Letter From the Editor: Border Wars: Maybe it’s Time to Reconsider Our Choice System

switch to boundary sysetmThe choice system is complete, and statistically, most people are happy. In fact, 83% of families received their first choice. Aside from the 17% who may not be happy, there are other things to consider when examining the choice system. One of the most frustrating things about the choice system is that you can have five different schools represented on one block. This could be for several reasons including that a boundary school wasn’t even open when kids on the block first starting attending school. But, in other scenarios, parents chose to send their kids to a different school because they liked the location better, their child had friends who planned to attend there, or they felt it was going to be a better learning environment for their child. These are all fair reasons.

But, let’s take a look at the good ol’ days of yesteryear when we were growing up. It was fun to have your neighbors, your block, and your neighborhood rallying around the same elementary school and having pride in that school. It was exciting to have the kids sports teams based on their neighborhood school, and the kids played it out for bragging rights of what school had the best athletes. All of this also made it easier for parents to carpool to school and other activities, as well as kids grouping together to walk or ride their bikes to school together. For the kids, it was fun to meet friends from the other schools, and of course all of the drama that comes with a boy from one school “going with” a girl from another school.

I’m not saying the choice system is a bad system, it clearly is not. In fact, we chose a school outside of our boundary (simply due to better biking path), but would not have been disappointed had we gotten into our boundary school. Originally, having a boundary system would have been challenging due to the difference in population density of the neighborhoods. But, as Stapleton fills out, it will be much more viable to go to a boundary system, creating pride and fun rivalries within Stapleton. “They’re all good schools” can’t be overstated. So, maybe looking a little ahead, we can make life easier on young Stapleton families and those who are moving here. Let’s make that decision for them. “You’re school is that one. The one five blocks from you.”

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One response to “Letter From the Editor: Border Wars: Maybe it’s Time to Reconsider Our Choice System”

  1. Anne

    I respectfully disagree. My block is represented by 5 different elementary schools and I don’t mind. I actually see a plus for my kids. Sure, there can be fun about all going to the same school. But, I also remember days when I felt, irrationally of course, that everyone in the school was making fun of something I did. I think in a way it’s kind of nice that if my kids have a bad day at school they can come home to the respite of the friends from the block. Friends they’ve known from the time they were babies and friends who have some disconnection from whatever happened at school. And, I think it’s kind of cool that my kiddo seems to see a friend everywhere and she knows them from lots of different places. Stapleton may not be perfect, but I think it’s hard to argue that the kids here aren’t getting a chance to interact with their neighbors.

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