Columbia County school administrators held the first of two public hearings at Harlem High School on Thursday to introduce the high school rezoning plan to the community.
The high schools are being rezoned to prepare for the opening of Grovetown High School, the county's fifth high school, on Chamblin Road in 2009.
About 100 people listened as Superintendent Charles Nagle and Robbie Jarrell, the assistant superintendent of student support, went over the proposal.
The plan will affect all four of the county's current high schools, reshuffling about 1,766 students among high school zones.
Parents also filled out comment forms and studied maps of the proposed zones before and after the meeting.
Appling resident Mary Marschalk and her daughter, Riley, a Greenbrier sophomore, said the proposal rezones their home from Greenbrier to Harlem High; however, they hoped the rezoning will not affect them because Riley will be a senior when the new school opens.
"We're hoping that she gets a waiver. We're about to order class rings," Marschalk said. "We're just here to listen. Whatever they decide, that's what you've got to go with."
Grovetown resident James Gerald, who has children ages 9 and 13, said his home will be in the Grovetown High zone. He said he would prefer for his children to attend Grovetown High rather than Harlem High.
Other parents had no qualms about sending their children to Harlem High.
Appling residents Sherri and Steven Duffie said that under the rezoning proposal their son will go to Harlem instead of Greenbrier High.
"When we first moved out here years ago, it was Harlem," Sherri Duffie said.
She said they came to the meeting to hear the proposal and to meet people.
Keith Price, of Appling, said his twins, who are in seventh grade this year, will be rezoned from Greenbrier to Harlem.
"I'm fine with it. I just like to keep abreast of what's happening and what's being said," Price said. "I think Harlem will be a community school."
Alan Griffin, the Harlem High principal, said he wants all parents to feel comfortable sending their children to the school.
"I'd like for them to just come and visit the school and see the things we have to offer. I think if they do that, they'll be very pleasantly surprised," he said after the meeting.
Maps and narrative descriptions of the proposed zones are available at www.ccboe.net. Parents also can e-mail administrators at email@example.com or call the central office at (706) 541-0650.
The second public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Greenbrier High School. The school board expects to approve the final rezoning plan at its April 22 meeting.
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