Updating School Attendance Zones
Communication to families switching school attendance zones
On Jan. 18, Superintendent Ben Lummis reached out to families at Beeman Elementary School and Plum Cove Elementary School who will be switching school attendance zones starting in the fall of 2023.
Families can choose to keep any students currently attending grades K through 4 at their current elementary school. The other option available to families is to request that their children move to the new school for which their residence is zoned.
This communication from the Gloucester Public Schools begins an extensive outreach process to families who live on one of the streets that is switching school attendance zones, including:
Emails from Superintendent Lummis and building principals
An informational meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 at Beeman School for any Beeman and Plum Cove families that are eligible to switch schools. Families can attend in-person or participate virtually
Tours offered at Plum Cove and Beeman on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. so families can get a better feel for the schools
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about the changes in school zones.
Click here to see the Gloucester Public Schools 2023-2024 school street listing.
School Committee updates K-5 school attendance zones
On Oct. 26, the School Committee unanimously approved a limited number of changes to Gloucester’s K-5 school attendance zones. The update creates more easily understandable geographic zones.
School attendance zones are the geographic boundaries that determine which elementary school a student will attend based on where they live.
School Committee policy calls for updating school attendance zones when a new school opens. The planned merger of East Gloucester Elementary School and Veterans Memorial Elementary School into one new school next year served as the impetus for adjusting the current, disjointed school attendance zones that can result in students from the same neighborhood attending different elementary schools.
Superintendent Ben Lummis proposed the revised attendance zones following a process that included mapping recent births, assessing socio-economic levels across schools, considering anticipated housing development, and analyzing recent enrollment.
Gloucester Public Schools also met with Parent Teacher Organizations at Beeman and Plum Cove, reached out to families via email and phone calls, and gathered input through an online form. Community members provided public comment during three School Committee meetings including a public hearing.
Based on the input from families, the School Committee modified Superintendent’s Lummis’ recommendation and adopted a five-year transition to fully implement the new zones. The five-year transition period will allow all students who currently attend an elementary school now to stay in their current schools if they choose to.
As long as there is room in their newly zoned school, families will be able to transition to that school as soon as Fall 2023. The plan calls for all students who are new to a school to attend the school for which their street is zoned.
Bus transportation will continue to be provided during the five-year transition period to students who want to remain in their current school and live on streets that are switching elementary school attendance zones.
Click on the colorful map to see the limited number of changes.
View the Listing of the Streets Changing School Zones - A small number of streets are impacted at Plum Cove, Beeman, and EGS/Vets.
View the Slideshow - Superintendent Lummis gave an updated presentation on the recommended changes at the Oct. 12 School Committee public hearing
Criteria for Updating School Attendance Zones
On June 8, 2022, the Superintendent Lummis presented the process and criteria for updating the Elementary School Attendance Zones. The complete process as developed by the district's leadership can be reviewed here. Below are the criteria used when developing the current recommended updates to Elementary School Zones.
Maximize enrollment in the new school building
Provide targeted relief to schools in relation to space and class size.
Maintain small class size across the system with a focus on creating equitable class size across all K-5 elementary schools.
Lessen socioeconomic disproportionality in school assignments
Maximize geographical continuity of each attendance zone
Maximize walkability where possible
Consider transportation efficiency and costs when considering busing
Plan with the goal of leaving some room for growth while accounting for known/expected future residential developments.
Minimize the impact of changes on current students (i.e. explore options such as the “grandfathering” of students and families).