Hearing addresses move to new school

Evans resident Diane Santiago is a veteran of school rezoning.


Her son, Stephen, was rezoned from Greenbrier Elementary School to River Ridge Elementary School when he was in fifth grade. Now the 12-year-old seventh-grader is about to be moved again. He is one of about 135 children who will be rezoned from Greenbrier to Riverside Middle School next year.

Ms. Santiago was one of about 100 people who attended a middle school rezoning public hearing at Riverside Middle Thursday. The meeting was held to outline the proposed boundaries for Columbia County's middle schools for 2008-09.

All of the current middle schools, except Harlem Middle, are being rezoned to prepare for the opening of Stallings Island Middle School on Blackstone Camp Road in August.

"The same thing's going to happen again. For their last year, they're going to get rezoned again," Ms. Santiago said.

She said she would like for her son to finish middle school at Greenbrier even though her daughter, Kathryn, 10, will enter sixth grade at Riverside next year.

Superintendent Charles Nagle said about 6,000 children are being affected by the rezoning.

"Every one of our schools are overcrowded," he said.

Robbie Jarrell, the assistant superintendent of student support, described the proposed zones, which would eliminate all of the portable classrooms that are used for instruction at the middle schools.

He also said administrators welcomed parental comments.

"We want and are anticipating your input, so if anything needs to be adjusted, we can do that," Mr. Jarrell said.

The school system will hold a second public hearing at Evans Middle School at 7 p.m. Jan. 10. Parents also can e-mail administrators with questions or comments at zoning@ccboe.net or call the central office at (706) 541-0650.

Maps and narrative descriptions of the boundaries are available online at www.ccboe.net.

Administrators hope to finalize the new middle school boundaries in January and notify parents of the final plans in the spring.

School system administrators also hope to finalize rezoning plans in the spring for the new high school, which is scheduled to open on Chamblin Road in 2009.

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (706) 868-1222, ext. 113, or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.


WHAT: Second public hearing on middle school rezoning

WHERE: Evans Middle School

WHEN: Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.