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Cabell BOE hears plans to smooth enrollment

Dec. 05, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Assistant Director of Transportation for Cabell County Schools presented several slight changes to various elementary and middle school boundaries that would help smooth out enrollment for some of the most populated facilities at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening.

Joe Meadows' presentation to school board members was based on computer mapping software that shows where students live and which schools they currently attend. He said the software, along with GPS systems in the buses, help when they plan bus routes.

The changes that he called possibilities would help with some overcrowding issues at Barboursville Middle School and Village of Barboursville, Southside and Milton elementary schools. Some proposals also would make minor boundary changes for Huntington, Milton and the new Huntington East Middle School that is under construction; and Meadows, Culloden, Martha, Geneva Kent, Davis Creek, Nichols and Hite-Saunder elementary schools. If changes were put in place right now, it would affect about 434 students, added Sherri Woods, director of Student Services.

Superintendent William Smith said he wants to have public meetings, something board members agreed on.

But there seemed to be some differing of opinion on when any of the changes might take effect. Smith said he would feel more comfortable having board members vote at an upcoming meeting but have changes be implemented for the 2014-15 school year. That would give time for the community to adjust and would take the pressure off the central office in trying to get staffing adjusted for the 2013-14 school year.

Board member Bennie Thomas, however, said if changes are going to be made, he would prefer those that affect the new Huntington East Middle School be put in place before it opens in January 2014. Under the possible changes Meadows presented was taking 59 kids who would be at the new middle school and move them to Huntington Middle by moving the current eastern boundary line from 20th Street to 29th Street. Then, those students on Hughes Branch Road would go from the Barboursville Middle zone to Huntington East. It would affect 21 students. However, the latter move would decrease the distance by two miles, and by another five miles when those students attend Huntington High School instead of Cabell Midland.

Among the other proposals, some of which Meadows described as easier than others, were:

Move Raccoon, Bowen's and Madison creeks, moving 30 students from Barboursville to Milton Middle.

Extend Huntington Middle boundary from 16th Street to the railroad tracks at 22nd Street, affecting 1 student.

Move the Meadows boundary from 14th Street to 12th Street between Washington Boulevard and 8th Avenue, moving 34 students from Southside to Meadows.

Move the Timberlake and Pinecrest neighborhoods along U.S. 60, which would move 34 students from Village of Barboursville to Davis Creek.

Move approximately 24 students in Clay Estates from Village of Barboursville to Martha.

Move approximately 34 students along Linmont Drive and Mud River Road from Village of Barboursville to Nichols.

Move approximately 38 students in the Spurlock's Creek and Union Ridge areas to Cox Landing from Milton Elementary, which would decrease travel time.

Move students on James River Turnpike, East Mud River Road, Hidden Brook, Lee's Creek, Stone Street and Morris Court -- approximately 82 -- to Culloden from Milton elementary.

Move the boundary line for Hite-Saunders and Geneva Kent elementary schools from Garden Farms to Kay Crest, affecting 13 students.

Board members will meet from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at 2850 5th Ave., Huntington, for a special retreat to go over county data. The next regular meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 18.

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