Proposed Redistricting for Milton High School
Dear Board Members, I am writing you to express my displeasure in the new High School redistricting map as it pertains to the west side of Ga 400. It is very obvious that one group is manipulating the process and promoting their own agenda for what they deem as a desirable high school for themselves. Primary criteria has been ignored as it pertains to proximity. Special classes in the area of AP, music, & art will be eliminated because the census numbers will not be there to support them. Criteria such as traffic patterns have also been ignored in order to appease a certain group. While I respect that the plans were drawn up by Fulton County it would be a total disservice for the Board of Education to vote on a map that the community that elected them does not support. We elected the board to serve all of us not just a certain few. By voting for this map the school board will be in direct violation of FCSS criteria of traffic, future growth, and community. 1). TRAFFIC: It is undisputed that North Fulton is organized along state and local roads that run north to south and parallel to one another like a long row of vertical lines (Arnold Mill Road, Birmingham Highway, Freemanville Road, Bethany Road and Hopewell Road). However, rather than following these north to south arteries your plan requires parents, students and buses to drive east to west on mostly one lane back roads with no shoulder, no guardrails and lined with trees close to the road to get to a school that is in many cases 10 miles away rather than 3 miles away from their home. Additionally, this east west pattern for the high school traffic is inconsistent with the north south bus transportation pattern for the middle school redistricting and the City of Milton traffic planning and road construction plans. This will be a traffic nightmare. 2). FUTURE GROWTH: Based upon the two FCSS power points presented at a Board member community meeting and a Superintendent's Parents Council meeting, the overwhelming majority of projected growth is in the uppermost part of Fulton County. Rather than distributing that growth between Milton and Bethany Bend and follow the north south main roads, ALL of these newly constructed neighborhoods will attend the new Bethany Bend High School. The Milton area, which is far more developed, will be virtually landlocked and its census numbers kept so low that it will be difficult for it to support the AP course offerings needed to keep it a top performing school, not to mention the effect it will have on its ability to earn drama, music, arts instructors, and coaches. 3). COMMUNITY: It is undisputed that the neighborhoods along Birmingham Highway and Freemanville Road have invested time, money and effort working to make Milton the top performing school that it is today. Moreover, we are hearing that these communities OPPOSE the move to Bethany Bend because of concerns about: losing their investment in Milton through parent involvement; losing the high academic standards that are well established at Milton; having children from the same family attending different high schools; new FCSS rules limiting funding/debt for booster clubs(i.e., FCSS is currently requiring high school booster clubs to put down 80% in cash toward capital improvements); increased traffic; and fewer AP course offerings. Moreover, the number of people that will have to make this move against their will is overwhelming. Furthermore, there is very little diversity for Bethany Bend on this new map. There are neighborhoods up the west 400 corridor near the school that could provide some of that diversity but are suspiciously sent further away to Alpahretta High School. My community of Harrington Falls is requesting that the Board reconsider the proposed final plan and retain the neighborhoods along Birmingham Highway and Freemanville Road within the Milton High School attendance zone. If this map resembles the final map Milton High School will no longer be the exceptional school that it is today. By voting for it the school will quickly become something less desirable and quite frankly the blame will be yours. Concerned parents and community members of Milton High School.