New principals named, school zones released for Dothan City Schools

New principals named, school zones released for Dothan City Schools
Dothan city leaders are moving forward with plans to create safer schools in the city.

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - With every meeting, Dothan City School Board members move closer to implementing the new school reorganization plan before next year.

Thursday, school board members met to review the new school zone map for the upcoming school year and hear from the committee of people who worked to reorganize the district.

Members of the committee said they worked to divide the districts based on main roads and highways to make sure neighborhoods aren’t split.
Members of the committee said they worked to divide the districts based on main roads and highways to make sure neighborhoods aren’t split. (Source: WSFAProduction)

“We’re moving at a pretty good pace if you think about the fact that we just made the decision Nov. 30,” said Dr. Phyllis Edwards, Superintendent.

The committee consisted of principals, members of food service, and transportation. Members of the committee said they worked to divide the districts based on main roads and highways to make sure neighborhoods aren’t split.

They also worked to keep students attending the school closest to their home. With over half of the students in Dothan City Schools taking the bus to school - looking at how buses would navigate was also a key factor.

“We’re looking at over 135 red lights. Having to think about the logistical standpoint of the bus - how many turning lanes,” said Jay Bruner, Transportation Director. “What we want to do is provide our children the safest transportation as possible.”

The other goal with zoning is the ensure schools aren’t at full capacity - operating at 70, no more than 80 percent full. This would allow the system to implement the “Controlled Choice” program where students can apply to attend a school outside their zone.

Superintendent Edwards says she hopes to open the school choice program in March or April. Over the next few months, they will continue to review enrollment numbers to determine how many spots are available at schools. If schools have more applications for enrollment than spots available at the school - the system will select students based on a random-selection lottery.

Superintendent Edwards has also narrowed down the list of principals to lead each school. In her Superintendent’s Report posted on the DCS website she listed the following:

  • Selma Street Dionne Blair
  • Girard Sue Clark
  • Girard Jeff Hatfield
  • Faine Jeff Torrence
  • Heard Tamika Fleming
  • Highlands Blakelynn Barker
  • Kelly Springs Wanda Dismukes
  • Hidden Lake Vanessa Gunn
  • Beverlye Maria Johnson
  • Slingluff Christina Johnson
  • Dothan Junior Darius McCay
  • Dothan Senior Bill Singleton
  • PreK Christy Martin

The board is working through their to-do list of things before the upcoming school year. A few items that should be completed as we move into and start the new year.

  • The board is set to discuss and vote on the future of the JROTC program Monday, Dec. 17
  • What “Signature Schools,” the schools that will specialty programs like fine arts or accelerated academic programs, will be named in January
  • Teachers will turn in their school placement requests in January

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