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Broken Arrow comes to an agreement with some parents when it comes to redistricting students

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Posted at 4:27 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 17:28:44-05

Broken Arrow Public Schools has come to an agreement with some parents who want their kids to stay in their neighborhood schools.

Parents weren't happy with the district’s new zoning plan, which would shift some students to new schools.

Administrators said explosive growth in Broken Arrow forced them to move students around to ease crowding.

“We've been switching from school to school,” Sean Parrish, a concerned parent said. “Elementary and middle school for quite a few years now."

Parrish said his three children had just about enough school hopping.
 
“We always seem to be one of the few neighborhoods that's always constantly switching and we were, frankly, just kind of tired of it,” Parrish said.
 
The Parrish family lives in the Oak Creek South neighborhood, which administrators said has been caught in the cross-hairs of redistricting as Broken Arrow Public Schools grows at about 3 percent each year.
 
The outcome of all that growth was overcrowding and the need for a new elementary school, which led to new boundaries.
 
“As many times as they've switched it starts to wear down on them,” Parrish said about his kids.
 
When the concerned father got word of another re-zoning plan, he decided to speak up, and the district was all ears.

“Of course we listen to that feedback and we want to minimize the impact of those students as much as we can,” Shelli Holland-Handy, BAPS Chief Communications Officer said.

Administrators and board members came up with a solution to allow families in the Oak Creek South neighborhood to apply for a priority transfer.

“And we're also working on plans for making some transportation accommodations,”Holland-Handy said.
 
Those families can attend an open house at Rhodes Elementary and Sequoyah Middle School, where all of the opportunities for transfer will be discussed.
 
Those who apply will know by spring break whether their application for transfer was accepted.

Parrish said he’s pleased the district was willing to listen to concerned parents.
 
“The fact that the school board and the administration at the top of the public school system is willing to sit down with someone like me and just hash out our problems, and get this figured out, that's great,” Parrish said.
 
The proposed boundaries will be voted on at the next board meeting on Jan. 17. The new proposal will affect around 1,000 kids.

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