Moving on: Parkway School Board finalizes proposal to rezone the Pierremont Elementary School area

Nov. 17, the Parkway School Board finalized their decision to rezone Pierremont Elementary over to South Middle after claims of overcrowding at West Middle.

Illustration by Michael Lolley

Nov. 17, the Parkway School Board finalized their decision to rezone Pierremont Elementary over to South Middle after claims of overcrowding at West Middle.

At the school board meeting Nov. 17, the Parkway School Board voted unanimously to shift Pierremont Elementary from feeding into West Middle to feeding into South Middle. Proposed last spring, the district administration stated that West Middle was overcrowded and needed a solution.

Families were outraged by the proposed solution of rezoning the school district. Parents of Pierremont students began making yard signs, signing petitions, emailing the district and attending board meeting after board meeting, trying to have their voices heard.

“Every redistricting is emotional for families, and sometimes even more for the adults,” district superintendent Dr. Keith Marty said. “I understand that it’s a very emotional topic, [and] I’ve never had a redistricting where everyone goes ‘oh, that’s great! My children are great!’ It’s always a tough one.”

Every issue the School Board addresses has more than one side to it. And when you have elementary schools like Mason Ridge and Highcroft, who split their population between West and Central, it raises some questions about why Pierremont is the one that needs to change.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me honestly,” senior Elle Dignam said. “Why are we splitting up more schools, instead of bringing the already split ones back together? I don’t get it.”

Although the Pierremont community is against the shift, we know that the board has voted, and this change is inevitable. What’s important now is figuring out how to make this an easy change.

“Now it’s time to be empathetic. These are Parkway families, and we never want to have disputes with them, but I understand the emotion,” Marty said. “Now it’s time for everybody, hopefully, the families and the administration to work together now to make it a good and smooth transition so the families can get into the building, meet the principal and start the whole process.

And, of course, this transition affects nobody more than it affects the students. And according to Marty, South Middle has already begun planning ways to make the students feel more welcome in their school.

“When I moved my family, I just had to be attentive to my children. I was always grateful when school people would understand that was kind of traumatic,” Marty said. “[We need to] be understanding about that and try to go the extra mile. [We need to] understand, listen, be empathetic and be helpful.”

Whether you are for the shift, or against the boundary change, Marty would like to see the  community come together to make this transition seamless. He has seen parents reaching out and talking to their new peers, and hopes others will follow suit.