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EARLIER: New school boundaries drawn

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Attendance areas differ little from current East/West Middle School lines

By Scotty McDaniel

We now have a clearer picture of which students will attend Martha Layne Collins when it opens next summer.

School officials have outlined the attendance boundaries for the separation of students between Collins and Shelby County High School. and they may look somewhat familiar.

If you live in the West Middle School District, you would go to Collins. In you live in the East Middle School District, you would go to SCHS.

But there are a few exceptions to those absolutes.

For instance, current juniors at SCHS who live in the new Collins district have the option of completing their high school years at SCHS or transferring, but they have to decide by Nov. 1.

And though all current students in grades 7 through 10 will have to abide by the new boundaries, some neighborhoods will have new affiliations.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no strict east-and-west divide in Shelby County’s districts, Areas are grouped – sometimes though geographically disparate – to afford balance of population and diversity at the elementary and middle schools.

Yet, with the addition of Collins, some communities will change districts:

§       All streets in the Osprey Cove and Cloverbrook Farm area will switch from West Middle School to East and SCHS.

§       The Seven Mile Pike area – including 1-1799 Old Seven Mile Pike, 001-99 Croquet Lane., 1400-1799 Bonnie Brae, 1600-1699 Greenland Ct., 1401-1499 McBrae Lane., 200-299 Glenway Dr., 31-314 Woodfield Circle, 20-48 Woodfield Ct. – will switch from East to West (and Collins High School).

§       The Autumn Ridge area – including 1-522 Midland Blvd., Poplar Hill, 011-43 Douglas Ct., 51-68 Autumn Ridge, 1000-1023 Amanda Dr., 1-499 Haven Hill Rd., 200-299 Midland Park – will switch from West to East (and SCHS).

Elementary students will not be affected by the changes.

To address all of this, the school district will conduct a public forum at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Central Office on Main Street in Shelbyville.

Collins High Principal Anthony Hatchell and Director of Student Accounting and Support Services Gary Kidwell met with members of the junior class last Tuesday to outline the plans.

Kidwell said he knows not everyone will be happy with the changes, but considering Shelby County is not as large as a county like Jefferson County, the few changes don’t amount to much additional travel.

"It"’ a little inconvenient to some going through town, but it" a matter of a few miles,” he said. "Our plan is to have as little change as possible.”

Kidwell said only affected families have received a letter notifying them that their household’s student will be required to go to a different middle or high school.

Tuesday's meeting was exceptionally important to this year's juniors, because many of them will have an option as to where they attend their senior year next year.

The option applies to next year's seniors only. From that point on the attendance areas will be bound.

Open forum  

Anyone who wishes to voice his or her concerns on the future boundaries can do so in Thursday’s open forum. Questions also can be submitted to Hatchell at Anthony.hatchell@shelby.kyschools.us. Answers to the questions will be posted on the district’s Web site.

If the plans aren't altered, the attendance area reassignments would be presented for formal approval to the school board at its meeting on Sept. 10.

After students are assigned to their schools, Hatchell said he plans to create student advisory groups that can have some say in other decisions for the schools and aid in answering community questions regarding topics such as prom and athletics.

"That will help us open a school to which students can have buy-in and for which students will have pride," he said in a statement.

Kidwell also stated that there is always an out of area request policy that families can look into if they have valid reasons for wanting to attend a different school, and the schools would consider the need and make a decision.