Could year-round schools be eliminated in New Hanover?


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County school district is proposing a major change to scheduling.

Parents at Codington Elementary got an alarming email Friday that may signal the answer is yes.

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“How is this what’s best for my child,” Stephanie Starr, whose daughter goes to Codington, said. “I thought, ‘This is not what’s best for her.'”

Starr loves the year-round school calendar that Codington operates on.

Principal Graham Elmore sent the email to teachers.

In it, the proposed school calendar would have every school in the county follow the same calendar including year-round schools. It shows that all schools would start in August and end in May.

If approved, Elmore says Codington could be home to an immersion program.

But it may not be what it looks like.

“It is going to be the recommendation of the calendar committee, in no uncertain terms, to maintain Codington, Eaton, Sunset Park and Rachel Freeman as calendar schools with their calendar programs intact, as they are,” New Hanover County Board of Education member Nelson Beaulieu.

Beaulieu is also the Chairman of the Calendar Committee.

He says it’s not their intention to take away the year-round calendar. Instead, he explains what they’re actually considering.

“Moving our traditional school calendars back about two weeks,” Beaulieu said.

Beaulieu says the district has nine different calendars. He says the goal is to simply condense that.

“This would do so much for our students,” he said. “To be able to finish your exams, rather than go home for a three-week break, come back, do two weeks, then take your exams. That doesn’t really help our students.”

Beaulieu says the committee just wanted to put the idea out there to get feedback.

“This was a conversation that got just a little bit ahead of itself,” he said. “The recommendation of the calendar committee and my personal recommendation is going to be to keep those schools as is.”

Parents like Starr agree.

“Schools for our children and when we’re making decisions, we need to make them about the kids,” she said.

A part of the proposal also suggests making Codington home to an immersion program. He says it never hurts to just throw out ideas.

No decisions have been made. Beaulieu encourages parents to come out the the Calendar Committee meetings in October to learn more.