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The Georgia High School Association is the governing body of high school sports in the state of Georgia.

The Georgia High School Association voted last week to keep region alignments and classifications the same through the 2023-2024 school year.

However, the decision isn’t final yet. The move requires a change to the GHSA constitution and must be voted on by the GHSA’s executive committee twice to be finalized.

Typically schools are reclassified every two years, moving up or down a classification based on full time equivalent enrollment or FTE. Class 7A schools typically are those with 2,000 students or more while Class A schools are usually 550 students or fewer. Classes in between then are divided, with roughly the same number of schools in each. Due to changes in school attendance due to COVID-19, officials believed it made more sense to maintain the current region alignments for two more school years.

“The rationale was that there is a drop in FTE (school enrollment) statewide, primarily at the high school level,’' GHSA executive director Robin Hines told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “To remain in the same region and classification would make things more stable as we don’t know when or if the students will return.’'

The GHSA experimented with four-year reclassification cycles before from 2016-2017 through 2019-2020, but voted to go back to the two-year reclassification cycle beginning last year.

‘‘It is not a permanent move to a four-year cycle,’' Hines said, also indicating there would be an opportunity for schools to move up or down again if warranted as there was the last time the GHSA used a four-year reclassification cycle. ’'Everything ... may be appealed such as region assignment, classification, etc., just as always. It was discussed in the full committee to conduct an assessment like we did the mid-term adjustment when there was a four-year cycle.’'

The current region alignments have Loganville and Walnut Grove in Region 8-AAAAA, Monroe Area in Region 8-AAA, Social Circle in Region 8-A Public and George Walton and Loganville Christian in Region 8-A Private.

Brett Fowler is the sports editor of The Walton Tribune. He is a 2016 graduate of the University of North Georgia and a 2010 graduate of Monroe Area High School. Brett has been covering Walton County sports since 2011.

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