Originally discussed in June 2020, Enterprise City School officials have moved forward with rezoning the system’s elementary schools and transitioning the Early Education Center into a kindergarten through sixth grade school. The new zones will go into effect for the 2021-2022 school year.
At the June 2020 board meeting, Superintendent Greg Faught recalled a review of all Enterprise City Schools that took place five years ago by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools review team. Two researchers observed six classes each at the Early Education Center and voiced concerns about their findings. A year and a half later when Faught became interim superintendent, he visited the same schools and heard similar concerns from first grade teachers about kindergarteners not being prepared for their new challenges.
“Rather than dismiss those concerns as random complaints, I chose to look into that,” Faught said. “I met with Mr. Waller Martin, Early Education Center principal, and his staff and leadership team, every first grade teacher and every first grade principal to listen to different ideas and perceptions about education and grade configuration. I received valuable feedback that helped change the way I saw things as well as reaffirmed some of the things I thought I already knew.”
Although improvements were evident after some changes were made as a result of the review, parents, teachers and principals alike continued to express both concerns and a desire for a neighborhood school. As the old concerns got repeated and new information came to light, Faught decided it was the right time to revisit the issue.
“You can’t make a good decision if you don’t have good information, so when new information becomes available we try to base our decisions on that,” Faught said. “There are also teachers and parents who would like to keep their kindergarten students at the Early Education Center. I recognize and respect both opinions, but in the end I’m responsible for the overall instructional program here within the school system, and I’m charged with making the recommendation that I believe will give our students an educational advantage moving forward.”
Faught went on to outline five key aspects surrounding education that would be positively affected by the rezoning: transportation, personnel, special populations, testing and accountability and instruction. He also said capacity would be a major contributing factor in the decision, citing an increase of 144 students last year compared to the year before.
Jason Stump, director of Secondary Education, said at the board meeting on Feb. 2—when the decision was announced—confirmed that capacity issues were one of the main reasons for the rezone.
“As you know, because of the school reconfigurations and some capacity issues, we saw that there was going to be a need to rezone. We did a spot rezone a year prior, and it seems like every few years it’s going to be time to shuffle some students around and create better situations in the schools as far as capacity goes,” he said.
In order to maintain the “feeder school” pattern, students who reside in the new Holly Hill or Hillcrest Elementary zone will attend Dauphin Jr. High, and students who reside in the new Enterprise Early Education, Harrand Creek, Pinedale or Rucker Boulevard Elementary zone will attend Coppinville Jr. High. Junior high students that live on Fort Rucker will continue to be assigned to Coppinville Jr. High.
After the transition at the beginning of the 2021 school year, Stump said Coppinville will be at a slightly higher capacity than Dauphin, but in about three years the numbers should catch up.
“If we tried to even them out right now, Dauphin would be way higher than Coppinville, and Coppinville has more capacity. It’s better to leave them the way they are right now, and if something big happens down the road we can always do a spot rezone,” he said.
Reading the zoning map
The solid areas of the map indicate the Enterprise City School System’s elementary zones for 2021-2022.
The areas with lines/dashes are out of district extensions of Elementary zones to merely indicate the new placement of currently enrolled students. Out of district students are required to pay tuition, and new out of district students are required to go through the application process for enrollment to the Enterprise City Schools.
“We know that sometimes when reading the map, especially where the boundaries meet, determining your correct zone may be unclear,” Stump said. “Because of bussing concerns, there are some roads where two students who live on opposite sides of that road may attend two different schools—such as Lee Street, Glover Avenue, E. Park, Plaza/Hwy 167 and Hwy 84/N. Main. But, there are also some roads where students that live on both sides of the road will attend the same school (Shellfield Road, Meredith Street, W. Adams Street).”
To avoid confusion, Enterprise City Schools have created a Google document of city streets and the corresponding elementary and junior high school assignments. The document and an enlarged version of the rezone map can both be found online at www.enterpriseschools.net.
For any questions regarding which school your child will attend, call the Enterprise City Schools Transportation Department at 334-347-6867.