Emotion cited as obstacle for elementary school boundary changes
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public School Board and boundary committee members said emotion is a big obstacle for school boundary changes, which would affect what schools which children can attend.
The board met Thursday morning to discuss the changes proposed by the committee. Many committee members showed up to share their opinion on the matter, but even after the committee proposed the idea, some committee members felt empathetic.
"The families that do get moved, they are upset," Amy Pescaglia, a committee member, said.
Pescaglia said that many families have a special connection with their current school, making the change difficult.
"They hold a lot of pride and family tradition in the schools that they attended or their siblings attended, or the area that they live in," Pescaglia said.
But she said she hopes the outcome will alleviate this pain.
"Our hope is that as a community, in a couple years, the new school will become their new tradition, it'll feel just like home, and they'll love it just as much," Pescaglia said.
Columbia Public School Board President Christine King said she agrees the change can be hard, but, with a growing city, the board will do its best to meet everyone's needs.
"We have a large committee that did a lot of great work, and brought a good proposal to us," King said. "It's not perfect, nor will it ever be perfect because, depending on who you are in the community, you may not like it. So the board really has a lot of work to do over the next three weeks to ask questions and get those answers for community members."
But as emotional as the process has been for some, one committee member said she sees the positive in the situation.
"We learned that everyone loves their school, everyone's passionate about their school because we do have such good schools here in Columbia," Kristen Hanson said. "So, I think that after these transitions are made, I think that people will love their schools that they're going to attend."
The Columbia Public School Board will discuss the various propositions for redefining the boundaries and will vote to decide which one is best on April 9.