In light of public concern about the proposal to reconfigure the grade levels in the elementary schools, the school board in the West York Area School District decided to wait until December to vote on the plan.
The board members shared their perspectives from the meeting with parents at the school board planning session Tuesday.
Superintendent Emilie Lonardi said it was possible to hold off on the vote until December, which gives school officials more time to hear from the public and answer concerns about transportation and other logistics.
In the meantime, the district will compile a "frequently asked questions" section about the reconfiguration on the website to address questions parents and community members have.
Todd Gettys, vice president of the board, said he thought it would be a good idea to compile specific information on the bus routes, and estimations of what they could increase to. Many parents at the meeting Monday voiced concern about adding an extra 10 or 15 minutes on to the bus ride in the morning and afternoon.
"In lieu of this mountain of perception, I think it might be in our best interest to provide hard data," Gettys said.
George Fike, board secretary and the district's business manager, said that information will have to come from Durham School Services, the contracted busing company. But Fike said he should be able to provide some estimations of the bus routes that could be in effect if the change is approved for next year.
Fike added the bus commutes are not as long as what students in other, more sprawling school districts experience. The West York district covers 25.5 square miles.
Many of the school board members agree the extra month will allow the district to get feedback from the public. But many of the board members also agreed they should vote on whether to make the change next year-not to use a different phasing system or hold off on the reconfiguration for another year.
"Why drag our feet on this?" board member Ralph Brandt asked. "We're harming our kids."
Brandt added the rising class sizes are an important factor in the decision.
Board member Alan Moose said simply redistricting 100 students or so in the district to balance the class sizes is a "Band-Aid" for the issue at hand. Moose said the board's purpose is to plan for the long-term needs of the district as a whole.
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