Fayette school redistricting panel makes more changes to tentative middle school proposal

Fayette County Public Schools central offices at 701 East Main Street, Lexington.
Fayette County Public Schools central offices at 701 East Main Street, Lexington. Herald-Leader

Some Lexington residents got their wish Monday and others did not as the Fayette County Public Schools redistricting committee made changes to its tentative middle school proposal.

After at least 200 people asked the committee to reconsider, the committee decided not to move the Fairway neighborhood from Morton Middle, which is classified as distinguished/progressing in the state's accountability system, to Lexington Traditional Middle School, which is classified as needs improvement/ progressing.

"In terms of geography, it made more sense," committee chair Alan Stein said of keeping Fairway in the Morton attendance area. He said it also fit the committee's guiding principles involving socioeconomic balance and capacity.

The committee is redrawing school assignment boundaries in anticipation of opening two elementary schools in fall 2016 and a sixth high school in fall 2017. Committee members hope to give the school board a recommendation by April, Stein has said.

Additionally, the committee decided not to reassign Creekside at Andover from Edythe J. Hayes Middle, which is classified as proficient/progressing, to Crawford, which is classified as needs improvement/progressing under the tentative plan. Some residents had asked to remain at Hayes.

Crawford teacher Erin Manna, who is on the redistricting committee, questioned whether the committee's overall decisions had benefitted Crawford.

The tentative middle school proposal also had reassigned the Copperfield and Plantation neighborhoods from Beaumont to Jessie Clark. Beaumont most recently was classified as distinguished, and Jessie Clark is classified as distinguished/progressing.

Copperfield resident James Wagers said he was among those who asked to remain at Beaumont because of the neighborhood's longstanding tradition of supporting that school, traffic concerns and maintaining a feeder pattern into Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Last week, the committee said Copperfield and Plantation could stay at Dunbar instead of being moved to Lafayette. But the answer was no Monday when it came to staying at Beaumont Middle.

Most of the guiding principles the committee was charged with maintaining — transportation, capacity and socioeconomic balance — leaned toward the Jessie Clark assignment, Stein said.

Bob Joice, the district's attendance analyst, said other scenarios approved by the committee at Monday's meeting included:

■ Keeping an area near Alumni and Man o' War Boulevard at Tates Creek Middle instead of moving it to Hayes and Morton middles as proposed in the tentative plan.

■ Switching an area near Arlington Elementary School from Winburn Middle to Bryan Station Middle, and switching Hollow Creek and Cane Run from Bryan Station Middle to Winburn.

The committee is expected to consider more changes to the tentative middle school plan at Wednesday's meeting at 4:30 p.m. at Central Office.

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