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200 Statham students might be moved to Holsenbeck next year

WINDER - Almost 200 Statham Elementary School students might move to Holsenbeck Elementary in the fall of 2008. Barrow County's Board of Education will vote in Tuesday's meeting whether to realign the two schools' attendance zones.

When Statham Elementary opened in September, students and teachers entered a building with a 900-student capacity that workers had nearly doubled in size. Nevertheless, Statham Elementary is already overcrowded by 51 students and school officials see a big wave of growth coming, said Dr. Ron Saunders, superintendent of Barrow County Schools.

Holsenbeck Elementary School, also built to hold 900 students, has only 704 enrolled, said Lisa Leighton, spokeswoman for the Barrow County school system. The board expects to move 160 to 180 students living around Pleasant Hill Road and near the Northeast Georgia Regional Airport from Statham Elementary to Holsenbeck.

Thirty-one people attended a Nov. 8 public hearing concerning the realignment.

"They weren't too happy about it," Saunders said. "People like Statham."

Affected fifth-graders who want to stay at Statham won't be moved, Saunders said, but they will have to find their own transportation to and from school. Any students who want to transfer to Holsenbeck in January 2008 can do so, if space is available, but transportation won't be provided for them.

A realignment about four years ago moved a group of students from Holsenbeck Elementary to Statham Elementary to relieve overcrowding at Holsenbeck.

SideBar: If You Go

What: Barrow County Board of Education meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: 179 W. Athens St., Winder