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Emotions high at redistricting meeting

Love Creek parents voice concerns, discuss options
November 15, 2018

Cape Henlopen Superintendent Bob Fulton said the district is trying to avoid moving about 100 students from Love Creek to Rehoboth Elementary beginning with the 2019-20 school year.

“It’s not a decision made lightly,” Fulton said. “I understand it will impact a lot of people.”

Fulton and Assistant Superintendent Jenny Nauman met with about 50 parents affected by possible redistricting at an emotional meeting Nov. 14 at Love Creek Elementary.

Parents asked Fulton to consider waiting two years, when construction on all district elementary schools is complete and further redistricting will be needed. Also at issue was school choice.

“We have to let anyone in who asks until we reach capacity,” Fulton said. “It’s state law. Students stay on choice and can’t leave unless there is a discipline issue or the student is failing, which typically doesn't happen with choice students.”

In the 2017-28 school year, Love Creek had 45 choice students; in 2018-19, there were 59.

“We kept saying yes after we were at capacity for kids with siblings or kids of teachers,” Fulton said.

One parent said her child was ineligible for bus service to Love Creek because they live so close, but will now be bussed to Rehoboth. She asked if moving students will allow the district to allow more choice students from outside the district.

“Yes,” Fulton said. “But my plan is not to allow that; we will apply for an exemption.”

A parent whose son choiced to Love Creek asked attendees to stop speaking negatively about choice students.

“I don’t feel welcome, and I don't feel like my son is welcome,” she said. “We are good, quality families. I want to be in Cape because I know it’s best. What can I tell my son when he tells me he doesn't want to go [to Rehoboth Elementary]?”

The Nov. 15 school board meeting, with redistricting on the agenda, is after the Cape Gazette’s press deadline. A story will appear in the Nov. 20 issue.