New Hanover County School Board Eliminates Options 5 & 6 for Redistricting Plan

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Submitted: Wed, 10/08/2008 - 3:59am
Updated: Thu, 10/11/2012 - 12:45am

What was supposed to be a routine school board meeting in New Hanover County last night turned out to be quite eventful.

School redistricting has been a hot topic, but the board was not expected to make a move on the issue, especially since the public hearings are not finished yet.

There were three options on the table for school redistricting, but last night two were taken away. Option 4 is the school redistricting plan that maintains a neighborhood school philosophy. Based on the feedback at the two recent public forums, it is the most popular plan. Option 5 and 6 are diverse choices that would require more busing.

School board member Dorothy DeShields dropped a bombshell when she made a motion to drop option 6 as a choice. The motion passed 4 to 3. Board member Janice Cavenaugh then made a motion to drop option 5. It also passed 4 to 3. The no votes came from George Cox, Jeannette Nichols and Chairman Don Hayes.

DeShields said, "Those two options were the ones that dealt with moving a lot of kids around and that’s obviously what parents don’t want. What we want is for the parents to know that we’re listening."

"I would not have voted for option 5 or 6 because I believe in neighborhood schools. I was the one that made that motion back in 2005, but you just don’t change the rules in the middle of the game when we’ve already scheduled forums and people," said George Cox.

Essentially George Cox and the other two school board members voted “no” as a matter of principle, because another redistricting forum is scheduled for October 21, 2008.

Christina Shaw, a parent of a student at Holly Tree Elementary said, "Now we can get down to the tasks of revising option 4 and making as many parents as comfortable as possible, and hopefully get to the main task of fixing the schools that are suffering. I’m very pleased."

Even though option 4 is the only one left that does not mean it is the only option. Most people close to the situation believe a modification of option 4 will eventually be passed.


  • Guest7969 says:

    think your wrong on this one. Year round schools and neighborhood schools have PROVEN that they work. I have applied for my children EVERY year to go to Eaton…haven’t won, but I would LOVE for them to go. I wish they would make one of the NEW schools YEAR ROUND! Neighborhood schools are THE way to go here. It’s not fair to punish a child because of their parents economic status. Busing children of different economic statuses STILL doesn’t fix the problem at those schools doing poorly. It just throws a band aid on it and someone can say…LOOK WE FIXED IT…when in fact all they did was hurt BOTH sides of the isle.

  • Guest1971 says:

    We do need some fresh perspective and that’s why I’ll be voting for Brian Berger for County Commissioner and nobody else. All the others are part of the problem, not the solution. So why dilute my vote.

    I’ll vote for Berger and nobody else. That’s the only way anything will change.

    Berger will be a voice for parents and taxpayers on the County Board, can’t say that for the rest. They’ve had their chance and failed us.

    Ditto for the school board, incumbents out. new blood in.

  • Straight Shooter says:

    Because if you had, you might not have made such a ignorant and selfish comment. The two year round schools ( Codington & Eaton ) are amoung the most successfull in the state, (Top 30 out of 1300). The parential involvement at both these schools are off the charts. Had you been more involved and attended the meetings you would have seen the over-whelming support (voters) for these schools. So cast your lone vote.
    These schools have had a year round program for 10 years. Where you also ignorant to that, when you purchased a home nearby? Have you bothered to apply at either of these schools? My guess is probably not. It’s easier to just sound-off.

  • VicM says:

    Well, it seems to me that you are probably one of the unfortunate ones that has not been picked to go to the year round school that is close to you. That has to be the only reason that you don’t want it. I have two children, both in year round, and I am not looking forward to next year when my oldest goes to middle school and youngest is still in year round and they have different schedules. What is not to like about year round schools. They have a longer instructional period, and then a nice fall break, Christmas break, spring break and the right amount of time for the summer. There is not one year round school that is not close to a traditional scheduled school, so your argument about bussing to somewhere else does not hold water. They may have to go a few extra blocks but not far. Year rounds have open enrollment and a lottery system for admittance. That is completely fair. Keep signing up, as you might get selected, and you will get to experience the joy of a year round schedule. Just as the other poster said, we need to get the school board to consider at least two middle school for the year round schedule.

  • Milissa says:

    You are dead wrong when it comes to Year around schools. This has been proven year after year to work!!! Check the scores lady. Year around schools have outstanding scores. If you don’t like Year around schools and they are not right for you then do not apply for them. That is the beauty of it, you have a choice. Leave us and our successful children and parents alone. I will VOTE for the Board members that SUPPORT our successful Year around schools and so will my huge family that are ALL from Wilmington NC!!!!

  • Guest12345 says:

    I have 3 children in the public school system. I am not directly effected (right now) by the redistricting plan but that doesn’t mean that one day I wont be. I think the year round schools should be closed and reverted back to traditional. How many children who live near those schools are being bussed some where else when they could be going to school near their home?!

    Elections are coming up. And I think we need a change! I am going to take an extra long look at all who are running to keep their seats. It just might mean it is time to get some new blood in there!!!!Because the current school board doesn’t seem to have their act together. And they certainly aren’t looking out for the little people of the community!!!!!!

