WRGC News | Baldwin Schools Superintendent Recommends Splitting K - 5 Schools

In their regular meeting on Tuesday, School Board members will decide to what degree they will change elementary education in Baldwin County.

Superintendent Noris Price will recommend breaking up the county’s four Kindergarten through fifth grade elementary schools into pairs of K to 2nd grade and 3rd  to 5th grade schools. These changes would take affect before the next school year.

School Board members have the option to approve or reject the superintendent’s recommendation, or send it back for changes.

The Board also will vote on adopting an updated attendance map, which dictates where students attend elementary school. This is the first update to the attendance map in 20 years.

Updating the attendance map will give school system administrators a fall back plan should school board officials reject the plan to move to K through 2 and 3rd through 5th grade schools.

Both these changes seek to correct imbalances in the number of students attending each of the four elementary schools.

Right now, Creekside elementary school enrolls roughly 31 percent of the county’s twenty-eight hundred elementary students. Midway elementary, the county’s least populous school, teaches about 19 percent. And the remainder are split between Blandy Hills and Eagle Ridge.

Superintendent Price told parents in community meetings held in December and January that Creekside’s popularity is causing stress on the school’s physical resources. Lunchroooms, the library and hallways are overcrowded.  And that’s having a ripple effect throughout the learning environment.

But efforts to correct the imbalance have been contentious. Parents had tough questions for schools administrators during the public input meetings. And some parents even created a group on facebook to protest the redistricting process.

Many parents don’t want to change the school their children attend. And failing Georgia School report card scores at two county elementary schools has many people afraid that their students’ education might suffer.

Parent Amber Palmer attended the public input meetings in December and January. She has two children enrolled at different elementary schools. She ‘s worried about the changes just like any other parent, but she said she’d trying to keep the bigger picture in mind.

"I'm hopeful my fourth grader gets to stay where he's at, with the lines it looks like he wil ,but if they go with the K-2 I don't know where he'll end up. And i guess what's important is he's in school to learn he's not here to make friends and I know that was brought up kids are worried that they're going to lose their friends but that's not why they're here. I'm here for my kid to get an education."

The Baldwin County School Board meets at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 14th at the district offices, which are located at 110 North ABC Street, just of the 441 Bypass.