The high school athletic landscape will change for the 2020-2022 school years, according to the new Georgia High School Association reclassification numbers.
The GHSA released its new reclassification numbers for the next two-year cycle on Tuesday morning and several area schools will either move up a classification or move down.
The GHSA bases its reclass numbers on the Georgia Department of Education enrollment figures (FTE). Also factored in is a 2.0 multiplier for students living outside of the school's designated district. Buford, Cherokee Bluff, North Hall and Riverside Military have been affected by the multiplier.
The GHSA will now open its doors to hear appeals from the member schools. Schools have until Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. to submit an appeal. The reclassification committee will meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, to hear any appeals or requests to move up. Once the appeal process is over, the GHSA will then begin the region alignment process.
Hall County's largest school, Gainesville, will now play in the state's top classification, Class 7A and could be shifted into the Forsyth County region.
Habersham Central will stay in Class 6A and Buford will make the jump up to the state's second-largest classification. As it stands now, Lanier, Habersham Central and Winder-Barrow are the only schools left in the what-will-be the former Region 8-6A. Dacula jumped up to Class 7A and Apalachee dropped to Class 5A. With Denmark moving up from Class 4A to 6A, Buford, Denmark, Lanier, Habersham Central and Winder-Barrow could become part of the new Region 8-6A.
In Class 5A, Johnson will stay put. In the current Region 8-5A, only Johnson, Loganville, Clarke Central and Walnut Grove remain with the exit from Buford and Winder-Barrow. Apalachee could be a shoo-in for the new Region 8-5A.
The two classes affected most in the area are Class 3A and Class 4A with Jefferson, Jackson County, East Hall and North Hall all moving out of 3A and into 4A.
West Hall will drop to Class 3A from 4A and Flowery Branch, Chestatee and White County stay in 4A.
Barring any appeals by the schools, the new Region 7-4A could house Jefferson, East Hall, North Hall, Flowery Branch, Chestatee and White County. The question remains, however, will Marist stay in the region and will Greater Atlanta Christian School be thrown in there as well?
With East Hall and North Hall moving up and Fannin County moving down to Class 2A, Region 7-3A will have a new look. Right now, all that's left are Dawson County, Lumpkin County and Cherokee Bluff. West Hall would likely slide into the region, but the GHSA will probably look for other Class 3A schools to join the four schools.
Right now, East Jackson could be a potential candidate to move in Region 7-3A, but with Franklin, Stephens, Monroe Area, Morgan County and Hart County all staying in Class 3A and Oconee County dropping from 4A to 3A, East Jackson could stick with those eastern schools. Also in play as a candidate for Region 7-3A could be Westminster, a private school, based on the crow's travel.
Could the GHSA form a new Region 8-3A with Dawson, Lumpkin, Bluff, West Hall, Franklin, Stephens, Monroe Area, East Jackson, Morgan County, Stephens County and Hart County? If that happens, the region would probably be sub-divided.
In Class 2A, nothing has changed much, except for Riverside Military moving out of Class A and into 2A and Fannin dropping down to the classification. Rabun, Union and Banks County remain in Class 2A. Fannin and Riverside would most likely be housed in Region 8-2A. Current Region 8-2A members, Elbert, Putnam, Social Circle, Oglethorpe and Monticello also will remain in Class 2A.
In Class A, Commerce and Towns will be searching for a new region based on the recent GHSA decision to completely separate public and private schools into eight public and eight private regions. Lakeview also stays in Class A.
Below is a full list of schools.
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