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School Committee opts against School Choice

Date: 4/17/2012

April 16, 2012

By Chris Maza

EAST LONGMEADOW — The East Longmeadow School Committee recently voted not to participate in School Choice for the 2012-13 school year.

The School Committee unanimously voted against a motion to offer placement to out-of-district students at its March 27 meeting, a decision that steady in-town enrollment played a major part in, Chair Gregory Thompson told Reminder Publications.

"Looking at next year's class sizes, we determined that it was not really the right time to offer it," he said. "Enrollment is looking pretty stable in the district at all levels, according to the projections we have received."

The School Committee did explore the option of offering School Choice in certain grades, but ultimately felt there would not be room without affecting class sizes.

"Typically it's recommended that a school district offer School Choice at the transition levels, which is to say kindergarten, third grade, sixth grade, and obviously high school," Thompson said. "We looked into the possibility of offering it at those levels, but the numbers just didn't support it."

The School Committee's decision regarding School Choice remained consistent with recent years. The committee also voted 4-1 against offering School Choice for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years.

Elizabeth Marsian-Boucher, Angela Thorpe, William Fonseca and Thompson opposed it for 2010-11 at an April 26, 2010 meeting. Marsian Boucher, Fonseca, Thompson and Richard Freccero then voted against it for 2011-12 on April 25, 2011. Joseph Cabrera voted in support of out-of district placement in both of those previous votes. He was absent for this year's vote.

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