Mike Howard sworn in

Newly-elected St. Clair County Schools Superintendent Mike Howard was sworn in last December by St. Clair County Probate Judge Mike Bowling. Pictured with Howard are his wife, Melanie; son, Logan; and daughter, Ava.


ST. CLAIR COUNTY -- At Monday’s St. Clair County Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Mike Howard said reports that have surfaced on social media stating he has rezoned all the students are simply untrue.

“I am getting beat up in the communities right now,” Howard said.

According to the St. Clair County attendance requirements set forth in the Student Code of Conduct, students must attend the school zone in which they reside.

If there exists a hardship that merits a student attending school outside the zone in which the student resides, parents may request a hardship transfer waiver through the superintendent. Applications must be made on an annual basis.

Given the significant growth in St. Clair County and the already overcrowded classrooms, hardship transfer waivers are approved on a limited basis by the superintendent. The Board of Education is actively working on reviewing and adjusting the school attendance zones, and parents will be notified of any changes that impact the attendance zone of their children.

“These are the two things I have been enforcing over the past month and a half,” Howard said. “All employees have to fill one out unless they reside in the county. I even had to fill one out because the subdivision where I live is split in half, meaning half the students are zoned for Moody, while the other half are zoned for Odenville.

“I’m the type person that if I ask someone to go do this, I am going to do it myself. I had to fill one out for my two children.”

Howard said that in just the past month, there have been more than 400 requests for hardship.

“I have to look at every single request, and that takes up a large majority of my day,” he said. “We need to look at these things moving forward and look at how we want to handle them.

“We have many subdivisions that have a zoning line right down the middle. That’s because when the zoning lines were drawn, there were no subdivisions. It is a very difficult task.

“Hopefully, this information in the (St. Clair Times and The Daily Home) will calm the waters a little bit so parents know we haven’t rezoned anybody.”

Reach Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.