Spring Hill parents want answers from school board

Fri, 02/08/2008 - 11:47am
By: Ben Nelms

Fayette School Board public hearings scheduled for Monday and Wednesday will likely be well attended. Correspondence to board members by Spring Hill Elementary PTO President Tom VanHoozer earlier in the week expressed concerns voiced by many of the parents whose 570 children make up the Spring Hill student population.

The purpose of the meetings is to discuss the time-line and feasibility of re-purposing East Fayette Elementary only, with a vote expected at the conclusion of the Wednesday meeting. The new elementary school boundaries were finalized in December and will not be reconsidered.

The board approved two elementary boundary maps on Dec. 17, one for the 2008-2009 school year with East Fayette remaining open as an elementary school and the other for the facility to be used for another purpose in 2009-2010. A proposal was brought before the board at its regular meeting on Jan. 28 to move up the re-purposing of the school one year earlier due to budget constraints.

“(Parents) are most upset about the maps, and the fact that while you may have voted on the maps in the December 17 meeting, your vote may not have given ample opportunity for the public to have their voices heard during this process,” VanHoozer said. “This board has made great progress in the past, and will in the future if we keep an open mind together as we progress towards a common goal for what is best for our schools. I would hope that (our requests) will not fall on deaf ears, but will be greeted with open discussion so that I can report back to the 570 students’ parents that have asked me to serve as their PTO president. After the December 17 meeting, I talked to Sam Sweat about the ‘tweaking’ that would need to be made, and he assured me that there would be time for this. So I would hope that we can all revisit this in a timely manner, and come with a great solution for all.”

VanHoozer said he was not opposed to closing East Fayette, adding that he would not want his own children going to a school in poor condition if an opportunity existed for them to go elsewhere. And from our state funding, he said, we do need to close this and re-purpose these facilities or even sell them.

He said students should be given a fair and equal chance, asking that the school board not disrupt their school environment more than what is necessary.

Van Hoozer asked that the maps be revisited so that an opportunity be provided to disrupt the fewest number of students.

“These are simple solutions that will make sense geographically, financially, and emotionally to our students and our teachers,” he said.

VanHoozer proposed a three-way win for all involved. He said the students from East Fayette could move to Inman where they would have better facilities which includes a full technology package. Secondly, he said the students of Lakeside & Lakemont should stay at Spring Hill where they have been very successful and where over 65 percent of volunteers and significant funding for the school has come from parent and PTO efforts. Third, said VanHoozer, is that the parents of Minter be able to finish their time at the school.

Van Hoozer said a failure to revisit the idea would have several unfortunate results.

“You send a dangerous message to the public that one group of individuals can get their way because they out number other areas, he said. “The board will undermine the function of PTO and its fundraising efforts to better serve the school and to relieve some purchasing or budgeting to the BOE. What message are you sending to the general public about our elected officials when they purposefully send students through one school district to get to the next school district, (such as) Lakeside and Lakemont? Everyone talks about property value, this solution would provide everyone a simple solution and maintain what we already have, especially in a down economy.”

VanHoozer sent the concerns and recommendations to each school board member. As of Friday morning, he said only board member Terri Smith had responded. She indicated that she would likely vote to re-purpose East Fayette provided certain conditions were met.

“Unless I hear a compelling argument otherwise, I plan to support the plan to re-purpose East Fayette a year sooner than we had previously planned,” Smith said. “However, I will vote to oppose re-purposing East Fayette unless the recommendation includes the following. (First), the current population of East Fayette moves together to Inman Elementary. Moving that number of students to Inman will result in Sara Harp Minter getting back some students previously districted to Inman. Fewer children will have to change schools. Keep in mind that it will leave some students who live very close to Inman attending Minter. If you believe that proximity to the school is a higher priority than disrupting fewer students, the map will look illogical. (Second), Lakemont and Lakeside should stay at Spring Hill.”

The school board will meet Feb. 11 and 13 at 7 p.m. at the Fayette County Board of Education office at 210 Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville.

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Submitted by Gagirl on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 9:26pm.

What happened at the meeting Monday night, I wasn't able to make it. Anyone???

Submitted by DJS on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 8:43am.

The meeting was awesome. I have never witnessed a Public Hearing where everyone that spoke supported the same thing. I am not sure the # of people that spoke, I am sure someone else will blog the correct #, but I will guess 40 to 50. We all supported the 3 way win plan.

I am from Spring Hill and I commend the teachers of East Fayette and their administration. The teachers who spoke were exceptional. You can see how much they love their students, their administration and their co-workers. East Fayette does not want to be separated from any of them. However, they definitely know that they want the East Fayette School to close and be moved to Inman. The conditions of the East Fayette School that we heard about last night are not conducive to any age child, especially young children. I am saddened that in such a highly acclaimed county regarding our schools, education and the love we have for our students, children are being subjected to such horrible conditions. EAST FAYETTE, I hope you get a new school and that you will all be able to move together. Your love for your students and your administration were evident. The children of East Fayette are more than deserving of a new school. They have endured enough. During the meeting, I wondered how many children there suffer from that environment physically. It will be interesting to see if their ailments improve in a new school.

Submitted by Wake Up And Sme... on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 10:44am.

Dr. Todd has vocally supported all of E. Fayette going to Inman since the subject first came up. Marion Key waits to see what Bob Todd thinks to decide what she thinks. Terri Smith already said she supports it. That's three votes right there. You are getting what you want. Why are you wasting everybody's time planning an uprising at a meeting that is supposed to be about repurposing E. Fayette, not boundaries?

Submitted by hopeful on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 11:15am.

I also hope that what you are saying is correct. I guess we will all see tonight and Wednesday.

Submitted by DJS on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 11:10am.

We can only hope that what you say is what will happen.

We don't want to have an uprising, we just want to be heard. If we have already been heard by the Board through our emails and blogs, and if the Board is allowed to tell us up front that our message has come through loud and clear and the Board tells us what actions they INTEND to take before they open for public discussion then the public discussion will most likely be brief. I believe that everyone here that supports the 3 way plan will be quiet if it is the Board's intention to also support the 3 way plan, unless opposition arises during public discussion that we are not expecting.

I am not sure the Board can tell us upfront what there intentions are, but if you are right, and they can tell us, I am sure the meeting will not as heated or as long as it most likely will be if their intentions are not known.

We shall see.

Submitted by Wake Up And Sme... on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 11:14am.

One member was quoted in this article. Has anyone heard anything from the other four?

Submitted by hopeful on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 10:25am.

I hope everyone can pull together and support what the whole process is about the CHILDREN, everyone's children, your, mine, your neighbors, all of the children in Fayette County. This is what we all want the best for. That is all Tom VanHoozer, MaryBeth, all other committee members, the 5 board members want for the children. We need to pull together and do that, if it means making changes to bus routes to allow each child at East Fayette to remain together at the new Inman school where all of their teachers and other staff will be that is okay. Keeping SpringHill children at SpringHill and Minter children at Minter all this is a good plan for these children at each of these three schools. If the 3 way winner plan is what you support e-mail the board members, be at the meeting Monday and Wednesday and support this plan.

