Decatur School Board Approves New K-3 Zones
Before an almost-empty house, the Decatur School Board City approved new K-3 attendance zones for the 2014-15 school year. The board went with the so-called 7A revised map, which they tweaked a little bit before the final vote. (See previous story to see the map.)
The change affects a handful of residences on the south end of South McDonough Street. Students on properties facing that street will move to the Winnona Park attendance zone from the Oakhurst zone. They’re already attending Winnona Park.
Also, rising third-graders who end up in new zones can be “grandfathered” into their old school. This should affect about 50 students.
New zones are needed because of rising enrollment in the lower grades and to adjust to the opening of Westchester Elementary in 2014. The school board closed Westchester in 2004 because enrollment was dropping. K-3 enrollment has risen about 75 percent since then.
The rezoning vote occurred in the auditorium/cafeteria of Westchester, which has served as administrative offices. Those offices are scheduled to move into the city’s renovated Beacon Hill offices in the fall.
The vote was 4-0. Valarie Wilson, who is stepping down from the board, was absent. It was the last meeting for board Chairman Marc Wisniewski, who also decided not to seek re-election.
Board member Garrett Gobel said that the lack of a crowd indicated the public accepted the board’s decision. “The comments on the blogs, which can be quite biting, have been positive,” he said.
Superintendent Phyllis Edwards said she’ll start searching for a Westchester principal and staff after the holiday break.