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School board expected to vote on elementary rezoning plan tonight

The Madison City Board of Education is expected to vote on an elementary rezoning recommendation tonight. The rezoning is necessary to accommodate the opening of Midtown Elementary School this August.

School officials say the decision will culminate an extensive process including the submission of a proposed plan to the public, solicitation of written comments, public hearings, adjustments from public input, additional community input on those adjustments, and then a final plan.

MCS Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols thanked the community for their input leading up to tonight’s vote. “We fully understand how important this issue is to many of you and the adjustment required of those of you whose children have been rezoned.” he said. “We appreciate and thank you for your input, your patience, and your cooperation through this necessary process. Our district is justifiably proud of the great schools and the quality of the educational resources and opportunities available throughout our school system. So, notwithstanding any reorientation or adjustment made necessary by the proposed rezoning plan, you can be confident that wherever your children are zoned in Madison, they will receive a first-class education.”

“Rezoning is nothing new for Madison City Schools,” Nichols added. “Throughout our 23 years of existence, zone lines have changed because of new schools and also to balance populations from explosive growth. Five elementary schools and a high school have been added since MCS separated from Madison County Schools in 1998, along with major expansions at Bob Jones and Liberty Middle.”

“Our district’s philosophy from the outset has been that our schools are strongest when the attendance zones – demographically, culturally, and from a socioeconomic standpoint – are as close as possible to being mirror images of each other. We firmly believe that implementing that philosophy has been key to the District’s academic success. Each required rezoning is viewed through a lens of how best to continue the balance that is the hallmark of our schools,” he said.

Nichols said the rezoning plan he is proposing has been vetted by the Counsel for the United States and private plaintiffs in a 60-year-old desegregation case.  “The District is party to a long-standing desegregation suit initially brought against the Madison County Board of Education more than 60 years ago,” Nichols explained. “Since 2017, the District Court now overseeing that case has reviewed annual reports and notices of rezoning plans submitted by MCS.”

He said the current final proposed elementary rezoning plan has been reviewed without objection to the plan. The United States District Court presiding over the suit was given 30 days advance notice of the District’s proposed rezoning plan and has interposed no objection to it. “Given those developments, the plan is ready for final consideration by the BOE. If approved by the Board, the District expects to proceed promptly with the registration of elementary students for the fall semester.”

“Please bear with us because, as you know, we are planning for the opening of our third middle school in the Fall of 2022,” Nichols added. “We have already circulated an initial draft rezoning plan for the anticipated opening of Journey Middle School in the Fall of 2022. The process for finalizing that rezoning plan will be similar to the plan for the elementary rezoning, although we hope to have it completed somewhat sooner in advance of the opening of Journey Middle.”

You can go here to find more information about the elementary rezoning plan:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a9rvZz4AJjFZLAWBlkVkg7N-qFIHDEiw/view

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