Submitted by Tom V on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:37pm.

I have spent, like most of you, the past couple of days looking at the blogs since the article hit the website about my letters to the BOE. I think that it is great where, no matter what our position about an issue is, we can come to a public debate and have our voices heard.

This article that was written is not about one man's goal or personal agenda to accomplish something for just one school. The goal was to finally be heard for the last time on this matter, as you will see about the YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVS41qtvHKI) video; it corroborates our evidence from the December 17th meeting that allows this opportunity to be heard from about the redistricting maps. Because, while many areas of the map have been finalized, the 'Tweaking' was never completed for the Spring Hill community. This 'Tweaking' that was supposed to be allowed, was never opened back up for our consideration, when after talking to BOE officials, I was told that they would hear us one last time.

So, while the game was over for most of the county, Spring Hill was still in the game. But this final resolve is bigger than just the kids from Spring Hill! It's not about shifting one group back to Spring Hill, but it'a about giving a tremendous opportunity to kids whose school facilities have been in need of repair.

If the BOE says that there has to be a cut in the budget and we need to revisit this idea -- I am all for revisiting this idea -- CLOSE EAST FAYETTE...if it will save the taxpayers money. However, common sense dictates that all of these numbers do work: 255 students back to Spring Hill, 550 students to shift from EAST FAYETTE to a brand new state-of-the-art facility (something that an existing school doesn't offer), and keep the Minter students where they currently are. As you will hear in the video, it says the same thing -- if you listen to the numbers closely.

Several people talk about their personal property values are in jeopardy -- I don't disagree -- but with this plan there are more citizens' property values that will sustain where they currently are -- if that theory is true. It would also, probably improve the value of the Eastern District (the new Inman Road School) significantly.

Those who would criticize why we are making this last minute push now, I would say, that we have always had this fight coming, but with the recent BOE actions by moving up the timetable, our time is NOW!

This school board is not a bunch a bad decision-makers that some people would like to say they are. I believe they are visionaries who see a great Fayette and believe in the citizens; but remember, their vision is relied upon by our support and suggestions.

I was quoted, "You send a dangerous message to the public that one group of individuals can get their way because they out number other areas". This was meant in the capacity of the flawed process of the Redistricting Committee, where 2/3 of the group came from one side of the county and dictated to the other side of the county what the maps were going to look like for them. I also meant that NPU's cannot be toyed with as a commodity just to make numbers work -- The BOE should not island others from a set district!

During this process, the Spring Hill Rep got a bad wrap from a lot of people because we had an 11th hour replacement due to the previous rep moving. During this 60 days of service, she reported at every PTO meeting and even special called 'Updated Redistricting' meetings that we had. We sent emails out to inform as many people as possible how serious this matter was--especially with us not knowing which map we were dealing with! Map BA for Spring Hill changed a lot of our small neighborhoods from the original maps that we had seen, so I can understand why the participation seemed not as important to some and more to others. The final outcome has YET to be determined! That is why now the "3 Way Winning" plan is perfect for a solution to a budget crisis, a final map consensus, and to protect the integrity of 3 Schools by keeping the school families intact!!

This is not a 'new idea'; several of us that were present at the meetings in October, November, and December (not to mention the numerous email correspondence to the BOE) had all verbalized this -- it fell on deaf ears. NOW is the time to implement the 3 Way Win!

As far as blogs go, it's great that we can all voice our opinion -- but let's not allow emotions drive our statements. We need to base this off the facts, and use some common sense where these maps are concerned.

Remember, this is not about one guy or a group of subdivsions that are rallying to save a school. It's about a tremendous opportunity to give our community equal and fair treatment while educating our children and giving them the same opportunity to be voices of reason as we have seen here.

Submitted by concerned SHME ... on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 8:25am.

I support the 3 way win plan. Let Minter stay intact at Minter. Let Srping Hill stay intact at Spring Hill. Let East Fayette stay intact at Inman. You can even change the name of Inman to East Fayette, it is on the east side of the county. This will truly disrupt the "fewest number of students possible." And, if FCBOE is really in such a dire financial condition, they should start saving money by getting rid of all the out of county kids that Fayette County is spending $8,317 apiece on to educate. All Fayette County parents should refuse to let their children change schools because of this reidistricting until the FCBOE addresses this problem and enforces it.
AEN 3511
dropping off 4 children at Sara Harp Minter today.

Submitted by nosweat on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 12:01pm.

It’s a trust issue Tom. The previous Spring Hill rep stepped down quietly, and if that wasn’t bad enough they MOVED FROM LAKESIDE / LAKEMONT AREA just as quietly (still within Spring Hill territory though). Like rats from a sinking ship abandoning the broken vessel and literally moving to higher ground. Screwing #1 and #2, thank you very much. Our replacement did her level best to support Spring Hill and fought an uphill battle all the way. Things were not going Spring Hill’s way back then, there was opposition from the west schools, the Sweat factor, and no public support from the Spring Hill PTO at a time when it would be most crucial, at a moment we were up against it just like some are now. Blogs about “sucking it up” and “someone has to change”, and “all the schools are good”, some I would bet coming from the same people on here now crying foul. Screwing #3. This is not a complaint, it is a fact. As far as I'm concerned the Spring Hill rep is the person who has best represented our school publically through every moment of her service. Back then the people who were going to change to Minter and thought they were OK stayed quiet, and I believe some are the ones on the receiving end this time. Anyone reading this and putting themselves in the same position sees the trust issue clearly. Now to the topic of the day. The support of these communities would compliment any cause or decision. Conversely there will be strong opposition to any move that negatively affects these neighborhoods. Due to the history here, personally I will support anything that does not negatively affect the education of my child in the immediate and foreseeable future. All of you feel the same way, and if you don’t admit it you’re not being honest. So one must ask, what happens the next time only these communities are negatively affected and your neighborhood is OK? “Maybe it's true that your community did not receive the support it needed in the Fall...” quote from Mem65. History has clearly dictated we must operate in our own best interest, and because of the clear lack of support back in the fall these folks have burned some bridges they could use right now, which Tom needs to mend if he truly wants a collective representation of 570 Spring Hill student’s parents. A long term solution that protects all these neighborhoods in the immediate and foreseeable future is universally appealing to everyone affected, and therefore would be universally supported. Until then, all is approached with trepidation and caution due to the history.

Submitted by mem65 on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 2:28pm.

Please use the entire quote for clarification. This was the complete sentence: "Maybe it's true that your community did not receive the support it needed in the Fall, but maybe some people didn't realize you were asking for help." With the issue at hand now, there have been numerous emails, calls, and even flyers on mailboxes to inform us that our support was needed. We did not receive anything in the Fall asking for help. Whether it would have been emails to the board, signing a petition, or just getting the information out, I and many others would have been glad to have helped. Please forgive many of us for not being aware of exactly how we were needed. As far as helping in the future, I think we all are now paying a lot more attention to the decisions that the BOE makes and how it will affect the Spring Hill community. We want both Lakemont and Lakeside to be at our sides now and in the future. You're right that this does affect us each peronally. In my case, my children have made great friendships with children in Lakemont and Lakeside and they want their friends to continue with them through their high school years.

