Parkland schools to hold meetings on elementary school placement
“That [having 450-550 students per school] will allow for optimum class sizes in all five of our schools.”
With the opening of Veterans Memorial Elementary School in the fall of 2020, some parents in the southwest portion of Parkland School District might be wondering where their children will be attending class.
School administrators hope to allay those concerns by holding a series of community meetings next month at the four elementary schools in that section of the district in order to keep parents informed about their redistricting plans.
Redistricting is necessary to determine which students will attend the new K-5 school planned for Twin Ponds Road in Upper Macungie Township and to balance enrollment among the soon-to-be five schools in the area, Assistant Superintendent Rodney Troutman said during a presentation to the school board Tuesday.
The new boundaries for Fred Jaindl Elementary, Fogelsville Elementary, Parkway Manor Elementary and Cetronia Elementary, along with Veterans Memorial Elementary, will be presented to the board during its workshop session Oct. 15, he said.
Of particular concern are the revised boundaries for Parkway Manor and Cetronia, which are among the most top-heavy schools in the district in terms of enrollment, Troutman said.
And the influx will continue,
— Parkland Superintendent Richard Sniscak
he said — home construction in Trexler Field, Breinigsville, along with the Spring View Apartments complex off Cetronia Road is driving the enrollment numbers up, necessitating the changes.
Cetronia is at 625 students and Parkway Manor has 610, well above what Parkland Superintendent Richard Sniscak said are ideal numbers.
He said the goal is to have 450-550 students per school.
“That will allow for optimum class sizes in all five of our schools,” Sniscak said.
He said the combination of adding Veterans Memorial and redrawing the boundary lines will enable Parkland to stop using portable classrooms, as is the case at the four elementary schools.
“We need to balance our enrollment; that’s the key,” he said.
Redistricting will not affect the boundary lines for the middle schools or the elementary schools in the northern part of the district, he said.
The community meetings will be held Oct. 21 at Fogelsville Elementary, Oct. 24 at Cetronia Elementary, Oct. 28 at Fred Jaindl Elementary, and Oct. 30 at Parkway Manor. Each meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and be in the school cafeteria or library.
Administrators will request that the board approve the proposed boundaries at its Nov. 19 meeting.
Letters will be sent Dec. 3 to all families affected by the redistricting, identifying their child’s new school for 2020-21.
Teacher transfer surveys will be sent to all K-6 staff on Nov. 20, gauging who is interested in reassignment to another school, with a Jan. 17 deadline for completion. Staff assignments will be finalized by March 18, Troutman said.
Troutman anticipates 28 or 29 teachers will be assigned to Veterans Memorial, in line with staffing at the four schools in Parkland’s southern zone.
Hires will be needed to fill the classrooms, he said, but the district will largely staff the new school with transfers due to Title 1 requirements.
Veterans Memorial will begin with about 500 students but will be built to accommodate up to 600, Troutman said.