The Redistricting Process
Residents of Fulton County are assigned to a school attendance zone based on their residential address. When new schools or additional classroom capacity are added in a region, or imbalances of enrollment and capacity exist, the Board may direct staff to review attendance boundaries for modifications. This process of revising attendance boundaries is called redistricting.
Each time a redistricting effort is under way, the school system holds three rounds of meetings to gather information needed to draft a redistricting proposal that best meets the community's needs. Unlike other school systems, Fulton uses a process that encourages public discussion before developing a proposal. This allows the community to have maximum input in how the proposed attendance lines are created.
During these meetings, FCS staff explain the redistricting process, including population trends throughout Fulton County, data, and the School Board's criteria used to create new attendance zone boundaries. No maps or proposals are presented during the Redistricting 101 meetings; they are designed to help parents understand the process and the criteria before Round 1 begins.
School system staff outlines redistricting process and establishes ground rules for facilitated small-group input sessions. No maps or proposals are presented at the Round One meeting as it is an information sharing meeting.
- Participants move to small-group sessions and input is gathered related to the redistricting criteria.
- Staff reviews public comments and applies school board-approved redistricting criteria to develop alternative attendance zone plans prior to the next community forum.
Staff presents alternative proposals that were developed with established criteria and community input from the first forum.
- Community members comment on strengths and weaknesses of each plan in facilitated small-group discussions.
- Prior to the next community forum, staff condenses the number of attendance zone alternatives based on public input.
Community members review and provide input on revised attendance zone alternatives in facilitated small-group discussions.
- Staff uses comments to develop final attendance zone options for Board consideration.
To maximize input, parents and community members also can participate using the online redistricting tool.
Criteria used for developing redistricting proposal
During the meetings, community members will review the school board's redistricting criteria and can comment on residential development, traffic, previous redistricting, special programs and other issues relevant to the criteria used for redrawing attendance lines.
- Geographic Proximity – Distance traveled using available routes of transportation.
- Instructional Capacity – Number of students who can be accommodated at the school, taking into account the number of classrooms and resource rooms needed for art, music, labs, English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), special education and Talented and Gifted (TAG) programs.
- Projected Enrollment – Number of students assigned to a school, taking into account the future projected enrollment.
When primary criteria indicate more than one option, options are evaluated on the basis of:
- Traffic Patterns – Factors impacting accessibility of the school from all portions of the attendance zone, including travel time, traffic flow in the area, safe operation of school buses and other safety considerations.
- Previous Rezoning – The school system seeks to avoid rezoning neighborhoods more than once during a three-year period if facility sizes and geographic distribution of student populations allow.
- Special Programs – Special programs are those serving children with special needs that require use of additional space over and above a regular classroom. Where possible, the school system avoids setting attendance zones that would place a disproportionate number of special programs at a school.
- School Feeder Alignment – Where possible, consideration is given to the alignment of elementary, middle and high school attendance boundaries.
Learn About the Process
"Let's Talk Schools!"
- Episode about Redistricting featuring Superintendent Mike Looney and Chief Deputy Operations Officer Yngrid Jones-Huff
Redistricting 101 Meetings
Process Overview Infographic