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Single mom invests in private school to avoid redistricting

READ MORE: Single mom invests in private school to avoid redistricting

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The price tag on private school is prohibitive for many parents, but New Hanover County's middle school redistricting has been a powerful motivator for some parents to dig deep into their pocketbooks.

Today was not Heather Weeks's daughter's first day of school. She's actually been in classes for about a week now at Myrtle Grove Christian. That's because her mother says she's lost faith in New Hanover County's public school system.

"Most of the neighborhood, we don't know each other because we all go to different schools," Weeks said. "There's no redistricting when you go to a private school. There's consistency. Your child goes to the same school. They get used to the structure that's provided, and it's not disruptive."

Weeks is one of many parents who feel New Hanover County's middle school redistricting is not only affecting academics, but splitting up neighborhoods.

"It's so nice to be able to rely on your neighbors and to develop relationships within your neighborhood, but we don't have that time," she said. "You really go toward where your kids' friends are, which is their school."

When Weeks bought her home she expected her kids to go to Myrtle Grove Middle School, but the map the school board adopted earlier this year would send the kids to Williston Middle School downtown.

"You plan your life hood around a neighborhood," Weeks said. "When you buy a home, you don't buy it for a year. You buy it for a lifetime, or at least a few years, and you're not buying the home just to buy a home. So it's for your family."

So this single mom is paying what amounts to a fortune for her to have her daughter go to Myrtle Grove Christian School, which is just a few feet away from public Myrtle Grove Middle.

Weeks also says the school board gave parents little notice about the new district lines. The new map was finalized in the beginning of summer giving parents very little time to adjust.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Call a spade a spade

No one wants to say it. I guess I'll be that guy.

The bottom line is that failing inner-city students coupled with parents that milk the system with free lunch are having to be spread around to offset the costs to the schools. Conversley, well preforming gated community students who pay their way are being mixed into lower preforming schools. The short and tall of it is, not so much the black students but the Spanish students are forcing schools to change things around. It's ALL about offsetting monies paid to provide food and transportation for those who dont pay.

For instance, I went out and spent $130.00 on school supplies for my daughters. This is not including the new uniforms. We all know the list of materials we as parents are "required" to provide, right? I walked with my youngest to her class carring 3 bags of the "required" materials. Being one of the first in the class, I had the opertunity to wait and watch. NONE of the Spanish students brought anything! Only 2 of the black students brought anything! The teacher was livid to say the least and confided in me that SHE would have to make up the shortage. Unbelievable!

So lets call a spade a spade. As much as no one wants to to say it. We give entirely too much to those who milk the system. And, as much as we who are forced to support these failing schools would like to say it's because of the black students, it's not. We are now over run with Spanish students who speak little English and drag the rest of the students(black and white)down. We can no longer support the Spanish! Hold ALL parents accountable. In order to make the schools equal we need to equalize the parents!!!

Lucky me

My daughter attends Winter Park Elementary and we are not required to bring any school supplies. Actually we are forbidden and the supplies will be sent back. They are provided, granted generic and un-decorated, for each and every student. Each year the school budgets money to throw a Spring Fling where we hold raffles, a silent auction, and concession stand. ALL items for the raffle and silent auction are donated, and ALL proceds go to our Make it Happen Foundation. From this we can buy all school supplies to support each student, each student is given a school T-shirt, all field trips are paid for, every Friday the students are given ice cream at recess (free of charge), and each child will receive a year book. ALSO, we, as a school, do not beleive in soliciting.. i.e. fund raisers. We do not believe that it's in our childs' best interest to go door to door trying to sell over priced products to strangers. It is amazing that each year we are able to do this and make enough money to provide our students with all the above mentioned items free of charge. We couldn't do it without the help of our PTA and Spring Fling committee, and most of all the community. We invite the whole community to our Spring Fling and they come out in numbers to help support us.
Why not mention this to your school so that you won't have to buy $130 of school supplies, just to have others not help and the poor teacher that's already getting short changed make up the difference?

