East Greenbush Central School District is providing additional information about the proposed changes to school boundaries for Bell Top, Genet and Red Mill ahead of the three scheduled public meetings. Parents and staff are encouraged to attend any of those meetings to learn more about the proposal and to ask questions. The meetings are scheduled for Monday, January 7 at 7 p.m. in the Bell Top Gymnasium; Tuesday, January 8 at 7 p.m. in the Red Mill Library; and Monday, January 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Genet Conference Room.
Q: Who is affected by this proposal?
A: The proposed changes to school boundaries will affect incoming Kindergartners and any newly registered Grade 1-5 students for the 2019-20 school year whose primary residence is within one of the affected areas of the district and who will not have siblings within these schools in 2019-20.
Q: What are the affected zones?
A: New students on the following streets would be enrolled at Red Mill: Woodlawn Avenue, Plaza Avenue, Sandra Lane, Justine Court, Rockefeller Boulevard, Capital Place, Patroon Lane, Rosebud Court, 3rd Avenue Extension between Route 4 and Rosebud Court; Oak Hill Circle, Laura Lane, Van Alstyne Drive, Rock Cut Road; Valley View Boulevard; Van Allen Way, Washington Avenue Extension; Stonegate Drive, Valley View Boulevard; Hazel Terrace, Farley Drive, Elizabeth Street, George Street, Delaware Avenue, Maryland Avenue, Illinois Avenue, Wisconsin Avenue, Indiana Avenue, Walker Avenue, Ohio Avenue, Missouri Avenue, California Avenue, Florida Avenue, Minnesota Avenue, Iowa Avenue, Michigan Avenue, Washington Avenue Extension; Bloominggrove Drive West, Dixon Road West of Route 4, Ludlow Lane.
New students on the following streets would be enrolled at Citizen Genet: Best Road Between Route 43 and Morner Road, Mara Drive, Miller Road, Scythe Tree Lane, Red Oak Lane, Westernview Terrace; Agway Drive, Grandview Drive, Thompson Court; Morner Road; Van Leuven Drive East, Van Leuven Drive South, Van Leuven Drive North, Mountain View Terrace, Holland Drive, Van Dyke Drive North, Van Dyke Drive South, Brinker Drive North, Brinker Drive South, Forest Hills Boulevard, Van Tassel Drive, Olga Lane, Van Winkle Drive, Salisbury Road, Route 43 Between Route 4 and Salisbury Road.
Q: Will my child who attends Bell Top this year be moved to a different school next year?
A: No, the current proposal does not affect students who currently attend these schools or incoming students who will have siblings in these schools during the 2019-20 school year. The district’s proposal seeks to provide as much stability as possible for current students and the families of current students as we address growth occurring in the Bell Top area.
Q: Will current students attending Bell Top who live in the affected zones be moved after 2019-20?
A: Every effort is being made to not move current elementary students. Unfortunately, we do not know what the enrollment will be in 2020-21 or beyond. Thus, it is difficult to make a firm decision regarding what options might be considered for accommodating more students at Bell Top in future years. Other options for creating more classroom space for the K-5 students are being considered currently and would be implemented prior to moving children who currently attend the school or those who enter the school in Kindergarten for 2019-20.
Q: Is this re-zoning plan final?
A: At this stage, the changes to the attendance zones are proposals to alleviate capacity issues at Bell Top due to current and projected enrollment growth in that zone. The district’s intention was to put the information out to our community as early as possible in anticipation of Kindergarten registration which occurs in February. The informational meetings we are hosting usually result in better understanding and often ideas emerge from discussions which help to inform proposals, sometimes improving upon them. This is the true purpose of such stakeholder engagement meetings.
Q: I have a 2nd grader at Bell Top and a younger child who will be entering in 2021. Would my younger child be able to attend Bell Top or would she be moved to Genet or Red Mill, thereby splitting them up?
A: The district is sensitive to practical implications and hardships of making a change which would force a family to have children in two different elementary schools. Every effort is being made to phase the change in and to avoid such a situation. However, we cannot at this time predict the number of students who will be at Bell Top in 2021-22 with any level of certainty and thus unfortunately, we cannot answer that question right now. As more information becomes available, including the number of students who register at Bell Top for the 2019-20 school year, and as other considerations continue to be reviewed, parents within the affected areas will receive updates from the district.
Q: Can the district move the CTAEP high school program out of Bell Top and use that space for incoming students?
A: We are considering all options at this time, including the potential of relocating the high school students. However, further information is being gathered to ensure that if a decision is made to relocate this program that the implementation and transition is done thoughtfully and within implementation timelines which enable that program to continue its success. CTAEP has flourished at Bell Top, which has provided sufficient space, staffing support and a school climate that enhances the program. In its current location and design, CTAEP has helped many of our students graduate from high school contributing to the district’s exceptional four-year graduation rate.
Q: Can parents expect additional changes to the boundary lines in the future?
A: At some point, the growth in enrollment within the Bell Top area within the next few years could exceed the current capacity of the school given new home construction in areas close to Bell Top and the number of classroom spaces within the building’s footprint. The proposal to adjust the boundary lines for the Bell Top attendance zone north and to not impact current students is intended to alleviate space concerns for the next couple of years. However, we continually monitor new registrations, update our student census and stay informed regarding housing developments throughout our school district. It is possible however that future enrollment fluctuations could dictate subsequent changes.
Q: How can we stay informed as this proposal moves forward?
A: The district will continue to provide updates on our website, social media and through emails with parents.