Family Magazine

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Redistricting

By Monicasmommusings @mom2natkatcj
We are in the middle of a very large scale school redistricting plan in our town. Two new schools are being built to replace 4 very old schools and they are opening in the fall. Since my oldest daughter started Kindergarten they were saying these schools would be built by the time she was in 5th grade. They were off by a few years. It isn't happening until my middle daughter is in 5th grade. And the whole thing has had me in a bit of a panic.
Where will my son be in Kindergarten?
This has had an affect on each of my children. My son will start Kindergarten in the fall. I can't register him for school until we know which school he'll go to and until they finalize all of this of course. So registration is pushed off until April. It has just been one more thing in the back of my mind of something I need to get done.
Even my middle schooler is affected by this!
My oldest daughter starts the 8th grade next year. What does the future hold for her? I would love for her to stay where she is. She is a part of the AVID program there and I don't know that the new school will offer that program. Then of course there's the fact that this is her last year of middle school. If she has to change schools next year and then again the following year I'm not sure how she'll handle that. Having to make new friends again when she's already feeling so out of place still in middle school. And then being the oldest in a brand new school where everyone is new. What a strange feeling. But then only being there for a year before she goes off to high school. How does that work? How will that make her feel? My oldest is so much like me. She doesn't handle change well. So the less change the better for us all.
Even with all that I worry much more about my middle daughter!
Then there's my middle daughter who goes into 5th grade next year. We moved here 2 years ago. This is only her 2nd year at this school. If she has to go to a different one next year how will that affect her? Well, she'll probably handle it with much more grace than I ever would, but that's a lot of change. That was one of my worries actually when we moved here. How do we deal if we get redistricted for one of the new schools? Or a different school in the district entirely?
This school has been amazing for my daughter. She has had wonderful teachers. She has made great strides in reading. She has made some really good friends too. I'm not ready to leave just yet. I'm not ready to have to get to know a new team of people who are going to work with my daughter to make sure she gets the help she needs with reading. We are all on the same page where she is now and she's doing so well. I don't want that to change.
If she gets moved to a different school, then I have the same concern I have for my oldest daughter. This is her last year in elementary school. So having to change schools an extra time because of this just doesn't seem like it would be best for her.
And my hands are tied in all of this! There's nothing I can do or say that would make it so my kids get to go where I want them to go because I'm not the only one who has these very same problems and concerns.
My mind was slightly set at ease!
A friend was able to attend the meeting showing the redistricting for the elementary school. She shared pictures on Facebook of the maps showing the redistricting. It appears that my middle daughter will remain in this school we have come to love and my son with start Kindergarten there. Phew, huge weight lifted off my shoulders there!
But my worry is not over just yet!
I still have no idea how they are staffing these new schools. I am imagining there will be lots of moving around of teachers. My middle daughter's 3rd grade teacher became a 5th grade teacher this year. So it has been my hope since finding that out that my daughter will get him again next year to finish us out in elementary school. Because he knows and loves my daughter so much and that will just be the perfect transition to middle school for her. But I also know that ultimately he wants to teach middle school. This might be the perfect chance for him to get a middle school teaching position. But would he move to a different grade level again so soon? Maybe, if something comes up that he wants.
Then there is my daughter's reading teacher. My daughter spent the first 3 years of her schooling career being taught to read in a way that was not conducive to her learning style. I screamed and begged for them to try something else. They insisted that this was the best way to do it. I knew it wasn't and when I finally got them to say she needed more help and we moved she made huge leaps in her reading scores. She is being taught a program that I'm not so sure that anyone else in the district knows how to teach. So what if her reading teacher is moved? Do they go back to teaching her whole word? How confusing will that be for her? How much more will that make her fall behind?
And I still don't know what happens to my middle school daughter! They aren't sharing any information on the middle school redistricting plan until March. So she still could end up in a different middle school next year. We just don't know.
There are so many unknowns still. So many things keeping me on edge. I know this is a great thing. I stood up for the building of the new schools when people were saying we don't need them. I still believe in these new schools. And I know it's going to be great for so many families and children. I just hate not knowing. Not being able to prepare. Not being able to say no stop this doesn't work for my child! Because my child isn't the only one affected by this. I have no control over anything that's happening. I can only hope and pray that everything will work out the way I want it to. So far we appear to be keeping things status quo. Hopefully it stays that way.
Have you ever lived through a city wide school redistricting? How did you come out the other end of it? Did you get what you hoped for or was your world turned upside down?

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