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Hall school board approves new elementary attendance zones
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Friendship, Spout Springs and Chestnut Mountain elementary schools have new attendance boundaries beginning in the fall.

The Hall County Board of Education voted 4-0 at its monthly meeting Monday night to approve the lines, which haven’t changed since they were first proposed in December.
West Hall board member Craig Herrington wasn’t present for the vote, arriving later in the meeting from an out-of-town trip.

The school board changed the lines to accommodate the new and larger Chestnut Mountain school, which is opening in the fall off Union Church Road.

The district is using the new 900-student school as an opportunity to relieve overcrowded Spout Springs and Friendship.

The planned World Languages Academy, the system’s first school of choice, will take over the current Chestnut Mountain school at 4670 Winder Highway this fall.

All the students currently in Chestnut Mountain’s district would remain there, with district lines stopping at Winder Highway.

The district has swollen south to include neighborhoods off Union Church Road and Old Winder Highway where students now attend Spout Springs, including Riverstone Park.

Riverstone Park was one of the most vocal groups at a Dec. 10 public hearing on the proposal.
Spout Springs’ district now will include all of the neighborhoods off Spout Springs Road, including the massive Sterling on the Lake, to Williams Road and then east of Spout Springs Road south to the border with Gwinnett County.

Friendship remains mostly the same except for the Sterling move and losing students east of Spout Springs Road in the Thompson Mill area.

Rising fifth-graders who have been redistricted would have the option of staying at their present school or going to the new school.

“It is tough to move (to a new school) two years in a row,” said board member Brian Sloan, referring to the fifth-graders’ next move to middle school.

Board member Nath Morris said the board has accommodated rising fifth-graders in past redistrictings.

The district has identified 23 fourth-graders who would be making the move from Friendship to Spout Springs and 37 fourth-graders who would be making the move from Spout Springs to Chestnut Mountain, said Superintendent Will Schofield.

Also, seizing the suggestion of one parent at the hearing, Schofield said that principals will try to keep redistricted children in the same student groups as they get used to a new school.

Also, addressing the concerns of parents about boundary changes at future schools, the school board plans to decide by September on attendance zones for a new middle/high school in South Hall, Schofield said.

“We are in full support of including some form of limited choice and magnet programming in this decision,” stated a school system handout on the matter.

The middle/high school, being built off Spout Springs Road, is slated to open in the fall of 2009.

Also, the board has asked Schofield to bring back data regarding additional elementary district possibilities involving the overcrowding at Jones, Martin and Oakwood.

Scenarios could involve the World Languages Academy and Chicopee Woods Elementary School.
Schofield has talked to board members about possibly allowing 220 students in an area stretching from

Royal Lakes Golf and Country Club to Johnson High School and Poplar Springs Road to choose whether they wanted to attend the World Languages Academy or Chicopee Woods.