As some of you know, there has been a lot of conversation, and action, regarding the boundaries for Crocker Highlands Elementary. I want to clarify some things and to make sure you all understand my position in the discussions.
The most important thing for you to know is that if you are a Crocker family, you are part of the family. I don’t like to use the phrase, “I don’t care..” in regard to anything, but I don’t care where families live. Your kids are our kids. If you are one of the families here, you are part of the community.
When OUSD decided to move the boundaries last year, it raised a lot of concern. My concern was – how big do they want Crocker to be (# of kids)? We have only so many classrooms, and so much space in the MPR and on the playground, and of course, only so much parking! When families on the school tours tell me how much they want to come to Crocker, I want to welcome them in, all of them. Now, I am not sure of what a child’s chances are to get into Crocker. My nature is to make everyone happy and if I can’t, I feel like I’m not doing my job. (That’s a whole different conversation.) Some people may be unhappy next year. I was glad that we were able to add a 4th kindergarten class (decided in April 2012) and welcome a new group of wonderful families into the Crocker community. We were very fortunate with our new staff who joined us, and we are off to a great school year. We can handle 17 classrooms, it’s working just fine. I don’t know how much bigger we can grow.
Last summer, a group of parents got together after the large meeting in the MPR with District Leadership (I’m periodically reminded that I’m district leadership, too) and formed the CLRP, Crocker Long-Range Planning Committee. They continued to meet with District Leadership, and I participated in several of those meetings, to discuss what is going to happen with Crocker regarding the expanded boundaries. Their push was to ask the School Board to re-evaluate their decision about the boundaries and to do more research regarding the number of school-age children in the revised Crocker boundaries. ( I don’t like the term “new boundaries” or “old boundaries.”) I feel that their request was a fair one and I support this deeper look into how many kids are going to be in the Crocker boundary and the question, can we take them all? When I asked one of the committee members, “What if we discover we can hold all the children in the revised boundaries?” The response was, “Then we’re done.” I have spoken to all the CLPC participants and believe their intent is a good one – it’s not to exclude, it’s to make sure we have the capacity to serve all the children who are assigned here.
At the Board Meeting this week, many Crocker parents spoke on behalf of this request to the District. The Board agreed (voted) for OUSD to look into the issue of school boundaries and the possible over-enrollment of Crocker Highlands, and to make some recommendations for the future boundaries. OUSD is already on board and is working on this information. I do not know if there will be changes or if they are, what they will look like. A better informed decision, either way, is the way to go.
I do not want this issue to divide our community. I am hoping this email helps to reassure you that the boundary discussions are not meant to make families feel unwelcome. It’s about Crocker’s capacity.