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Archive for Tuesday, April 22, 1986

Parents question plan to transfer students

April 22, 1986

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Parents of Centennial School students who may be transferred to Broken Arrow School next year questioned school officials Monday about why their children are targeted to be moved and what other options school officials studied.

About 75 people turned out for the Monday night study session at Broken Arrow. Centennial parents asked the Lawrence school board to schedule the study session to discuss the possible transfer. The board will make a decision next Monday on whether to transfer a group of students from the Parkmar area to Broken Arrow for the 1986-87 school year.

Parents' primary concerts seemed to be why officials want to move students in the Parkmar area and how soon it will be before students might have to move again. The Parkmar area runs from Atchison to Kasold and from Clinton Parkway to about Glacier Drive.

Supt. Dan Neuenswander said he didn't know how soon there would be other grade school boundary changes and explained school officials' options.

District officials are recommending the move because of overcrowding problems at Centennial, 2145 La., and the space available at Broken Arrow, 2704 La.

Neuenswander apologized ot the parents who were taken by surprise by the discussions of transfer. He said school officials assumed that everyone was closely following the changes in the district and that there would be more of an effort to keep people informed in the future.

Brad Allen, a parents whose five children would attend Centennial School, said moving the Parkmar area seemed to be a "knee-jerk response."

"This looks like a short-term solution that's going to need another solution later on," he said. "I don't think anyone has any problem with Broken Arrow. I think the only problem is we'd prefer to stay in Centennial."

Neuenswander agreed that in three to four years, there is the "potential of some upheaval." However, if students aren't moved to even out enrollment bulges, then some classrooms would be crowded while others are underused.

Neuenswander told the group of the five options school officials examined.

  • Taking groups of students from the Marvonne-Melholland area, an area from Marvonne ot Atchison and from 19th Street to 23rd. Neuenswander said there are not enough students in that area to relieve the overcrowding at Centennial.
  • Transferring students from Four Seasons, an area west of the Kasold, south of Clinton Parkway and east and north of the city limits. To move that group would crowd Broken Arrow and give Centennial extra space.
  • Moving students from Gaslight Village trailer park. That would take most of the students from Cordley School and would not solve crowding problems at Centennial.
  • Taking students from an area southeast of 23rd and Haskell. However, that would "gut" India School, Neuenswander said.

Prior to the question-and-answer session, a slide presentation on the school's history was presented by Broken Arrow sixth-graders Becky Zinn and Carrie Crowther.

Larry Bakerink, Broken Arrow principal, explained that Broken Arrow is not an open school., but an open-space school. Open schools became popular in the ''60s and were associated with a "do your own thing" attitude. To the contrary, Broken Arrow is an open-space school, which means several classes may share a large, open room.

"An orderly climate is essential if a setup like this is going to work," Bakerink said.

Bakerink said a Broken Arrow parent researched the success of Broken Arrow students. Of the top 10 percent of the 1986 senior class at Lawrence High School, he said, 10 students had attended Broken Arrow. That's the largest number of students from any one grade school, he said.

Two of the LHS national merit semifinalists are from Broken Arrow, and four other former Broken Arrow students were commended scholars, he said. In 1985, on of the senior class co-valedictorians was from Broken Arrow.

A couple of Broken Arrow teachers also spoke to the group, explaining how they teach in an open-space school.

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