Oldham Co. Schools unveils first-draft attendance boundary proposals

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By Drew Nichter

Parents got a first look at where their children may attend school in Oldham County in two years.

Oldham County Schools held its second round of redistricting forums last week, unveiling first-draft attendance boundaries for the 2014-15 school year.

District officials released eight boundary maps at a trio of meetings at the county’s high schools. More than 100 parents attended the forums.

Four of the proposals involve shuffling elementary school students due to the closing of Liberty Elementary at the end of next school year.

A projected decrease in student enrollments over the next decade means the district can operate with one less elementary school, Superintendent Will Wells told parents.

According to the four proposals, Buckner and La Grange would have students moving both in and out of the schools.

Camden Station, Centerfield and Harmony would gain more students.

Three of four scenarios make no changes to Locust Grove, while a fourth would see the school gain and lose students.

Crestwood, Goshen at Hillcrest and Kenwood Station are all unchanged in the four proposals.

Two options each were proposed for middle and high school attendance zones.

The need to shuffle middle and high schoolers is primarily based on providing efficient bus routes once elementary schoolers are dropped off, said Michael Williams, OC Schools’ director of pupil personnel.

Currently, Liberty Elementary’s 334 students will be dispersed among Buckner, Harmony and La Grange elementary schools.

Buckner Elementary’s student population stands to change the most with the current proposals.

Pointing to proposed attendance maps on the wall of South Oldham High May 16, Wells insisted the plans will change.

“These are not the plans that are going to happen,” he told parents.

Residents of Darby Pointe subdivision in Buckner certainly hope the district changes plans to move their students.

All four proposals have them moving from Buckner Elementary to Camden Station.

The subdivision sits west of Ky. 146 just north of Interstate 71.

Darby Pointe parents showed up at the forums wearing bright yellow “Darby Pointe is Buckner” T-shirts.

Gary Greenwell has children in Buckner Elementary and Oldham County Middle, schools that share a campus.

If boundary lines are redrawn as they are now, Greenwell’s elementary schooler will move from Buckner, two miles north of Darby Pointe, to Camden Station, four miles south. His middle schooler will remain at OCMS.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Greenwell said.

He said he hoped his and his neighbors’ presence at the forums convinces district officials to keep Darby Pointe students “in our neighborhood school.”

Like the first round of forums, parents gathered in small-group sessions, this time sharing their likes and dislikes about the eight proposals.

Williams said he will evaulate all feedback which will be incorporated into the final attendance boundary proposals.

At the last round of forums in August, one zoning option will be presented for parents to evaluate, again in small groups.

The schedule for the final round of forums is:

• 6 p.m Aug. 19 at North Oldham High School;

• 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at South Oldham High School; and

• 6 p.m. Aug. 22 at Oldham County High School.

“We’ll make any modifications that make sense after that,” Wells said, before handing a final recommendation to the Oldham County Board of Education at its Sept. 23 meeting.

The final plan will come before the board for a vote Nov. 25.

Email us about this story at: drew@oldhamera.com.