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BOE to Look at Letting Washington Students Attend Events at RIS and EIS

Parents said students want to be able to participate in Lip Sync and dances.

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.”

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.

Thomas Lorenzo June 15, 2011 at 02:16 PM
John, Thanks for all you do to cover these important BOE issues, but, please do not forget the point that was made about including Westfield students who are in out of district placements. They should be invited and allowed to participate as well! Thanks!
John Celock June 15, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Thanks. I did update the story to include that point that was raised at the BOE meeting last night.
Marni Sunshine June 15, 2011 at 03:41 PM
1. How about address EIS to offer the same Lip Sync contest at that school and then those kids who are so upset that they feel they are "missing out" on something because their friends have to go to a lip sync practice, and they then have to go home....maybe they could start their own event at EIS. 2. With regards to Westfield residents who are out of district placements, if the family has chosen to attend a private school, then they should LOSE the perks of having the benefit of participating in our school events. If the child is attending out of district schools for educational reasons that Westfield does not offer (special education) then that would be an exceptional instance, and clearly those kids should be permitted to participate in Westfield school activities.
South Westfielder June 15, 2011 at 04:08 PM
Marni, are you serious? The children are devastasted by not having a lip-synching contest? I think it is time for the parents to grow up, so they can help the kids grow up.
Betsy Williams June 15, 2011 at 04:44 PM
Edison DOES have a Lip Sync contest and has had for years! These parents do not want their children to participate in EIS events, they only want them to participate at Roosevelt.
Rob June 15, 2011 at 04:59 PM
Agreed, people really need to grow up here. My son goes to EIS, he was in the Lip Sync this year. He also went to the RIS Lip Sync to watch his friends from soccer participate, so he was able to get in. Secondly, there is a Powder Puff at EIS, it is next Wednesday. So, can these Washington Parents decide what school's chorus/band concert their child participates in also? This is just stupid.
Concerned Westfield Citizen June 15, 2011 at 06:38 PM
What is stupid Rob is that a third of the population from Washington is separated from their neighbors and friends because a superintendent took advantage of a board that had no representation from that school when the arbitrary decision was made. Why don't you send your son to a school that is further from his house and away from his friends. When you have to explain to your son that they have to be away from their best friends for reasons that they can't possibly fathom, then you can voice such comments.
cfa07090 June 15, 2011 at 08:02 PM
what about the poor G/T kids who are "forced" to go to EIS? will someone please think of them and their social lives?
Rob Cassie June 16, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Hi! I'm a GT kid from the north side of town (I'm now in 10th grade at WHS) and I'd just like to provide a perspective from someone who's done it. I had/have a great social life, both at EIS and now in high school. I can almost surely say the same for every GT kid in my grade, we all had great experiences at EIS.
Hugh Rosen June 16, 2011 at 11:12 AM
Happy for you Rob but at least you had a "choice"in the matter. The redistricted kids were forced into their situation. For the 100th time Edison is a great school and is on par with Roosevelt in every way. That was and continues to never be the issue. This decision continues to be like The Bay of Pigs- but at least Kennedy knew when to pull the troops out.
Rob June 16, 2011 at 11:24 AM
Nobody really has a "choice" it just depends where you live. We don't have a choice to go to EIS or RIS either. This whole picking which school's activities to partake in is just a waste of time and makes no sense. What would I do if we were "forced" to switch to another school with some friends? Tell my child to make new friends and keep the old ones. Afterall, that is why we do other town sports and activities and send them away to summer camp with completely new people. Grow out of the shell and meet new people.
jack jones June 16, 2011 at 11:32 AM
It's all about the kids, and the kids seem to be thriving.
cfa07090 June 16, 2011 at 11:47 AM
rob cassie - thanks for helping make my point. my statement was completely tongue in cheek -- OF COURSE YOU WERE FINE. the real issue here is a bunch of parents up in arms about a perceived injustice that's fueled by their sense of entitlement.
