Public hearing for rezoning plan to be held tonight

Superintendent Robby Parker introduced a rezoning plan for Madison City Schools for the 2018-19 school year.

The proposal, pending final board approval in March, would reassign nearly 200 students. (Superintendent Parker’s letter outlining reasons below)

A public hearing has been set for March 1, beginning 6 p.m., at the Central Office.

View elementary zoning proposal here.

View secondary zoning proposal here.

The new zone alignments will affect both high schools and middle schools, and four elementary schools. Zones currently in place for Columbia, Horizon and West Madison Elementary will remain unchanged. Waivers will be made available for any student currently in grades 7-11 in the secondary school-zone change path who want to stay where they are.

Superintendent Parker said the intent of the zoning changes is to ensure socio-economic equality in every school. “Schools should be similar socio-economically and reflect the diversity of the district,” he said. Efforts were made to achieve that balance while impacting as few students as possible.


Last week I proposed a rezoning plan that reassigns some areas to different schools.

The proposal was designed in an attempt to impact as few people as possible.

To the 200 or so students it will affect, my heart feels the concerns. Therefore, I am recommending that any middle school student currently enrolled and affected by the proposed secondary rezone, be allowed to complete a waiver form to allow you to finish attending your school, as long as you provide transportation.

That means any student in grades 7-11 who is recommended to be rezoned can remain in that school and graduate from the high school they are currently zoned to attend.

Let me talk for a moment about why this rezoning is necessary.

The hallmark of Madison City Schools is that our district is not one of haves and have-not schools.

Every school in Madison is a high performing school. No matter where you live in Madison, you are zoned for a quality school.
Our district has remained that way because superintendents and boards before me had the courage to take the necessary steps to keep schools similar socio-economically to reflect the diversity of the district.

Why is this balance important?

I believe every child in Madison deserves equal opportunities to thrive. Children in schools of high poverty don’t have the kind of peer influence, PTA support, and other conditions that more balanced schools have. A strong school district feeds off of itself, making individual schools powerhouses for learning.

Look at the recent state-issued report cards. Madison City was one of only two school districts out of 137 statewide where every single school received an A. That’s outstanding. The other was Mountain Brook, which virtually has no poverty.
There’s no question that we have the best kids, the best teachers, and the best parents in America. We also know that we are growing rapidly. Anyone who has lived in Madison for a while knows that rezoning is a fact of life here. It has never been easy, but our town is better because of it.

Robby Parker
Madison City Schools Superintendent of Education