Parkway School Board votes 7-0 to change middle school boundaries

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The Parkway School Board has decided the fate of hundreds of elementary students in the district. The vote was on a proposal to transfer graduating elementary students to different middle schools.

The board passed the proposal in a unanimous 7-0 vote. This affects students at two elementary schools and changes up what middle school they’ll attend. And some parents aren’t happy. 

One controversial decision is changing up an entire school district. After months of meetings, the board voted tonight to change the boundary assignments for two Parkway middle schools.

Pierremont Elementary students will now go on to South Middle School instead of West. Hanna Woods Elementary students will go to Southwest Middle School.

Pierremont Parent, Michelle Fussner, said the decision disrupts her son’s education and breaks up her family. 

“My son is a fifth-grader,” said Fussner. “He has known for six years that he will go to West middle and be a junior at Longhorn. Now, within a matter of months, he will have to switch gears and not be able to follow in his sister’s footsteps, who is currently at West middle.”

The district said the proposal will solve an enrollment issue. Parkway said it did a study that found West at full capacity, where South and Southwest middle schools don’t have enough students.  

Parkway Spokesperson Paul Tandy said the plan gives more equality.   

“We get how hard these things are,” Tandy said. “We don’t like these changes, but we have a learning environment at the over-crowded school that is not optimal. And we owe it to those kids, all of our kids, to find a better way to provide the very best education we can.”

Tandy said students will still be able to attend the same high school as before. Fussner is tired of the changes.  

“They cannot continue to just ping-pong us back-and-forth,” Fussner said. “They need to come up with a solution that is sustainable — something that can account for these ebbs and flows in the different areas.”

The change will go into effect next fall and would affect nearly 500 students in the next 4 years.  

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