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New Canaan To Move Elementary Classes to Reduce Crowding

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – To solve overcrowding at South School, a pair of classes might be shifted to two other elementary schools in New Canaan.

The Board of Education heard from residents and talked for more than two hours on Monday as it weighed ideas for easing a projected overflow at South School.

Board member Gene Goodman presented a motion to shift at least two sections from South to free up classrooms in the building. The board did not discuss whether the sections would go to East School or West School or whether they would be split between the two schools.

South School “is two classrooms shy of where they should be,” Goodman said. “We have to wrangle how this will be accomplished in terms of whether the kids go to East School, West School or a combination and which students are moved.” The school board will take up the issue again at its next meeting.

The discussions became necessary after projections for the 2012-13 school year showed South School’s enrollment at 587. The expected enrollment at East School is 517, and 479 at West School.

Parents at the meeting had mixed reactions to the board’s ideas. Meg Mehos of Weed Street worried that redistricting would affect her street because homes there were redistricted in 2000. Mehos also worried that a move could hurt children. “I don’t want to see you rush into making a decision until every option is considered,” she said.

Parent Cobie Graber also asked the board to be careful.  “In the short term, I caution you to be too cautious,” said Cobie Graber. “I don’t think you can say you’re offering the same education at all schools when there’s so much overcrowding at one.”

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