Harrison County School Board approves rezoning

Harrison County School District approves rezoning.
Harrison County School District approves rezoning.
Parents and community members were invited to attend the School Board meeting.
Parents and community members were invited to attend the School Board meeting.

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Harrison County School District is one step closer to opening its newest addition. Monday night, the school board met to discuss the most recent part of the plan: re-zoning.

Starting in the fall of 2014, more than 1,900 students will be shifted around to make room for recent growth. The meeting was held to discuss which students would be moved to the new River Oaks Elementary School.

Harrison County Schools Superintendent Henry Arledge said he didn't anticipate much backlash at the meeting.

"I think, generally speaking, most people are pretty well satisfied with it," said Arledge. "We try to work with people to try to help them as best as we possibly can."

The only case that Arledge could remember was a lady with a son who had a disability requiring him to use a wheelchair.

"She's gotten the kid settled in the school. She wanted him to stay there and she would provide transportation for him, so we made those arrangements," said Arledge.

The plan is to rezone students, kindergarten through 6th grade. Leading up to the meeting, Arledge said letters and flyers were sent home letting parents know about the changes. He said that the parents were invited to attend, in case they had issues to voice. But the vote went through without a problem.

Although this change will fix the immediate problem of overcrowded schools, Arledge didn't see this as the end of the road.

"We see those areas growing significantly in the next four or five years," said Arledge.

Over the last seven years, the district has grown by 1,319 students, averaging 188 students a year.

"Something's going to have to be done in, you know, the next three or four years," said Arledge.

That may mean the possibility of building even more schools. Arledge hopes that rezoning will give each elementary school an average of around 600 students. The $14,000,000 River Oaks School is still scheduled to open in the fall.

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