New Hanover Co Schools makes recommendation for redistricting plan

New Hanover Co Schools makes recommendation for redistricting plan

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -The New Hanover County Schools redistricting committee held its last meeting Tuesday to review the latest proposed maps for the 2020-2021 school year.

The goals of the redistricting plan include filling the new Porters Neck Elementary School, handling increased capacity at Blair and College Park Elementary schools and planning for future growth.

In the final meeting, leaders opted to go with option 3d. The draft the committee voted on was a new option, based on option 3c, which was introduced in the last meeting.

“Sometimes we move too many people out and the diversity numbers are too low. Sometimes the utilization numbers were too high to move enough students out. We cut here, put more people in there, and 3d is the ultimate result,” NHCS redistricting committee member Nelson Beaulieu said.

The committee says the newest draft reduces crowding, balances diversity, streamlines feeder patterns, and impacts fewer students. While some maps moved up to 3,486 students, option 3d impacts 2,941 elementary and middle school students.

“Elementary students were a lot more affected, because we had to populate a brand new elementary school in the northern part of the county. We tried to our best to minimize impacts for middle schools across the board. We don’t want to move students if we don’t have to. Unfortunately, New Hanover County has grown in a way and in a pattern that this was necessary,” said Beaulieu.

The new plan addresses some concerns from community members about students moving to different schools, but not all.

“Not every request could be compromised, and believe me, I understand. I don’t look at numbers, I look at kids. I know how difficult it is. It’s not a job that anybody on the committee really wants. It is something that as a community we have to do. The time’s come to make a decision and we had to make it," Beaulieu said.

The group will present its recommendation to the school board on December 3, which has the final say.

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