‘Grandfathering’ to ease zoning transition

Lakeland students currently attending Bon Lin Middle School can relax if they want to stay on familiar ground despite the formation of new city school districts. The Bartlett school board approved an agreement on March 13 that makes an exception for the next two school years.

The interlocal agreement approved by both Bartlett and Lakeland school districts guarantees transportation and space at Bon Lin Middle for the 2014-2015 seventh- and eighth-grade Lakeland students who live in the current Bon Lin attendance zone. See the district’s website for attendance zone maps.

This will affect approximately 120 students for 2014-15 and an estimated 60 students for 2015-16, Supt. David Stephens said. The policy will sunset on June 30, 2016.

For each of these Lakeland students allowed to remain at Bon Lin through their exit year, Bartlett City Schools will receive any state and local funding that follows the child, in addition to a $150 per-student fee that Lakeland School System will pay.

All Lakeland students entering the sixth grade this fall will be zoned to Arlington Middle School.

Parents in the Bon Lin zone who would prefer for their current sixth- and seventh-grade students to attend Arlington Middle School still have the option to apply through that district’s open enrollment process. For an Arlington Community Schools application for non-resident students, go to the online non-resident application; April 15 is the application deadline.

In other business at the March 13 special-called meeting, the Bartlett school board also approved additional routine policies needed for school district operations, covering admissions, admission of suspended or expelled students, student assignments and transfers within the system.

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or carolyn.bahm@journalinc.com.