Brunswick County, N.C. (WECT) - The Brunswick County School Board is looking to set new school districts up to meet two main goals for the 2020-2021 school year: sending students to the new Town Creek Middle School and reducing overcrowding at Belville Elementary School.
The district is using an outside consultant to guide them in making a recommendation to the school board. The firm has been hired to conduct two phases of redistricting, with the second phase not beginning until next fall. The firm held its first public meeting Tuesday night to let the community know how the process will go and what their main objectives are for the first phase.
Phase one focuses on the northern side of the county, where Belville Elementary has 861 students this year; That’s 267 more students than the second most populated elementary school in the county, Supply Elementary.
Parents at Belville Elementary say its hard to miss how much the school has grown over the years.
“The big areas where you see the issues are movement of the children. It takes longer to drop off in the morning, there’s more buses that have to come through, it takes a whole lot longer to pick up in the afternoon. Lunches have had to be extended, and there’s a new room that’s been added to the lunchroom so there’s enough room for all the children to eat,” said Ryan Merrill.
You can view the firm’s full slideshow from Tuesday’s meeting at North Brunswick High School here.
The first draft of new maps for elementary schools in the northern side of the county and for Town Creek Middle will be presented at the next public meeting on November 18. The timeline includes presenting options to the school board on December 17.
“The time frame is a little concerning, the next meeting is set for November, which a few of us had been talking tonight -- is about twenty working days -- so that will be a quick turnaround to get the public maps. And then from that point on, they will have another meeting in December, which will be about three days before break begins, which might be challenging during the holiday season,” said Nicole Whiteside.
Nicole Whiteside has two children in elementary school and one in middle school this year.
“I think we’re stepping in the right direction. I think we have good guidance with the consultants they’ve brought on board and I’m hoping they will be transparent with the public and willing to answer a lot of questions and pack their patience,” said Whiteside.
Brunswick County Schools has a dedicated portion of their website to redistricting where you can view all of the presented materials and submit feedback online.
You can find all of that information here.