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Schools ready to pick plan

Redistricting Plan 9D

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board was scheduled to settle on a redistricting plan Thursday that would move roughly more than 1,000 elementary students
The plan (above), 9D, has been recommended to the board by school officials. Click the map for a larger image.

UPDATE:

After more than three hours of public comment and discussion, the school board on Thursday voted to revise plan 9D and remove all other plans from consideration. Board members Mike Kelley, Lisa Stuckey and Jean Hamilton will work with Steve Scroggs, superintendent for support services, to tweak plan 9D and address some of the issues raised by the public at the meeting.

The board will consider the revised plan 9D at their regular meeting on May 3.

By Susan Dickson
Staff Writer

Nearly 500 Chapel Hill-Carrboro elementary school students, mostly from the northwestern corner of the school district, will move to a new elementary school when it opens in the fall of 2008.

On Thursday, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education is expected to approve one of four redistricting plans to move students to the new school. Under the plan recommended by school officials, 1,095 students would be moved to different elementary schools, including 481 to the new school, which has yet to be named but has been dubbed Elementary No. 10 by school officials. The new school will be located at the corner of Dromoland Road and Eubanks Road.

Board members discussed the four plans at their March 15 meeting and asked school officials to revise plans and make recommendations. Steve Scroggs, superintendent of support services, said, “We felt like we had direction from the board to look at two basic models,” one that would protect Carrboro Elementary School’s dual-language program and another that would preserve balance across all criteria.

Scroggs said the recommended plan, labeled plan 9D, attempts to balance criteria including school capacity, student proficiency, the number of students receiving free and reduced lunch and socio-economic status. Of the four plans, he said 9D has the best balance in each of those categories as well as the shortest driving distances, with most students attending the school closest or second-closest to them.

“9[D] clearly is the one that balances the board’s criteria the best, there’s no question about that one,” Scroggs said.

Plan 3F best supports the dual-language program, but according to Scroggs, he was unable to put 120 native Spanish speakers at Carrboro, which school officials had requested.

Under the dual-language program’s model, 50 percent of the enrolled students must be native Spanish speakers. Scroggs said that while plan 9D does not increase the number of native Spanish speakers at Carrboro, the number of native Spanish speakers at the school does not decline under the plan.

Scroggs said he thinks the board should look at options other than redistricting for expanding the base of the dual-language program. “There are other possibilities out there.”

School officials also revised the two other plans. Plan 2LL attempts to move the fewest students, and plan 27 attempts to protect the dual-language program while leaving room for growth at the new elementary school. The number of students moved ranges from 965 to 1,157 across the four plans.

Board member Mike Kelley said he would probably support either 9D or 3F. “There are many different considerations when you’re looking at any of these plans.”

Kelley said he thinks it is important to keep communities together and close to their schools, “especially for people without ready access to a car.”

He added that while population balance is important for all the schools, special considerations “to some extent” should be given to Carrboro Elementary.

“It’s a very, very difficult decision because not everyone is going to get their choice,” Kelley said. He added that the redistricting efforts are increasingly more difficult because “we’re dividing the puzzle into smaller and smaller pieces.”

“It’s a tough decision for the board because you are disrupting 1,095 kids,” Scroggs said.
“Nobody wants to change schools,” he said. “I’ve got to get a new school building open.”

Segments moved under the proposed plan include:

