Meeting preview-3/20/08

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N&R has this preview story for tonight’s GCS Board meeting.

Excerpt:

School board members remain divided on how to best fill empty seats at Triangle Lake Montessori next school year.

The decision to create a “school within a school” for opt-out students or send them 17 miles away to Colfax Elementary may come down to how well parents attending tonight’s meeting make their case.

“I don’t really know how I’m going to fall out in this,” said board member Anita Sharpe. “With overcrowding as it is in the district, we can’t have that many empty seats at that site.”

The board learned March 4 that 114 students live in the Triangle Lake attendance zone but either don’t want to enroll in the magnet school or don’t qualify.

District staff recommended adding traditional classes to Triangle Lake for those students instead of reassigning them to Colfax Elementary. Board members, divided between keeping opt-out students close to home and preserving the integrity of the Montessori program, tabled discussion until this week.

Ida Pittman, PTA president at Triangle Lake, said parents plan to tell the board tonight that they don’t want to mix traditional and Montessori students. A previous attempt in 2003-04 bred resentment among parents who saw predominantly black kids from the neighborhood taking classes in one wing and a diverse group of students in another, Pittman said.

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