Monday, March 14, 2011

Second Bethany Bend redistricting meeting set for March 16.


The next meeting to address redistricting for a new high school in North Fulton will be March 16 at Alpharetta High School. The two-hour meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium, located at 3595 Webb Bridge Road in Alpharetta.

Attendance zones of all high school boundaries north of the Chattahoochee River potentially could be impacted by the redistricting process. Elementary and middle boundaries of all North Fulton schools could also be adjusted as feeder patterns are aligned.

About the redistricting process
Parents, staff and community members are invited to give input on how the new boundary lines will be drawn.
Each time a redistricting effort is under way, the school system holds three rounds of meetings to gather information needed to draft a redistricting proposal that best meets the community’s needs. Unlike other school systems, Fulton uses a process that encourages public discussion before developing a proposal. This allows the community to have maximum input in how the proposed attendance lines are created.

The first redistricting meeting was held in February, with participants receiving background information on the rezoning process. They then broke into small, facilitated groups to provide input related to the school board’s redistricting criteria. Feedback received at that meeting is then used by school district staff to develop proposals being shared at meetings in March and April.

Wednesday, March 16

· Staff presents alternative proposals for 2010-11 attendance zones that were developed with established criteria and community input from the first forum.

· Community members comment on strengths and weaknesses of each plan in facilitated small-group discussions.

· Prior to the next community forum, staff condenses the number of attendance zone alternatives based on public input.

Round Three Wednesday, April 13

· Community members review and provide input on revised attendance zone alternatives in facilitated small-group discussions.

· Staff uses comments to develop final attendance zone options for Board consideration.

Criteria used for developing redistricting proposal
During the meetings, community members will review the school board’s redistricting criteria and can comment on residential development, traffic, previous redistricting, special programs and other issues relevant to the criteria used for redrawing attendance lines.

Primary Criteria

· Geographic Proximity – Distance traveled using available routes of transportation.

· Instructional Capacity – Number of students who can be accommodated at the school, taking into account the number of classrooms and resource rooms needed for art, music, labs, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), special education and Talented and Gifted (TAG) programs.

· Projected Enrollment – Number of students assigned to a school, taking into account the future projected enrollment.

Secondary Criteria

When primary criteria indicate more than one option, options are evaluated on the basis of:

· Traffic Patterns – Factors impacting accessibility of the school from all portions of the attendance zone, including travel time, traffic flow in the area, safe operation of school buses and other safety considerations.

· Previous Rezoning – The school system seeks to avoid rezoning neighborhoods more than once during a three-year period if facility sizes and geographic distribution of student populations allow.

· Special Programs – Special programs are those serving children with special needs that require use of additional space over and above a regular classroom. Where possible, the school system avoids setting attendance zones that would place a disproportionate number of special programs at a school.

· School Feeder Alignment – Where possible, consideration is given to the alignment of elementary, middle and high school attendance boundaries.

The yet-to-be named school is under construction at the corner of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Road in the City of Milton. Dr. Ed Spurka, currently principal at Roswell High School, has been named its leader.

The Fulton County Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the new attendance zones in June 2011. Changes in attendance zones will go into effect when the new school opens in August 2012.

Other Information:
Fulton County Schools Redistricting web site

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