New lines and figures for high school redistricting catch confusion, from parents and school board

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  Parents took to the mic Tuesday night to fight for their kids to stay in their current schools.The New Hanover County board of education heard the latest options for high school redistricting.

Several parents spoke in favor of the changes, others still with questions they hoped to get answered. School board members this time around were even more uncertain on if the maps in front of them are the right way to go.

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“It doesn’t fix a capacity issue,” said parent Steve Worrell who talked before the board.
“It just moves students around.”

New options, but the same problems as the New Hanover County school board wants to redistrict.

“They’ve played on school sports teams together, participated in school clubs together their whole school careers,” said Krystal Morgan who says her neighborhood along Masonboro loop with me split from the redrawing. “Splitting them up for the last two to three years of high school just seems extremely wrong.”

Originally the board had the option of redrawing lines and moving around 685 students to reduce the extreme over capacity at places like Laney High.  Now they have two more options to fine tune lines, one would move less and another would move more, almost 800 students (782). Both put all schools overcapacity.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Eddie Anderson made a proposal.

“This would help ease the transition of high school students.”

He proposed to let rising juniors stay at their school if they want to. That mirrors the privilege already in place for rising seniors. New Hanover High junior Edwin West added on to that.

“I ask for a grandfather clause not only for juniors and seniors, but for each student be enacted so that no student has to go the harsh transition of changing schools.”

A proposal many parents supported.

“The kids that are there now, they need to stay,” said mother Angie Davis.

Davis spoke last time they met and again her message didn’t change ..wanting to keep the kids in their schools.

“I’m not saying that we don’t need it corrected, I am just saying but just moving these kids around is not the answer.”

Right now the staff has February 20th slated for the date the board will make the final approval of the maps.

The chairman has told WWAY’s Andrew James he sees this debate moving well into March. School spokeswoman Valita Quattlebaum tells us the board mentioned they want to leave the option open and it could possibly carry over to the March Board meeting.