Residents of the Candies Creek area met Monday to express concerns related to the rezoning Cleveland City Schools will do as it prepares to open its new elementary school in August …
Residents of the Candies Creek area met Monday to express concerns related to the rezoning Cleveland City Schools will do as it prepares to open its new elementary school in August 2019.
Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary School, which is named after a Cherokee school with historic ties to the area, is now being built off Georgetown Road/Highway 60. The Cleveland Board of Education this fall began a months-long rezoning process.
Monday's meeting was organized by resident Chris Berry, who gave a presentation based on his knowledge of how school officials are handling the rezoning process.
“They cannot make everybody happy, and they may not be able to give you exactly what you want, but they want you to feel like you have been heard,” Berry said. “You have an opportunity to have your voice be heard.”
The residents invited to attend the meeting were from subdivisions such as Mountain Point, Mountain Brook, Kensington Park, Lakewood and the Magnolias which are currently zoned for Ernest L. Ross Elementary and Donald P. Yates Primary.
However, Berry said it “is not immediately obvious” where children in that part of Cleveland will attend school in the future. He also noted every school zone in Cleveland stands to be affected by rezoning.
“I do think our neighborhoods should be kept together,” Berry said. “If we ask for that, if our community stays together, we know there will be a good core of students and parents involved.”
He argued that many parents in the Candies Creek area value the idea of their children all being able to go to the same public schools. He later invited parents to sign a letter to the Cleveland Board of Education saying they do not wish for their homes to be placed in separate school zones.
“That is the scariest thing about rezoning, friends being split apart for school,” said resident Lucy Rymer.
Fellow resident Julie Ruis said she likes that the Cleveland Board of Education has been “really open” about the rezoning process, but she is also concerned about how it will affect children in her area.
In addition to residents, the meeting was attended by Cleveland City Schools Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jeff Elliott, Cleveland Board of Education Chair Dawn Robinson and Cleveland City Councilman Tom Cassada.
All answered questions the residents had about rezoning, and addressed what Berry had said in his presentation. Robinson stressed the board’s desire to create a rezoning plan which would benefit everyone.
“We want to make sure we move students so all students have equitable opportunities in their schools,” Robinson said.
The Cleveland Board of Education is having a special called meeting related to rezoning on Monday, Dec. 17, at 3 p.m. at the Cleveland City Schools administrative offices at 4300 Mouse Creek Road N.W.
Attendees at Monday’s meeting were encouraged to attend the meeting and learn more about the rezoning process. The meeting will also be live-streamed online by Cleveland High School’s CHSLive.
Robinson said the board hopes to end that meeting with two drafts of the new rezoning map, which will be made available online at www.clevelandschools.org. A meeting to get feedback from the public is being scheduled for January.
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