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GCPS to even enrollment at 2 clusters

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

DULUTH — Gwinnett County Public Schools is starting its redistricting process to balance enrollment between the Duluth and Peachtree Ridge clusters.

Peachtree Ridge High School and Hull Middle School are over capacity, and as a result, the school district plans to shift some students into the Duluth cluster beginning in the 2011-12 school year.

The schools that will be involved in the redistricting are Duluth High, Peachtree Ridge High, Hull Middle, Duluth Middle, Mason Elementary, Chesney Elementary and B.B. Harris Elementary. The total number of students affected by the move has not been determined, since the proposed boundaries are still being developed, but fewer than 1,000 students could be affected by the move, spokesman Jorge Quintana said.

District officials said the school system uses an inclusive process for redistricting that allows for input from educators, parents and community members on proposed revisions. This process allows the district to relieve overcrowding of schools, balancing enrollment among schools while minimizing disruption and keeping neighborhoods intact, when possible, according to a news release.

The redistricting process begins with the development of proposed maps for new school boundaries. The criteria for establishing the proposed attendance zones include looking at current enrollment, enrollment forecasts, enrollment histories, existing identifiable boundaries, school locations and student transportation. These initial maps are based on the Planning Department’s professional opinion of what best meets the system’s criteria and purpose of redistricting, the news release states.

The maps, along with input forms, will be available March 7.

Another key step in the process is the formation of committees at the schools affected by the proposed redistricting, the news release states. The committees, chaired by an educator and a community member, facilitate the gathering of feedback on the proposed maps. Committee chairs review feedback provided by parents and other residents and make recommendations to the Planning Department.

Next, the Planning Department analyzes the community input along with the committee recommendations. When the submitted suggestions are in line with the system’s criteria, they are taken into consideration.

Additionally, public meetings are held before the Gwinnett County Board of Education to allow for another phase of public input.

The Planning Department makes a final recommendation, taking into account redistricting criteria and long-term facility plans, along with recommendations from community members.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education is expected to make its final decision on the Peachtree Ridge/Duluth redistricting on April 21.

New feeder patterns in Central and Shiloh

Letters have been mailed to families in the Central Gwinnett and Shiloh clusters reminding them of redistricting changes that will go into effect next school year.

The changes, approved in December 2009, will affect the middle school feeder pattern in the Central Gwinnett cluster and two elementary attendance zones in the Shiloh cluster.

Those changes are as follows:

• In August, Moore Middle School will open in the Central Gwinnett cluster. With the opening of the school, the cluster will have two distinct feeder patterns, one for Moore Middle and one for Richards Middle.

Lawrenceville and Winn Holt elementary schools will feed into the new Moore Middle, while Cedar Hill, Jenkins and Simonton elementary schools will continue to feed into Richards Middle.

This cluster alignment was planned as part of the December 2009 redistricting, which established the attendance zone for Jenkins Elementary.

• There will be a shifting of elementary attendance zones in the Shiloh cluster, as sections of Spain Road, Waterfront Place, Hadley Place and Forest Bend Road will move to Partee Elementary from Annistown Elementary. This change also was part of the approved redistricting in December 2009.