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Hall County school board to consider shifting grades

POSTED: August 13, 2008 5:01 a.m.
Parents of Flowery Branch school children will have their first chance to comment on the Hall County school system’s plans to reconfigure the area’s schools on Monday.

With a new $36.5 million school complex on Spout Springs Road slated to open in August 2009, educators have decided to shuffle grade levels at the schools in the area, C.W. Davis Middle and Flowery Branch High, to accommodate the growth in South Hall, Superintendent Will Schofield said.

Instead of adding a new district to the system, Schofield wants to make C.W. Davis a school for sixth and seventh grades, send eighth and ninth grades to Flowery Branch High School and have 10th through 12th grades attend the new school on Spout Springs Road.

The school board will hold its regular meeting in the cafeteria of the new Chestnut Mountain Elementary School on Monday in hopes of hearing opinions of the parents who will be affected when the system’s new school opens on Spout Springs Road next year, Schofield said.

Originally, the school system planned to redistrict all its schools when the Spout Springs complex was complete because, at the time, it looked as though all the schools would need relief.

Since then, however, the only district that seemed to need relief was the one in Flowery Branch, and redistricting the system seemed like less of a necessity, Schofield said.

"At this point ... we overwhelmingly believe that the most prudent course of action is not to do the redistricting," Schofield said.

Redistricting is a tremendously emotional issue for parents as well as students.

"I think all of us would like to think we live in a world where if you buy a house you know where your child is going to go to school," Schofield said.

"... Change is much more traumatic for us as parents than it is for (students)."

Schofield says he does not want to broach the subject if he does not have to. For more than a decade, the school system has relied on a set of reasons that would cause them to redistrict. One would be to avoid using portable classrooms. Another would be to allow students to attend the school closest to home.

The public comment session will be the last item on the agenda for the school board’s meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday. Parents can sign up to give their opinions to the board, but Schofield cautions that the meeting will not be a question-and-answer session.

Parents with questions about the changes in the Flowery Branch middle and high school districts should call the school system’s central office or make an appointment, Schofield said.



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