Submitted by nosweat on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 9:58pm.

A long term solution that protects all these neighborhoods in the immediate and foreseeable future is universally appealing to everyone affected, and therefore would be universally supported. We all want the same thing. Any change that negatively affects the education of my child will not be supported. Each of you feel the same way. Now, if a decision that gives you what you want for your child leaves another neighborhood in a lurch in the process, ask yourself if you will stop and fight for the group, or will you take the spoils and go home? History tends to repeat itself, and now here we are. This is the issue. Actions speak louder than words - let's see some action.

Submitted by Tom V on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 10:51pm.

This has never been about my kids or your kids....but about the opportunity to make the difference in over 900 kids between three schools.
nosweat, you may have thought that you were abandoned through this whole process, but the truth was that Lakemont & Lakeside got exactly what we fought for together...for these two NPU's not to be seperated! In our wildest dreams did we ever realize that the committee would take this to the other direction? NO!! Not any one of us saw that coming, especially me after several conversations with BOE officials.
The BOE has to stop the practice of playing with NPU's like they are a commodity, because it only divides our community and our neighborhoods.
nosweat, CAN YOU SEE THE BENEFIT NOW, more than back in December why NOW IS OUR TIME TO FIGHT? Now that the emotions from the committee are gone, the final draft of the map is here (not to mention finally public), do you understand that this idea was not welcomed before because IT COULDN'T BE HEARD!
The fight doesn't stop here! It hasn't stopped since December! Every PTO in this county should send a representative to the BOE meetings and report back to your PTO's. I know that SHE will implement this, and we will be better informed than what we have been in the past.

nosweat,"I am asking you for your support in this effort, and to get behind the 3 Way Win plan", can this community count on you just like the Lakemont & Lakesides communities were supported in staying together?
I am with you, I haven't approved of this process of letting 30 representatives dictate to you and me of where the lines are drawn. But I do respect the fact that they tried! So rather than us put energy towards each other, let's come together, and conquer this last battle and give the opportunity to 550 kids at East Fayette a new school, keep the Minter family together, and keep the Spring Hill community together!! The numbers will work!! We use these same numbers everyday.....so they must WORK!!
It is my hope that on Wednesday night, we get 5 yes votes to close EAST FAYETTE and implement the 3 Way Win Plan....I would be the first guy in the crowd to submit a change of address for East Fayette if they would let me!!

I would encourage all that are planning to attend tomorrow night, to make a sign, send a last minute email to the BOE supporting the 3Way Win plan, and stand in support of this plan!

Submitted by g8trgrl on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 9:07am.

Hope you all support your BoE if they don't listen to your 3 way plan due to bus patterns. You must not have been at the meetings where bus patterns were discussed at length. Hope your plan covers that issue or forget it. No one supported the committee of 30, but of course, after the middle school lines, they did not support the board. So, which one is it? Support the committee or the 5 elected officials. If everyone does not get their way, they support no one! At least Lakeside/Lakemont will be together at whichever school they end up at. They will not be the "orpan" children of a few numbers to be the new kids, like Timberlake will be next year at Braelinn. Only 35 kids are moving from Peeples to Timberlake. Where was everyone's fight to help these kids out????

Submitted by concerned SHME ... on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 9:24am.

I think we ALL support our kids!!!

Submitted by nosweat on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 8:11am.

Actions speak louder than words Tom. Go out there and fight for these neighborhoods and every neighborhood like you live there, just as hard as you do now when it's on the line and personal, and should have done in the fall. A long term solution that protects all these neighborhoods in the immediate and foreseeable future is universally appealing to everyone, and therefore would be universally supported. It just makes sense. It's not about being PC, it's not racial by any stretch, it's not about warm and fuzzies such as “my child has a friend in this neighborhood”, or “let's be one big family”, etc. It's about not allowing a change to negatively affect the education of my child in the school where he or she goes. Merging schools will do that sometimes, which is why you are pushing. Easy to say, hard to do. Definitely not PC. I do not speak for any group and can not tell you what will happen tonight. Motives are in question, and any change has the potential of a negative outcome by your own admission: “In our wildest dreams did we ever realize that the committee would take this to the other direction? NO!!” Some have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Mend those bridges and represent the ones you want support from. Overall, if you fight for someone’s best interest they will most likely support what is best for them regardless of history.

Submitted by g8trgrl on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 2:14pm.

No Sweat gives too much power to a redistricting rep for a school. Each rep was 1 voice, often overpowered by other people in the meeting. Your first rep did her best for Spring Hill, but was often overruled by the individual groups. If you went to all the meetings, you would have seen that in action. There were 30 people representing schools & each had 1 vote. So, that person may have wanted something specific for their school & not had a chance. The second rep came in fighting and immediately alienated the whole group. I wonder if you happened to have been at that meeting? In the end the BoE did not care what any rep wanted, so why even bring that up? The neighborhoods working together had much more pull than any lone school rep did.

At the redistricting meetings there were also many, many emails from residents from Lakeside/Lakemont supporting the move to Minter. They really wanted to switch schools. So, it seems to me those 2 neighborhoods do not have a consensus, which I am sure does not help the BoE in their decision making.

Submitted by hopeful on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 7:41pm.

No they did not ask to move schools they ask to stay together, please refer to the yourtube video and you can hear Sam Sweat say they ask to stay together, it was not to move to Minter, they would have been happy to remain at SpringHill together, and I think they would be happy to stay there now and have East Fayette all go to Inman.

Submitted by heatjam on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 10:02pm.

I admire what you are trying to do, however, at the Dec 17th meeting when they talked about tweaking the map, it was the Harp rd area and that was it. Unless something was discussed out of the publics ear. I just listened to the You Tube video which confirmed that.

I wish you all the best of luck in this fight.

Submitted by DJS on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 5:48pm.


As you will hear, the board was not comfortable making last minute changes. They stated multiple times that the Spring Hill district will be tweaked and discussed again before the map would actually go into effect. What happened that will not allow us to do that now? Why can't we have any say. It is obvious that none of them were comfortable at making that last minute change and wanted to discuss it further.

Submitted by heatjam on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 5:32pm.

The reason that Lakeside/Lakemont were the communities picked to switch to SHM was they had the most children. With E. Fayette staying open this next year, SHM was going to be down to approx 440 students for a school that was built to hold 763. Since Lakeside/Lakemont have over 200 kids it made the most sense. Instead of the busses making 20+ stops to pick up 200 kids, they could make the 5 or so stops at these 2 subdivisions. $$ wise it makes sense. Don't forget, there are a lot more taxpayers in this county w/out children in the schools and the school board is responsible to them as well.

Also, speaking of middle school boundaries...Springhill already is split between 3 middle schools. Now it will only be 2. What difference does it make since theses 2 subdivisions are the only 2 now that feed BMMS.

