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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, March 6, 2020

East Hamilton, Ooltewah redistricting plans revised




Redistricting plans continue to evolve as Hamilton County Schools reviews community responses to plans for changes in attendance areas.

The changes are required due to the addition of the new East Hamilton Middle School this fall.

Hamilton County Schools has revised the attendance area maps for the East Hamilton and Ooltewah attendance areas after considering the information received during discussions with parents during community meetings and the results of the initial redistricting proposal survey.

The primary changes to the attendance areas for East Hamilton Middle, East Hamilton High, Ooltewah Middle and Ooltewah High include moving Area 6, which includes Valley View, Holly Hills, Forest Shadow Estates and Cedar Creek, and Area 7, which includes Oak Shadows, Lakes of Standifer and Shenandoah, into the East Hamilton attendance area.

If approved by the board, the new attendance areas will go into effect for the 2020-21 school year.

Hamilton County Schools sent a survey to parents in the East Hamilton and Ooltewah attendance areas to solicit additional thoughts regarding the revisions to the attendance area maps.

Redistricting will also be required in the Harrison and Clifton Hills communities due to the new elementary school in the Harrison community, also opening in the fall.

No changes have been made to the maps for the Harrison or Clifton Hills communities from the original proposals shared with the community in public meetings and through a survey sent to parents.

Until the school board approves a recommendation, no attendance lines will be finalized. A recommendation for redistricting is expected to be presented to the board for approval at its regular March meeting.

East Hamilton Middle School will be a 175,000-square-foot facility in the Missionary Ridge Learning Community. The new school is a major project in the $125 million building plan the Hamilton County Board of Education approved in October 2017.

The Hamilton County Commission approved funding of East Hamilton Middle and other district building projects to address school facility needs. The new school will hold 1,200 students, allowing the building to accommodate current students and the growth expected in the East Hamilton community.

The new school will feature all-new learning technology, group learning areas and STEM labs and will have fields for football, soccer, softball and baseball.

East Hamilton Middle will be the new home to sixth, seventh and eighth grade students in the East Hamilton area when the school opens in August.

Moving the middle school grades from the current East Hamilton Middle/High facility will allow for more growth opportunities at what will become East Hamilton High School, says a news release from Hamilton County Schools.

The new Harrison Elementary is under construction on Highway 58 across the street from the existing school.

Harrison Elementary will have 80 classrooms, age-appropriate playgrounds for the different age groups in the school, a gym and spaces for children to use skills learned in STEM activities.

The completed school will accommodate up to 880 students.

Source: Hamilton County Schools

Related link

Updated maps for the middle school and high school attendance zones in East Hamilton and Ooltewah are available online.