District Five Board requests more redistricting scenarios, focus on new school attendance zone

The Lexington-Richland School District Five Board of Trustees is seeking more options for the district’s redistricting plan. 

During a board workshop on January 6, board members asked engineering and planning firm Milone & MacBroom to create two more scenarios that would address the “immediate need” of creating an attendance zone for Piney Woods Elementary School in Chapin, which is slated to open this fall.

The two new scenarios would reassign students currently attending Chapin Elementary and Lake Murray Elementary School only, as part of a short-term solution. Trustees said they would later consider district-wide redistricting as part of a long-term goal. 

The two new scenarios would be available for public viewing January 15 at www.lexrich5.org/redistrictingmap. Public input on the scenarios will be collected through an email address dedicated to redistricting at [email protected]

“We still have before us, the entire redistricting plan, so we want the public to know that we’re not kicking that down the road…but we know immediately we need Piney Woods,” Chairwoman Jan Hammond said. “It doesn’t mean we have taken off the table the big picture. No one needs to worry. That will be forthcoming.”

Milone & MacBroom was approved by the Board in October 2019 to study capacity and growth in School District Five. The study by the company was prompted by growth in the Chapin area and a need to redistrict for the planned new elementary school in Chapin, but the firm’s study also examines capacity and growth across the district as part of that process. Any recommendations by Milone & MacBroom will be presented publicly to the School Board for implementation and approval. Trustees said Wednesday they could vote on a redistricting plan as early as January 25, which is the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting.

School District Five began collecting public input on redistricting last summer, as Milone & MacBroom made reports to the board. A redistricting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) web page also was created, utilizing the questions submitted to its dedicated email address for answering questions. Members of the public can view information, videos and presentations on the district website at lexrich5.org/redistricting). In November and December, the district held two virtual events to answer questions from the community, along with other community outreach opportunities.“

Redistricting, which is commonly referred to as rezoning, is a very important action for any school district, and we know that it’s important to continue to share information and keep our community informed and engaged throughout this process,” said Dr. Christina Melton, superintendent. “Our commitment is to look for ways to share information and answer questions through online tools. We welcome the input and engagement of ourcommunity.”