Jamerson parents circulate petition to keep link to Thurgood Marshall
Parents and students at Jamerson Elementary sent a petition to the Pinellas County School Board to protest a proposal to eliminate the school's feeder pattern to Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School for the 2014/15 school year.
More than 400 parents and students signed the petition. In it, they ask for a six-year transition period for Jamerson families before the school's priority status changes. Right now, students at Jamerson (and fundamental students) get first dibs on seats at Thurgood Marshall. Under the district's proposal, they would get first pick of seats at Azalea Middle and Bay Point Middle.
In the petition, parents and students call for the district to build up the programs at those schools and to more closely match them to Jamerson's Center for Mathematics and Engineering. They also ask that Thurgood remain one of the choices.
The petition reads, in part:
"Pulling the plug and removing our students from Thurgood is not right. Build up the programs at the other schools, build up the curriculum, and until then give our fantastic students and families the choice to keep Thurgood as one of those options. Please reconsider the impact this decision will have on our students. Please consider a transition plan and please let our school be part of the conversation. Don't just place our students in a program that they may not be prepared for because there has been no collaboration between the schools. Our parent leadership and our staff would be more than happy to work WITH you."
Few students from Jamerson actually use the priority status to Thurgood. Last year, 33 students got in. This year, 45 students did.
The School Board has the issue as part of an agenda item for its workshop today. (No public comments will be taken.) The board will likely vote on the issue at a meeting later this month. Public comments will be allowed at that meeting.