Attendance lines drawn
Board of Education approves boundaries for South Salem

COVINGTON - The Newton County Board of Education unanimously approved at its April board meeting a plan to change attendance lines for the 2008-09 school year.

The plan describes the attendance area for the new South Salem Elementary School, which is expected to open in time for the start of the 2008-09 school year, as well as the redrawing of attendance lines for Livingston, West Newton, Porterdale and Oak Hill elementary schools, which are the schools affected by the new elementary school.

"The elementary attendance zones have been redrawn by criteria including: minimizing changes to current attendance areas; and considering the capacity of schools, growth of zones, proximity to schools, neighborhood boundaries, feeder school assignments and demographic composition," the recommendation from the superintendent reads.

The Newton County School System held four public meetings in March at the affected schools to explain the rezoning and its efforts, show old and new maps and answer questions from parents. Any further questions should be addressed to the schools, and the school system will send out letters of student assignments to parents and guardians.

The board also approved in the plan the one-time opportunity for all fourth-grade students, or those students who will be in fifth-grade for the 2008-09 school year who are scheduled to transfer to the newly built school, to remain in the school he or she attended during the 2007-08 school year, if the parent so chooses, as long as the parent provides transportation. Otherwise, that student will attend the assigned school.

"This one-time transfer opportunity does not apply to siblings of these fifth-grade students and will be valid for the fifth-grade students only prior to enrollment the first day of school," the plan reads.

In other Newton County Board of Education news, the board unanimously approved the purchase of $39,453 for custodial equipment for South Salem Elementary including two of each of the following: a wet/dry vacuum, burnisher, scrubber, restroom cleaner, carpet dryer and buffer.

The board also approved the purchase of 229 desktop computers, totaling $188,925 from the capital projects fund, for the school - 104 are student classroom computers, 63 are for school employees and 62 are designated for two computer labs.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.