COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Some Columbia County students will be switching schools in the next two years.

The closure of South Columbia Elementary School, and the opening of the new North Columbia and Westmont Elementary Schools are prompting the county to propose rezoning for some areas.

“Relocating students is never an easy thing, but anytime you close a school down, whatever that enrollment is you have to find a home for all of those students,” said Associate Superintendent Penny Jackson.

The elementary schools affected are Blue Ridge, Brookwood, Evans, Lewiston, and Martinez. Students who were moved to other schools when the old Westmont closed, will go back to its new building.

“You try to do it in a way that accommodates where they live, closer so there’s not a whole lot of disruption to their day,” Jackson said. “But, you also try to look at the transportation routes, and what’s the safest and easiest way to get off our roads, and you look at the capacities of some of our buildings.”

Areas will also be removed from the Grovetown High School zone. That will affect Evans Middle, Grovetown Middle, and Evans High Schools.

And one area of the Harlem High and Harlem Middle zone will be switching to Greenbrier.

“Evans Middle and High could accommodate some extra students and we could relieve Grovetown High and Grovetown Middle just a little bit, and then we made those changes to Harlem Middle and Harlem High simply to accommodate those bus routes,” Jackson said.

The presentation on Tuesday was the first in a series of four. 

“We’ll take every suggestion, we read every single one of them. And so we encourage parents to be at those meetings, and or if they can’t be at the meeting, the presentation is going to be on the website,” Jackson said.

They hope to get final approval for the plan at the November 14th meeting.

“What we would do then is start meeting with parents and teachers and stakeholders so that we can properly allot personnel for the next year and so families can start planning accordingly,” Jackson said.

The presentation will be on the school board’s website on Wednesday.

The next meetings will be on:

  • Tuesday, November 7, 2023 – 6:00 p.m. at Martinez Elementary, located at 213 Flowing Wells Rd., Martinez, GA. 30907
  • Thursday, November 9, 2023 – 6:00 p.m. at North Columbia Elementary, located at 2784 Ray Owens Rd., Appling, GA 30802
  • Thursday, November 9, 2023 – 6:00 p.m. at North Columbia Elementary, located at 2784 Ray Owens Rd., Appling, GA 30802
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2023 – 5:30 p.m., at the Columbia County Board of Education, located at 4781 Hereford Farm Rd., Evans, GA. 30809, during the Regular Session meeting of the Board of Education.