Running head: The Importance of Schools in a Community “The Importance of Schools in a Community” Community Development Executive Summary This case study will focus on the effects of a redistricting decision in Calvert County, Maryland. There were three possible plans that were being considered. The redistricting plans centered on the opening of a new elementary school in central Calvert County. The proposed plans would all have profound effects on three different schools and many neighborhoods throughout the extended community. The importance of a school in a community can be immeasurable.
People view their school as a central hub in their neighborhood. When a change occurs, there are far reaching consequences. No matter which of the three plans was chosen, there would be controversy and there would be unhappiness. A school is constructed of brick and mortar. It is equipped with chalkboards and electrical wires, bulletin boards and desks. The building is usually one of the most imposing structures in a neighborhood. These are a few of the physical characteristics of a school, but what it truly is cannot be seen by looking at it.
What isn’t seen is that a school is the heart and soul of a community; it is the constitution that cultivates our future. The importance of a school in a community cannot be overestimated. From the first conversations between Aristotle and his students in the oak grove, the importance of a school became apparent. The sustainability of a community is connected to the school environment. Many people move into neighborhoods because of the school located in that area. A good school is considered an essential component of any society.
It is a where strangers begin the process of bonding into a neighborhood. A sense of belonging is one of the fundamental elements of human existence. Schools provide a platform for this element as a melting pot where social skills are developed and a sense of pride is felt. When an attempt is made to disrupt this dynamic, it is always met with resentment and hostility. Even when the disruption is the end product of a systematic process that attempts to limit the negative impact. Any appearance of impropriety will be magnified and scrutinized greatly.
In the small sleepy community of Calvert County, Maryland the Board of County Commissioners decided it was time to build a new school to keep up with a growing population. The populace in the county grew from 77,000 to well over 90,000 in a few short years. The school was built in the boundaries of the Prince Frederick Town Center. This was the first new school built in this area since 1979. The school had all the amenities of a state of the art institution. Everything was brand new including the books and supplies.
The total cost was over seven million dollars for this beautiful facility. Conventional thinking would be that this would be a neighborhoods dream. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Parents from neighborhoods located in Huntingtown and Prince Frederick immediately Test Scores Board of Education Secret Meetings Conflicts This issues surrounding school redistricting has a very distinct historical presence in the history of the United States. Many communities across the country have dealt with redistricting for various reasons.
Perhaps the most famous incident dealt with an issue that had profound social consequences. Many years have passed since the federal government intervened in school redistricting issues. This intervention created a furor among parents and students that eventually enabled a nations healing process to begin. At the time, communities and their accompanying schools were segregated along racial lines. There were distinct differences in the quality of education available to black students and white students.
In the years since that intervention, there has been no need In the end, although there was a great deal of turmoil, the greater community has come together. The children attending the new school have bonded and show no signs of the strife that was expected to occur. In this new environment, the students have interacted with other kids who might not look exactly like them, or might not have the same social status within the community, but they have similar hopes and dreams. In the end, the resilience of the children shined through.
There will still be parents who will loudly protest to the redistricting, especially those who had one family member attending one school and one attending another. There will also still be parents who don’t want their children attending certain schools because the test scores are not as high as surrounding schools or because they would prefer one race over another. Even that will pass just as the nationwide turmoil surrounding the “Brown versus Board of Education” eventually subsided. As John Mayer wrote in a recent song’s lyrics; every new beginning is some other beginnings end.