Wellesley Public Schools superintendent David Lussier this week presented to the School Committee findings from his office that conclude the town would be better off redistricting than going with a more radical reconfiguration plan to accommodate changes in student population and necessary building upgrades.
Redistricting would involve divvying up the town population differently to lessen disparities in class size across schools (a few elementary schools have had to curtail enrollment already in certain sections). Reconfiguration would bring about changes such as turning some schools into K-2 learning centers and others 3-5 grade facilities. An analysis of the two broad options showed that reconfiguration would not offer any huge short- or long-term benefits over targeted redistricting, though elements of reconfiguration might still make sense to consider. The cost of transportation, among other things, was factored into the comparisons.
Among the interesting scenarios laid out among the redistricting models examined: Hardy and Hunnewell schools shutting down, and a new school being built.
Here’s a link to the recommendations document and presentation to the School Committee, along with the draft redistricting models. A committee is being formed to finalize plans, get public feedback and make another presentation to the School Committee in December/January. Expect some changes to go into effect as soon as the 2014-15 school year.