News and notes from the Levittown School Board's regular meeting on September 14:
Concerns Over Re-Zoning
The public be heard session saw four parents voice their displeasure with a rumored re-zoning of certain homes in the district.
Those homes, which currently see children go to Salk Middle School and MacArthur High School after graduating from Abbey Lane Elementary, would instead see their children go to Wisdom Lane Middle School and Division Avenue High School. These schools are further away; Division, specifically, was mentioned as a mile and a half further away than MacArthur by some parents.
"I purchased my house here specifically for Abbey, Salk and MacArthur," said one parent who lives on High Lane. "If there was a re-zoning issue, I wish I would've been told before I purchased my house. I probably would not have purchased my house in this area."
The complaints of the parents puzzled board trustee Ed Powers. He noted that the zoning change would not have an impact on property values because the purchase price reflects the district that the home is in, not the school. He, along with board president Mike Pappas, defended Division Avenue as an institution, although fellow board trustee Kevin Regan noted that this did not seem to be the complaint of the parents. (Regan's comment was met with applause from the audience.)
The shift in zoning would affect anywhere from 19 to 27 children over the next five years, according to Superintendent Dr. James Grossane. The plans were discussed as an effort to re-balance enrollment numbers at the schools.
Dr. Grossane told the crowd that the zoning shift was under investigation, but that they would seek input from familes who would be affected before changes were made.
Memorial Garden for Ms. Foglia
Two Division Avenue high school students presented a proposal to the board for a memorial garden for Kim Foglia, Division's AP Biology teacher who passed away in January.
Ms. Foglia planned to create the garden herself before she passed away, and was planning it with her last AP class. One of the students showed the board his plans for the garden, which Pappas said looked beautiful. The other student was asked what Ms. Foglia's class was like, and while he said he never had her as a teacher, he did recall that she used to spray her students with a spray bottle on the first day of her class and tell them they would grow in her classroom.
The students said they plan to start building the garden in the spring.
Wisdom Lane To Shift to Natural Gas
The board unanimously approved a plan to install a dual fuel burner into Wisdom Lane Middle School for the purpose of installing natural gas service into the school. The installation is free, and the new natural gas service is project to save the district $108,874.