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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The future of D.C. Virgo Middle School is up in the air. It’s only been a few months since the New Hanover County School System came to an agreement about middle school redistricting, but now it’s considering making yet another change that could affect faculty, parents and most importantly the students.

Many parents say this is round two of the New Hanover County middle school redistricting saga. According to school board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh, Superintendent Tim Markley is recommending that Virgo Middle School close it’s doors.

“Now that they got everybody to where they redistricted them they want to get ready to switch it again,” said Walnetta Pierce, who has two kids at Virgo.

With the school board facing significant budget cuts Redenbaugh says some board members feel it doesn’t make sense to keep the school open for the 180 students that call Virgo home but that could soon change.

“I mean I don’t have any problems going to Holly Shelter because a lot of my friends go there,” said Monjai Everett, who is a student at Virgo. “It’s a better school with a lot more things for me to do. Probably a lot more better stuff so I guess it will be good going there.”

While a new school could provide new opportunities for some students parent’s fear it would jeopardize their involvement in their child’s education.

“Any school that’s far or like 45 minutes away like Holly Shelter or any school that’s not close or more than 30 minutes away would be an inconvenience for me to participate and be an active parent in their schooling,” said Pierce.

New Hanover County just finished redistricting their middle schools. Redenbaugh says majority of the middle schools are at their capacity or have exceeded it. If the board votes to shut Virgo down Redenbaugh says students would most likely end up in Williston or Holly Shelter.

Currently there’s 60 seats open at Williston and close to 400 available at Holly Shelter, but Virgo students are concerned that a new school could mean bigger classes and less individual instruction.

“If I go to Holly Shelter it’ll probably be 20 people there and I’ll get distracted a lot and I’ll probably be off task with a lot of things,” said Virgo student Koraun Thompson.

Many Virgo students spoke highly of their teachers and say they wish this wasn’t a consideration by the board. Redenbaugh says Markley will present his recommendation at the next meeting and then board members will discuss it and vote on it. She says with these tight budget constraints and availability at the two middle schools the writing’s on the wall.

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10 Comments on "School board likely to shut Virgo Middle School’s doors"

2015 years 10 months ago

OK for one the school board is no good,they would not know common sense if it was standing in front of them!!!!! they have no idea what it is like to be in a class room and teach 15 children and now they are wanting to overload the teachers with more children? what are they thinking!!!And to top it all off they want to cut teachers saleries,take time away from them and also they want to dictate when the teachers take thier vacation time!!! ok so here is a common since idea if you want to over crowd the class rooms give the teachers a raise,give them a reason to want to be there.Our teachers have been hit the hardest and they do one of the most important job of all they educate all of your doctors,fireman,police,nurses..etc…And in the long run only our children will be the ones suffering,there is no way our children can get a good education if there are 20+ children in one classroom.What about the children with learning disabilities? How will they get the proper education? The school board should have thought about all of this before they built 2 schools that were NOT needed (Castle Hayne).And just my opinion and first hand I think DC Virgo should be left alone,sorry but my childern went there and got a better education there than what they did at Trask Middle.DC Virgo has smaller class rooms so the teachers were able to do the job they were hired to do.At Trask the school is so over populated they have to worry more on babysitting than teaching is this really what our school board wants for our children?

2015 years 10 months ago

when you send your kids to a government school.

2015 years 10 months ago

Time to cut the waste. Start with the immersion in Spanish courses and cut the ESL staff in half. Then fire around 25% of the administrators and you will begin to see some improvements.

2015 years 10 months ago

So, let me get this right. NOW the Board does not want neighborhood schools? OR does it depend on the neighborhood or the student. This seems odd. Why can’t these students stay where they are and the Board bring the resources to them? And why in the heck does Holly Shelter have 400 available open slots? That certainly is convenient or extremely poor planning.
If neighborhoods schools were great 1 year ago, why aren’t they great for the students at DC Virgo school now. Why don’t those students deserve the equipment, the new computers, available staff, latest technology and opportunity for growth as students at Holly Shelter?
By the way my dear Board of Education and new Sup. have you ever considered to investigate why the parents chose to abandon DC Virgo. If for any reason the school, teachers, surrounding neighborhood or students are failing – the Board of Education is a failure as well.
Does anyone care about our kids?

2015 years 10 months ago

You’re 100% correct, it all depends on the student and/or the neighborhood, everybody knows that including the New Hanover County Board of Education and the Superintendent Tim Markley, he might be new to Willmington and New Hanover county but he didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. Virgo is an open enrollment school for a reason and we all know what that reason is….why not shut down Forest Hills or Alderman and send those students to Holly Shelter?

State Employee
2015 years 10 months ago

Because Forest Hills and Alderman are elementary schools.

2015 years 10 months ago


2015 years 10 months ago

Why not send the students that live downtown that are currently being bused to Myrtle Grove Middle School attend Virgo? Then they would be able to go to school where they live, parents might start to be involved in their child’s future and it would save on fuel cost. But since it makes sense the school board will never allow it to happen. Very similar to Brown v. Board of Education all over again, children are not allowed to attend the school closest to where they live.

2015 years 10 months ago

Holly Shelter already has Creekwood attending there, so now you want to put the DC Virgo Middle school students in the woods too? this was planned from the get go..400 seats available at Holly shelter, of course because they knew they would be closing down DC Virgo and shipping those kids to holly shelter..They got so much heat from the first redistricting about grouping these kids together and so they laid back and waited a year to re-announce their original plan..now you have one middle school with all the socially economically kids together..this is racist and I’m calling bull on the board of education..why are black people allowing this! so if Virgo has only 180 students there and Holly Shelter having over 400 seats available, what was the point in building a new middle school to begin with?

Charles Walters
2015 years 10 months ago

DC Virgo was a Rat Hole in the late 70’s when I was there and it still is. It is in the middle of a drug and gang infested area. Close it bulldoze it and sell the land. It is worth more than the building.


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