Photo courtesy of bluffparkal.com.
Superintendent Andy Craig addresses rezoning in Bluff Park
Superintendent Andy Craig addresses concerns with rezoning within Bluff Park Elementary School.
Comments after the Aug. 4 Hoover Board of Education meeting made it clear that Bluff Park residents are concerned their elementary students could be rezoned for a new school. To get further explanation about the rezoning issue, the Hoover Sun spoke with Superintendent Andy Craig on Aug. 6.
“I know for some folks it feels like we shouldn’t have to rezone, but in our community we are in this continuous growth,” Craig said. “There are going to be times along the way where we are going to have to realign ourselves, re-balance things, and hopefully we do that in such a way that it looks forward as well so we won’t have to do this more often than we would otherwise.”
Craig said he hopes to have a final draft of the rezoning proposal ready by the Sept. 8, the next board meeting, so that residents can provide additional feedback before any proposal is given a vote. He said he is working collaboratively to put the district in a position to provide quality education for a long period of time for all students.
“You want to be able to run the programs effectively,” Craig said. “In elementary schools, for example, you have that core classroom, and you want those people/teacher ratios to be reasonable.”
Bluff Park has seen a gradual increase in school enrollment in recent years despite a lack of new residences, according to Craig. The growth has come from home sales and more elementary school children moving into the area.
At the same time, Craig said there is space for more students at Trace Crossings Elementary, and they are considering moving Bluff Park students to Gwin Elementary, and then Gwin students to Trace Crossings, to be able to provide the best level of service.
Craig believes that stressed schools can negatively affect a student’s education and programs such as the arts, computer and science labs, enrichment programs and special education services. When a school reaches capacity, regular classrooms can take over space previously used for these programs.
While some parents had suggested moving Ross Bridge children to Trace Crossings instead of Bluff Park children, Craig questioned the validity and geography of this proposal.
Overall, in realigning Hoover City Schools, Craig hopes to anticipate where future growth will be in order to make realignments like this less frequent.