Washington residents at Edison Intermediate School may be able to attend Roosevelt Intermediate School events under a proposal briefly discussed by the Board of Education Tuesday night.
During a discussion on intermediate school enrollment – including the controversial decision to move half the sixth graders from the Washington neighborhood from Roosevelt to Edison – Washington parents discussed what they said was the qualitative impact on the children.
“My daughter at Edison is not concerned about class size,” Jean Harrington said. “She is upset that she can’t go to the Roosevelt eighth grade dance. Her friends are at Roosevelt. In sixth grade it was the powder puff football. All of her friends played and she didn’t.”
Harrington said the impact is being seen currently amongst fifth graders at Washington.
“They feel very sad at this point in fifth grade because they are being split,” she said.
Harrington said the impact has been seen in student council voting, since Roosevelt allows fifth graders to vote for student council officers, while Edison does not. She said the voting process was recently completed. Harrington’s remarks were greeted by loud applause, including from BOE members Rich Mattessich, Mitch Slater and David Finn, who have all opposed the redistricting.
Washington resident Jim Seerie, an active redistricting opponent, said he is seeing it with his children.
“Why can’t the Washington kids go to the eighth grade dance at Roosevelt?” Seerie said. “Lip Sync is another thing that comes to mind. My girls are with their friends then they leave to practice Lip Sync.”
Lip Sync is an annual Roosevelt music tradition.
Seerie suggested having the kids be allowed to attend the Roosevelt programs if they choose. It was suggested also having Washington students now attending intermediate schools outside of Westfield attend the in-town events as well.
Schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan said she would have the schools look into it.
“It seems like a logical suggestion,” she said. “I don’t have an argument against it. I am not a Lip Sync expert.”
Slater and BOE member Ann Cary both endorsed the idea. Cary suggested opening up both Edison and Roosevelt events for the Washington students and letting them decide which ones they want to attend.
BOE member Ginny Leiz suggested having the principals of both intermediate schools, along with the five-member intermediate school guidance staff discuss the issue and make a recommendation to the board.
A timetable for the proposal was not discussed.