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No redistricting slated for John Adams Middle

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Kanawha County Schools has no immediate plans for shifting students currently attending John Adams Middle School to South Charleston Middle School.

However, a parent of a Ruthlawn student trying to sell his home heard from potential buyers who allegedly spoke with John Adams administrators that the house was now in the attendance zone for South Charleston.

"I realize that this is a sore subject but, as you may expect, it has chased off - or played a significant role in chasing off - potential homebuyers," the parent wrote in an email to the board of education and the Daily Mail.

"It goes without saying that we have an obligation to tell potential homebuyers the truth and this subject is one that parents, as potential homebuyers, take very seriously."

Superintendent Ron Duerring said Wednesday he had not heard of any confusion concerning the redistricting situation for Ruthlawn or any other school in the John Adams attendance area.

"Perhaps we have to communicate even better - you know you can always communicate better - that we're not visiting that plan right now about redistricting kids from John Adams to South Charleston Middle," Duerring said.

Parents of students at Alum Creek and Ruthlawn elementaries, which currently feed into the South Hills middle school, cried foul when rumors swirled that their children could be sent to South Charleston.

John Adams is cramped and requires seven portable classrooms to accommodate a student body rapidly approaching 750 children.

In December, the state School Building Authority voted to allocate $750,000 to the Kanawha County school system to help fund the addition of four classrooms to the John Adams building. At the time Duerring said it would help address safety concerns, but it also put thoughts of shifting students from the school on the back burner.

It doesn't address the concern about continued construction in the South Hills area.

"Not in the immediate future, but we're going to have to take a look at how many units are being built, how many of those are moving in with families and determine then whether or not we need to look at another school or whatever because there are just that many housing plans going in up there," Duerring told the Daily Mail in December.

Developer Alan Bell has pledged to help raise the additional $250,000 the school system needs to complete the John Adams addition. Duerring said he hopes Bell can raise the money and the project is still in the design phase.

Bell recently told the Daily Mail he had put up $25,000 of his own money for the project and hoped others would follow suit. He did not return a phone message Wednesday.

The county does plan to shift some students among other schools when Duerring presents a redistricting plan to the board in late February.

Some attendance zones for Overbrook Elementary School in South Hills will be altered to address overcrowding there, Duerring said. Affected students would attend either Kenna or Holz elementary schools, in a planned shift the school system has kicked around for the past few months following complaints from Overbrook parents.

On Charleston's West Side, some students at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School will be shifted to Grandview Elementary School in North Charleston. Mary C. Snow is over capacity by about 150 students. Grandview needs more students, according to both schools' principals.

Duerring said some students attending Flinn Elementary School would be moved to Sissonville Elementary School.

Duerring said he would present the details at the regular board meeting Feb. 21. It's scheduled for 6 p.m. at the board offices on Elizabeth Street.

Contact writer Dave Boucher at 304-348-4843 or Follow him at ;


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