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Elementary parents invited to rezoning meetings

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- Newton County elementary school parents and other community members concerned about rezoning have at least two more opportunities to voice their concerns or ask questions.

The public is invited to two more public meetings to hear more information about rezoning and provide feedback before the school board approves a final rezoning plan for Newton County's public elementary schools.

The meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at Alcovy High School and Tuesday at Newton High School. NCSS held a meeting at Eastside High School earlier this week.

"We encourage parents of elementary students to attend these meetings," said Newton County School System Deputy Superintendent Dennis Carpenter. "We will be showing maps of the existing school zones and the changes recommended in the new plan. This will be the best opportunity for parents to view the maps and ask questions."

About 30 percent of the Newton County School System's 9,500 elementary school students are expected to be affected by next school year's rezoning plans.

Due to the opening of a new elementary school on Airport Road near Ga. Highway 142 in north Newton County next school year, as well as some overcrowding in many NCSS schools, officials decided to redraw school district lines for the coming school year.

The proposed plan will delay the need to build additions to existing facilities and provide the ability to redirect local Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds to areas like technology. It also will alleviate most buses from traveling more than 5 or 6 miles per trip, as well as alleviate the need for modular classrooms at the elementary schools.

About 10 percent of middle school students may be affected by the rezoning and have to change middle schools that they would be zoned for this school year, Carpenter said.

Rezoning maps and affected streets are available online at www.newtoncountyschools.org and at each elementary school.

The board is scheduled to approve a rezoning plan during a combined monthly work session and regular meeting in the board room at 2109 Newton Drive N.E. in Covington at 7 p.m. Dec. 14.