When the E. Fayette Children come to Springhill (if that occurs) I certainly hope that you welcome them with open arms since it doen't seem that y'all are really happy that might occur. But hey...that's only my humble opinion.

The Crime Dog's picture
Submitted by The Crime Dog on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:01pm.

You don't know me, but I've been working *behind the scenes* to try and save Spring Hill. That's usually the way to get a point across: don't embarrass the politicians, all of whom seem to want to do the right thing.

I would imagine that up until now, Mr. VanHoozer was trying to do the same thing. Be diplomatic.

If you want the best for your kids you'd fight to keep Spring Hill intact (and we could STILL take some East Fayette kids even if Lakeside and Lakemont remain at Spring Hill! So BRING THEM ON!!!!)

East Fayette kids coming to SHES will be full-fledged Suns and they will be loved, no matter the hate coming from some of the bloggers on this site.

Heatjam and Toxic Nut obviously are clinging to the hope that you'll get rezoned for Whitewater High School, instead of FCHS, which is another fight for another day.

Submitted by nosweat on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 9:45pm.

Hate is a strong word - and we should be careful not to confuse passion with hate. Personally I hate the situation we are all in, and I especially hate the hypocrisy here. As for diplomacy Crime Dog, is identifying the BOE as “Board Geezers” on your blog an example of working behind the scenes and not embarrassing the politicians? And when you ask on your blog “And just who paid to get Bob Todd and Marion Key into office to insist on "repurposing" or selling East Fayette?” – Solid diplomacy at work there. It seems they may take offense to such comments. I would hate to see their reaction. I do commend you for digging and trying to get to the bottom of things though. There's definitely some talent out there.

The Crime Dog's picture
Submitted by The Crime Dog on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 11:10pm.

I didn't ID the BOE as geezers, just the two older ones (Key and Todd) who obviously don't know how to check their email.

As for diplomacy, with some it works. Others are best bludgeoned over the head with the truth. IF what I'm told is true Key and Todd are hoping to make a sweet property deal by closing East Fayette as an elementary school.

They'd sell the uber-valuable LaFayette campus in downtown Fayetteville and make East Fayette the new LaFayette center. Makes sense don't it? That property could feasibly be rezoned commercial and KACHING!

Haven't read 'bout it in The Citizen though so who knows if it's legit? Wouldn't be the first time the wool was pulled over their eyes!

Submitted by heatjam on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:06pm.

Sorry!!!!!!! You have no clue!! Unless something DRASTIC happens in this county my children will NOT be zoned to FCHS!! Try again!

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 10:10pm.

There is nothing wrong with FCHS, if that is all you people are worried about, you're spinning your wheels.

I yam what I yam....Popeye

Submitted by heatjam on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 10:15pm.

I know there is nothing wrong with FCHS but some bloggers think that my children might get rezoned there. All that I am saying is that it's not going to happen.

Submitted by hopeful on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:18pm.

If a board with a backbone that can stand up for what is right you might end up back at FCHS. It is a election year. The members that are there now should show the backbone I know they have and stand up and vote for the 3 Way Winner Plan and move East to Inman and leave Minter and SpringHill alone.

Submitted by g8trgrl on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 11:09pm.

Hopeful thinks the board has a backbone? Was she at the Dec 17th meeting when they gave in to almost every neighborhood who did not want to leave their school and left schools still crowded? They have no backbone, so whoever whines the most will get what they want. If Lakemont & Lakeside don't want to go to Minter - they won't! The board won't make them leave. They give in to all neighborhoods who organize any opposition.

On another note, how can anyone say all high schools are the same? The people who were on the original map zoned out of Peeples and into Minter pitched one serious fit because they feared greatly that they would leave SMHS and have to go to WW high. Why? Because the schools are not the same in people's opinions.

People across the country get zoned to different schools all the time & it does not seem to raise this kind of passion. It is interesting to be a spectator and watch the Fayette residents implode on each other.

Submitted by heatjam on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 8:49am.

People across the country get zoned to different schools all the time & it does not seem to raise this kind of passion. It is interesting to be a spectator and watch the Fayette residents implode on each other.

You are absolutely right about this. It's been very interesting to watch all of this unfold. And the funny thing is that when all is said and done and the students are in their new (or old) school, people will realize that the children will all be just fine. The teachers are wonderful and the students will continue to learn and thrive. Then when the next election comes around this will all be forgotten and the apathy will be apparent.

The Crime Dog's picture
Submitted by The Crime Dog on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 11:04pm.

Heatjam: So I take it "watching the Fayette residents implode on each other" means you live out of county?

So are you slipping your kids into the school system illegally? Or are you simply enjoying the FCBOE perk as an employee?

No wonder you can't fathom people fighting for their schools. You're too glad to be out of Clayton (or Fulton).

If you *knew* how to care about the individual benefits a school provides, you'd understand where people are coming from.

Submitted by heatjam on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 6:18am.

Yep...you're right! I live out of county and I have been secretly bringing my children miles upon miles away from their home school just to attend the schools here in Fayette County for the past 10 years! And guess what?? I haven't been caught until now! Wow!! I don't have to keep that secret any longer!! What a weight off of my shoulders!!......Not!!

Submitted by heatjam on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 10:04pm.

If a board with a backbone that can stand up for what is right you might end up back at FCHS.

Ain't gonna happen!! Sorry!!

Submitted by concerned SHME ... on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 8:48pm.

I totally disagree. It makes NO sense whatsoever to draw a circle around Lakeside and Lakemont and send them to Minter. They do not even connect to the Minter boundary on the map. The kids that should be zoned to Minter are the ones right by Minter on Harp Road and Farrington subdivision. It makes no sense whatsoever for Lakeside and Lakemont to drive south to go to Minter passing people on Hwy 85 going north to Spring Hill. THAT IS SO RIDICULOUS THAT IT IS FUNNY!!! But, it does not surprise me because this whole redistricting fiasco hasn't made any sense from the start. It all boils down to the fact that this new school was built in the wrong place. Now, because they do not have enough students to fill Inman up, they have to close East Fayette and move kids from Minter and Spring Hill needlessly. I do not think that people are opposed to going to school with the kids from East Fayette, I think it is simply that we want to stay at our school. Our children have grown up at Minter. Their friends and their teachers that they love and trust are at Minter. As parents, we have poured our time, effort, and money into Minter. I'm sure the Spring Hill parents feel the same about their school. I'm sure the East Fayette parents feel the same about their school. The school that a child attends is part of their identity and part of their security. We have several families at our school who have faced hardship and tragedy and the staff, children, and parents at Minter have surrounded those families with love and support and now the FCBOE wants to take that all away. When it applies to parents, we are told to give our kids stability and continuity, but when it applies to the FCBOE, we are told that children are resilient and it will all be fine as long as the parents make it a positive experience. The sign in the lobby at Minter says "Welcome to the Sara Harp Minter family" . . . well, our family is being torn apart!!! I support the idea of giving Inman Elementary to East Fayette. That way, no child has to change schools except for the East Fayette students and they will be getting a brand new building out of it. That will truly "disrupt the fewest number of students possible." So, please FCBOE, DO NOT TAKE YOUR MISTAKE OUT ON OUR CHILDREN.

