Ele­men­tary schools to be re­zoned

Would take ef­fect in 2011

The Covington News - - Front page - By Am­ber Pittman apittman@cov­news.com

Newton County ele­men­tary schools are set to be re­zoned be­fore the be­gin­ning of the 2010-2011 school year to ac­com­mo­date the new ele­men­tary school and elim­i­nate over­crowd­ing at ex­ist­ing schools.

A pro­posed zon­ing map was pre­sented Tues­day to ed­u­ca­tion board mem­bers. The map shows that many of the stu­dents will at­tend a new school next year.

The school sys­tem had sev­eral goals in re­zon­ing: Draw­ing lines for the new ele­men­tary school on Air­port Road, elim­i­nate over­crowd­ing, and to align the schools with the sys­tem’s five-year fa­cil­i­ties plan. Re­zon­ing also will al­low the school sys­tem to elim­i­nate mo­du­lar class­rooms at the ele­men­tary level and main­tain a school in the city lim­its.

The pro­posal also would al­low the school sys­tem

to redi­rect lo­cal Spe­cial Lo­cal Op­tion Sales Tax funds and de­lay the need to build ad­di­tions to ex­ist­ing schools.

How­ever, the plan will en­tail mov­ing stu­dents and some fac­ulty and staff mem­bers. The plan also calls for Fic­quett Ele­men­tary be­com­ing a theme school while Fairview be­comes a tra­di­tional ele­men­tary school.

Fic­quett was sched­uled to be phased-out in the fa­cil­i­ties plan, but ac­cord­ing to the pro­posal, mov­ing the theme school into Fic­quett would al­low for growth into the kinder­garten through eighth grade theme school model, which was ap­proved in the fa­cil­i­ties plan. The sys­tem’s goal is to con­vert the East­side High School build­ing into the K-8 theme school by 2016.

Fic­quett’s stu­dents will be split. Ap­prox­i­mately 40 per­cent will go to the new ele­men­tary school on Air­port Road, 35 per­cent to East Newton, 18 per­cent to Mid­dle Ridge and 7 per­cent to Heard-Mixon. All Palmer-Stone stu­dents will at­tend the new ele­men­tary school.

The new school has a ca­pac­ity of 1,500 stu­dents, but the pro­posal has its en­roll­ment tar­geted at 1,264, leav­ing room for growth. Fairview has a ca­pac­ity for 600 stu­dents and a pro­posed en­roll­ment of 569 and Live Oak, which now has 1,234 stu­dents and a build­ing ca­pac­ity for 1,000, will have 925 stu­dents.

Mans­field Ele­men­tary has a ca­pac­ity for 500 stu­dents and cur­rently holds 487, which is the same pro­posed num­ber for next year. En­roll­ment also will re­main un­changed at Oak Hill, which has a ca­pac­ity for 800 and cur­rently has 761 stu­dents.

Rocky Plains was built for 800 stu­dents but cur­rently has 1,018. The re­zon­ing would de­crease that to 767 stu­dents next year.

Cour­tesy of the Newton County School Sys­tem

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