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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cogburn Woods parents get options in overcrowding

By Jason Wright
Appen Newspapers

Milton — Admitting that school officials "blew it" when drawing new attendance zones for Cogburn Woods Elementary, Fulton Superintendent Cindy Loe offered parents the option to move children to other area schools, and said attendance lines could be redrawn for next school year.

Loe, along with Board of Education members, has been inundated with complaints from Cogburn Woods' parents who complain enrollment is over 1,000 students in a school built for 850. Cogburn Woods had been forecast to enroll 908.

Parents at Cogburn Woods have until Oct. 5 to request a hardship transfer to either Birmingham Falls or Summit Hill elementary schools. Transportation must be provided by the parents and the expectation is the students finish out the year at the new school.

School officials said capacity at the transfer schools will be determined by available seats within each grade level using the existing teacher/student ratios.

Elementary schools with 1,000 students are not uncommon in Fulton County, and Cogburn Woods has had numbers nearly that high in past school years. However, parents maintain the number should not be that high in the year after redistricting.

Attendance zones at nearly every North Fulton school east of Ga. 400 were redrawn last year with the opening of Birmingham Falls Elementary.

Schools within the vicinity of Cogburn Woods, including Alpharetta, Manning Oaks, Summit Hill and Birmingham Falls elementaries, were all within 1 percent to 4 percent of enrollment projections.

System wide, actual enrollment missed forecasted numbers by only 31 out of 90,000 students, noted Loe. In fact, at the 99 schools in the Fulton School system, only five had actual enrollment significantly over projection. But for parents at Cogburn Woods, system wide numbers don't matter when their own school is overcrowded.

"Cogburn Woods is 161 over [capacity] and growing, right after redistricting," said parent Donna Allen. "[My fear is] if the school board was so off on their projections – by at least 12 percent this year - what does that mean for next year?"

In Roswell, Esther Jackson Elementary was also 10 percent over projections; however, parent outcry has not reached the level at Cogburn Woods.

The hardship transfer used for Cogburn Woods is under Loe's direction and therefore does not require school board approval.

Loe promised the attendance lines for Cogburn Woods will also be revisited, with an option that some areas may move back to Manning Oaks Elementary next year. The system will conduct an evaluation when projections for next year are available in January.

While the transfer options and the revisiting of attendance lines is unprecedented, the options still did not mollify some parents, who asked why they had to leave to make way for students who are new to the school. The suggestion that lines could be redrawn at the mid-year break in December fired up Alpharetta board member Katie Reeves.

"I'm not going to make a family move in the middle of the year, and as a board member I wouldn't do it," said Reeves.

Cogburn parents had problem peggedDuring the redistricting process last year, which consisted of three community meetings to gather input on proposed lines, parents at Cogburn Woods voiced their concerns that the projected enrollment for the school was too low under the redrawn lines.

At the time, Manning Oaks Elementary was bursting at the seams with over 1,000 students, as was Summit Hill Elementary, which also needed relief.

When Cogburn Woods took on a large part of the Manning Oaks attendance zone, parents said student numbers were certain to rise beyond projection. They noted lower priced housing and apartments were being drawn into the Cogburn Woods' zone – the only real estate sector that was growing in the sinking economy.

Fulton Schools Superintendent Cindy Loe acknowledged that these concerns were valid, and not taken into account by planners."I've gone back and read every one of the letters you sent to us and have to admit everything you said was right," admitted Loe. "Our issue now is how we can make the best of this situation."

13 comments:

Tim Enloe said...

"I'm not going to make a family move in the middle of the year, and as a board member I wouldn't do it," said Reeves.

Why the change of heart, dear Katie? I mean, you and your wonderful staff kicked seven Milton families out of their home for good due to your lack of planning and foresight. Once again, Katie the socialist speaking out of two sides of her mouth.

Anonymous said...

Typical BS from Tim once again. Parents are not being forced to move their kids, they are being given the option. And those were not Milton families, they were Fulton County Families, get your facts straight.

Once again, Tim speaking out of the wrong end of his digestive tract.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some folks got hosed a while ago. Who were they? Is that from the Milton HS,NW Middle megalopolis? Fulton probably wants people to think it was farm land, not homes.

Tim Enloe said...

You are a fool once again. I never said parents were forced to move their kids...I said families were kicked out of their homes and I found it funny that Reeves claimed concern about disruption in citizens lives here but not in other more severe circumstances.

You are half right, however. They were Fulton and Milton families; "get your facts straight." Question with that in mind: does the fact that these Fulton families being removed from their homes due to our gov't not planning ahead not give you pause?