Submitted by heatjam on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:01pm.

Unfortunately there aren't enough students in the areas off of Hwy 85 to offset what is needed to fill SHM.

Also, take emotions out of it...pretend you don't have a child in the schools. Yes...moving Farrington and other neighborhoods off of 85 makes sense (closer to SHM) but look at the 92 corridor and Inman Rd. They currently go to SHM...would it make FISCAL sense to keep them at Minter when Inman is right there? Not in my book - again, keeping emotions out of it.

I sincerely hope, as a taxpayer, that the board looks at it w/o emotions!! Nobody wants change, unfortunately thats the nature of the beast.

Submitted by g8trgrl on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 9:01am.

Hey, Heatjam - you & I should do the maps! If, people take emotion out of it, they will see Lakeside & Lakemont have the #'s needed. It makes sense to the uninvolved people. If, emotions get involved - logic leaves. If development comes then people have to move. If all these people took their passion to the city planning meetings, maybe they could make a difference. They are showing up too late in the process. As a taxpayer, I want the Board to do what is fiscally responsible - if they can make themselves do it. They have proven in the past they can't stand up to everyone, but maybe now they will find their backbone and think of all taxpayers in the county and not only the small group of whiners!

Submitted by heatjam on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 9:22am.

What the committee/powers that be should have done to begin with was to put a compass point in the middle of each school and draw a circle. Anything inside the circle would go to that school (the nearest one to them)When all of the circles were drawn, then "tweak" it to make sure every part of the map was accounted for. That way all children should be at their closest school and we wouldn't have as much whining.

Submitted by DJS on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 9:07am.

If we are talking logic then why is Old Senoia and its feeder roads not incorporated into Minter so that Lakemont and Lakeside are not an island in the new map? I see no logic whenever and island is created in any map, district or zoning. An island is not legal when it comes to zoning.

Submitted by concerned SHME ... on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:21pm.

I still say this whole mess is because the new school was built in the WRONG place, out in the middle of nowhere. So, my point stands, that the FCBOE should not take their mistake out on our children. If this was the corporate world, these people would have been fired long ago. Even building Tillman Road Elementary first would have made more sense, that at least would have relieved the overcrowding at Burch. Now, we have a brand new school that we can't fill up out in the middle of nowhere and we still have Peeple's, Peachtree City Elementary, and Burch who are overcrowded with no relief in sight. Walmart and Target knew exactly where to put their new stores . . . where the people are, not where the cows are!!! I want what's best for my child. I could care less about what makes fiscal sense when the FCBOE created the problem in the first place by building the school in the WRONG place.

Submitted by Okie on Sun, 02/10/2008 - 10:24am.

Building (Rivers Elementary)first would make more sense??? Have you seen where it's being built? Out in the middle of nowhere! By the way, the neighbors cows are always getting out and roaming around on Tillman Road. When the school buses start rolling down our street...whose gonna round up the cows! The only traffic we have right now is mostly the people who live on our street.

Submitted by hopeful on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:29pm.

You 100% right and I don't want my children or anyone else children to be pulled from there school and staff they know to fix the BOE mistake. They need to fix their own mistake and move East Fayette to Inman and end this. I know they can make the right decision this time.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 10:01pm.

Just exactly where do you propose to build new schools?

Schools are built with our tax money. Would you rather the BoE pay two or three times as much for property that is 'convenient to you' or a more reasonable price in a place that's less in demand?

Any land that homes can be built on runs in the neighborhood of $25,000 to $40,000 per 1/4 acre. A middle or high school can easily take up 50+ acres. Do the math if you can.

If you want the schools built closer to where you live, then be prepared to pay for it.

Teachers can barely afford, if at all, to live in Fayette County. That's one of the reasons people are complaining about 'out of county' students.

Where would you suggest the BoE build a school? Maybe the BoE could buy the Braelinn Shopping center and clear it for another school.

Do you remember when SMHS complex was first proposed? The PCDC used that area as their private hunting reserve and pitched a fit.

If you worked as hard at supporting and assisting our school system as you do bitching at it, we'd have the best school system in the country.

But this is PTC and if you can’t get there by golf cart, there's a problem.

If I were you, I’d be more concerned about how I could improve the overall education of my child rather then complaining about where their new school was built.

Submitted by hopeful on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:14pm.

You must be a heartless person to take all emotion out of this when it comes to anyone children. Children are the reason for this they should be able to continue at the elementary school that started at, not have to move just to fill up a school, when there is a school only a few miles from one that the BOE needs to close.

Submitted by hopeful on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 5:59pm.

Lakeside and Lakemont were to remain at SpringHill one more year, if East Fayette stayed open, please check your facts, they would not have moved until the school closed in a year. So your thought that it was numbers is not correct.

Submitted by heatjam on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 6:05pm.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear...if E. Fayette stayed open then SHM #'s would plummet down to approx 440 and many teachers would have to be reassigned. Then the following year the #'s would bounce back up when E. Fayette was "repurposed" since Lakeside/Lakemont would come down to SHM.

Submitted by toxic nut on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 3:40pm.

I will not post here what I want. I will reveal what I want when I address the board on Monday and Wednesday evening. My opinion about what needs to happen is my own and I don't want anything to be misconstrued before the board hears it. But I couldn't keep silent anymore about my deep disappointment last Fall and the obvious contrast in the PTO involvement from last Fall and now. All that is trying to be acheived now could have been appropriately attempted and maybe even acheived last Fall and nobody would have to be going through this again now. And the rift that now exists in our school over what happened wouldn't have been caused.

If individuals didn't stand up for their school to stay together last fall, don't blame us for being skeptical about their motives now.

Submitted by mem65 on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 4:28pm.

Although you are upset at others that you think did a disservice to you, it doesn't mean that your kids are upset with the kids they go to school with. One might be a little skeptical about your motives as well.

Submitted by toxic nut on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 2:30pm.

I am going to call the baloney flag on the rest of you. I am a Spring Hill parent and a Lakemont resident and I was at EVERY committee meeting since October and the forum and every BOE meeting. I was dismayed at the lack of a voice from the Spring Hill population. It broke my heart!

I, and many of the Lakemont parents, fought with the committee, Sam Sweat and C.W. Campbell, not to tear the heart out of Spring Hill. Where were the rest of you! I asked-no, I BEGGED them to send all or a greater number of the children from East Fayette to Inman so that Spring Hill and Minter wouldn't have to be ripped apart(so don't go giving Tom V. all the credit for this "new" idea-it was an old proposal that got shot down). It was never about not wanting to go to school with the children from East Fayette-it was about the seismic shift that the huge, lopsided numbers pulled out and pushed in would cause at Spring Hill and Minter. Minter stood to lose more children than we did and they most certainly stood up to fight for them! I was told repeatedly that this idea wouldn't work because the numbers weren't right(Inman was built to hold 600 students and at that time they wanted to preserve the potential for growth). If all of the rest of Spring Hill population had stood with us at that time and at the forum, we might have been able to make a difference for Spring Hill.

