“A deed to a house, not to the school.“
The Mamaroneck School Bd has withdrawn it’s controversial Flex Zone proposal for the districts’s 4 elementary schools for the coming year.
An audience of roughly 140 residents broke into applause when School Board member Steve Warner told the crowd Wednesday night “we hear you.” Board President Melany Gray warned the crowd that with increased enrollment on the horizon in years to come, “The status quo really can’t exist as much as we’d like it to.”
The zones were proposed to ease expected overcrowding at Chatsworth and Murray Ave. Schools, requiring new residents on certain designated streets to send their children to Central Elementary, considered by some in the tony community to be less desirable.
The Flex Zone sparked a heated on-line campaign that peppered the Board with emails and Facebook posts, many complaining about possible impact to home values. Observers have pointed out that Chatsworth, in particular, has a certain “snob appeal” because of it’s close proximity to “The Manor” neighborhood and classic architecture, although all the District schools are considered to be excellent.
District Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaps told the Board that his staff will begin working on alternatives to the idea during March, expecting there may be a use of enrollment deadlines with a careful monitoring of class size. The result would be that any late registrants might be told their neighborhood school is already at capacity and possibly be sent to another district school.
“It might not be necessary,” Shaps said, “but it’s an option.” Shaps says his staff has gone to great lengths to examine the available space and is now at the point of considering portable classrooms in future years because parts of aging buildings, like Chatsworth, simply cannot be brought up to modern standards.
As for school zoning changes, they could be back in the future, Steve Warner warned the residents that people sometimes think when they move here “I have a deed to a house and to a school. When in fact you have a deed to a house, not to the school.”