Oldham County planning to redistrict elementary schools to accommodate district's growth
Students could be shuffled around in Oldham County as the district deals with growth.
Parents packed the South Oldham High School cafeteria Monday night to learn more about the Oldham County School District's plans to "rebalance." District leaders say their goal is to disrupt as few students as possible with redistricting, but new boundary lines need to be drawn for elementary schools.
"You absolutely want the best for all the kids, but it's hard not to be selfish sometimes in this situation," said Ken Horn, the parent of a second-grader. "Someone's gonna have tears when this is all said and done. You hope it's not your kid, but at the end of the day, it might be."
The district needs to re-draw elementary boundaries to "rebalance" its schools, but Superintendent Greg Schultz said there isn't a plan drafted yet.
"I think it's huge for the community to be involved in the process, because it is their children, and we want to make sure that we maintain a healthy relationship with them," Schultz said. "Redistricting tends to think of a complete district, and this is really just addressing the needs at the elementary level."
Schools like Harmony Elementary and Locust Grove Elementary Schools are over 100 percent capacity, while others, like La Grange Elementary, are less than 85 percent capacity.
"It's just natural growth," Schultz said. "We have a great school district, and so we have a lot of parents that move in here on a regular basis. We're just growing, and it's a great problem to have."
Under state law, the district can't build a new elementary school until the existing ones are at least 85 percent capacity, but Schultz said that's not on the books yet.
"I hope not," Schultz said of a new school. "I would like to be able to rebalance and be able to hold onto that for a while and let the schools continue to grow. We don't want to build a school until we have to build a school. It's an expensive proposition, and we would rather not if we didn't have to. But (rebalancing) will allow us to go ahead and (build) when we need to."
The district promises to keep neighborhoods together, but right now, it's unclear which schools will be affected.
"I would like to think I'm gonna be the relieved parent, and someone else is gonna be the mad parent," Horn said. "But I understand that may not be the case."
The first draft of the plan will be ready next month. A final plan will be ready in October. The school board won't vote on it until November, and it wouldn't take effect until August 2019.
The district will host more public forums this week: 6 p.m. Tuesday at Oldham County High School and 6 p.m. Thursday at North Oldham High School.
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