The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday January 24th

Board of Education to vote on redistricting

In less than 10 days, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education will vote on a redistricting plan that could move up to 1,045 elementary students and 108 high school students to a different school.

Northside Elementary, the system’s newest elementary school, will open in the fall in an effort to alleviate crowded classrooms in the system’s 10 existing elementary schools.


Elementary students moved

High school students moved

12 percent
At-risk student variation

At a work session on Dec. 20, the Board of Education reviewed the four proposed redistricting plans.

“Plan 2.1 had the most conversation about it. I think most of the members really liked the balance that was there from the at-risk perspective,” said board member James Barrett.

He expects the board will vote for Plan 2.1 at its Jan. 17 meeting.

“I think there was a majority of the board that was ready to support that at the work session,” he said.

Dozens of parents of students who will be affected by the widespread redistricting plan attended two public hearings in December to voice their concerns.

Ellen Parker, who spoke at the Dec. 12 hearing, has two children at Glenwood Elementary School who will be among Northside’s first batch of students.

She said in an interview she and her children love Glenwood, but she is not worried about the transition to Northside.

“Kids are resilient. Redistricting is really not that big of a deal,” she said.

Her primary concern is that the schools have a balanced number of at-risk students.

“As an educator, I have worked with at-risk students before and when you put too many at-risk students in one classroom, it’s extremely stressful as a teacher,” she said.

Other parents are concerned about the distance their children will have to travel to their new school.

Chapel Hill resident Laurie Macmillan has two children at Carrboro High School who might be redistricted to Chapel Hill High School.

She said she thinks the move will be particularly difficult for high school students, who are already part of a community.

“They just keep pushing us to a high school that is ridiculously far away,” she said. “It’s just not fair to these kids. It’s too far and it’s too much time.”

Steve Turner, a counselor at Carrboro High School, said he expects he will be counseling students who will be redistricted in the 2013-14 year.

“It can be a very traumatic experience,” he said. “They try to keep it as painless as they can, but it’s never really painless.”

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