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School redistricting plan hits Southside, Simpsonville heaviest

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Public can comment, question plan at forums

By Todd Martin

The Shelby County Board of Education gave preliminary approval Thursday to a plan that will alter but not drastically shift the balance of elementary school students for the 2014-15 school year to coincide with the opening of the new Southside Elementary School.

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“We’re adding [space for] a hundred and fifty students at Southside, so we need to redistribute from our more crowded schools,” Director of Student Services Dave Weedman told the board. “When we started to put this together, our elementary school principals asked for as little disruption as possible, and we need to balance the schools the best we can, capacity-wise.”

The next step for the district will be to present these plans in public forums, scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 28 at Southside and Oct. 29 at Painted Stone.

The plan Weedman and his committee, made up of administrators, principals, teachers, parents and board member Brenda Jackson, presented to the board moves 131 students into the new Southside, which would increase its capacity to 600 students.

The next biggest change is at Simpsonville, where the capacity will drop from nearly 110 percent to about 93 percent of capacity, with 97 students moving from its district to Southside.

The building capacity changes for each school are:

  • Clear Creek: from 99.5 percent to 91.2 percent.
  • Heritage: 85.8 percent to 94.2 percent.
  • Painted Stone: 100.2 percent to 91.2 percent.
  • Simpsonville: 109.8 percent to 93.1 percent.
  • Southside: 57 percent to 78.9 percent, with both numbers based on the new 600-student building.
  • Wright – 83.9 percent to 91.3 percent.

Weedman noted that schools start to feel crowded in common areas when they are more than 80 percent full.

“In a perfect world, with our population and facilities, we’d be eighty-nine-point-five percent full at each school,” he said. “I know that’s still crowded, but this is important because I know we have a long-range facility planning meeting coming up, and you’ll be hearing a lot about this.”

Several board members questioned the imbalance of capacity, specifically surrounding the new Southside building and Simpsonville.

“With Southside still at only seventy-eight percent, are there more pockets [areas] that we can move into their district, especially with Simpsonville still at 94 percent?” board member Eddie Mathis asked.

“There are, and a few stick out in my mind, but we were trying to help the elementary principals by making as few moves as possible,” Weedman said. “In the future, I think we’re going to have to consider another elementary school, and with that school will come some drastic changes [to the districts], so we tried to keep our committee’s goal to avoiding too many drastic changes at this point.”

The committee also decided against changing districts for the middle- and high-school levels.

“We had a second committee that looked at our elementary redistricting and worked to see if we could commit to making a true feeder program from our elementary schools to our middle and then high schools,” Weedman said. “Really, right now, Clear Creek is the only school that splits between East and West, and Painted Stone has a few [students] that go to East.

“But what we found if we tried to do that, with Painted Stone, Southside and Clear Creek all being so close to each other, that we had about a three-hundred-student difference at the high school level, and that’s certainly not something we want. So our recommendation is to not change the middle and high school districts at this time.”

 

Elementary district changes

With the proposed redistricting of more than 130 students will be added to the new Southside Elementary School to help balance the school capacities. Public forums are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 28 at Southside and Oct. 29 at Painted Stone. The streets currently proposed to change schools are:

To Wright from Clear Creek:

            Eastview Circle

            Frankfort Road

            Hazel Lawn Drive

            Highland Manor

            Johnsonville Road

            Orchard Drive

            Skyline Drive

            Southlawn Drive

            Webbmont Circle

To Southside from Simpsonville:

            Churchview Street

            Clifton Court

            Mack Walters Road

            Memorial Drive

            Midland Trail

            Short Street

            Sunset Way

            Valley View Drive

            Airport Road

Breighton Boulevard

            Breighton Circle

            Breighton Court

            Brunerstown Road

            Buck Creek Road

            Chenault Road

            Chesapeake Meadows Court

            Donohue Road

            Duvall Lane

            Fairlight View Drive

            Figgs Store Road

            Finchville Road

            Fisherville Road

            Gordon Lane

            Haley Road

            JM Turn Around Road

            Joyce Station Road

            Logan Station Road

            Marbrook Lane

            Old Brunerstown Road

            Nations Road

            Olive Branch Road

            Ollie Brown Road

            Parrent Lane

            Picketts Dam Road

            Taylorsville Road

            Van Dyke Mill Road

            Zaring Mill Road

To Southside from Painted Stone:

            Eddie Lane

            Scott Station Road

To Painted Stone from Southside:

            Blossom Circle

            Burks Branch Road

            Don Cubert Drive

            Eminence Pike

            Fox Run Road

            Freedom’s Way

To Heritage from Wright:

            Beech Street

            Bonniemere Road

            Brookview Drive

            Dotland Circle

            Fleming Road

            Frankfort Road

            Highland Court

            Lark Lane

            Monica Drive

            Oakview Drive

            Overlook Circle

            Overlook Court

            Spring Drive

            Van Taylor Lane