Hoover parents speak out about proposed rezoning
Published 8:34 pm Monday, February 8, 2016
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
HOOVER—Several Hoover City Schools parents voiced concerns and questions about the school system’s proposed rezoning plan during a Feb. 8 Board of Education meeting at Berry Middle School.
The proposed plan, revealed during a Feb. 4 community meeting, is designed to redistribute students across the system’s schools to avoid potential overcrowding and to achieve unitary status.
During the Feb. 8 meeting, parents expressed concern about transportation, a desire to keep communities together in schools and requested more information about the rezoning plan.
Southlake resident and Riverchase Elementary School parent Kasey Birdsong requested that children from the Southlake community remain zoned for Riverchase. Birdsong noted the distance from his neighborhood to Riverchase is four miles, while the shortest distance to Rocky Ridge Elementary School is roughly seven and a half miles, part of which is on Interstate 65 and Interstate 459.
Amy Rakes, a Gwin Elementary School parent, voiced concern about the financial burden additional bus routes would place on the school system.
Laura Ann Pitts, a Hoover High School teacher and Gwin parent, and Sephra Faulknier, a Trace Crossings Elementary School parent, both expressed a desire to keep communities together in “neighborhood schools.”
“The Preserve is a walking neighborhood, we walk to school every day and we walk home from school,” Pitts said, explaining Gwin is an important part of her community.
Other parents also requested more information about the plan be released in order to better understand the need and impact of rezoning.
Prior to the public comments, HCS Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy told those gathered at the meeting that community concerns and comments would be taken into account as the rezoning plan is finalized. However, she noted any change made will impact other pieces of the plan.
“Any adjustments…have residual impacts on other parts of the community. As one piece of the plan changes, it doesn’t generally change in isolation,” Murphy said. “It’s not always as easy as it might sound.”
Murphy encouraged parents and concerned community members to visit the rezoning page on the HCS website for more information, Hoovercityschools.net/?DivisionID=20974.
Community meetings about rezoning will be held on Feb. 11 at Brock’s Gap Intermediate School, Feb. 16 at the Hunter Street Baptist Church, Feb. 18 at Green Valley Baptist Church and Feb. 23 at Spain Park High School. Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m.