Yes, my child was also

Yes, my child was also redistricted to Holly Shelter School. We did fight pretty hard, but lost, since we were told that this school is build and somebody has to go there, I so I guess we are laboratory rats in this social experiment ... Anyway, I did not take this answer and sent my kid to private school...yes, expensive, but so far she loves it and can not get enough of it... and for the friends - she made a bunch of new one in the new school. I am happy, even if I have to put all my house improvement project on very long hold.

Single mom invests in private school to avoid redistricting

I have paid for private schools (CFA and now MGCS) for the past seven years as I do believe I get what I pay for. What I buy is a team of educators who communicate with each other grade to grade, in order to bring out the best in my children. An environment that is stable, constant and structured promotes effective learning. A child in one school establishes a history with that school and its teachers and doesn't have to deal with new surroundings year over year. Children who struggle with classes are provided extra assistance to bring them up to speed, not redistricted to another school. A sense of security and consistent teamwork goes a long way in child development.
It seems to me that because we are not doing our homework to project class volumes of neighborhoods or investing in public school classrooms and most importantly, more teachers to specifically work with struggling students, the school board has decided that shuffling children from school to school and cutting teachers is going to solve the problems at hand.

That's not redistricting you are a victim of economic times

If your kids went to CFA and now MGCS how is that redistricting? If your kids went to "public" school and then you were force to attend another school that's what redistricting is about. I think you mislead the reporter and she reported a bogus story. There are plenty of redistricting horror stories out there but yours is not one.


whoever left the comment regarding Heather not being a victim of redistricting, are you KIDDING? Just because her children are in private school, does not mean this issue does not exist. If she had to send her child to public school, she has every right to expect her children will continue on at their neighborhood schools. The board has taken that, and the reason is that, they are not dealing with real issues, and our kids become pawns in a sense. So shame on you for accusing her of being misleading. She is right on the money. And some of us parents will absolutely sacrifice out of necessity. Don’t judge it if you have not walked it. Teachers, students, and parents all are affected by redistricting when it comes in to areas where it is simply unjustified


SERIOUSLY read what you write before you press the send button..."Just because her children are in private school" "If she had to send her child to public school" She might be a victim of redistricting one day ..just not today...

That's not redistricting you are a victim of economic times

Perhaps, I can suggest that you reread my initial comment. I avoid the inevitable redistricting problem completely by paying for my children to attend private schools because there is no redistricting in private schools. Redistricting is the issue.

I read your initial comment

I read your initial comment as well as your final comment. I still don't think that you or your situation are relevant to redistricting. If your kids started out in private school chances are you never intended to send them to public schools. Not to mention you not having faith in the school system you never gave the system a chance to fail or do good by your kids. One more thing the story tag line is "single mom chooses private school over redistricting" you are not the person they should have interviewed for the story because your situation does not apply... Sorry

That's not redistricting you are a victim of economic times

Ok hold on...You avoided the inevitable by paying for private schools. Are you physic? You made that choice years ago and redistricting wasn't even the issue in your neighborhood. The problem I had was it was made to look like your kids got redistricted and then you had to go to private school. What I'm reading is your kids always were in private schools. Then the issue of you not having faith in the school system. You never gave the school system a chance. Call it what it is you champion the CFA's and the MGCS's. Just don't make it appear that the New Hanover County School System wronged you and your kids...

I agree

We tried to get our son into M.G.C.S. but we were put on a waiting list. Again, the school board thinks magic will happen if they send good performing students to failing schools and failing students to performing schools. If I wanted my son to go to school downtown, we would have bought our house off Castle Street. But when dealing with local government you can not use logic, just good warm fuzzy feelings to make sure nobody has their feelings hurt.