  • Dairyland Road area, Crescent Ridge, Spring Vista, Union Grove Church Road, the west side of Old N.C. 86, Hickory Forest, Oxbow Crossing, Morris Grove Heights, Old N.C. 86 from Britton Drive to Hickory Forest and Eubanks Road from Rogers Road to Old N.C. 86, from McDougle to the new school;
  • Rollingwood subdivision, Crestwood Mobile Home Park, Fairoaks duplexes and the neighborhoods around Bethel Hickory Grove Church Road, from McDougle to the new school;
  • Neville Road area, from Frank Porter Graham to McDougle;
  • Old Greensboro Highway from Jones Ferry Road to Sesame Road, Sturbridge, Salem Lane, PhilÕs Creek and Johnson’s Mobile Home Park, from Frank Porter Graham to McDougle;
  • Sesame Road and Pineview Estates, from Frank Porter Graham to McDougle;
  • Bowden Road area, McLennan’s farm, Quailview and Winningham, Frank Porter Graham to Carrboro;
  • ones Ferry Road from Damascus Church Road to Bingham Township line, Nine Gates, Mel Oaks and Carolina Forest, from Frank Porter Graham to Carrboro;
  • Damascus Church Road from Jones Ferry Road to Meacham Road, Ridgewood, Springhill Forest, Wolf’s Pond and Preston Springs, from Frank Porter Graham to McDougle;
  • Jones Ferry Road from Old Fayetteville Road to Old School Road, Moon Ridge and Hairston Road, from Frank Porter Graham to McDougle;
  • Hogan Farms, including the east side of Old N.C. 86 from Dairyland Road to Britton Drive, Drew Lane and Homestead Mobile Home Park, from Carrboro to the new school;
  • Tally Ho Trail area, from Seawell to the new school;
  • Rogers Road area, Meadow Run, Eubanks Road from Rogers Road to the railroad tracks, Homestead Road from Strafford Drive east to railroad tracks, Billabong Lane and Piney Mt. Mobile Home Park, from Seawell to the new school;
  • Hilltop Mobile Home Park and N.C. 86 from Eubanks Road north to the school district boundary, from Seawell to the new school;
  • Berryhill, Sterlingbrook and Poplar Place Apartments, from Carrboro to McDougle;
  • South Greensboro Street from Main Street to Rocky Brook Mobile Home Park, Maple Avenue, Old Pittsboro Road and Roberson Place, from Frank Porter Graham to Carrboro;
  • Prince Street/Barnes Street area, from Frank Porter Graham to Carrboro;
  • BPW Club Road, The Bluffs, Highland Hills and The Villages Apartments, from Scroggs to Frank Porter Graham;
  • Stoneridge and the north side of Whitfield Road from N.C. 86 to Sunrise Road, from Ephesus to the new school;
  • Sedgefield and the south side of Whitfield Road, from N.C. 86 to Sunrise Road, North Hills and Creekwood, from Ephesus to the new school;
  • North side of Weaver Dairy Road from N.C. 86 to Sunrise Road, including Kensington Trace, Weatherstone, Essex and Lakeview Mobile Home Park, from Ephesus to the new school;
  • Chandlers Green, from Rashkis to Ephesus;
  • Silver Creek, from Rashkis to Ephesus;
  • Chesley Phase I and II, from Rashkis to Ephesus;
  • Glen Lennox area, including Glen Lennox Apartments, from Rashkis to Glenwood;
  • Colonial Heights, from Seawell to Carrboro;
  • Umstead Drive area from Wesley Drive to Estes Drive Extension, Bolinwood Apartments and Village West, from Glenwood to Seawell;
  • Church Street area, West Rosemary Street from North Columbia Street to Mitchell Lane, Caldwell Street and McMasters Street, from Glenwood to Seawell;
  • Broad Street, Fowler Street, Hill Street, Lloyd Street and Starlite Drive, from Carrboro to Rashkis;
  • West Cameron Street area, Westwood, Cameron Glen and McCauley Street, from Glenwood to Carrboro;
  • Woodcrest Drive, Ray Road and Smith Level Road from Damascus Church Road to Rock Haven Apartments, from Scroggs to Frank Porter Graham;
  • The Reserve, from Scroggs to Frank Porter Graham;
  • Beechridge, Bayberry Drive, Arboretum Drive, Poinsett Drive and Grey Bluff, from Scroggs to Frank Porter Graham;
  • Hunters’ Ridge and Edgewood Drive area, from Scroggs to Frank Porter Graham;
  • the older section of Northwood and Eubanks Road from the UPS facility to N.C. 86, from Seawell to the new school; and
  • Old Fayetteville Road, including Autumn Woods Apartments and Ram’s Gate Apartments, from Carrboro to McDougle.

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