School building grade reconfigurations are among the biggest changes a school district can perform on school families. Typically, the plans are discussed far in advance and the school board oversees the often-complicated process that impacts school families.
But Ashcraft, who did not respond to emails seeking her comments Monday, said in the email she learned of the district’s plan on March 31 when some teachers told her.
“As a board member I was not aware of this redistricting plan until the teachers received their email late Wednesday afternoon. I am terribly frustrated by all of this and have many questions myself. I understand all of your questions and frustrations and will be asking many questions in the coming days,” Ashcraft wrote.
But two days later, on April 2, Fussnecker released another email to Edgewood staffers and community members, in which he contends the plan, which would alter grades at Babeck Early Childhood Center, Edgewood Elementary and Seven Mile Elementary, was discussed publicly for a year.
“The District Strategic Planning Committee was made up of hundreds of people from the community, certified and classified staff, board members, business partners, etc. The committee met for an entire year, resulting in the adoption of the plan by the board,” wrote Fussnecker.
“While I know that some in our community are disappointed to hear about these changes, our board firmly believes that the decision aligns with our mission statement and will enhance the educational program and experience for ALL of our Edgewood City School District students and community.”
Fussnecker said the grade reconfigurations will bring students from across the district together by grade level, adding to a “sense of community.”
Moreover, he said “reassigning grade levels to specific buildings enables us to utilize our resources and facilities more efficiently.”
“I know that change can be difficult for all of us. This change will certainly present challenges in the short term and result in a stronger district and community in the future,” he said.
But school parent Alisha Wilson said “taxpayers are the ones that pay for the schools, so the taxpayers should have input in these kinds of big decisions. And the fact that I found out about it from my 4th grader when I picked him up from school is even worse.”