Where was the publicity machine then? Where was the push to Save Spring Hill? Oh, I forgot, you were all at home, because as one parent stated it at this past week's PTO meeting, "We were OK on either map, we didn't think we needed to get involved". Well, shame on you! That tells me more about your motives than your "Save Spring Hill" campaign. You're mad because now you're not going to Minter if East Fayette comes over to Spring Hill. It was fine with you when Spring Hill was going to lose over 280 students as long as you were the ones going. What hypocrisy! Tom Vanhoozer was present at some of the meetings, but was silent except to defend MaryBeth's right to be there as a replacement representative when the original representative turned out not to be representing much, least of all Spring Hill.

Tom Vanhoozer is an excellent PTO president, don't get me wrong, but he and the rest of the PTO and the Spring Hill community dropped the ball. Tom V. also lives in the area that was originally to be pulled to Minter. He can feel anything he wants as a parent, but he had the responsibilty to Spring Hill last Fall to fight for it and he didn't.
And the tone of his interview with the Citizen, hinting that Lakemont bullied the BOE is over the line! We publicly opposed Map A because of what it was going to do to Spring Hill and because the study that the State needs in order to allow the county to repurpose a school without financial repercussions hadn't been done.

But, recognizing that we were probably going to lose the fight to keep East Fayette open and to update it(this was before all the health concerns came to light), we asked the Board to keep Lakeside and Lakemont together as an NPU(any of you who went to the meetings will know what NPU means), to preserve our feeder pattern to Bennett's Mill Middle School. That is of the utmost importance to us as we want a large, cohesive group of children for our children to make the, sometimes scary, middle school transition with. We have been redistricted at least 6-8 times in the past, so we are not complacent about the very real possibility that we will be redistricted back to FCHS. But our fight is in the here and now to ensure that our children will know other children when they go to BMMS.

Heatjam is correct when stating that at the December 17th BOE meeting, it was NOT said that the entire Spring Hill district lines were going to be reopened for discussion, just the area along Harp Road if Spring Hill's numbers are to high.

The time to get involved was last fall.

Submitted by hopeful on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 3:37pm.

As I remember it the map was only sending Lakeside, and then Lakemont started the fight to be included not left behind. Just which neigbhorhoods did you contact to ask for support? The only support I saw you wanting to make sure you went to Minter with Lakeside. With your two neigbhorhoods being the only ones that would feed to Bennett's Mill it doesn't make sense to go to Minter. If you look at the map proposed there is clearly a large area that is more south of the Lakeside and Lakemont but they stay at SpringHill. After your two neigbhorhoods were sent to Minter, did any of you bother to tell the areas that you would be driving by their neigbhorhoods to get to the school closer to them. I don't think I heard any you telling anyone this, you were just glad you got included with Lakeside. As least Tom is looking out for the whole school not just him neigbhorhood, the whole school is what he is trying to protect SpringHill in whole. Why don't you continue to support SpringHill and keep it together, your children have got a wonderful eduction there and can continue too.

Submitted by mem65 on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 3:09pm.

If you fought so hard to remain at Spring Hill, then what is the problem now? Do you want your children to go to Minter now? Do you want your children to be torn apart from friendships they've made during their years at Spring Hill? Maybe it's true that your community did not receive the support it needed in the Fall, but maybe some people didn't realize you were asking for help. I think it's time to bury the hatchet and come together with one purpose - to leave the children be at the school they know and love. What is it that you want?

Submitted by a family on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 1:44pm.

Tom VanHoozer just happened to be the parent who took the stand to represent MOST concerned parents A STEP FURTHER. Whether the 3-way win plan was his idea or not, most of the public consensus is that it makes perfect sense.

Once Mr. VanHoozer was finally informed that there even was a Spring Hill rep., he did attend the meetings with our new rep, and followed the protocol--only the one rep from the school was allowed to speak at the meetings. He attended every meeting after he was informed, to show support from the SHE PTO.

Mr. VanHoozer is not to blame that the PTO, nor the school was not being informed. Nor is he to blame for the "lack of PTO support" from Spring Hill. He had constant communication with SHE parent rep and the PTO. He called a school meeting asking parents to participate so that we all could be informed.

No one should be bitter toward one person for the community not giving the amount of support that you may think you deserve. We are all adults, and Mr. VanHoozer cannot MAKE any of us attend a meeting or get involved if we're not willing to.

He rallyed behind the school, and EVERY neighborhood. Think before you attack the person who took a risk to take a public stand by all of his efforts of countless communication with the school board, parents, and the newspaper to stand up for US and OUR CHILDREN...

That's what this should all be about anyway--the children.
Not who was or wasn't there to defend which neighborhood, or when anyone showed up to represent our schools.

Remember what you're fighting for and don't pick a fight with the guy who took a stand for what is right and fair.

Submitted by nosweat on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 9:33am.

No argument on the poor execution from the board, but frankly their shortsighted practices have created a monster here. Taxpayers money for schools built in the middle of nowhere, shifting people to and fro to satisfy a plan but actually deepening the socioeconomic divide between communities and schools, (i.e. pulling Lakeside & Lakemont out of FCH years ago to start WW), or decisions based on 40K worth of “research” that is tossed out the window. Here’s a suggestion that’s too late in the game to implement but would have actually helped the board with public opinion and damage control: There is test data for all of these schools on file somewhere. When going through a redistricting process like this wouldn’t it be invaluable to the taxpayers and parents to get a forecast of what the proposed school’s test scores would be under the proposed mix of students? Isn’t that money well spent, actually giving us an idea of what we’re getting for our tax dollars through their actions? Shows the return on taxpayer investment in education and measuring the quality of the Board’s decisions. Whereas now everyone is assuming what “their” school will be like, and we have these drastic actions and comments left and right, and all the while we really don’t know how any of this will affect the schools. It’s all based on assumption, speculation, and gossip. And to the point about the supportive parents being the reason Spring Hill is the way it is today, which is completely true, what are the thoughts on the level of support Innman will receive if all of East Fayette moves there as suggested in these comments? Also – please explain how Lakemont and Lakeside created an island for themselves? It’s obvious that the people who have been commenting on Lakeside and Lakemont do not live there, and they’re are only doing so because they know these communities are the key to keeping Spring Hill from “turning” in their eyes, which is of huge importance to them since their kids are going there as it stands now. I don’t have an issue with Tom personally, and I am not criticizing him for trying to find a solution, but rather for getting in the public game so late. Wouldn’t this attention back in November have been crucial? Explain this to me.

