100 signatures reached
To: Ashland Parents and Community
Don't Let Our Kids Be Forced Out of Their School
The ASD rezoning policy is attempting to FORCIBLY transfer select children that are in grades K-2 at Helman Elementary to Walker School. WE WANT WALKER SCHOOL AND ALL OUR COMMUNITY SCHOOLS TO THRIVE - but moving our kids from their current school is not the solution. This will disrupt their education and cause emotional trauma by moving them away from their friends, teachers, and staff who they love and trust.
We NEED the support from other parents and community members who agree that forcing our kids to move is an unacceptable option. Please sign this petition that we will be presenting to the School Board at their next meeting on Feb 13th before this poor plan is decided as policy.
Why is this important?
My 1st grader lives 1/2 a mile from Helman and, if this policy comes into effect, will be forced to transfer 2 miles away to Walker for 2nd grade, away from all of his friends, his carpool, his community. His next door neighbor and BEST friend, along with ALL of his friends down the street, would continue to go to Helman, and he would have to move. His teachers who he loves and have supported him through difficult times will be gone. The familiarity that has eased his anxiety and allowed him to thrive will be gone. This experience would devastate him.
And this experience isn't exclusive to our family. Many families have gone through significant disruption over the past several years due to Covid and are finally finding themselves thriving through stability and consistency. Kids this age have an incredibly hard time with big changes! The plan is to pull approx 50 kids from Helman and move them into Walker, and EVERY single parent who we've spoken to does NOT support this and is concerned for the wellbeing of their child if this is pushed through.
Kids this age have big feelings and a forced transfer would be nothing short of traumatic for many of them - especially after all the hardship these kids experienced with Covid impacting their social and educational experiences. They need stability and support of their community, not to experience heartache and hardship to appease a districting number issue.
The plan is intended to make the class sizes at both of the schools more equitable. But the truth is there are several factors that have created the imbalance - Covid enrollment, school construction, the Alameda fires, school transfer rates. None of this should be the responsibility of our children to solve by being moved out of their current schools.
Any rezoning that is done must align with the ASD's guiding principles of "minimizing disruption to students" and "prioritizing proximity and walkability" and come into effect for NEW incoming students, not forcibly transfer children from their safe spaces where they thrive to a place they know nobody.
"We" are a group of parents from the Helman school district. Some of us will be forcibly transferred, others of us will not be, but are just as upset over the disregard to our community children's mental, emotional, and intellectual state this will create. We know forcing kids to move is NOT ok and should NOT be an option, and we're making sure the School Board sees that the community does NOT support this plan!