Georgetown parents want students zoned for school to come back

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Georgetown parents want students zoned for school to come back

Just days after receiving news their elementary school would stay open, parents in Georgetown are pushing to get more students going to school there in September. 

The head of the Georgetown Home and School Association estimates dozens of students zoned for Georgetown have too easily been granted transfers to go elsewhere.

Now, the association wants those students moved back. 

"We've said throughout our process, it's more difficult to transfer out of a minor hockey zone than it is a school zone, which shouldn't be the case," said association president Mallory Peters.

"Give us back the students we're supposed to have, and really stick to those zones."

Branch won't force students back to Georgetown

P.E.I.'s Public Schools Branch has said it does plan to strictly enforce zoning rules from now on, only granting transfers in exceptional circumstances.

But according to director Parker Grimmer, the branch won't force students who've already received transfers to go back to Georgetown. 

Grimmer said the only students who will have transfers revoked are those in areas where rezoning is taking place. 

"In that case, if they either are attending school in those zones, or if they're from those zones, then they need to return to them," said Grimmer. "And if they wish to, they can apply to transfer out again."

Those rules aren't sitting well with Peters. 

"I find it hard to understand why in one zone, you don't have to transfer back if you don't want to, but in another one you have to," she said. "It should be universal across the board that if you're in that zone, that's the school you attend."

Branch, association dispute student numbers 

But Grimmer said according to the branch's calculations, even if all zone transfers were revoked, Georgetown would only gain eight more students in September.

"It's important to note there are a very small number of students actually that are zoned from the Georgetown area going elsewhere. And there are some students from other areas zoned to Georgetown," said Grimmer.

Peters said even eight more students at a school with just 49 in 2016 is a start. 

"If Parker believes that it is a low number, fine, give us back our low number," said Peters. "I feel it's more than that, but some is better than none."

Peters says her association plans to schedule a meeting with Public Schools Branch officials soon to make its case.

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