SUWANEE - By 2009, Gwinnett County Public Schools will be well on its way to fulfilling the district's plans to get its building needs in check.
The brick-and-mortar classrooms will still be under construction at the end of this year, but the school district plans to have established the attendance areas for three new clusters and 12 new schools - boundaries that will affect 36 existing schools in the north and east parts of Gwinnett County.
Maps of the proposed boundaries were made public today. The maps, along with school boundary input forms, are available in schools and online.
Associate Superintendent Bobby Crowson said this is a complex redistricting process that includes the creation of the Archer, Lanier and Mountain View clusters.
"It's much simpler to redistrict within a cluster because you don't change allegiances," Crowson said. "(The redistricting process for) clusters are more difficult because you're slicing up allegiances and separating communities ... and it gets into that emotional attachment."
Crowson said he understands redistricting can be emotional for families, but district officials are planning for the future to ease overcrowding in schools.
"Redistricting is about nothing else other than balancing student numbers against the capacity of the schools," Crowson said.
About 23,000 students will be affected by this redistricting process, said Greg Stanfield, the district's planning director. The changes will affect schools in the Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Dacula, Grayson, Mill Creek and North Gwinnett clusters.
The district is also deciding the boundaries for Rosebud Elementary School, which will relieve elementary schools in the South Gwinnett cluster.
Students who attend one of the current high schools when Archer and Mountain View open in 2009 and Lanier opens in 2010 will not have to change schools, but the district will not provide transportation to the original school.
Public input into the redistricting process is important, Crowson said. Each affected school has a boundary committee that will review the proposed attendance areas and make suggestions for any changes.
Parents and other community members can also submit comments directly to the district's planning department. Comment forms are due by Nov. 1.
The community will also be able to address the Gwinnett County Board of Education at one of two public meetings, which are scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 13 and 15. The board is expected to vote on the boundary lines at its December meeting.
The new school boundary input form is available in English and Spanish .