Marni Sunshine June 16, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Southside Transplant - read my comment again. NO i wasn't serious. What I was saying is that IF these current EIS kids feel so bad that they can't participate in the RIS lip sync...then they should consider starting their own Lip Sync at EIS !!!! After reading other people's comments, we now see that EIS does in fact offer their own Lip Sync contest and Powder Puff races...or whatever they are..... I guess if you want to attend the lip sync or powder puff games as a child from any school, that should be allowed. Having to allow kids from other schools actually participate in these events is a different story. If the gripe here is that the redistricted kids want to participate with their friends, isn't it enough that they just show up and support them?
Marni Sunshine June 16, 2011 at 12:21 PM
Agreed with Hugh - the issue here for these parents was NEVER about EIS vs. RIS......IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT AND WILL ALWAYS BE ABOUT THE BLANTANT DISREGARD FROM DR. DOLAN AND THE BOE FOR THE WAY IN WHICH THIS REDISTRICTING WAS HANDLED, AND FROM READING THESE ARTICLES, IS STILL BEING HANDLED. Nicole Morris is right...give us the raw data and facts....not what THEY feel the numbers are. Ask ANY EIS kid how many children are in fact actually in their classes and they can tell you that 30+ is more the average class size. It doesn't matter the the classroom itself may be large enough to hold 30+ kids....the fact still remains that there is still ONE TEACHER inside a larger classroom size teaching 30+ kids. Maybe the parents of the children NOT REDISTRICTED should start focusing on the facts and stop belittling people's emotions. Frankly I'm shocked that the Southside people have allowed their kids to be invaded by the supposed "snobby" Northside kids and have them crowd their classrooms!
Sally McBride June 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM
move all washington students to edison and all mckinley students to roosevelt. I am SURE concerned westfield citizen will agree to that
Concerned Westfield Citizen June 16, 2011 at 01:24 PM
I would agree to that. It would keep the school and community whole. Thanks for your nasty response Sally McBride. It appears you have something against EIS. Or are you the prototypical northside snob?
Concerned Westfield Citizen June 16, 2011 at 01:29 PM
Perceived injustice fueled by sense of entitlement? First off, it's a JUSTIFIED injustice. do you want to have your kids split up from their friends based upon a lazy school superintendent and a nasty snob of a former president of the board in which you had no representation? And yes, it is a sense of entitlement. Last time I checked, we all paid the same taxes. Why should my rights and those of my kids be trampled for the sake of convenience?
Suzanne Tucker June 16, 2011 at 03:26 PM
My problem with the position stated in this article is that it continues to separate the Washington children from the rest of the Edison students. Both schools have similar activities. If we are going to open up both school's activities to one group, then we should be opening them up to all the students across the board. What does it say about us as parents when we continue to emphasize how the kids "want" to be at Roosevelt, instead of figuring out a way for our kids to maintain their Roosevelt friendships AND make new ones at Edison? I have a child in the high school and one about to enter Edison in September from Jefferson. Because of participation in sports, my younger child is friends with other children from all over town, from Tamaques, McKinley, Franklin, and yes, Washington too. If we want to open up Roosevelt activities, don't just open them to Washington students. Perhaps we should be looking at ways for the Edison and Roosevelt kids to get to know each other instead of worrying about how to insulate them from each other.
Sally McBride June 16, 2011 at 03:31 PM
Don't even live in Westfield yet , but I am looking for a place. Hope the one I find is not close to you. I am looking both north and south. I understand this might be over "Disturbed Westfield Citizen's" head, but doing the move I suggest would get rid of the north/south problem. I think he/she is afraid of "those people" if his kid gets moved. I think I might actually be one of "those people" (accroding to his standards), so he will probably not agree with my comment. Please read his response below to prove my point
Concerned Westfield Citizen June 16, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Sally McBride not only doesn't read the postings correctly, but has to resort to insults. To top it off, she has decided to make comments in the legitimate concerns of actual Westfield citizens when she herself doesn't even live here! Please get a clue about what's been going on here instead of subjecting us to your interpretations.
Mr. Mayor June 16, 2011 at 03:55 PM
I hereby declare that Sally Mc Bride is not welcome in Westfield. This is a town of good people with good hearts and gentle souls and vicious negative folk like McBride are not welcome in 07090. And now back to my traffic light problem..
Matt June 16, 2011 at 09:58 PM
"Ask ANY EIS kid how many children are in fact actually in their classes and they can tell you that 30+ is more the average class size." Yeah, so I asked my son the numbers in his academic classes. Answer: LA = 25, Math = 22, Science = 27, History = 28, Spanish = 23. Your numbers seem off...
Elizabeth Reilly August 19, 2011 at 01:07 PM
Nothing is a "big deal" until your child is in the equation.

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