Work begins as committee members start working on boundary maps

Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:46pm
By: John Thompson

Now, the hard work starts.

Last Thursday, the committee charged with redrawing the county’s elementary school lines started looking at neighborhood planning units and maps to align each of the students in the county with an elementary school. The committee is slated to have new boundaries drawn for a November approval by the Fayette County Board of Education.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Sam Sweat said the school system’s growth had slowed, with only 184 students registered during the first month of the school year. Sweat said the committee’s work would start picking up in the next few weeks.

“You represent your school, but you also have to look at the big picture,” Sweat said.

The meeting started with Director Of Elementary Education Sandra Watson discussing the recent facilities audit completed by the school system.

School officials toured every school to figure out the true capacity at each school. In figuring the capacity, Watson said the school system took into account the special programs that were provided at each school, such as special education.

“We’d like to try for more even distribution throughout the county,” Watson said.

Watson also said the committee needed to figure capacities between 85 and 95 percent at each school for the years 2007 through 2011 to take into account the future growth patterns.

System officials also showed the committee members the Edulog system, which can pinpoint where every student is in the county and said that in future weeks, members from the various municipalities would address the growth patterns in their communities.

Armed with the capacities and the neighborhood planning unit growth patterns from the previous week, the committee was charged with creating boundaries for the new elementary school at Inman and Tillman roads.

When asked if they could look at existing boundaries, the committee members were told to start fresh.

After nearly 30 minutes of looking at maps, one of the committee members threw out a pointed question.

“Have you already drawn up the boundaries?” asked Cele Eifert.

Both Sweat and Assistant Superintendent C. W. Campbell categorically denied that any boundaries had already been drawn.

The committee meets again tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the school board building on Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville.

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