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Published: Friday, 1/5/2001

Bedford mulls realignment of elementary school borders

TEMPERANCE - Bedford Public School officials will begin a series of public forums next week to discuss changing the boundaries for the district's five elementary schools in the 2001-2002 school year.

A task force has worked on the boundaries for several months to prepare for the opening in August of the district's new elementary school on Monroe Road in Lambertville.

The task force also is looking into revised transportation programs and whether to continue allowing parents to choose which primary school their child will attend.

The proposed boundaries call for kindergartners through sixth-graders in the northwest corner of the district to attend Monroe Road Elementary.

Douglas Road Elementary would continue to draw its pupils from the southwest corner of the district; Smith Road Elementary, from the southeast corner, and Temperance Road Elementary, from the northeast corner.

Jackman Road Elementary would take its pupils from a boot-shaped area in the heart of the school district under the plan.

If the board of education continues its “schools-of-choice” program, which has been in place several years, the impact of the new boundaries likely will be lessened, school officials said.

Most of the schools-of-choice option has been between the Jackman Road and Smith Road schools. Statistics show 203 pupils in Jackman's district went to other schools this year, while 179 in Smith's went elsewhere. By comparison, 47 pupils left Temperance Road for one of the other elementary schools, and only 21 left Douglas Road.

Of the transferring students, 203 left their home districts for Smith, 136 chose to attend class at Douglas, 75 went to Jackman, and 36 opted for Temperance Road, records show.

The planned public meetings will allow parents and residents to discuss their concerns about the proposal, which is scheduled to be presented to the Bedford school board for review this month.

The forums will be Monday at Smith Road Elementary; Thursday, at Douglas Road; Jan. 16, at Temperance Road, and Jan. 18, at Jackman Road. All begin at 7 p.m.

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