School District asks for ideas after levy failure

schools: Redistricting next step after voters reject Proposition 1

of the GatewayNovember 20, 2013 

The Peninsula School District is moving toward a redistricting process in response to voters rejecting its proposed $50 million capital levy earlier this month.

But before that happens, the district is reaching out for ideas.

At a brainstorming session Monday at Purdy Elementary School — part of an outreach effort after the election — Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto organized community members into six groups of about five people each to collaborate and prioritize what the district should do in the future.

At the end of the session, the white papers that were filled with ideas were placed on a library shelf, and meeting attendees used three dot stickers to select priorities. It’s a method the district also uses during strategic planning, Cuzzetto said.

The top priorities selected at the Purdy meeting were trying again for a levy, redistricting students and more public education before the levy about school district needs. The consensus was that redistricting will encourage action from voters once students begin to be moved by bus to a school outside of the area in which they live.

School board member Harlan Gallinger said Purdy was the area where the levy failed and the election was decided.

Purdy is an over-capacity school, and the area would have benefitted from a new school, so Gallinger said he wanted to hear what was on voters’ minds.

School board president Wendy Wojtanowicz said the community feedback and an all-staff meeting have brought new ideas and options.

The open environment encourages outside-the-box thinking, and the board encourages that “because it could be a random idea that’s our solution,” Wojtanowicz said.

The school board will begin to prepare for redistricting for the 2014-15 academic year during its Dec. 5 meeting. The first step will be to form a Redistricting Task Force.

The next community meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Henderson Bay High School.

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