Changes coming for busing, Stratford Academy

School board approves demagnetization, transportation cuts

Many in the audience at Stratford High School opposed changes to elementary school busing and the demagnetizing of Stratford Academy. — Melvin Mason photo

Changes are coming to Stratford elementary schools next year, though not everyone is happy about it.

The Stratford Academy campus will revert from a magnet school to a neighborhood school after a 6-1 vote on Monday by the Board of Education. The school board also voted unanimously to scale back busing between the north and south ends of town.

The changes, which will take effect next year, were planned to help the district save money in the 2018-19 school year budget. School officials say the district needs to save about $2.2 million after the Town Council authorized a $111.8 million spending plan for the new school year.

Many in the audience at Stratford High School jeered the votes as the brief meeting drew to a close. Some could be heard yelling, “Shame on all of you!” in the direction of the board members. Another person outside the school shouted, “Is this making Stratford great again?”

Superintendent Janet Robinson has said the “forced busing” that went on in Stratford since 1990 is not needed as much now since the town’s schools are more diverse than they used to be. All of the elementary schools will be within 25% of the overall elementary school minority percentage rate, which is 59%.

The changes will go into effect next fall, Robinson said.

With the busing changes approved, Robinson said the district will rescind the non-renewal notices sent earlier this month to 59 non-tenured teachers, meaning they will return to Stratford classes when schools open for the fall.

Dozens of parents and students are angry about the decision, saying it will disrupt their kids’ education by putting the students in unfamiliar environments. Some also voiced worry that not everyone is familiar with what’s going to happen.

See this week’s Stratford Star for more information on this story.

 

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Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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