Schools ‘correct mistake,’ move 20 students out of Ward

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Error affects only students on Twelve Oaks side of Carlton Lane

By Shannon Brock

About 20 Emma B. Ward Elementary School students will be assigned to another school for the 2009-10 school year because of an error made when school assignments — based on newly created attendance areas — were handed out last year.

Superintendent Kim Shaw told the Board of Education during a work session Thursday that the “snag” was found when assignments for incoming first-graders were being made for next year.

Derek Shouse, who will begin as the district’s director of student services on July 1, told the board the students affected live on the Twelve Oaks side of Carlton Lane, which is part of one of two “flex zones.”

This particular flex zone is supposed to feed students into Robert B. Turner and Saffell Street elementary schools. However, a mistake was made and around 20 students from the area were assigned to Ward for this school year.

“The best approach is to be honest,” Shouse said. “We made a mistake, and we’re correcting that mistake.”

Lee Hahn, vice chairman of the board, agreed that honesty would be best in the situation, and board member Steve Higgins said he still expects a little “static” over the change.

Parents of students who were mistakenly assigned to Ward for the current school year will be notified of their child’s new placement. Those parents will have the option of applying for a transfer.

Shouse said a lot of the students who will be affected were “car riders” anyway, and he expects at least some of them to apply for transfers.

Incoming first-graders in the area will not be affected as they have only been assigned to Turner and Saffell.

Also during the work session, Larry Basham, current assistant superintendent and future energy manager for the district, presented an energy management report and discussed ways the district is trying to conserve energy, including the building “shutdowns” that took place over Spring Break.

After the work session, the board began a special meeting and renewed its contract with One Call Now.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.