The Columbus school board last week unanimously voted to close nine schools and realigned the district's feeder pattern.

The Columbus school board last week unanimously voted to close nine schools and realigned the district's feeder pattern.

The vote, taken at the Dec. 15 meeting, came after weeks of discussion and community meetings. In all, about 13 percent of the district's students will be affected by the change.

The buildings that will be closed include elementary and middle schools. The elementary schools are Deshler, Douglas Alternative, Fair Alternative and Literature-Based Alternative at Hubbard. The middle schools are Beery, Clinton, Eastmoor, Franklin Alternative and Indianola Math, Science and Technology.

Kim Norris, a spokeswoman for the district, said a letter detailing the changes was to be sent home to parents last week.

The nine buildings are expected to close prior to the start of the 2010-11 school year.

Norris said it is important for parents to inform themselves on how the changes will affect their children and what options they have.

"We'll be providing meetings at the building level for the nine buildings that are closing for parents to begin making those choices," Norris said. "It's important for parents to know now because the process for school lottery and school choice begins next January."

Norris said the reassignment would help strengthen district academics.

It is the first realignment since 1996.

"There is value to having the elementary school teachers communicating with the middle school teachers, communication with the high school teachers," Norris said.

Last year, the board voted to close at least six schools as part of a successful levy campaign.