Parents and students concerned about redistricting in Mehlville School District

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR)-Monday night, dozens of concerned parents showed up inside Washington Middle School gymnasium to hear about redistricting scenarios the Mehlville School District is recommending.

District leaders said that the shuffling is necessary since some schools are overcrowded.

Leaders added that the goal is to utilize all open spaces available at other schools.

"The reason we are adjusting middle and high schools is for our feeder pattern, so that we know what elementary schools go into what middle schools and then what middle schools go into what high school," explained assistant principal, Dr. Whitney Maus.

"So our biggest desire is that all those elementary kids stay together and go to the same middle school and the same high school."

One case of overcrowding is happening at Bierbaum Elementary School where students are currently being transported to other schools.

"We are seeing some buildings that have almost 700 students and are using closets for learning spaces and we have some buildings with open classrooms," Maus continued, "so as a district we are really looking to even our enrollment and present the best learning opportunities for our students."

The scenarios were presented on various redistricting maps, with each one showing which school a child would attend.

A majority of parents with children in elementary schools wrote down suggestions while disagreeing with both scenarios.

"I can't believe how upset my children are about this," said Shannon Stoessal of Oakville, "I have never seen them this sad, they're being torn away from friends, from the teachers that they love at a school that they love just because they want to shuffle kids around."

"It's going to be more of a financial hardship of having to deal with the before and after care aspects of changing elementary schools," said Joe Rothermich of Oakville, "our daughter is involved in Girl Scouts and has a lot of friends and will have to make new friends and switch Girl Scout troops."

Grandfathered students are allowed to stay at their current school until their next transition.

The committee will recommend that transportation would not be provided for any grandfathered students. The committee will recommend students who are current 7th graders along with current freshman, sophomores and juniors. Siblings of grandfathered students have to apply for their school of choice.

Another similar feedback session is planned at Blades Elementary School at 6 pm Tuesday.

The district will continue taking feedback on an online survey until March 1.

The recommendation goes to the board, March 7.

If a child is eligible to be grandfathered, there will be s brief form to complete, due March 17.