  • guesty says:

    Year round schooling is great. We wish they would make it an option for middle school as well. It takes away from the summer mind meltdown. Codington is a wonderful school with great teachers that take time with the children. It is also filled with parents that volunteer their time to help, something missing from the failing schools. Don’t look at it as free daycare, look at it as building a foundation for your child’s future and get involved.

  • Straight Shooter says:

    This county is a very diverse county. There is no way this or any school board is going to make everybody happy. The current school board is in favor of neighborhood schools and it has offered ALL OF US a year round program that is very succesful. The program is opened to all of us, you just have to put your name on the list. The student per class ratios are much higher at these schools than others and it’s still successful. So the school board and county are getting a lot of bang-for-the-buck in this program. So If this program means nothing to you personally, why the rant. We gladly travel extra miles for our child to attend Codington, we are both active in the PTA. We are proud of our school and we will fight the ignornant idiots that want to change it.

  • Guest12345 says:

    I am not wanting to change things because of my “selfish” thoughts (which you obviously missed the entire point of my post). I think the school board needs to be better stewards of the money they are given. And think they need to stop catering to a select few in this town who think they are better than everyone else! (and before you go making an ignorant comment, my family and I do pretty well for ourselves and my children go to one of the best schools in the county).

    I think busing is a joke. There should be neighborhood schools. Then money used to build these extra schools should go to improving the neighborhood schools to be on the same level as everyone else. NOW, if the students and parents in those schools ruin it, then they have only themselves to blame!

  • Straight Shooter says:

    You want to change a very successful year round program because of your selfish thoughts? Yes, you’re d___n right, I question your judgement!!!!

  • Guest12345 says:

    Talk about ignorance?? How dare you make a personal judgment about the decisions I have made regarding my children? No, I have not applied for them to go to year round schooling and don’t plan to. These schools may be successful and that is great; however, there are more children in the county than the select few who go Eaton or Codington.

    And YES I have known about these schools since their inception. I am a native Wilmingtonian (one of a few still left!).

    And you may think I am a ‘lone’ voter but I happen to know there are many other parents out there who feel the same way I do! (Oh, I did go to the meetings! Still didn’t agree with their decision)

  • Guest1233645 says:

    year round schools work,,,,, it is a great ..

  • Straight Shooter says:

    For year round students all over the area. Wilmington Athletic Club, Jellybean, Spec and others.

  • Guest6979 says:

    Of course year around schools in this region do well. People have to apply to get their children in and typically the parents that are willing to go out of their way to do this are also willing to be involved in thier childs life. Not to say that parents who havnt applied for year around schools are not involved in thier child’s life. I have a child that will be attending a traditional elementary school next year and I am very involved with her schooling. People if you want a school to do well, meet with teachers, attend school functions, volenteer. As for the person who said that year around schools go to school more, I think you should count the number of days in each school calender, they are the same. Besides what do working people do with their child for the 3 weeks their child is out of school? Send them to a day care or leave them at home alone. My spouse and I both work full time and neither one of us is willing to leave our child alone at home, and we cannot afford a day care. We are just lucky enough that in the summer we have someone that will baby sit for a very reasonable fee until I can get home from work.

  • Guest234345324545645 says:

    none of this really matters…

    as a current senior in highschool, ive learned that the only thing you can do as a student is fight for what you want…

    parents, stop tearing each others heads off about whos right and wrong. ultimately it comes down to the student and how hard he or she will fight for what he or she wants.

    you guys can argue all day about whos right or wrong, but why bother? while your wasting all this time whining, you could be helping your kid study for tomorrow quiz or finish their homework.

    stop blaming everyone, if you can’t help your child succeed on your own then admit that and get them the help they need…it could be a tutor, an online site meant to help kids learn by using fun games, or even your child hanging out with the right group of kids.

    You need to understand that the important thing about elementary and middle school is for your child to stay healthy and begin to question the world that surrounds him or her. Encourage them to research what interests them.

    Because honestly…their senior year of high school is going to tear them apart when it comes to deciding and fighting for college…SATs,GPA, these are all things that your child is going to spend his or her highschool career stressing out over…let the kids be kids, encourage them, and for the love of God stop all this crazyness

  • Vince says:

    There’s no such thing as a non performing School. It’s the Parent’s that are non performing. What’s the difference between Sunset Park and Myrtle Grove? New Hanover High and Ashley? The Teachers? The Books,the weather? It’s the PARENTS or lack there of. Period! You don’t need money to get a fair education. That’s Bull&(**^%$. We keep pumping grant money into these districts and the drop-out rates for the most part go up!!! Nobody has the gut’s to put there finger on the REAL problem. Here’s an idea…Parents of Students who fall below a minimum grade acceptance level are sent a notice. If the grades do not improve, their income is garnished with the funds deposited in a district account earning interest until grades improve. If the Child drops out, the money is “donated” to the School District.

  • Straight Shooter says:

    Instead of moving backwards, it would be great if we could create more year schools at all levels.

  • Guest1983 says:

    that year round schools work, but at the same time they should be districted the same way as all other schools. It isn’t fair that you have to “apply” to get your child into a school, especially when you live a block away. If they switch over to neighborhood districts the year round schools should be districted the same.

  • mom of 5 says:

    I am so tired of all this redistricting. Especially when you don’t know from year to year where your child will go. I think it is more tramatizing for students who build friendships at school to only be moved to a different school. Lets think of the children, not the buses or the parents who want what they want.

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