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Parents Shocked At School Change

Parents learn about school boundary change through the mail.
ALTOONA – Some parents are learning their children will be going to a different school just weeks before the new school year begins.

“The day I got the letter I was irate,” said Brenda Dick, a mother with two children attending Altoona Area Public Schools. “I was very angry and I started making phone calls.”

Dick’s children were under the impression they’d be going to Pleasant Valley Elementary school, but a letter they received in the mail a few days ago informed them they’d be going to Penn Lincoln Elementary instead.

Assistant Altoona Superintendent Mary Lou Rae tells WTAJ the change is a result of school boundary lines being redrawn.

The district hired a consultant to redraw the lines to reflect demographic changes and improve transportation efficiency, and the recent closures of Wright and Washington-Jefferson Elementary also influenced some of the boundary changes.  

Some parents are still unsure why the school-district gave them so little notice, and Rae acknowledged that the recent letters going to parents was a surprise to her as well.

“I didn’t know,” she said. “I’m being quite frank, I didn’t know there would be any changes done to Pleasant Valley Elementary…I didn’t realize that was necessary.”

Rae said it would be up to the school board to decide whether or not it wants to reverse the boundary decision.

Many parents affected by the change indicated they would be attending the next school board meeting with hopes of trying to prevent the school change.
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