A movement by St. James parents to change the transition pattern so St. James kids graduating from Mills Pond Elementary School move up to Nesaquake Middle School continues to pick up local support, one week after concerned parents stormed the district's board of education meeting to plead their case.
As of Monday, the petition has picked up 633 signatures, and aims to hit 900 signatures total.
Parents donning red shirts to last week's school board meeting asked the district to change the pattern, set up as a result of last year's closing of Nesconset Elementary School. While most Nesconset students ended up at Mills Pond, a group of St. James students from one corner of the community remained there. All students at Mills Pond are slated to transition to Great Hollow Middle School in Nesconset.
Superintendent Anthony Annunziato said during the meeting that redistricting was an issue he believed the district needed to look into prior to the St. James parents raising their concerns.
"There are certainly inequities within the attendance zones of the district. It's very hard to just look at a middle school feeder pattern or a Dogwood buffer zone without looking at what the implications may be should we be looking at a redistricting of the entire district," he said.
Meanwhile, comments on Patch have called out St. James parents for being insensitive to Nesconset kids, and downplaying the bonds of friendship St. James and Nesconset students would forge at Mills Pond.
Parents, however, said the issue is not about St. James vs. Nesconset, and instead is about keeping all kids together who hail from the same community.
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