Oldham County Schools approves plan to ease overcrowding

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By Amanda Manning

In an effort to ease overcrowding in Oldham County elementary schools, 166 students will be moved in the district. 

“With two schools overcapacity and modest growth returning to the county, the board requested that district staff develop boundary lines that would rebalance the elementary schools to be in effect for the 2019-20 school year,” Oldham County School Board documents state. 

The school board approved the rebalancing plans in their meeting Nov. 26. Out of 5,385 elementary school students in the district, 166 students will be moved next school year.

Oldham County Schools has redistricted several times in recent years, most recently with the closure of Liberty Elementary School in Goshen.

Certain students would be moved from Centerfield Elementary, Harmony Elementary and Locust Grove Elementary School under the approved plan. 

There would be no changes at Crestwood Elementary and Kenwood Station Elementary. Several Kenwood Station parents advocated keeping their children in that elementary school.

Buckner, Camden Station, Goshen and La Grange Elementary Schools would all see new students under the plans.

Parents had the chance to voice their opinions at community forums that took place from May until October.

Board chairwoman Joyce Fletcher noted that all of that information was shared with them.

“Unlike redistricting efforts in the past, Mr. Williams, you have shared with us all of the input from our community members and questions, which were excellent questions from transportation, to traffic patterns to can you ensure that we will not be redistricted again,” she said. 

Director of Pupil Personnel Michael Williams said that all schools are now under 100 percent capacity. 

Buckner Elementary School and Harmony Elementary School are both at 99 percent capacity currently.

 Goshen Elementary School is at 96 percent capacity, while Kenwood Elementary School and La Grange Elementary School are both at 94 percent capacity. 

Locust Grove Elementary School is at 90 percent capacity, Centerfield Elementary is at 86 percent capacity, Crestwood Elementary is at 82 percent.

Camden Station Elementary has the lowest capacity, coming in at 71 percent capacity. 

Williams previously said that the number of students that will attend Camden Station Elementary School from Crestwood Commons Luxury Apartments is not factored into the number of students who will be moved. 

The apartment complex is expected to be completed within the next few years.

“I think this is a good plan. I know nobody is happy when we have to move them, but I think we’ve kept it small enough where it’ll be effective for us and it doesn’t affect a large part of the county,” Williams said. 

Superintendent Greg Schultz said he also understands some parents and students won’t be happy with the movement. 

“I know that we have great quality schools across the district and with time, they’ll grow to love those schools as much as they love their current school,” he said.

The Oldham County School Board approved the plans at a vote of 4-1. Board member Kevin Woosley voted against the plan. 

“I’m not going to be able to support it this time, I don’t believe it’s the right move for us,” Woosley said.

No parents spoke in opposition to the rebalancing plans during the board meeting. 

The plans will take effect in the 2019-20 school year.