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New South Hall elementary maps released

County unveils redrawn map today, seeks public feedback

POSTED: December 11, 2007 7:19 a.m.

GAINESVILLE — The Hall County school system is set to hear from the public on proposed new attendance boundary lines in South Hall County.

The district plans today to post maps showing current and proposed new district lines at the entrances of Chestnut Mountain, Spout Springs and Friendship elementary schools.

In addition, the schools will send home with students a letter from the Hall County Board of Education
explaining the need for the new boundaries.

The school system is shuffling lines in a move to relieve overcrowding at Friendship and Spout Springs through the opening of the new Chestnut Mountain Elementary School off Union Church Road. That school will open in fall 2008.

The school system plans to convert the current Chestnut Mountain school into the World Languages Academy, which possibly could hold state charter status when it opens in the fall of 2008.

"We are committed to keeping as many students as possible in permanent classrooms," says the letter
going home to parents.

"Additionally, up to this point, we have been able to resist the ‘mega’ schools that many of our neighboring systems have embraced."

The public can meet 5-6 p.m. Dec. 10 with Jewel Armour, executive operations director, and Gary Stewart, administrative service director, about the proposed changes. That meeting will take place in the Flowery Branch High School cafeteria.

The school board will hear public comments at the end of its monthly meeting that evening in Flowery Branch High’s theater. The meeting is set to start at 5:30 p.m.

"No formal decision will be made earlier than the January board meeting," said Superintendent Will Schofield in a memo Wednesday to principals at the three elementary schools.

In the meantime, parents can e-mail comments to redistrictingcomment@hallco.org.

A map showing current boundary lines for Martin Elementary School also will be available at that school, even though no changes are proposed to the district.

Martin’s district "geographically kind of swoops down into the area" where changes are proposed, Schofield said.

The school board letter notes that Friendship Elementary has a small campus "with no room to expand."

"Therefore, it is essential that we move between 100 and 200 students to a different campus," the letter continues. "Spout Springs is the logical option."

The letter refers to the vast Sterling on the Lake residential development in Flowery Branch.

It’s imperative "we move that neighborhood to a district with room for its future explosive growth."

Spout Springs Elementary, the district’s fastest-growing elementary school, will lose half its geographical area "to meet the needs of future growth," the letter says.

That area will go to the new, 900-student Chestnut Mountain school.

The school sits on 84 acres, so there’s room to add a second school, one serving kindergarten through second grade, on the same campus, the letter says.



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