To the Editor:
Two weeks ago, I wrote in a letter to the editor of Plymouth MN Patch that the Wayzata School Board was in a box. Well, the events of the last five days have done nothing but validate that point.
Let's recap: the school announced last spring that they would be redoing the elementary school boundaries in the Wayzata School District for the first time in six years. The board did what boards do and hired a consultant to facilitate the process (Teamworks International, who apparently makes a pretty good revenue stream from Wayzata and other districts).
The process involved two initial public meetings at which the public could provide feedback on Scenarios 3 and 4 (apparently Scenarios 1 and 2 were so bad, the board killed them at an October working session and added scenario 4.) After the public feedback and before the Nov. 5 public meeting, scenarios 3 and 4 were nixed by the consultant and replaced with scenarios 5 and 6. Feedback from the Nov. 5 meeting was gathered. Then on Nov. 21 late in the evening (I got the e-mail at about 8 p.m.) notification of a board "work session" on Monday, Nov. 26, went out along with a new Scenario 7.
That gets us to today.
You've heard the saying "Not in my backyard?" Well, that applies double to moving elementary school children from one school to another. Neighborhoods that weren't impacted by any of the previous six scenarios are now showing up in force because they suddenly are being moved from Greenwood to Gleason Lake or Greenwood to Oakwood.
Bottom line--from all these neighborhoods (mine included) is: "Move any neighborhood, but the one we happen to live in."
And who does the board owe the thanks to for forcing this situation? Let's go with a multiple choice for this one:
b) Superintendent Anderson and "No new school on my watch."
c) the previous superintendent
d) previous boards or
e) all of the above?
(Hint: The correct answer is after "D" but before "F.")
If you said 'E' you win, your neighborhood is now subject to being moved because you weren't at the meeting and you weren't vocal (just kidding...maybe).
The board is in a box. Period. Someone is not going to be happy when the dust settles. Some neighborhoods are going to have to move to schools that are further away than their current one. Some kids are going to have to go past one, two, three or maybe even four schools to get to their school.
The board should have done the right thing six years ago when developers started grabbing the land that is now Woodcrest, Legacy Park, Tyryn Hills, Bonaire, Spring Meadows, Taylor Creek, etc. AND BUILT A NEW NORTHERN SCHOOL THEN.
But instead they took lessons from the State Capitol and federal government and kicked the can down the road.
The school owns land. That is a fact. Check the tax records for the northeast corner of County Road 47 and Dunkirk Lane - the current location of the "Saddle Club." It's owned by Wayzata School District. They could start construction next year, but won't. Instead, they approved a $3 to $4 million addition to Sunset Hill (which has 0 NEW students in Scenario 7) and another $3 to $4 million ddition to Greenwood (which has a net DECREASE in students under Scenario 7).
Talk about kicking the can.