Redistricting, school calendar on agenda for New Hanover Board of Education

Redistricting, school calendar on agenda for New Hanover Board of Education

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Two heavily debated topics will be on the agenda for Tuesday night’s New Hanover County Board of Education meeting.

The New Hanover County Schools redistricting committee will present its recommendation for middle and elementary schools redistricting to the board at the meeting.

The board also will consider making changes to the school calendar.

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

In its final meeting last month, the committed opted to recommend option 3d.

Committee members say 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.

After a lengthy discussion at last month’s meeting, the board opted to postpone a decision on changing the school calendar to Tuesday’s meeting.

The discussion has focused on starting the school year two weeks earlier than usual.

A survey of more than 5,000 people found that 63 percent of the respondents liked the idea of having the first semester finish before Christmas break and school letting out for the summer by Memorial Day.

But some people representing the tourism industry said the calendar change would be detrimental to local businesses that are in their peak season in the month of August.

They asked Deputy Superintendent LaChawn Smith to bring them a traditional calendar to consider at the December board meeting, and indicated that a major shift to the New Hanover County School calendar would not happen until the 2021-2022 school year.

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