AASD should be nurturing

The Altoona Area School District needs to show a caring attitude as it deals with angry parents over last-minute boundary changes forcing children to change elementary schools.

The dissension surfaced last week after the district mailed letters about new boundary lines drawn up in response to the closing of Wright and Washington-Jefferson schools and a desire to equalize class size.

While parents in the Wright and Washington-Jefferson areas were expecting such letters because of the school board’s vote, some other parents were unaware that their children would be part of the pending transition.

And it’s no wonder they don’t like it.

Were those parents ever asked for their input? No. Administrators worked behind closed doors on the boundary line moves.

So now, some children who have gone to one school for five years are being directed to a different school for sixth grade, their last year of elementary school, because the district moved the boundary.

Isn’t there any way to let those children stay one more year at their familiar schools?

And why shouldn’t parents who live almost the same distance from two schools have the option of selecting which school their children will attend, as long as that attendance doesn’t overload the selected school’s classes?

When district officials spoke last spring about closing Wright and Washington-Jefferson schools, they referred to the declining student population and how those the students could be accommodated at other schools and how some boundary lines may need to change.

But that was back in March.

Now, here it is, shortly before the new school year begins, and the district is saying to some youngsters: “Oh, by the way, you have to vacate your seat and go to a new school.”

We urge parents to continue voicing their complaints about this chain of events to school administrators.

In cases where parent and student requests can be accommodated, the school district should do it. That’s what a caring parent would do.