West Genesee School District outlines neighborhoods that may be redistricted

The West Genesee School District is finishing up work on a proposal to redistrict its elementary and middle schools.

Thursday night, about 100 parents attended a meeting to learn more about the proposal. Consultants have spent weeks crunching the numbers and trying to re-balance the district which has suffered from dramatic attendance drops in some schools.

"I am affected by this, my kids are going to be switching schools. Right now I'm okay with that," said parent Greg Couture. "The first couple of days will be tough, but we also know they're not the only kids in our school district that are switching. There will be friends that come with them."

The consultants have recommended redistricting 4 neighborhoods including Westvale, roads East of Kasson Road, streets between Genesee and Milton Avenue and homes along Gulf Road. Click here to see the maps.

Some parents are not happy with what neighborhoods are being targeted. "You're trying to move kids that have reduced fee lunches and free lunches. because they need more special needs, and so you want to balance that out," said parent Dorin Lauter. "It just feels like you are targeting the most disadvantaged kids."

West Genesee, like many districts in CNY, are dealing with population changes. Superintendent Christopher Brown says Onondaga Road and East Hill Elementary Schools have the same building set up, but Onondaga has 150 fewer students. He says each school should be able to provide the same opportunities for each student, and adds the student body should mirror the larger community.

"When we're looking at this redistricting plan, you can think of factors like socioeconomics, or free reduced lunch, or students and disabilities, or even students who have scored a three and four on a state assessment," said Superintendent Christopher Brown. "You can look at a variety of options. At the end of the day though, the biggest focus for us is to make sure we have every school balanced."

The committee charged with studying redistricting will meet again on May 10th, sort through the options and then make a recommendation to the school board. The school board will likely vote on whether to accept the plan in June. If it's approved, changes won't take affect until the 2013-2014 school year.