BPS Superintendant Carol Johnson has scrapped plans to redraw school assignment zones, at least for this year, according to this Boston Globe article. For the next year, the district will study how other cities deal with transportation and racial and economic diversity. BPS had proposed moving from a three-zone system to five zones, hoping to save on fuel costs associated with bussing students all over the city. The move was pretty unpopular, given that two of the zones had a high proportion of failing schools.
According to the article, "The Rev. Gregory Groover, School Committee chairman, said the committee would launch a robust community process over the next year to elicit opinions on a new plan. He said he did not know how many zones might be in the resulting plan, but if five zones emerged again, he said, the lines would be drawn differently."
So where does this leave us prospective parents? I guess proceed as planned and focus on current West Zone schools. I had been planning to visit schools down in Hyde Park and Mattapan this fall since they would have been part of the proposed Zone 5 (West Rox., Roslindale, Hyde Park, Mattapan). I guess that won't be necessary for now. I think a smart game plan will be for us to give a very close look at schools within our walk zone and just beyond. Even if zones change later, closer schools seem like a safe bet.