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School board to discuss new lines at next meeting

POSTED: January 9, 2014 9:44 p.m.

The Effingham County Board of Education will hold its Jan. 23 meeting at a different location than usual.


The reason is to have a public hearing for parents of children who might move to a different school next year.


The school board is considering a proposal, first discussed at its Nov. 21 meeting, to draw new attendance boundary lines for Blandford, Ebenezer and Rincon elementary schools.


The Jan. 23 BoE meeting will be held 7 p.m. at Rincon Elementary. Parents will be able to see the proposed attendance maps, ask questions and make comments.


“That is the plan,” said Superintendent Randy Shearouse.


School officials project the redrawn lines to reduce Blandford’s enrollment from 841 — the largest among the county’s eight elementary schools — to 744. Enrollment would increase slightly at Rincon, from 637 to 669, and Ebenezer, from 645 to 710.

At Wednesday’s school board meeting, Chairman Lamar Allen asked if the Picket Fences subdivision could be included in the move from Blandford to Rincon. Allen said he had been asked that question by some people in the community.


“There’s only 22 kids in that area, but 22 might help reduce (Blandford’s enrollment) that much more,” Allen said.


That was considered, according to Slade Helmly, the school district’s executive director of administrative services. In the end, though, school officials did not want to add to RES what would essentially be another classroom of students.


“We thought it would stack Rincon a little too heavily,” Helmly said. “We certainly didn’t want with this move to overload Rincon. We thought Blandford would be more easily accommodative toward the extra class.”


Under the proposal, Fort Howard Road would be the Rincon-Blandford dividing line, with all students who live north of Fort Howard Road attending Rincon and all south of it going to Blandford. Students in the Hickory Knob area would move from Rincon to Ebenezer.


Also, some pre-kindergarten students would return to their “home” district. The net result of the redistricting, using current enrollment figures, would be moving 163 students from Blandford to Rincon, 65 students from Rincon to Ebenezer and 66 pre-K children from Rincon back to Blandford.




Proposed Elementary Redistricting
Proposed redistricting for Blandford, Rincon and Ebenezer elementary schools will be discussed at the Effingham County Board of Education meeting on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Rincon Elementary cafeteria. Maps of the proposed districts are available at www.effinghamschools.com.

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