Redistricting meetings being held for the new Bethany Bend High School
Three community meetings are set for February 23, March 16 and April 13 to address the redistricting process for a new high school in north Fulton County. Each will be held at Alpharetta High School, located at 3595 Webb Bridge Road in Alpharetta, from 7-9 p.m.
The high school will be constructed at the corner of Bethany Bend and Cogburn Road and is scheduled to open in August 2012. Existing attendance zones of other north Fulton high schools will be modified to create the new school’s attendance zones. Parents, staff, and community members are invited to give input on how the new boundary lines will be drawn.
About the redistricting process
Each time a redistricting effort is under way, the school system holds three rounds of meetings to gather information needed to draft a redistricting proposal that best meets the community’s needs. Unlike other school systems, Fulton uses a process that encourages public discussion before developing a proposal. This allows the community to have maximum input in how the proposed attendance lines are created.
Round One – Wednesday, February 23
- School system staff outlines redistricting process and establishes ground rules for facilitated small-group input sessions.
- Participants move to small-group sessions and input is gathered related to the redistricting criteria.
- Staff reviews public comments and applies school board-approved redistricting criteria to develop alternative attendance zone plans prior to the next community forum.
Round Two – Wednesday, March 16
- Staff presents alternative proposals for 2010-11 attendance zones that were developed with established criteria and community input from the first forum.
- Community members comment on strengths and weaknesses of each plan in facilitated small-group discussions.
- Prior to the next community forum, staff condenses the number of attendance zone alternatives based on public input.
Round Three – Wednesday, April 13
- Community members review and provide input on revised attendance zone alternatives in facilitated small-group discussions.
- Staff uses comments to develop final attendance zone options for Board consideration.
Criteria used for developing redistricting proposal
During the meetings, community members will review the school board’s redistricting criteria and can comment on residential development, traffic, previous redistricting, special programs and other issues relevant to the criteria used for redrawing attendance lines.
- Geographic Proximity – Distance traveled using available routes of transportation.
- Instructional Capacity – Number of students who can be accommodated at the school, taking into account the number of classrooms and resource rooms needed for art, music, labs, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), special education and Talented and Gifted (TAG) programs.
- Projected Enrollment – Number of students assigned to a school, taking into account the future projected enrollment.
When primary criteria indicate more than one option, options are evaluated on the basis of:
- Traffic Patterns – Factors impacting accessibility of the school from all portions of the attendance zone, including travel time, traffic flow in the area, safe operation of school buses and other safety considerations.
- Previous Rezoning – The school system seeks to avoid rezoning neighborhoods more than once during a three-year period if facility sizes and geographic distribution of student populations allow.
- Special Programs – Special programs are those serving children with special needs that require use of additional space over and above a regular classroom. Where possible, the school system avoids setting attendance zones that would place a disproportionate number of special programs at a school.
- School Feeder Alignment – Where possible, consideration is given to the alignment of elementary, middle and high school attendance boundaries.
The Fulton County Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the new attendance zones in June 2011. Changes in attendance zones will go into effect when the new school opens in August 2012.
Fulton County Schools Redistricting web site