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Rezoning proposal approved for Madison City Schools

The Madison Board of Education has approved proposed rezoning lines and grade configuration.

At the board’s Dec. 12 meeting, Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler recommended the zone changes to accommodate school populations with the opening of James Clemens High School next fall.

The primary goals were to populate James Clemens, maintain socio-economic balance between schools, properly manage growth in the secondary schools, and incorporate learning communities where possible.

Elementary schools will not be rezoned this year. Zone lines affect only middle and high school students.

The zone for James Clemens and Liberty Middle School includes the entire Mill Creek and Heritage elementary zones, along with sections of Columbia elementary (west of Balch Road) and Madison elementary (south of Browns Ferry Road, west of Hughes Road and north of Madison Boulevard).

The zone for Bob Jones High School and Discovery Middle School includes the entire Horizon, Rainbow and West Madison elementary zones, along with a portion of Columbia (east of Balch Road and City of Triana) and Madison elementary (north of Browns Ferry Road, east of Hughes Road and south of Madison Boulevard).

Grade configurations will apply for the 2012-2013 school year. Seventh-graders will attend middle school based on the new secondary zoning. For one year only, eighth-graders in a rezoned neighborhood can attend either middle school.

Freshmen, sophomores and juniors will attend high school based on the new secondary zoning. However, parents of a James Clemens junior can request Bob Jones.

Seniors will attend Bob Jones High School. “If we receive enough requests to populate a viable senior class at James Clemens, we will honor those requests,” Fowler said.

Fowler emphasized that James Clemens will open as a full-service high school “from day one. It will compete in varsity sports. The band will march, and cheerleaders will cheer,” Fowler said. Both high schools will use the same course catalog.

Responding to state Ethics Committee guidelines, the board will allow gifts to classroom teachers at $10 or less per student. Using that rate, classrooms can pool money for a teacher’s gift.

“This is the first policy in the state to address teacher gifts,” Fowler said.

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