School boundaries up for final vote

By Greg Gelpi

After parents voiced concerns in two public hearings, school boundaries could be finalized tonight.

The Clayton County Board of Education will meet at 7 tonight at the Administrative Complex, 1058 Fifth Ave., Jonesboro for a regular business meeting.

The board will consider approving boundaries for three schools opening in the fall. Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services Ronnie Blake presented a proposal at last month's meeting that would transfer 1,873 students to different schools in the fall.

At public hearings held after the proposal was announced, parents said they wanted input in the process and said they had investments in the schools their children attend.

The opening of a new Jonesboro Middle School, Kemp Primary and Elementary School No. 9 created the need to redraw school boundaries.

Kemp Primary, will have kindergarten through second grades, and Kemp Elementary will take 353 students from River's Edge Elementary, 11 students from Suder Elementary and 192 from Brown Elementary.

River's Edge will pull 257 students from Kemp and three students from Hawthorne Elementary.

Elementary No. 9 will receive 222 students from McGarrah Elementary, 486 students from East Clayton Elementary and 77 students from Morrow Elementary.

Jonesboro Middle will move from 137 Spring St. to behind Arnold Elementary School. The new school will pull 233 students from Morrow Middle School and 39 students from Roberts Middle School.

The board will also consider adopting several policy changes, including a change to its travel policy.

The policy committee will recommend that board members who exceed their $2,500 cap on their travel allowances will have to pay for the trips out of their own pockets.

Board members Connie Kitchens and Carol Kellam have exceeded their cap for this fiscal year, according to school system accounting documents. But Kitchens said she put other board members' travel on her credit card and she has not exceeded the limit.

A personnel committee meeting at 5 p.m. and an executive session at 6:30 p.m. will precede the regular business meeting.

Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Ed Scott will present an update on the school system's Highly Qualified Teachers and his department's monthly personnel report during the personnel meeting.