Redistricting Timeline Discussed at Meeting
Paulding County Schools officials could hold the first of several forums on redistricting in November.
Parents and students of Paulding County’s middle schools could soon learn when they’ll get the chance to speak up on the district’s redistricting plans.
Associate Superintendent Brian Otott during Tuesday’s Paulding County School Board meeting gave a presentation on the system’s redistricting process and a timeline for it. Redistricting is needed as the system prepares to open its ninth middle school, at 60 Old County Trail in Dallas, in August. Existing middle school attendance zones will be modified to create the new school’s attendance zone.
Based on the timeline Otott presented to board members, the district plans to prepare a redistricting recommendation for board consideration in January or February, with final approval sought in February. But before those plans go forward, system leaders would host a series of three forums aimed at soliciting feedback prior to redistricting maps being drawn.
Though no dates have been set for the forums, the desired timeline for them would have them held starting in November.
District officials plan to open the new middle school with an enrollment of about 750 students in grades six through eight; the school will have the capacity to house 900 students. In addition to filling the new school, one of the goals of redistricting will be to provide relief for two middle schools that are currently over their ideal student capacity.
According to the presentation, Moses Middle School’s ideal capacity is 675 students, though 896 pupils are currently enrolled there. The district would aim to bring enrollment down to 600 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
McClure Middle School is currently one student over the ideal capacity of 1,125—officials hope to bring that enrollment number down to 1,000 in the next school year.
“This is going to be a massive move,” Board Chairman Michael Skelton said following Otott’s presentation.
A copy of Otott’s PowerPoint presentation is attached to this article in PDF form.
Another school’s future in the air
District officials also hope to schedule a public hearing at a school that may not be open when August rolls around.
Board members in April voted to put the phaseout of P.B. Ritch Elementary in the district’s five-year facilities plan. But officials will hold a hearing at the school before making a final decision on when such a phaseout would occur.
“As we’re redistricting in one place, we’d like to get some feedback concerning the next steps for P.B. Ritch,” Otott said. “One of the commitments we made to that community was to host a public hearing at P.B. Ritch Elementary School before we made a final decision on the phaseout.
“Based on that hearing, there are multiple outcomes, one of which could be the determination for the phaseout for the 2012-2013 year, in which we would utilize the same process we shared this evening to redistrict the students that would be impacted through the phaseout of P.B. Ritch, which is the community forums with those folks, because there are multiple areas where students, if we choose to phase the school out, could be redistricted to attend.”
Otott added that another possible outcome could be the delay of the phaseout by at least one year.
Officials have not yet set a date for the P.B. Ritch hearing.
In other business Tuesday, the board gave final approval to board Policy DCL, which deals with system leaders maintaining a fund balance to preserve the financial integrity of the district. Board members also approved revisions to policies on graduation requirements and transferring credits to bring them in line with Georgia Department of Education rules.