You can move off Castle St.and he would go to a better school


If we wanted to live in the hood, we could. But since we live in a nice neighborhood our son has to go to school in the hood. We are waiting for an opening at MGCS and be done with all the BS the county school board does.

please stop

Everyone keeps referring to this as if it is us against them, the term ghetto and hood keep getting used. Please stop turning this into a battle of insults and judgements. I have been very involved with this because my neighborhood was one moved to Williston, and although the board keeps saying it is a good school, and it is known to have a good principal, and great students come from there, that is NOT the point. If kids are being bussed in, and others bussed out of that district, that SCREAMS problems. There are obviously unresolved issues in our school system that must be resolved. No one should be disrespected because they are poor, but if the system sees a problem, they need to fix it, by sending in reinforcements, not move all of our kids around. The board does not realize this action spawns alot of this type of perspectives, and I am fed up with it. The kids need to stay close and not be moved to make something look better on paper.

No, it is more

No, it isn't us against them, it is survival of the fittest. The schools are slowly taking that out. No child left behind? Really? When I was in school if you failed, you were held back. Not only do I not want my son going to school in the hood, this redistricting also messed up his after school private sports activities.

I'm not disrespecting people because they are poor, I'm disrespecting people because they lack commonsense, don't know how to behave in public or wear their pants without showing they have underwear on. That is what makes a neighborhood a hood. I don't care how much or little anybody makes.


I took my daughter out of public school for the same exact reason as Ms. Weeks. The cost is phenomenal, especially for a single parent such as myself, but I will not allow the public school system to send my daughter to a school 20 miles away when the school she has been attending is two miles away! This redistricting has caused a lot of conflict and un-necessary stress for many families. When my daughter saw the public school busses and friends standing at their bus stops yesterday morning...she cried all the way to her private school. Her personality has changed from a happy outgoing person to being very sullen and withdrawn. The powers that be that are behind the redistricting don't stop to realize the stress and strain they put on most children by taking them away from familarity and friends they have known all their lives and... they don't care. My daughter has suffered migraines from it. I wish I could send her doctor bills to the redistricting committee! She didn't have headaches until all this mess started. I know of several parents that removed their children from public schools due to redistricting. I too moved to a neighborhood expressly to send my daughter to a certain school only to have that opportunity snatched away from her without a second thought. I seriously thought of my daughter could stay with her friends and attend the same school. However, the stess of the thought of being redistricted yet again down the road is just too much.

unsolved real problems

The parents and children affected by this are really daily dealing with this. For us working single parents, we do set up our lives around what logistically is correct. And when the school board comes in and changes it all around,it is just so unacceptable. They are not solving the real problem. If there are truly issues in the downtown schools, and troubled children are not getting the help they need, then moving them out, and others in will NEVER solve the problem. The board wants this to look good on paper, and rather than send in heavy reinforcements to those kids, and really help change their lives, they move everyone around like a checkers game. PLUS,What is up with this area of Carriage Hills, and why do they keep picking on this neighborhood. Notice Pine Valley across one street and Echo Farms on the other side of Carriage Hills does not ever get moved. Three middle school districts join on one street. Go back twenty years of redistricting and look at how they keep jerking this area around. That is where it gets political. The problems are not getting solved EVER, and this is really a headache, and not necessary. Hoggard is three miles away, but the high school is Hanover, now with Myrtle Grove being two miles away, they send the kids to Williston.
This is not the only area that this has happened to, but this is so they can turn in a balanced report to the state.

single mom

Years ago I sent my kid to private school to avoid Blount Elementary. Yes we ate a lot of hamburger meat and beans. Why do they build schools in the ghetto if they are going to bus the ghetto kids out of the ghetto to the nice areas??

That's a very offensive remark...

There are ways to express ones opinion about a matter without catergorizing an entire segment of people. The majority of parents desires the best education for their children, regardless of race or wealth. My husband and I (AfricanAmerican) parents of 3 children totally understand where these parents are coming from. We currently reside in Cary, NC and purchased our home so that our children would attend a particular school. We would both be devastated if our kids were redistrict to a low performing school and would do something about it. But to say that all people living within a certain district are all "ghetto" is simply racist (IMO). I was born and raised in Wilmington until 3 yrs ago. Some would consider my district to be not the best, but we made the best of it. I went to Williston and excelled there. I went on the New Hanover and excelled there. I went on to graduate from UNCW from Cameron School of Business. I do not consider myself "ghetto" nor should you stamp that label on anyone else.


