Charter school proposed to fill vacant middle school in Chadbourn

CHADBOURN, NC (WWAY) — Saving Chadbourn Middle School could require help from the state.

Columbus County school leaders closed it last year shipping students out of the town to Evergreen K though 8 school. A charter school, in the process of forming, is hoping to use the vacant middle school.

Alumni of Westside High School and earlier schools that once stood on the middle school campus wanted to see it become a public venue for the community after the board decision. The idea never made much progress with the county commission according to neighbors. This option of a charter school sits before the school board now. However, there are some not sold on the idea within Chadbourn town limits.

“It means everything to us,” said almunus Crystal Frink looking over the front of the school. “This school has existed for over 100 years and has had such a profound impact.”

The school board voted back in August to move students from Chadbourn to Evergreen even with public backlash from families, alumni and school staff at Chadbourn. The board said it was a decision they were forced to make given county funding. It’s those funding woes that could be prevented with a charter school according to Frink.

“The idea of a charter is somewhat intimidating to a lot of people, but with a charter they can have access to other resources that the regular school system does not,” Frink said.

The school has had many names, now it could become the Davis Academy according to Frink who also sits on the Davis Academy Chadbourn community advisory committee. We did hear from neighbors on the westside who were not in favor of seeing it become a charter school. They said it was the current charter school in Whiteville that led to students leaving the Chadbourn district.

“My main concern about charter schools was that teachers don’t have to be fully qualified,” said Doris Dees who graduated and taught at some time on the campus.

Dees however sits on the advisory committee now because she says a charter school is better than no school.

“Rather than having that building over there doing nothing, I am for a charter school over there now,” Frink said.

WWAY has reached out to the founders of the academy for more information. They have not responded to our request yet. Frink says the organizers are working on an accelerated charter to be mulled over by state officials.

Interim Superintendent of county schools Jonathan Williams says the board will meet next Thursday morning. He is not sure if the charter school proposal will be on the agenda yet or not.

Categories: Columbus, Local

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