How would you feel if you were one of those families? Then again, rumor has it you vote socialist, so I doubt such a clear question will be answered with a clear answer.

You truly are ignorant and you truly are a coward. You know where to find me.

To the most recent poster, the answer to your question is yes. Seven Milton / Fulton (however you want to refer to them) families were removed from their PRIVATE PROPERTY to make way for the "new" Milton High School that was not needed. It should also be noted that the old Milton High location was refered to prior to the move as "not being fit for students" via the infamous Fulton County School board. Yet today, the old location is used for...guess what, Fulton county students! Oh, and by the way, there have been no additional monies spent on the old location. Funny how one day that location isn't fit for students and then after they did all their socialist damage on Freemanville, the old location suddenly is. Oh, and did I mention that the old location is now used for inner city students? Can someone say "used books."

Knowing my socialist friend, she won't even see the analogy because she is an idiot. This fact is well known for anyone who has had the displeasure of having to listen to her pathetic banter for five minutes or more.

Tim Enloe
770 653 0552

Tim Enloe said...

Oh, and by the way, if you really want to see Katie Reeves and her cronies show their true colors, take a look at this in depth trouble shooter report by CBS Atlanta. It shows how they willingly paid $1.5 million more for school supplies than they needed to. Talk about coruption!
Due to them being given the majority of our tax dollars and control over our children, they believe the rules apply to them differently.

Note how all of these board members who work for you and I run away from the reporter and refuse to answer any questions...questions that the reporter is trying to get answered for the American taxpayer that funds their branch of gov't.

This type of behavor is a prime example of how the FBOE has grown too big for it's britches due to all the power we have blindly given them. It is time to bring them down a notch, clean house, and lessen their socialistic grip.

Check out all the video and the story here:

http://www.cbsatlanta.com/news/19692994/detail.html

Tim Enloe
770 653 0552

Anonymous said...

I think Tim is still missing the point. He included a quote from Katie Reeves stating that she wouldn't "make" a family move in the middle of the year. Make and Force in this context are synonyms so maybe Tim just needs a thesaurus. And I'm sure those seven families were appropriately reimbursed at an amount higher than their property values. Funny how Tim has such concern over these folks, but you never hear a peep out of them.

Anonymous said...

I personally know 2 of the property owners and they were very happy with the deal. They got way more $ than they would have and have upgraded property where they are now.

Tim Enloe said...

You don't hear a peep out of them because the no longer live here. Why? Because of the infamous FBOE!

Also, I spoke to many of those who were REMOVED and they were distraught. One old man in particular was in tears. Another lady wrote into Appen newspapers stating how she missed her old home terribly and called Katie Reeves a "horrible person."

This is your government folks. For those of you who think we live in a "free society", think again.

Finally, it is one thing to CHOOSE to sell your property, it is another thing to be FORCED.

Tim Enloe
770 653 0552

Tim Enloe said...

Here is a link to the particular blog post on Appen's site. Read the first post from one of families:

http://www.northfulton.com/Blog-3098.112113-5778.112113_Birmingham_High_School.html

Tim Enloe
770 653 0552

Anonymous said...

The BOE gets a pass? Just what exactly is our taxpayer money being utilized for, poor forecasting? I just don't understand why schools aren't built with room for an increase in population, is that so hard?? They end up spending more of our money in the long run by having to build another school every 2 years anyway. Oh, that's right, this would require common sense. But we all just sit around and let this go on and on and on and on. It's just money anyway right, our money.

Silly me.

Anonymous said...

tim shoud get julie zaner butch to save him from the board of education since he is so eager to defend anyone from calling her names

Rhonda Newell said...

Several years ago I asked the question why we don't build our schools larger than what we are currently doing. There is a very valid reason for this is if anyone is interested. The BOE has made their decision based on what is best for our kids/students. They only build high schools to house 2500 or less students so that each student has the BEST opportunity at success--be it academics, social or extra-curricular. When you house more students than that, many many things get lost in the high school experience. With the larger populations, kids are locked out of participating in activities because of the sheer number of individuals. It also becomes an internal scheduling nightmare within the school buildings for things as essential like lunch breaks, library time counselor meetings etc.

I truly believe the BOE has made the very best decision for my kids and those of you who are fortunate enough to have your kids in the best schools in our state and in a Nationally ranked High School!

Rhonda Newell

Anonymous said...

Ahh...didn't realize the BOE was making Koolaid to drink. Rhonda has been sipping too much. Be a robot, fall in line, do what your told now, they are telling you the truth no matter what, don't question authority or demand common sense, they know what is best for your children and you don't, shame on you!