Shelby County School Board: Board may approve redistricting proposal

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By Todd Martin

The Shelby County Board of Education on Thursday is scheduled to vote on an elementary redistricting plan that it had explained to citizens during two public meetings.

The district has decided that redistricting, at the elementary level only, is necessary going in to the 2014-15 school year when the new Southside Elementary School opens and can hold another 150 students.

The redistricting eliminates some overcrowding issues at Painted Stone, Simpsonville and Clear Creek, all of which are between 99.5 percent and 109.8 percent occupancy this year.

Under the proposed plan, Heritage would be the school closest to its occupancy level at 94.2 percent and the other schools would range from 78.9 percent to 93.1 percent.

The plan centers on sending about 130 more students to Southside, and District Director of Student Services, Dave Weedman said his committee’s goal was to disrupt the least amount of families and still get the percentages [at each school] as equal as possible.”

That plan was met with some trepidation during those gatherings in late October.

Several parents moving from Simpsonville to the new Southside rejected the plan stating that they see Simpsonville as their home, and questioned the available resources at Southside for programs that are currently offered at Simpsonville.

Another group of parents requested that Meadowbrook subdivision stay at Wright Elementary, and even submitted a petition against the change with signatures from the neighborhood. Wright is about one mile from the neighborhood while Heritage is about seven.

Superintendent James Neihof noted at the meetings that in the past the board has made exceptions for neighborhoods with this kind of proximity to a school.

“When we redistricted the last time, there were several parents in the Magnolia Place subdivision that requested remaining in the Painted Stone district because there is a walking path from that subdivision to the school,” he told the crowd at a redistricting meeting. “At that time, the board decided to grant waivers to those parents requesting to stay at Painted Stone.”

Nearly all the board members attended at least one of the meetings, and the goal of the public forum-style meetings was to let the board hear concerns and incorporate those into their decision this week.

Also at the meeting, the board will:

  • Hear an update on the building projects for Northside Early Childhood Center and the new Southside.
  • Consider accepting the 2012-13 audit report from firm Brandon, Hardy, Mather & Company.
  • Consider adopting a resolution of support for the legislature to fund Unbridled Learning.
  • Consider approval of payment of claims and authorize signatures of all necessary documentation.
  • Consider approval of budget amendments.
  • Consider declaring a positive first reading on revised board policy revisions and a positive review on administrative procedure revisions.
  • Consider approval of the intent to apply for the 2014-15 WHAS Crusade for Children Grant and for Collins High School to apply for a Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy grant.
  • Consider approval of waiving board policy to allow People to People Student Ambassador Programs to meet at Painted Stone Elementary on Sunday and May 18.
  • Consider approval of the snow removal call list for the 2013-14 school year.
  • Consider approval of waiving board policy to allow Shelby County and Collins high school students to participate in the Kentucky Youth Assembly on Dec. 8 and the West Middle cheerleading team to participate in competitions on Dec. 8 and Feb. 2.
  • Consider approval of 2014-15 non-resident contracts for outgoing students to Oldham County and Eminence Independent school districts.