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School redistrict plan may be altered

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - School board members will have a slightly altered redistricting plan when they meet on Tuesday evening.

And although Pat Smith-Darnell, director of pupil personnel, is sure the revised proposal won’t please everyone, she knows that a lot of time and consideration has been taken.

She said her office, as well as board members, received much feedback over the past couple of months over the initial plan that would affect almost every school in the district to some degree.

A public hearing in August brought out about 125 parents, many of who were concerned about the proposals to redistrict over 1,000 students.

Smith-Darnell said that the comments from the public hearing, from the website surveys and from the calls received have been studied by the redistricting committee over the past month.

“It’s not an easy process,” said Smith-Darnell. “Everyone will not be happy.”

One of the goals in the beginning was to have two elementary schools send all its students into a single middle school.

For example, students from Overdale and Maryville would go to Zoneton Middle and then to North Bullitt High. Students from Brooks and Freedom would go to Hebron Middle and then to North Bullitt.

“With the differences in the sizes of our middle schools, that just won’t be possible,” said Smith-Darnell.

Realizing that this goal could not be met, she said the committee, which included central office personnel and bus drivers, began to look at all the suggestions presented.

The first realization is that fifth-graders who leave an elementary school may be going to a different middle school based on where they live. The students would be reunited in high school.

The largest contingency at the public hearing came from the Hunters Hollow II subdivision. Students were to be sent from Overdale to Maryville Elementary under the initial plan.

While nothing has been voted upon and the plan was still in the works on Friday morning, Smith-Darnell said it appeared that the current boundaries of Overdale Elementary would not be altered and students would not be sent to Maryville next fall.

She said it appeared that some current Maryville and Freedom students would be sent to the new Brooks Elementary School.

It also appears that the Lakes of Dogwood community off Beech Grove Road is so large - 130 students - that some would go to Roby and others would go to Lebanon Junction Elementary.

In the East end, Smith-Darnell said work is being done to make sure the new elementary school is populated with enough students in the fall and that Pleasant Grove Elementary is not too crowded.

The revised plan will be delivered to board members for their Tuesday meeting and Smith-Darnell said the members could opt to hold another public hearing.

She hoped the board could vote on the final plan in October so parent notifications would be made in January to make sure everyone has enough notice.

“We listened to the people,” said Smith-Darnell. “We have received a lot of feedback and tried to address as many of the issues as possible.”

“Every school in Bullitt County delivers a quality education,” said Smith-Darnell. “We have to do what’s best for student learning.”

Superintendent Keith Davis said the group has been working hard to come up with answers to the concerns. He stated at the public hearing that he was proud of the hard work provided by all the committee members and he also felt that he would be proud to send his children to any school in the county system.

The board meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the central office. The public is invited to attend.