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Posted: February 14, 2010 12:30 a.m.

BOE advised to establish new high school zones

Newton County School System Superintendent Dr. Steve Whatley recommended that board members approve the establishment of new high school attendance zones Tuesday night at their monthly work session.

The new zones have not yet been established but are being redrawn currently. According to Whatley, this is being done in order to shift the high school population due to the increasing number of students moving into the high schools, as well as to account for the completion of the classroom additions at Alcovy High School.

According to Whatley’s memorandum to the board, "The high school attendance zones are being redrawn by following criteria previously sanctioned by the board. The criteria utilized include: minimizing changes to current attendance areas; and considering the capacity of schools, growth of zones, proximity to schools when possible, neighborhood boundaries, feeder school assignment and demographic composition."

Two public meetings will be held to explain the criteria and procedures of rezoning, to present the new attendance areas and to answer questions regarding the school fo attendance for specific addresses, according to Whatley.

"We have some 1,000 students graduating as seniors hopefully," said Whatley. "And we have 1,450 eighth graders moving up. That alone puts 400 plus more students in the three high schools. That is why we added to Alcovy High School and while planning on the opening of that we knew that rezoning would be necessary."

The memo states that draft lines for attendance zones for the 2010-2011 school year will be recommended for action at the March work session. The first part of that recommendation will include a description of zone line/attendance area and a list of the major subdivisions, streets and roads that will be moved from each zone.

Rising seniors will have a one-time opportunity to remain at the school they attended in 2009-2010 but they will need to provide their own transportation.

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