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High school reclassification process running behind schedule
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Georgia high schools will have to wait a little longer before finding out where they’ll be slotted in the next round of realignment.

The Georgia High School Association reclassification process, which will divide teams among six classes for the 2012-14 cycle, was expected to be under way by now, but is running behind schedule.

"The state (Department of Education) did not require the schools to turn in their numbers until Oct. 28," said Georgia High School Association representative Steve Figueroa in an email to The Times. "This is later than usual and puts us about two weeks behind our original schedule."

The original timeline called for schools to be placed in classifications by late October and then in regions by mid November. But until the enrollment numbers are received, the GHSA remains in a holding pattern.

Nevertheless, Figueroa said the GHSA hopes to finish the entire process, including hearing and ruling on all appeals, by early-to-mid January.

Reclassification happens every two years, and is based on the Full Time Equivalency count for students in grades 9-11 for the fall semester of the second year of the current cycle, in this case the 2011-2012 school year.

Once the DOE releases the enrollment numbers, the GHSA reclassification committee will meet and place the schools in classes. For the new cycle, the reclassification committee was granted permission to tweak the percentages in each class to yield the fairest divisions possible, Figueroa said.

The sixth classification (Class AAAAAA) was added because the GHSA has added 63 schools (17 percent) since 2000.

The largest 15 percent of schools will be in the new class, followed by the next 15 percent in AAAAA. The next 16 percent will go in AAAA, the next in AAA and the next in AA. Class A will include the remaining 22 percent of schools.

After the committee places the schools in classes and those classes are published, the schools have 14 days to ask to play up in class.

Following this step, the committee will place schools in regions. Afterward schools will have another 14 days to request a lateral transfer, a move from one region to another within the same classification. The committee will meet again in December to hear the appeals for lateral transfer and vote on them.

Finally, in early-to-mid January, the full Executive Committee will convene in Macon to ratify and finalize the reclassification for school years 2012-13 and 2013-14.

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