New Hanover Co. school board narrows redistricting maps

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email
Updated by Kristy Ondo - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The school board is working to map out the future of New Hanover County's middle schools, and parents want to make sure their voices are heard.

Tuesday night, school board members narrowed down the proposed middle school redistricting maps to two.

Last month, board members spent hours discussing whether to use economics or neighborhoods as their guide when creating the plans.

Now there are two plans up for consideration.

One fills schools based on socio-economics, letting no school have more than 50% of students on free or reduced lunches.  Some school board members and many parents said that plan would increase busing.

Another option is more of a "neighborhood schools" plan.

When the maps were first unveiled, many parents in the Myrtle Grove area immediately rallied against busing their children across town to Williston Middle School. Tuesday night, those parents were out in force, wearing orange t-shirts and speaking in favor of neighborhood schools.

"I think they're hearing what we have to say and the importance of it and they're seeing the logic of it," said Echo Farms Resident John Hirchak.  "They can look at the maps, just like anyone else and see it's unfair and it makes no sense."

Board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh said neither of the two plans under consideration after Tuesday night's meeting will include mobile units. She said that is a big plus, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

According to Redenbaugh, there may be one more map put into the mix before October. That map will be based on drawing a one mile radius around each middle school and trying to keep students as close to their schools as possible.

The board will host two redistricting forums for parents before they are allowed to vote on the issue.

Click on the links below to view the redistricting plans and projections:

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