Tuesday, September 25, 2001

School move was surprise, parents say

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        About a dozen parents of Eastern Hills School students on Monday criticized Cincinnati Public Schools' administration, claiming a lack of communication about their school's impending move.

        “They didn't talk to us,” said Eastern Hills parent Deitrea Martir. “They just made the decision.”

        The K-8 French and Spanish programs at Eastern Hills and Heinold schools will be relocated to form a K-6 French and Spanish program at the Crest Hills school building in Roselawn next school year.

        Children of Sands Montessori in the West End will then move from their crumbling building into Eastern Hills' Mount Washington building. Children of Crest Hills, a year-round school, will filter into other neighborhood schools.

        Ms. Martir said a parent group sent a survey last week to all Eastern Hills parents. Of the 117 families who responded, 68 percent said they had no knowledge of the move before the final decision was announced and nearly 67 percent said they either disagree or strongly disagree with the move, she said.

        Jan Leslie, spokeswoman for Cincinnati Public Schools, said the decision to move the programs resulted from a foreign language committee that included parents, teachers and administrators of the district's five language schools.

        Members of that committee Monday said a letter was sent to Eastern Hills parents in March to encourage them to become members of the foreign language committee and a phone survey was conducted through the school to gauge their opinions on the move.

        “We would've anticipated they were aware,” Ms. Leslie said of the Eastern Hills parents. “Obviously we prefer when parents are aware. But it doesn't mean parents are going to like all the changes.”

        Board member Harriet Russell said the district should develop a better means of communication to ensure parents are aware of such developments in their schools.


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