Norwalk : School Crowding Tackled

After studying remedies since January for a projected enrollment increase over the next five years, trustees for the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Monday approved a plan to ease overcrowding that includes boundary changes for several elementary schools.

Reassignment of children will take place at Dolland, Waite, Johnston, Moffitt, Edmondson, Dulles and Gardenhill schools in time for the 1986-87 school year. The board also voted to reopen Walnut Elementary and have a 30% open enrollment at that school.

A previous proposal--which was part of the overall plan to deal with a burgeoning elementary school population--to bus 425 kindergarten-through-fifth-grade students from Edmondson Elementary to another school was eliminated after it met with protest from parents and teachers three weeks ago. After almost two hours of discussion, the board voted 5-2 to allow Edmondson Elementary to remain a K-through-5 school, with Waite continuing to pick up Edmondson’s sixth- and seventh-graders.

Board member Jesse Luera, who voted against the measure, said he could not support the plan because it was not completely backed by the schools’ staffs and parents. Board member Lucille Colln also voted against the plan.


Waite administrators, citing a school population that is 40% sixth- and seventh-graders, said the imbalance causes discipline and adjustment problems.

Besides busing the children, the district previously proposed adding a sixth and seventh grade at Edmondson, which is the only district school that is K through 5, to balance the schools’ populations. But the 6.7-acre school site is too small to accommodate those children, which is why district officials proposed reassigning K-through-5 students in addition to a grade reconfiguration.

The plan to leave Edmondson as is was approved on the condition that the Edmondson staff and parents study the possibility of a year-round calendar to deal with burgeoning enrollment.