Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


January 14, 2014

182 students facing redistricting

Plan aims for minimal impact at elementary level


Susan McCready, co-president of the Sanborn Elementary School PTO, thanked school officials and staff for the work that went into the proposal.

“This has not been an easy process, but I just truly appreciate all the time Annie and Dennis and Mary Lu have put into this,” she said. “Taking all of the comments, and repetitive comments, I just want to say thank you very much.”

Gilbert said one of her biggest takeaways from the process was how passionate Andover parents are about their schools.

“I’m glad that everybody wanted to stay in their schools because we have six really wonderful school communities,” she said. “As hard as the transitions are wherever you’re going, there’s another great school waiting.”

Even then, there was some question of the plan coming to a vote in less than a month.

Laura Putnam, a Newport Circle resident whose daughter is the only one on her street affected by the changes, also questioned some of the decisions. She said in her zone, three students were moving from High Plain to Sanborn, while another four children elsewhere would be relocated from West Elementary to High Plain.

“(It) doesn’t make much sense to me because the numbers are still there,” Putnam said.

As news of the plan spread, Gould Road resident Heather Belson expressed her frustration with the delay in implementing the plan.

She said her family bought their home in 2011, with the South Elementary School community being a leading factor in their decision. Now, her household is among those moving from South to Bancroft. She said she would have preferred to have the plan in place this fall, rather than seeing it delayed until 2015.

“I personally would have preferred for the Band-Aid to be ripped off quicker,” Belson said. “It’s going to happen anyway, might as well be sooner rather than later.”

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