That's a very offensive remark...

I agree with you and I wish my apology for other ignorant remarks was enough, but sadly, there are still people in this world who can't see the intellectual content and try to minimize what we are trying to accomplish through productive communication with racial slurs. Thank you for your comment.


Not too racist,are we? They haven't built a school in the "ghetto" in a long time.Not everybody can live in the "nice area".I don't want to hear a lot of noise about if you did this or that you can,thats another story.If "ghetto" people moved to the nice area,you would b**ch about that.

Want to see it?

Go volunteer at Myrtle Grove Middle School in the mornings when the busses arrive. Everything is in an orderly fashion until the downtown busses pull in. Then you start hearing yelling "shout outs", seeing the droopy pants and a general lack of respect for their peers, teachers, adults or even themselves.
Yes, if ghetto people moved to my neighborhood and continued to act the same ghetto way, I too would be upset. I remember back in the 90's the apartment complex I was living in was nice, quiet and well maintained. Then Jervay & Dove Meadows were demolished and had to find places for all the residents. Suddenly my apartment complex turned into the hood. Boom boom stereos, trash everywhere, fights in the parking lots, theft and vandalism.

I applaud you Guesty.....

...because you are the only one on here who has the guts to tell the truth. I think that probably some of those posting here are in some serious denial.


Our public school system sucks, I have 2 children in private school and as long as I can afford to keep them there that is where they will stay. I pay taxes in NHC and Wilm. and alot of that money goes to the school system that is a failure, I should send the county and city a bill to cover part of my childrens tuition in lieu of the money going to public schools.

More power to her

The more parents who get their kids out of government schools, the better off the next generation will be.

Ms. Weeks, I don't care if you have to eat PB&J three days a week - it will be worth it. God bless you, and rest assured that some day your daughter will thank you.

Ms. Weeks is right on!

At the 3rd grade level, my husband and I pulled our son out of public school. He was already being labeled as ADD and troublemaker. We had him evaluated and it turns out that he was a normal healthy little boy with an above average IQ and outgoing personality. Put simply, he was bored. We moved him to private school where he flourished and ended up being awarded the Principals Award at 8th grade graduation. That school did not tolerate disruptions, kept the education process focused, and prepared him for public high school. I never once worried during his experience if he was getting the information he needed. He is a great kid and serves in some very impressive leadership roles. I have all confidence in our future when I think of my son and his peers.

I highly encourage every parent to make whatever sacrifice ( and check into financial aid as it exists in private schools) to get their kids a private education. It will definitely payoff!

Out "FOX" the Board of Education

Maybe if all the parents who don't like the redistricting could buy a lot as close to Williston Middle School as possible. This lot should be in the Williston Middle School district. They could buy this lot as a co op and allow every one who wants to make this their legal address an owner. So being in the Williston Middle School neighborhood the Board of Education would students would send the students to Myrtle Grove Middle School. Keep up this going for all areas until the B of E gets the message. Then let the lawyers "WWF" it out in court.

Out "FOX" the Board of Education

That would be one plan, but everyone would be redistricted before you could see the results.


Fortunately, I was one of the lucky ones. With the first two proposals, my child was to be shipped all the way to Castle Hayne. I freaked out. Considered selling my house, renting it out and getting an apartment or using a fake address or using a relatives address to avoid this caos. Then a second problem...trasportation to and from school. I was so stressed out I didn't know what to do. As a single mom who does not make a lot of money, private school was not a option. But fortunately the final decision allowed her to continue at the same middle school she was presently attending. I was able to calm myself for the time being and stop the house hunting. I hate it for all the other parents who are dealing with this foolishness, as I totally understand the stress you have!!! Let's pray this does not happen again. It's very disruptive for the kids....who suffer from as much stress as we do over the whole ordeal.