlier this year to move all incoming future kindergarteners to their home schools, eliminating the need for the Eastview Kindergarten Center.

With that change the district was to see about a $400,000 annual savings in transportation costs, but Monday night's junior high decision will add 12-13 new bus routes and will wipe out those previous savings and actually add $50,000 to the transportation budget for the next two years, according to Derek Berlin, the district's transportation director. Those savings will return when option 3B is fully realized in year three.

Parents of high school students who would have been affected by the boundaries can also now breathe a sigh of relief. Superintendent John Sparlin said Monday night that those impacted will be able to remain at their high schools. However, they will need to apply for exceptions and provide their own transportation.

Information on how to apply for exceptions will come from the district in the coming weeks. 

SEE THE BOUNDARY MAPS ATTACHED AS .PDFs ABOVE
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