NEW HANOVER CO.
-- As the school board tweaked the final version of the maps, members heard again what they've heard so often. Parents want their kids going to class close to home, and many got exactly what they wanted.
The board voted Monday night to adopt the tenth and final version of the maps for the 2007 school year, keeping children from Long Leaf Hills attending Forest Hills Elementary, and Lucia Point kids will still go to Wrightsville Beach. Most of the children at Murrayville, Alderman and Blair will return to those schools.
The plan sharply reduces the amount of busing but creates two schools with a high concentration of black students, Freeman and Snipes. Both will also operate as magnet schools.
Parents helped with the decision-making. There's another plus: fewer kids in the classrooms.
So the plans for elementary schools are set for next year, but what's certain is the board will have to consider this issue again in a few years. The maps governing middle schools will also have to be re-drawn for 2009 when a new middle school opens.