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Oldham County Schools officials are planning to redistrict students before the 2014-15 school year.
Decreased birth rates have lowered enrollment projections and school board members voted to close Liberty Elementary while postponing the building of a new elementary school late last year.
Tracy Harris, the district’s communications director, said administrators understand the difficulties and frustrations that can arise from redistricting.
The district is adopting a new redistricting procedure that will encourage public discussion before developing a proposal.
“Parents and community members will play a vital role throughout the process – even before draft maps are created,” Harris said.
The procedure will include three rounds of public forums with small group discussion. Each round will have meetings at three different locations throughout the county and an online forum as well.
The first round of forums ask participants for their input on neighborhood zones, pending residential development, historical issues, traffic patterns, safety hazards and other residential characteristics.
In later rounds, zoning alternatives will be presented for participants to evaluate in small-group settings.
Participants will provide feedback on various aspects of each scenario.
While the redistricting will be focused on elementary schools because of Liberty Elementary’s scheduled closing, middle and high school zones will also be evaluated during the process.
The first round of public forums will take place March 26, 27 and 28 at various locations throughout the county.
Times and locations have not yet been determined.
An online forum will be open until April 12.
Forums will be well-publicized and district officials said they hope parents will take advantage of the opportunity to participate in discussion with school officials. Additional forums will take place later in the year.
A dedicated email address will allow for better communication between parents and community members who wish to share questions or concerns – email email@example.com.
Harris said discussion is currently limited to the redistricting process.
Officials said draft maps will not be created until the first forum has taken place, nor can officials answer questions about where district lines might land or which school students might be assigned to attend.
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