Hamden Creates Redistricting Plan to Counteract School’s Racial Imbalance

Michael Bellmore, New Haven Register, December 6, 2012

A redistricting plan will go into effect next school year to counteract racial imbalance at Church Street School, sending scores of students to nearby Helen Street School.

The move is necessary to comply with state law.

According to Superintendent of Schools Fran Rabinowitz, Hamden was asked to address the issue by the state Department of Education because minority students at Church Street School represented 25 percent more of the student body than is the average for other schools in the district.

To comply with state law, the new redistricting plan will send approximately 40 students from Church Street School to Helen Street School for the 2013-14 school year.

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“The administration has been working on it since June, to come up with a plan that would have the least amount of impact on students and their families,” Rabinowitz said. “We realize that it’s very difficult to move from one school to another, but we have to comply with state statutes, so this seemed to be the very best solution.”

Mayor Scott Jackson said undoubtedly this is a “difficult issue for parents because they come to love their local school.”

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According to a press release issued by the school superintendent’s office, “This plan was presented to the state Board of Education in the context of a long-term plan for Hamden Public Schools.” The town will be exploring possible renovations of Hamden schools to “accommodate growing student population and changing demographics.” {snip}

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