Some Bamber Valley Parents Oppose Change to Choice School

Posted at: 06/03/2014 10:53 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Today parents petitioned online and outside of Bamber Valley Elementary. Their concern is the school district's proposal to turn Bamber Valley into a 40 percent choice school and 60 percent neighborhood school.

Megan Fogelson is just one of those parents concerned about the idea of turning Bamber Valley into a school within a school.

"We're really happy with our neighborhood school, we really like that we have a diverse population and we're concerned that if you split our school into two pieces that we may have a perception or a reality of haves and have nots,” said Megan Fogelson, Bamber Valley Parent.

Under the district's proposal, 60% would remain a neighborhood school and the remaining 40% would become a core knowledge curriculum school. The plan piggybacks the district's idea of changing some of the boundaries in the area, where 200 Bamber Valley students would attend a school closer to where they live.

"It freed up about 200 seats in that building, it would be under capacity, so we were thinking that making it a partial choice school would help build that capacity at that site,” said Superintendent Michael Muñoz, Rochester Public Schools.

Muñoz says it's a way to decrease bus time and increase opportunities for choice options in the district. This new proposal is much smaller than the original plan, which looked at expanding choice programs to four other Rochester elementary schools.

"We've proven throughout the process that we do look at that feedback and make adjustments based on what we receive,” said Muñoz.

That's really what these Bamber Valley parents want is to voice their concerns before it's too late. There will be a public forum on this issue at the June 16th school board meeting. We're told the school board will make a decision in August.