Photo by Jessa Pease.
Hoover Board of Education Building
The Hoover school board on Monday night is scheduled to vote on Superintendent Kathy Murphy’s revised proposal to redraw school attendance zones for the 2016-17 school year.
The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Farr Administration Building at 2810 Metropolitan Way, and public comment on the rezoning proposal will be allowed before the school board votes, Murphy said.
After much discussion at five community feedback meetings over the past month, Murphy on Thursday night released a revised plan with numerous changes to the original proposal she put out a month ago.
Here are the major changes from the original proposal:
- The Preserve neighborhood, north of Al Seier Road from Hurricane Branch to Heritage Park Drive, and the Highland Cove Townhomes would stay in the Gwin Elementary School zone instead of being rezoned to Trace Crossings Elementary.
- Four neighborhoods in the Brock’s Gap Parkway area (Chestnut Ridge, North Ridge, Scout Creek and Lake Trace) would stay in the Trace Crossings Elementary School zone instead of being rezoned to South Shades Crest Elementary. However, the Creekside subdivision in the Brock’s Gap section of the Trace Crossings community, the one closest to South Shades Crest Road, would still be rezoned to South Shades Crest Elementary and Brock’s Gap Intermediate School.
- The Ridge Crossings apartment complex, whose children currently are zoned for Deer Valley Elementary, would be rezoned to Trace Crossings Elementary instead of South Shades Crest Elementary and Brock’s Gap Intermediate.
- The Barrington on the Green apartment complex would remain in the Riverchase Elementary zone instead of being rezoned to Trace Crossings Elementary.
- The Chace Lake neighborhood would remain in the Riverchase Elementary zone instead of being rezoned to Rocky Ridge Elementary.
Hoover school officials said the revised proposal would move 2,224 students into a new school zone for the 2016-17 school year. However, the 242 students currently in grades 2-3 at South Shades Crest Elementary also would be moving to Brock’s Gap Intermediate School, which would become a school for children in grades 3-5 from South Shades Crest only. So the total number of children moving to a new school who otherwise would not be moving is 2,466.
But a significant number of those students are expected to take advantage of a “grandfathering” option that would allow students in grades 8-11 to stay in their current high school zone. If Murphy’s plan is approved, students in grades 1, 4 and 7 also would have the option to remain at their current school for one more year.
However, any students who elect to be “grandfathered” would not be eligible for school bus transportation to and from school.
Here are the proposed grade configuration changes at various schools:
- South Shades Crest Elementary would become a K-2 school.
- Brock’s Gap Intermediate would serves students in grades 3-5 coming from South Shades Crest Elementary.
- Deer Valley Elementary and Trace Crossings Elementary would add fifth grades and become K-5 schools again.
- Bumpus Middle School would add a sixth grade and serve students in grades 6-8, similar to Berry and Simmons middle schools.
Murphy said school officials gave consideration to every concern raised by residents at the community meetings and found remedies for concerns where they could. However, if they found a remedy for every concern, they wouldn’t have a rezoning plan, and some rezoning needs to take place, Murphy said.
Some parents, particularly some at Green Valley and Gwin, have complained that the rezoning plan increases the percentage of children from low-income families in their schools.
Murphy said “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”
One of the primary goals of the rezoning proposal is to place students in schools close to where they live, and some parts of Hoover have more low-income families than others.
Emilio Cerice, a Bluff Park Elementary parent who lives on O’Neal Drive and whose family is being rezoned to Green Valley Elementary, said he doesn’t understand the reason for students from Bluff Park to be sent to other schools. In his case, school officials are taking students from 1 ½ streets and moving them to another school when Bluff Park is not really overcrowded, he said. Leaving them at Bluff Park would not have a real statistical impact at either school from a racial or poverty perspective, he said.
“The families that are being affected at least would like to know why,” Cerice said.
Here are some of the neighborhoods and apartment complexes that would be rezoned, listed by their current school zone. It includes new middle and high school tracks where changes are proposed:
Bluff Park (44 kids rezoned)
- Crest Cove to Gwin
- O’Neal Drive & Paige Drive area to Green Valley
Deer Valley (291 kids rezoned)
- Lake Cyrus to SSC K-2/Brock’s Gap 3-5
- Ridge Crossings to Trace Crossings
Green Valley (231 kids rezoned)
- Alpine Village to Gwin
- Chapel Hill to Rocky Ridge/Berry/Spain Park
- Diane to Rocky Ridge/Berry/Spain Park
- Green Pine condos to Rocky Ridge/Berry/Spain Park
- Monte D’Oro to Shades Mtn/Berry/Spain Park
- Spring Aire to Rocky Ridge/Berry/Spain Park
- The Abbey at Riverchase to Gwin
- Villa Maria Apts. To Rocky Ridge/Berry/Spain Park
- Warringwood Heights to Rocky Ridge/Berry/Spain Park
- Willows to Gwin
- Woodmeadows to Gwin
Gwin (230 kids rezoned)
- Carousel Court to Green Valley
- Chapel Park to Green Valley
- Eden Oaks to Green Valley
- Highland Crest to Trace Crossings/Simmons
- Pinewood to Trace Crossings/Simmons
- Place at Galleria to Green Valley
- Treeline Court to Green Valley
Riverchase (88 kids rezoned)
- Quail Run to Rocky Ridge
- Southlake to Rocky Ridge
- Valley Station to Rocky Ridge
- Waterford Landing to Trace Crossings/Simmons/Hoover
- Waterford Place to Trace Crossings/Simmons/Hoover
Rocky Ridge (131 kids rezoned)
- Park at Deerfield Glen to Green Valley/Simmons/Hoover
- Wildwood to Green Valley/Simmons/Hoover
- Wood Gardens to Green Valley/Simmons/Hoover
South Shades Crest (177 kids rezoned)
- Falls & Woods of Hoover to Trace Crossings/Simmons
- Hampton Park to Trace Crossings/Simmons
- Park at Galleria to Trace Crossings/Simmons
- Renaissance at Gall. Woods to Trace Crossings/Simmons
Trace Crossings (238 kids rezoned)
- Creekside to SSC K-2 and Brock’s Gap 3-5
- Park at Hoover to Gwin
- Riverchase Landing to Riverchase/Berry/Spain Park
Brock’s Gap Intermediate (194 kids rezoned)
Berry Middle (83 kids rezoned)
Bumpus Middle (185 kids rezoned)
Simmons Middle (49 kids rezoned)
Hoover High (180 kids rezoned)
Spain Park High (103 kids rezoned)
The above list of areas being rezoned is not all-inclusive. Other areas may also be affected by rezoning. Parents can check where their children would be proposed to attend school under the rezoning plan by typing their street address in the school locator software program at hooverrezoning.com.