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BOE plans FY11 elementary rezoning
Elementary school No. 15 construction on schedule
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The Newton County Board of Education is already planning for rezoning next year; this time it’s the elementary schools that will be affected.

According to a release from the board’s work session Tuesday night, there are multiple factors that will necessitate the need to rezone in order to prepare for the Fiscal Year 2012 school year.

The opening of a new 1,500 student elementary school, the phasing out of two elementary schools and decreased enrollment in some of the county’s elementary schools with increased enrollment in others all contributed to the system’s need.

During the rezoning process, the NCSS rezoning committee will address all of those areas, as well as take into consideration a variety of others, including the maintenance of established feeder school assignments, student demographics and current instructional programs, the current capacity of each elementary school, student proximity to schools and the growth of students within the current attendance zones.

The plan is to begin reviewing student enrollment and building capacities in each elementary zone Aug. 23-Sept. 17. From Sept. 20-Nov. 1 the committee will begin meeting on a bi-weekly basis (at least) in order to reach a consensus on a recommendation to be submitted to the BOE.

The board is expected to make any changes and approve the rezoning recommendations on Dec. 14 and beginning January 2011, public meetings will be help to explain the criteria and procedures for the rezoning, present the new attendance zone and answer any questions regarding the school of attendance for specific addresses.

The Newton County Board of Education also discussed the following:

• Elementary school No. 15 is approximately 12.4 percent complete. The main level east slab is 100 percent complete and the big box slab is 50 percent complete. Clearing and rough grading will be 100 percent complete within the next 30 days and curb, gutter and asphalt paving (base coat) will be 95 percent complete. Additionally, the architectural drawings for the Newton College and Career Academy have been submitted to the Georgia Department of Education for review and approval. It is expected that an invitation for the bid of the project will be advertised in September.

• The deadline for school choice was July 30. Currently, Middle Ridge Elementary School has 25 students who applied for school choice. Of those, nine will attend Heard-Mixon and 16 will attend East Newton. Indian Creek Middle School had 55 students apply and all of those will attend Liberty Middle.

The board’s monthly meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 17, at central office.