BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It’s been 18 months since Birmingham City Schools hired a new superintendent.
"And one of the first things that she did was listening and learning tours throughout the city,” says Birmingham City School Board member Dr. Mark Sullivan.
Through those tours, they learned people wanted to see a cleaner feeder pattern.
“Cause we had children that would be in elementary school together, but then go to separate middle schools and high schools,” says board member Terri Michal.
They took the elementary schools and drew a circle around them with a two-mile radius. They did the same for middle and high schools. Everyone within those two miles would be zoned for that school.
“All of the research shows that keeping kids cohorted in a group is socially beneficial. Not only is it socially beneficial, it is also academically beneficial,” says Sullivan.
Last night, board members voted to approve zoning and feeder patterns for Jackson-Olin and Wenonah communities. Charts on their website found here explain what schools will feed where.
Other changes are in store. Officials are closing Center Street K-8. Students will be split between Wylam, which will become the new elementary school, and Bush Hills Academy which will become the new middle school. There will also be changes for Arrington Middle.
“Arrington Middle school, which is in the Wenonah feeding pattern, that school will go from being a middle school to an elementary school,” says Sullivan.
The overflow from Oxmoor Valley Elementary will go to Arrington. Middle school students from Arrington will then go to Washington.
As for the other school’s feeder patterns, they’ve got 30 days to come up with those, talk to the community and present a plan to the rest of the board for their approval before the next school year.