The Effingham County Board of Education approved a redistricting plan that will move approximately 150 students from Guyton and Marlow elementaries to Sand Hill Elementary.
“We have had this on the agenda for quite a while now,” Superintendent Randy Shearouse said, noting the effort began Nov. 15. “I feel like it is important to move some students from those schools that are more crowded, Guyton Elementary and also Marlow Elementary, and move them to Sand Hill.”
Shearouse said it will even out the numbers at those school and allow room for growth at Sand Hill, Guyton and Marlow.
“There are some things that came out in the public hearing that I would like to mention,” Shearouse said. “One is, I did feel like we could look at the upcoming fifth graders as far as finishing if they’ve been in that school for their entire time and (their) parents did provide transportation. I thought we could look at fifth graders staying in their home schools.”
He said there is a program that will allow parents to apply for their special education student to attend a school that has the programs their child needs.
“The board has a hardship policy in place that hardships can be brought individually before the superintendent,” Shearouse said. “We do approve hardships where the parent has difficulty getting their kids to certain schools.”
Shearouse asked Transportation Coordinator Jimmy Helmly how many students would be entering fifth grade during the next school year in the redistricting areas.
“We’ve got seven at Marlow in the area that we’re thinking about moving to Sand Hill,” Helmly said. “We have 15 in the Guyton area that we’re thinking about moving to Sand Hill.”
The board unanimously approved redistricting plan 3. The redistricting will effect those in Pineora, Floyd Avenue, Watts Road, Pound Road, Warner Fields, Castlewood, Courthouse Road from Midland to County Landfill Road and Lonesome Oak who are currently zoned for Guyton.
The plan will also move students from Victoria Oaks, Bent Oak and Marlow Road who are currently zoned for Marlow.
Board Chairperson Vera Jones told those in attendance if the redistricting would cause a hardship that is not covered by the fifth grade exception to make an appointment with the superintendent’s office.
Shearouse said any parent who plans to keep their student at his or her current school for fifth grade next year will need to contact his office to let him know of those plans.