NHC school board hosts another public forum on redistricting

Posted by Debra Worley - email
Updated by Lauren Thomson - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The New Hanover County school board hosted their final scheduled public forum on middle school redistricting Wednesday night.

It was parent's last chance to speak out on the issue at Roland-Grise Middle School.

The new middle school, set to open in the fall 2010 in the Castle Hayne area, will change where many students go to school.

Some board members are proposing to move some of the students who are in the school system's free or reduced lunch program to other schools for a better education.

The school board has been working on redistricting since summer 2009 and have developed several proposed maps.

Click here to see the proposed maps

While some parents are concerned about balancing different socio-economic backgrounds in the schools, others are worried about how long their children will spend commuting to school.

"The biggest complaint is the bus route that our kids will have. An hour and a half a day on a bus, you know, traveling to the middle school that is the probably the second farthest school from us," says Sandra Hester.

Hester lives in the Marsh Oaks community in the eastern part of the county and is upset that her children are currently slated to go to the new Holly Shelter Middle School in Castle Hayne.

Several other parents expressed concerns over the new soil and water test results for that new campus. There are concentrations of both iron and arsenic that exceed state guidelines.

Though many parents spoke to the board, many of them are also ready for the redistricting to be over.

The school board will now take all the input parents have given them and will vote on a final redistricting map on or before their February board meeting.

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