Trace Crossings Elementary Sign
Students who attend Trace Crossings Elementary School could soon be zones from different residential areas.
Since August, the possibility of rezoning elementary schools issue has been a hot topic among Hoover residents.
Although many parents have expressed concerns with where their child might end up, one Lake Cyrus resident took the next step to develop her own proposal — one that would transform Trace Crossings Elementary into a K-1 academy.
“Really our idea was to come up with a solution that would fairly and equitably distribute all the children in this part of Hoover, and then obviously come up with something that was academically sound,” Julie Allen said. “I believe our proposal does [this] and does it really well.”
The need to rezone, as Allen said she understood it, was to realign Hoover City Schools to address the under and over utilization of the elementary schools. Her plan would take all the kindergarten and first grade students from Deer Valley and South Shades Crest, and place those students in Trace Crossings. Second through fourth-graders from Trace Crossings would then be moved to either Deer Valley or South Shades Crest.
The numbers Allen calculated would leave plenty of extra space in all three elementary schools and balance then better than the current draft proposal, she said.
Superintendent Andy Craig’s current draft proposal has Deer Valley using only 76.53 percent of its capacity, South Shades Crest using 78.67 percent and Trace Crossings using 52.73 percent, whereas Allen’s plan would have capacity at 68.11 percent for Deer Valley, 61.7 percent at South Shades Crest and 72.73 percent at Trace Crossings.
Allen said a lot of people keep throwing out the statement “to affect the least amount of students,” which she doesn’t think is a smart statement. She said if a plan affects your child positively, it would be worth the change.
“Our numbers are better,” Allen said. “I feel like our plan accounts for the entire community. I don’t think it’s right to propose something that affects the smallest number of people. If I am proposing something that is good and viable, then I think it should affect everyone.”
Demographics and diversity were also factors taken into consideration by Craig when he was drafting the rezoning proposals. Allen said looking at the numbers, again, she believes her numbers are better balanced.
In Craig’s current draft proposal, 186 students at Deer Valley would receive either a free or reduced lunch. There would be 210 at South Shades Crest and 110 at Trace Crossings. The proposed K-1 academy would give out 155 free or reduced lunches at Deer Valley, 140 at South Shades Crest and 211 at Trace Crossings.
“I think that if you looked at the diversity then the numbers are going to equalize,” Allen said. “Certainly when you talk about a K-1 academy then that school is going to be very diverse, because you are including all the children just as Brock’s Gap is — very balanced. If there is a need to balance, I would say that our plan probably does so more than the current [plan] that is in front of us.”
Another member of the Lake Cyrus Proposal group said he likes the plan because it is well thought out, and it takes care of the entire community. The community, he said, is already acccustomed to a fifth and sixth-grade model and a seventh and eighth-grade model.
He said it also does away with certain stigmas because every student in the area will be attending the same kindergarten through first grade school. That keeps all the students on the right track with a quality education. It also takes a bad situation, rezoning the community, and turns it into a progressive idea — a “crown jewel” K-1 academy, he said.
Allen has already brought her proposal before four of the five board members, and Craig has seen it as well. She said they have all been very thoughtful and respectful in considering her plan, and no one has told her that the plan is not a viable, academic solution.
“I think this platform sets children up for the best success, which I would hope that all parents would want that, not just for their children, but for any child here,” Allen said.
The next board of education meeting will be Monday, Oct. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Farr Administration Building, 2810 Metropolitan Way.