Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thoughts on Traut vs. Zach

An unfortunate situation has been brewing in the Southeast part of Poudre School District. Zach Elementary School, a neighborhood core knowledge school, is full to capacity (and, in fact, a cap on enrollment, as needed, and transfer of the 6th grade to Kinard Junior High was approved by the Board Monday January 23, 2005). Traut Core Knowledge Elementary, a core knowledge "option" school (a school without boundaries), was placed in its current location in the late 1990s, before there was substantial development in that part of Fort Collins. It has been asserted by various parties that one or the other of the schools has recieved "favoritism" from the Board, or the District. Here are some of my personal thoughts on one proposal, which was to add a "neighborhood preference" to Traut (effectively converting it to a neighborhood school):

The problems that would be caused by attempting to convert Traut to a neighborhood school far outweigh, in my mind, the short-term relief it might offer. These problems include, potentially, disruption of yet another neighborhood school, or the formation of yet another charter school over which the voters as a whole have little or no influence. Additionally, the existence and support of Traut, Harris, and the Lab school offer important "existence proofs" of option schools within the district; these proofs can and do help us as we discuss charter contracts, as well as the possibility of bringing some charter schools back into the District as option schools.

Historically, also, please note that our option schools have been very supportive of PSD policies and procedures. They are an important component of our school choice portfolio, and deserve respectful consideration alongside the neighborhood schools. Finally, note that Traut also has an enrollment cap, so Zach would not stand alone in this regard.

Comments, responses, and questions are welcome.


Blogger Blake said...

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6:06 AM  

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