Submitted by mem65 on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 1:04pm.

nosweat - you have a lot of key points there. As far as the reason that Tom did not get involved early, I cannot tell you for sure, but did anyone back in November ask him to get involved? I like Tom VanHoozer's plan and I know that he was asked to help in this matter. Why did we not argue about the maps back in December? Because we had know idea what the maps that were approved then looked like. I did not have a problem with either of the proposed Maps A or B. Map A was going to move my child to a new school, which I wasn't happy with, but it made logical sense, so I didn't stand up and fight about it. If they would have just added Lakemont onto Map A, that would have made sense too, since they still would have been connected to the Minter district. What doesn't make sense is to take the community nearest to Minter out of Map A and to create a bubble around Lakeside and Lakemont in order for them to go to Minter. If anyone from Lakemont had asked myself or many others that they know from our Spring Hill community to help fight to get them included into that Map A, I know they would have received that support.

What I don't understand is how anyone could be upset with the 3-Way Winner plan. Stability is so important in any child's life and with this plan, the bonds that have been formed at each of the 3 schools affected (East Fayette, Spring Hill, & Minter) between the students, parents, and staff would continue on.

Submitted by mem65 on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:46pm.

Tom VanHoozer's 3-Way Win plan is the best one I've heard yet! The decision to close East Fayette is a good one, but why disrupt the students at three different schools, when you can give ALL of the East Fayette kids an opportunity to experience a brand new facility with all the bells and whistles? The boundaries as they are drawn now do not make any sense and will divide the bonds that students, parents, and faculty have made at each school. I am in favor of this plan and will be at the BOE meetings on Monday and Wednesday to show my support!

Submitted by Patty Sanders on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:39pm.

We should try to get the $40,000+ back for him that the county wasted on the boundary experts they ignored. He would have probably volunteered to do this just like he donates his time to Spring Hill. What a great sensible plan. Thanks for pointing out how this could be simply resolved. This is a great answer to the deceitful map confusion.

Submitted by DJS on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:12pm.

Spring Hill was the only district that was drastically changed at the last minute before the maps were approved. In the meeting, it was stated that the boundaries would be revisited for Spring Hill before they would actually take effect in 2009 - 2010, since our district was not informed of the changes being made. The map for 2009 - 2010 were never published or posted until the last week in January 2008, well over a month after approval and we had to make many requests to see it, it was not offered us generously. Our district had no idea of the changes that had been made. Also, after being told in December that we had time to discuss the Spring Hill district before it goes into affect; we are now told that the boundaries will not be revisited. I believe that you and your community would be fighting for the same thing had you been affected in such a way as this.

To the ones in Lakemont and Lakeside that think their property values will not change just because you are going to Minter are wrong. You have created an island as I have stated before and is mostly surrounded by the Spring Hill district, I do believe your property values will be affected. Needless to say, I would think that potential homebuyers would be wary to buy homes in your subdivisions knowing that your area is an island which will have the highest potential of being changed as soon as the next re-districting takes place.

Many Lakeside and Lakemont residents have put numerous hours and a lot of money into Spring Hill to make it the school that it is today. Spring Hill has one of the lowest staffing turnover rates in the County. Our PTO is one of the best due to wonderful parents that love and support Spring Hill. We want Lakeside and Lakemont to stay at Spring Hill. You are an outstanding part of our close-knit family and we don't want to see you leave us.

Again, I want to thank Tom Vanhoozer for making his stand to support the Spring Hill Community and everything he has done since our communities have finally seen the new map.

Submitted by heatjam on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 10:25am.

If I remember correctly, at the meeting on the 17th the area that the board wanted to revisit if (and when)they repurposed E. Fayette, was the East side of Harp Rd. since the west side already attends SHM. The board did not say that they would look at Lakeside/Lakemont.

I really hope that you all win your battle.

Submitted by nosweat on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 6:56pm.

Who is Tom VanHoozer? Where has he been since October? I am astounded at this. All of the sudden Tom represents 570 student's parents in Spring Hill? If so, then when the board was talking about moving 300+ students out of Spring Hill last year when this all started, wouldn’t this article have been more applicable rather than now when they are moving 100 less students? Call it what is people. Everyone wants what they want. Every community and every parent – no exceptions. What I want for my kid is just as important to me as what you want for yours. Period, not up for debate. I read comments about communities sucking it up and going with it, but look here, right beneath your nose. A fine example of an elephant in the room that we shouldn’t talk about. Everyone will fight a little harder if what they want is not what’s happening. Now it seems others are feeling what the folks in Lakemont have been feeling over and over again through this process. When the maps change and all of a sudden Tom and the others concerned have a dog in the fight there is an article the length of your arm about representing the parents and being heard. Pahleease! There have been people struggling with this, organizing and researching, making themselves heard without any support from the PTO all through September, October, November, and December. Now all of a sudden “we” have a representative of the 570 Spring Hill students? Come on! The thought of revisiting this process again at this point must be met with question. What has changed recently that has prompted this involvement? Again, simply ask yourself why the president of the Spring Hill PTO was not stepping forward to “represent the parents of the 570 Spring Hill students” when 300+ kids were going to be moved, but is now suddenly in the spotlight when 100 less are being moved? It would seem that was an improvement, right? The lines didn’t go his way. Welcome to the club Tom.

Submitted by sfca on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 12:43pm.

I am sure that is the same Tom Van Hoozer I saw organizing the construction of the Running Track at Spring Hill and sweeping it to be ready for the Turkey Trot... and that was him recently installing the classroom TV's for (y)our children... and that was him at all the recent BOE meetings and PTO fundraisers.. and that is him most days at Spring Hill offering parental support the great teachers and admin staff we are lucky to have.. come on 'no sweat'.

The reality of this situation is that the ongoing parental support from lakemont, lakeside and other catchment areas, along with the wonderful staff, has made Spring Hill what it is today. The current BOE proposal will remove the core of this parental support, just as it will do at Minter by displacing so many students from both schools..

I suggest we all support the alternate 'Three Way Plan' and voice this at the meeting on Monday... Thank You

Submitted by dr337 on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 11:51pm.

I don't know where you've been looking nosweat. Tom is very easy to find.

I've seen Tom 4 out of 5 days at Spring Hill in the morning when I drop my kid off at school. I see him at school functions, supporting his kids and the teachers. I see him at Chic-Fil-A talking to parents about what he has heard and the ideas he has. I see Tom at PTO meetings he calls to inform parents about what he has been able to discover about the political fiasco this process has become.

It is a very easy thing to sit at a keyboard, misspell please for dramatic effect and criticize someone for trying to solve a problem created by a decidedly broken process. When I left the meetings in December and read the reports, I fully expected the BOE to address the closing of East Fayette in the manner they published. I have no problem accelerating it. Those children and teachers deserve better and they shouldn't be made to wait another year. The fact that budget and not common decency was reason it was accelerated is a topic for another post. What is at issue is that the plan slipped in at the last minute was not properly vetted. It appears that rather than making a rational and reasoned decisions on boundaries, an attempt was made to placate the largest most vocal community and just get it done.

To be honest, I am one they tried to placate. I live in Lakemont and 'nosweat' does NOT represent me. If the plan approved at the last meeting goes into effect - I'll see Tom everyday - as we pass each other on Redwine. I'll be driving South to Minter as he drives North to Spring Hill. Geographically it just does not make sense. Spring Hill has been good for my family. I have every confidence that Minter would be as well so it is really not about the school or even property values. Tom's latest proposal has only one major flaw. It's based on common sense. His proposal is not a political reaction or a result of statistical analysis that leaves out the most important variable - people's emotions.

