One meeting left! Committee must make final redistricting recommendations soon


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The future of school assignments in New Hanover County is still up in the air. However, the ongoing discussion of redistricting elementary and middle schools is almost over.

A new map was presented at Tuesday afternoon’s meeting.

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Parents had the chance to submit surveys following September’s meeting and the biggest concern was related to transportation. The map “3C” presented Tuesday was built off of the “3A.” This map would impact about 25% of elementary students with the primary goal of reducing overcrowding at all schools and put students into Porter’s Neck Elementary School next fall.

About 30 parents attended Tuesday’s meeting, which is not as many as September’s meeting.

Last meeting, Carlos Cubas was very concerned that the boundary’s would wipe out the diversity at Wrightsville Beach Elementary school. His concerns were heard. The 3C map brings the diversity back.

“We are going to continue to speak up,” Mary Butner, a concerned parent, said.

Butner attended Tuesday afternoon’s redistricting meeting. She’s been keeping an eye on how the boundary changes will impact the middle school her sons’ attend.

“The maps 3A and 3B had them moving and being destricted to Myrtle Grove which is also a great school, but what concerned me was the majority of their peers at Rolland Grice will also go on to high school with them, so it was really important for our neighborhood for them to stick together,” Butner said. 

But, the committee is still refining maps. Cropper GIS Owner Matthew Cropper has been guiding the efforts. He says Tuesday’s focus is complex.

“…trying to reduce the overall number of students impacted, proximity and transportation concerns and utilization concerns as well,” Cropper said. 

With only one meeting left until the committee must make a recommendation, Cropper says it’s normal for maps to change until the end.

“As we get closer to the end, they are more fine tune adjustments,” Cropper said.

Diversity and transportation concerns are the focus of change for the next map. With so much uncertainty on the final choice. Butner is still concerned.

“It makes me feel nervous, but hopefully our voices our heard,” Butner said.