New School will be a K-5 Elementary

November 2022 Photo of New School Construction

Student enrollment increases over the last five years in AHS cluster elementary schools required the construction of a new elementary school. 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. The school will be located on the Innovation Campus off Austin Road. It will open in August for the 2023-2024 school year. You can watch the presentation and discussion at the school board meeting here.

During the months of August and September 2022, school and district leaders discussed ideas for the new school with the School Governance Teams (SGTs) at each school in the Apalachee Cluster. Two feasible options were considered for the new elementary school.

  • The new elementary school could be a traditional elementary school with students from Pre-K or Kindergarten to 5th grade in the AHS cluster. Students would be rezoned from Auburn, Bethlehem, Kennedy, and Yargo Elementary Schools. 
  • All fourth and fifth-grade students from Bethlehem, Kennedy, and Yargo Elementary Schools could attend the new school on the Innovation Campus together. (Auburn ES would have a separate 4-5 Academy on its existing campus.) Grades K-3 would remain on their zoned campus.

You can read more about considerations for each option here

A survey (open Sept 16-23) was sent to families and staff in the AHS Cluster to get feedback on two options. Questions submitted in the survey were answered on the Frequently Asked Questions page of the website here. This page also allowed additional questions to be submitted at any time.

  • 1,730 individual survey responses were received.
  • The majority of all responses preferred the traditional rezone option. 
  • 75% of elementary school teachers preferred the traditional rezone option. 
  • 53% of parents preferred the traditional rezone option. 

Information meetings were held at the affected elementary schools the week after fall break. In each meeting, more details were provided about the two options. You can find recordings of each meeting on the BCSS YouTube channel here. Attendees, both in-person and online, submitted questions that were answered by a panel of district leaders at the meetings. Attendees were asked to complete a post-meeting survey to gather further preferences for the two options. 

  • 74.5% of meeting attendees preferred the traditional rezone prior to the meeting, and 72.5% preferred the rezone after the meeting.

Based on these results and other considered factors, the Superintendent recommended designating the 10th elementary school as a traditional K-5 school and moving ahead with the rezoning of the existing Apalachee Cluster elementary and middle schools as necessary. (We anticipate being able to offer Pre-K at the new school, but that will depend on a state approval process that occurs in the spring).

Next steps:

  • A committee of school staff and parents will be created to provide input on attendance lines.
  • Tentative maps will be shared with families this fall or winter for additional input and consideration.
  • Final rezone maps would be available sometime in the late winter or early spring.
  • The rezoning would go into effect at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year when the new school opens.

More information will be shared with families and staff in the coming months.

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