School Board presents rezoning timeline

Published 10:02 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The rezoning plan for Robertson and Mount Zion elementary schools will be presented to the School Board for approval at its May 12 meeting, according to a timeline for the closings presented at a special School Board meeting Wednesday.

The parents will be receive a letter notification informing them where their children will go next year by May 16.

While no official decisions have been made, Superintendent Deran Whitney said most of Robertson’s students will attend either Southwestern or  Booker T. Washington elementary schools, while many Mount Zion students will call Elephant’s Fork Elementary School their new home.

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Some Robertson students also might be sent to Southwestern and Kilby Shores elementary schools.

Whitney said the rezoning will shorten the majority of students’ commutes to their new schools.

Parents and students will have the opportunity to visit their new school, so “a level of comfort can be established early on,” Whitney said.

The relocation of special education students will depend on which schools have the programs to accommodate their needs, he added.

The final decision for rezoning will take into consideration the proximity of student homes to schools, existing bus routes and number of available spaces at open schools.

Currently, Booker T. Washington has openings for 29 students, Southwestern has 84, Kilby Shores has 52 and Elephant’s Fork has 138.

Whitney said the transfer of mobile units — seven from Robertson and six from Mount Zion — has already begun.

He also discussed the relocation of Robertson and Mount Zion administration and staff.

He said there are two principal vacancies for next year, and even if they are not placed in those particular openings, Robertson and Mount Zion’s principals should be reassigned without a problem.

“We should be in good shape as far as being able to reassign them,” he said.

The timeline also calls for the hiring of additional assistant principals at Booker T. Washington and Southwestern to accommodate the increase in students.

The relocation of teachers and other staff is planned for completion on May 27. The positions available will be determined after the School Board knows how many students will be at each school, Whitney said.

He said the goal was to place Robertson and Mount Zion teachers before any other transfer requests were processed.

The School Board agreed to hear public comments at its May 12 meeting.

Early appearance comments must deal with agenda items, such as rezoning, and are limited to five minutes.

Citizens can speak during the late appearances on any other topic not on the agenda, such as the closings of Mount Zion and Robertson.

Anyone wishing to speak for an early appearance must sign up by noon May 11. Late appearance speakers must sign up by 5 p.m. May 12.

To sign up to speak, visit and click the School Board tab.