County BOE approves plan for its students to exit Alabaster schools

By KATIE MCDOWELL/General Manager

COLUMBIANA – Rising sixth graders and incoming kindergarteners who live in unincorporated areas of the Shelby County School System’s former Alabaster school zone will enter county schools beginning in the 2014-2015 school year.

The plan, which was approved by the Shelby County Board of Education during its Jan. 23 meeting in Columbiana, was first developed as part of the separation agreement between Shelby County School and the newly formed Alabaster City Schools, which is in its first year of operation.

“This is to carry out the separation agreement with students who live in unincorporated areas of what was our Alabaster zone,” Shelby County Schools Deputy Superintendent Tom Ferguson said.

Ferguson said the students will be rezoned to Helena, Montevallo, Calera, Columbiana and a small section to Pelham. The separation agreement was approved in the spring, but it took the Shelby County School System time to identify which school affected students will attend.

The Shelby County School System will post additional information about the rezoning for the parents of affected children on its website, Shelbyed.k12.al.us.

Ferguson said affected students who are currently in sixth-12 grades will be able to attend Alabaster schools through graduation.

“The fifth grade is an exit point,” he said.

Affected students who are currently in elementary school will be able to complete fifth grade before being rezoned to a county school. Incoming kindergarteners for 2014-2015 who live in the affected area will enter county schools when they start school this fall.

By 2020, only students in Alabaster’s city limits will attend Alabaster schools.