The lesson here is that we all should be taking an interest in the whole community rather than just our own neighborhoods. Lakemont and Lakeside worked hard to make their voices heard. That's the way our democracy works and it is a good thing. It is however, our representatives that are responsible for ensuring that the decisions implemented do not harm those whose voices are not as strong. It was the BOE's job not to implement a plan with ridiculous boundaries just because it would silence a majority. (I apologize for the civics lesson but I couldn't help myself)

As a representative of Spring Hill, Tom has been fair and evenhanded and done his best to support the interests of the whole school, not just his street. He's done this from the beginning. I know because I actually heard him talk about it way back then. Where were you?

So nosweat - Maybe next year - you would like to try the job - being PTO President is no sweat right?

Submitted by heatjam on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 7:11pm.

I believe that I heard him say that he was all for his subdivision to go to SHM when it was zoned that way on the map. Well, guess what? In the approved map his subdivision stays put.


Submitted by heatjam on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 5:46pm.

This map - the one that has E. fayette closed - was approved in Dec. Ok, they are more than likely moving it up a year but it doesn't change the map. Why are we hearing all of this uproar now when the board is saying that they are not opening this can of worms? Don't get me wrong, what you are saying makes sense I just can't figure out why these letters didn't come out earlier.

Also, not all Spring Hill parents feel this way, just like not all East Fayette parents want to trek to Inman when there are closer schools and not all Minter parents want to stay at Minter when Inman is closer. Also, if this is opened up then Timberlake will fight to stay at peeples, Governors Row will fight to stay at PES...And the whole mess blows back up again.

Will be interesting!!

The Crime Dog's picture
Submitted by The Crime Dog on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 6:49pm.

Why reopen the map? Because the plan moves a TREMENDOUS amount of students.

They're chopping out half the current student population at Spring Hill and replacing them with East Fayette students.

Also, transportation wise, many E. Fayette kids will ride buses on 54 and 85 if they go to Spring Hill. Should they go to Inman, they won't be fighting commuters in the morning and they'll be on local roads.

The school system is being very accommodating in closing East Fayette. But everyone else shouldn't have to pay the price to do so.

After all, with the housing market as it is, is there a logical reason to move 20-30 percent of students? The answer is NO.

Submitted by heatjam on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 7:08pm.

The plan moved the same amount of students when it was approved in Dec. What has changed since then??

The Crime Dog's picture
Submitted by The Crime Dog on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 7:13pm.

What changed is the BOE's accelerating the map from starting fall 2009 to fall of THIS YEAR.

Also the current 09-10 map (BA) had very little exposure to the public. Remember The Citizen carping about having trouble getting copies over the holidays?

East Fayette parents should be happy they're getting OUT of that building. It shouldn't come at the cost of two other schools though.

Come to think of it, Spring Hill was built too close to the dump. I want a new school too! (Sarcasm implied).

I'm a Spring Hill parent heatjam, what's your dog in the fight?

Submitted by heatjam on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 7:25pm.

First and foremost a taxpayer!!! Second I have children in the school system.

Why do you think that getting children out of East Fayette would come as a "cost of two other schools"? If all of the schools are excellent then it shouldn't matter what school they attend. My child was redistricted and it was fine. I had a harder time with it than they did.

Personally since all of the schools are excellent and if the BofE decides to repurpose East Fayette, then I hope and pray that the take emotions out of it and look at the fiscal side of it. Especially since we are all tax payers in this miserable economy.

The Crime Dog's picture
Submitted by The Crime Dog on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 7:56am.

When you remove half the students you are changing the very *character* of a school. My kid is STAYING at Spring Hill no matter the map, so pardon me if I'm concerned about how it affects *my* kid.

The East Fayette staff is moving to the brand-new Inman Elem. Doesn't it make more sense to keep the East Fayette kids with the faculty that knows them the best?

As long as Spring Hill can keep Lakeside and Lakemont, I'd rather see *some* of the East Fayette kids come to Spring Hill if that would help the numbers work out better. I don't want the school to bust at the seams, however.

Submitted by hopeful on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 8:27am.

The plan that Tom has proposed makes the most sense. You are also right who knows a child better then the teachers that have had them for years, the children of East Fayette will benefit from staying with the teachers that know them best as will the children at SpringHill and Minter staying with the teachers that know them. I am sure if asked the teachers of East Fayette they would be happy to have their school children move with them to Inman. The traffic will not be as bad either, they will not have to travel right in town. With the moving up of closing East Fayette now is the time to bring this to the board, I was at the Dec 17th meeting and one board member along with Sam Sweat did say that when it was time to close East Fayette they would revisit the SpringHill district lines, so we are not doing anything that was not promised to us.

Submitted by Diane Court on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 3:50pm.

You go with your bad self, Tom!! What a fantastic, well thought out plan that would make this major transition much easier for so many kids and parents. As Spring Hill parents that have put a lot of support into our kids' school for the past 3 years, it would make us so much happier to be able to continue supporting the school that we feel is so much like a "family". I truly hope the entire BOE takes this suggestion under serious consideration.

Submitted by slj355 on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 3:34pm.

I agree this sounds like a win, win, win plan. The Board should seriously consider it. I believe it would make the parents and children at all three schools happy.

Submitted by hopeful on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 3:20pm.

Tom your points are well put together, and express the wants and feeling of the SpringHill parents. I would also hope that East Fayette would support there students staying together and having a new school. Minter parents would also be happy to stay put. Board members vote YES to the 3 Way Winner Plan.

Submitted by g8trgrl on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 5:09pm.

When the bloggers refer to "spring hill parents" I don't think they speak for all parents at that school. Many parents would love to see their kids go to Minter - that guarantees Whitewater High instead of Fayette High. This should not come as a shock to Spring Hill parents. Also, I get the feeling - Spring Hill parents don't want to be around the families/kids from E. Fayette. I got that impression from the rep during the redistricting meetings. Not nice!

Submitted by hopeful on Sat, 02/09/2008 - 8:35am.

I would not put all my eggs in one basket that if you go to Minter you would be guaranteed Whitewater High School. The lines are reviewed every 5 years and anything can happen, so don't be so certain changing three schools will protect you to attend Whitewater High School and not Fayette County High School.

Submitted by mem65 on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 10:17pm.

The funny thing here is that Lakemont and Lakeside subdivisions are districted for Bennett's Mill Middle, not Whitewater Middle. They would be the only kids at Minter who wouldn't be going to Whitewater Middle. Why would they want that?

The Crime Dog's picture
Submitted by The Crime Dog on Fri, 02/08/2008 - 6:51pm.

They'll redistrict again in 5 years if not sooner and those in Lakemont/Lakeside are on the border so guess what? They have an excellent chance of being swapped back to FCHS.

Despite the recent gang headlines, FCHS is still a super school and the fact that students oppose the gang activity is an excellent sign!

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