ARES History & FAQ
Our 10th elementary school opened to students in August 2023. The BCSS Board of Education decided on November 1, 2022, that the 10th elementary school will be rezoned as a traditional K-5 elementary school.
You will find answers to FAQ about the rezoning process below.
Questions About the New School
We are thrilled to announce Julia Hodges as the principal for the new elementary school. The Board of Education approved Ms. Hodges for the top spot at the school during the Jan. 3 Work Session. Read more about Ms. Hodges.
The public is welcome to offer suggestions through an online survey until Feb. 17. The Interim Governance Team of the new school made up of the Principal, community members, and parents who live within the new attendance zone will then review those suggestions. The committee will narrow the suggestions down to a short list, giving consideration to the following:
- Names of communities served by the school
- Geographical locations in proximity of the school (creeks, lakes, roads, etc.)
- Landmarks (Fort, Ridge, etc. )
- Individuals who have made significant contributions to local education (last name only will be used in school name)
Submitted names and recommendations will be presented to the Board of Education, who will then make the final decision.
BCSS will continue to provide school bus transportation as an option for students attending the new school. BCSS will not provide transportation for students were rezoned but were approved to stay put at their current school.
Students who receive services currently will continue to receive them, regardless of attendance zones.
Yes, we anticipate being able to offer Pre-K at the new elementary school. BCSS must apply and get approval to add additional Pre-K classes in the county, so we will not know until that process is completed in the spring.
The process and options for transfers will be communicated with our staff. You can see career opportunities for all of our schools and departments on our job portal.
Questions Related to Staff & Future Plans
Phase II of the Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy High School is currently underway. This will add a second academic building on the campus and complete construction for BASA with a capacity of 1,800 students. Grading for a new middle school is nearly complete at the Innovation Campus but timing for building construction is dependent upon available state and local funding. Additional land is being studied for future school construction as well.
New school planning is an ongoing process. Our staff consider existing property and explore the purchase of new property as future school sites. As a district, we must accumulate funding at the State level to pair with available local funds to construct new classrooms. State funding typically lags the actual growth that we see. Mobile classroom units will be utilized to accommodate growth.
Transportation will continue to transport staff children to other BCSS schools where possible.
Contracts are with the school system, not with specific schools. It is unlikely that all transfer decisions would be made prior to the release of contracts.
Typically, schools are rezoned to accommodate growth in one or more areas. Rezoning will relieve overcrowding at the current Apalachee cluster elementary schools by setting the attendance zones for the new school and adjusting the attendance zones for the remaining elementary schools in the cluster.
School Choice options are available to all students through the BCSS HB251 process, which typically happens in May. The new elementary school is dedicated to relieving the overcrowding in the Apalachee cluster elementary schools. School choice would not be available for the new school for the first four years.
The Barrow County Board of Education will allow all current Apalachee Cluster 4th, 6th and 7th grade students, who are attending school within their current attendance zone and have been rezoned, to make the election to remain at their current school with certain provisions. (They must provide their own transportation, for example.) Families with students who meet the criteria to "stay-put" will receive a letter and a form in the mail.
The Board of Education voted to approve the Apalachee Rezoning Committee recommendation for the Middle School Hybrid Option. This option does not maintain the feeder school format which means some elementary schools will feed into more than one middle school.
Transportation’s goal is to keep routes as short as possible. We try not to have any student on a route that is scheduled to take longer than 1 hour.
Yes, elementary students will ride separate buses from older students. There are no plans to combine elementary students with middle or high school students on buses.
The new elementary school will help alleviate overcrowding in the Apalachee cluster elementary schools. The new school will reduce the overall number of students in each AHS cluster elementary school by an average of 250-300 students per school. Some schools are currently more overcrowded than others and will see more relief. It is important to note that class size is dependent on the total number of students in each grade level.
Trailers may not be necessary to use next school year. Some of the mobile units will likely be left at each campus to accommodate future growth.
During the rezoning planning process, a committee of school staff and parents is created to provide input on attendance lines. Tentative maps have been shared and can be viewed here. You may offer feedback through the form link on that page. Final rezone maps would be available sometime in the late winter. The rezoning would go into effect at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year when the new school opens.
Our routing and planning software is designed to create maps and tell us which students fall into each attendance zone. A committee including representatives from each school will make recommendations regarding the attendance zones based on the data provided by this program. The goal is to balance the number of students attending each school.
Students will complete the 2022-2023 school year at their current schools. Rezoning planning would be completed this school year. Implementation would go into effect at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year when the new school opens.
This is a great suggestion. We will share this idea with principals once a final decision is made about the new school.
This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.