Students Adjust To New Schools

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

"I'm just calling to welcome you to Lewton," says teacher Kathy Beasley on a phone call to a parent Wednesday.

Teachers at Lewton Elementary School are making the final phone calls to parents; their class lists now including students that used to go to Moores Park, which closed this year due to the district's repositioning plan.

"We have 50 'schools of choice' students, and about 75 percent are from Moores Park," says principal Teri Bernero.

Bernero says they've been reaching out to the Moores Park parents all summer. They're having events this week and next to acclimate new families to the school.

"I know it'll be a little hectic, but it always is when school starts," Bernero says.

But hectic for some families is an understatement.

Nine-year-old James Hall had been a student at Grand River Elementary, which is the other school that closed.

His grandmother Gwen Hall says they didn't know until Tuesday which school he was even supposed to go to.

"We were waiting, and we got no letters, no nothing," Gwen says.

The Halls eventually went to nearby Gier Park Elementary themselves-- one of the schools taking displaced students-- and found out James was enrolled both there and at Fairview.

They made a last minute choice to send James to Gier Park because of bussing issues. That decision was made one week before school starts.

"I've got to know these things. Schools gotta get their act together," Gwen says.

The school district tells us Gier Park sent multiple letters and/or made phone calls to every family, and this could have been an oversight.

As for her school, Bernero thinks things will go smoothly.

"Kids are very resilient. Change is harder for adults than kids," she says.

But in this case, it's parents, teachers, and children that all have to deal with it.

The school district says enrolling children in schools will not be an issue. Parents can even take their kids the first day of school to their "default" school and schools will have a spot for them.

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