Parents with questions about the possible rezoning of their children's elementary schools can voice those concerns at a public forum Dec. 11.
The Columbia County school board on Tuesday approved public forums for a rezoning proposal, but not the proposal itself.
The rezoning, instigated by next August's opening of a n elementary school in Grovetown, shifts hundreds of pupils from Grovetown Elementary and Euchee Creek Elementary schools to the new school.
Forty pupils living in the area between Old Wheeler and Hagin roads, now zoned for Brookwood Elementary, also would relocate to the new school.
Many pupils might also get rezoned to Euchee Creek Elementary, which is a problem for some board members. The proposal would move 90 pupils from Lewiston and 55 pupils from North Harlem to Euchee Creek Elementary.
Board member Roxanne Whitaker frowned on the idea of rezoning North Harlem Elementary pupils living within an area bordered by Appling-Harlem Highway, Whiteoak Road and Clary Cut Road, to Euchee Creek Elementary.
Whitaker said she worries that moving those pupils will hurt North Harlem Elementary's Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests scores. The CRCT is a state test used to measure a school's academic progress under the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.
"North Harlem just got off Needs Improvement," Whitaker said, referring to the list of schools that repeatedly fail to meet CRCT standards.
"You're not going to get another opportunity to relieve North Harlem for a long time," Columbia County school Superintendent Tommy Price told Whitaker.
"Just from a numbers standpoint, we think this is a smart move," he said.
The pupils attending Lewiston Elementary who might get rezoned to Euchee Creek Elementary live in the area south of Baker Place Road between Chamblin and Louisville roads.
The Dec. 11 public forum to discuss the rezoning proposal will be at 7 p.m. at Grovetown Middle School. A second forum will be held in early January at Lewiston Elementary, Price said.
The board also approved making Nov. 4, 2008, the date of the next general election, a school holiday.
Many schools are used for polling places. Price suggested that the board consider making all general election dates school holidays for security purposes.
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