Woodbury parents speak out over proposed school district boundary changes

Parents in Woodbury are pushing back against proposed school district boundary changes. 

“We are here to try and make a difference for our kids, that's what's important to us,” said parent, Trent Lorenz.

A small army wearing blue filled the South Washington School Board meeting as board members listened to three possible plans for how to potentially redraw the middle school attendance boundaries.

The district says the changes are necessary for a variety of reasons, but primarily because the expected student body of 6th, 7th and 8th graders, starting with the 2018-2019 school year, needs to be balanced out.

Many of  the people who gathered at the meeting Thursday night are from the new Southridge development, categorized by the district as neighborhood W-64. Parents from there are upset all three plans presented don't include an option to stay at their current Woodbury Middle School. Several also believe the district's attempt to keep a Spanish immersion program healthy is creating an unfair ripple effect. 

“I want to make it clear we are not anti-Spanish immersion program,” said Josh Delson, a parent. “We want to support that program, but it is an elective program and we don't feel it's fair our kids who are slated to go to  Woodbury schools are removed from Woodbury schools are pushed to Cottage Grove.”

“Cottage Grove is a great city, the schools are good," said Lorenz. "It's nothing against Cottage Grove, but we are about community."

A spokesperson pointed out District 833's responsibility is to students across the South Washington County schools and there's no such thing here as Woodbury Public Schools.

“I agree we are all one school district, but we define community as the place where you live, the place where you go to school, where you play sports, you worship and shop, so removing us from our community and the city of Woodbury, we are feeling left behind and abandoned," said Lorenz.

The first opportunity for the public to voice concerns will be at a meeting June 12.