Seaford School District announces its new elementary school alignment, attendance zones

By Scott Bleile

The Seaford School District has announced the realignment of the four elementary schools and the boundaries for the attendance zones feeding the four schools. During the school board meeting on March 21, the board voted to approve the attendance zones that were developed by John Laznik from the University of Delaware Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research.

Laznik developed the attendance zones based on the zones that currently exist for the four schools. "We combined several of the zones trying to keep people as close to their home zone without moving many students around. We know that some students will have to change schools, but that can't be helped," stated Laznik at a recent meeting. "Several zones had to be made into two zones without causing too many transportation problems. Several models were reviewed, but basically dividing Seaford into two zones worked the best."

The school board had approved the elementary school realignment at an earlier meeting which created sister schools. West Seaford Elementary (K-2) will be paired with Central Elementary (3-5) and Blades Elementary (K-2) paired with Fred Douglass Elementary (3-5). Students who live in the northwestern part of the District will attend West Seaford Elementary School (K-2) and Central Elementary School (3-5). Students who live in the southeastern part of the District will attend Blades Elementary School (K-2) and Frederick Douglass Elementary School (3-5).

The Seaford School District will continue to provide specialized services to students assigned to the District's OH and Autism programs; however, students will attend District elementary schools based upon their grade levels and assigned programs. District students being provided services through the Seaford OH program will attend West Seaford Elementary School (K-2) and Central Elementary School (3-5). Students in the District's Autism program will attend Blades Elementary School (K-2) and Frederick Douglass Elementary School (3-5).

"Students will receive a letter telling them which school they will attend in the fall of 2016," said Duncan Smith, Seaford School District director of Human Resources and Public Information. "If parents go to our website, www.seafordbluejays.org, they will find a mapping tool where they can put in their address and it will show them which school they will attend. Also, there are maps showing the boundary lines for the two attendance zones. Anyone having questions related to the new elementary school attendance zones should contact the Seaford School District Office at 629-4587."

These zones will take effect for the 2016-2017 school year.

"We know there is going to be confusion on the parent's part and we are trying to get as much information out to them as possible. We want the parents to use the website to help calm fears and they can call the district office if they have questions," added Smith. "Parents can still apply for school choice but there is a process to be followed which means they might not get what they want. Daycare needs are important and we want to try and help people with these matters."

"The school district administration has met with parents of the Autism and OH programs about the reconfiguration and attendance zones," David Perrington, Seaford School District superintendent, stated at the board meeting on April 19. "We have discussed their concerns and a private meeting will be held with those parents to address their needs."

Perrington also told the board at the meeting on April 19 that the school year will need to be extended by three days due to snow days used during the winter. The last day for students will be June 14 and balanced calendar will end June 21. He also stated that the new school calendar for next year is finished. School for the 2016-2017 year will start on Aug. 29 for Pre-K, 6th grade and 9th grade with all students attending school on Aug. 30.

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