Pelham BOE planning meeting with Chelsea parents

Hundreds have attended previous public meetings to discuss future zoning for Pelham residents who currently attend Chelsea schools. (File)

Hundreds have attended previous public meetings to discuss future zoning for Pelham residents who currently attend Chelsea schools. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

The Pelham Board of Education likely will call a special meeting to talk with Pelham residents whose children currently are zoned for Chelsea schools, Pelham School Board President Rick Rhoades said during a Jan. 27 meeting.

About 50 parents of children who currently attend Chelsea schools attended the standing-room-only Pelham School Board meeting at Pelham City Hall, and several voiced concerns about their children possibly being rezoned to Pelham schools after the city finalizes its split with the Shelby County School System.

“I believe it is in the best interest of our children for them to stay in the school system they are in now,” Lee Jordan, a Pelham resident currently zoned for Chelsea schools, told Pelham School Board members. “I look forward to you holding up your pledge to do what’s best for the children.”

Pelham School Board members are working to finalize the city’s split from the Shelby County School System by July 1. Bob Brown, a resident of the Oaklyn Hills subdivision off Shelby County 36, said he looked “forward to coming to a resolution quickly” with the Pelham School System, as the end of the school year is only a few months away.

“This impacts us. We are all looking for what’s best for our families,” Brown said. “We are trying to maintain what our children have now, and what we bought into when we bought our homes.”

Rhoades said the Pelham School Board could not answer many of the Chelsea parents’ questions during the meeting, but said he would like to set up a meeting with the parents soon to discuss the matter.

“I wish this was not an issue, but we know it is, and we want to try to find a solution that is agreeable to everyone,” Rhoades said. “We are not ready to answer these questions tonight. We need to talk, and I think that is the next step.”

“Nobody up here wants to go through what you guys are going through,” said School Board member Paul Howell. “The kids go to school together, they play ball together. Nobody wants to break that up.”

Pelham School Board member Angie Hester said the board will post an announcement for the special-called meeting on the city’s website at Pelhamonline.com.