Local News

Triangle Parents Prepare For, Debate School Reassignment

Posted December 13, 1998

— It makes parents groan and kids nervous. Tuesday, thousands of Wake County students will be reassigned.

Reassignment is also an issue being tackled in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system. The final boundaries have not been set up, but Monday night, hundreds of parents gathered to weigh the pros and cons of a student shuffle there.

Parents who don't want their children shuffled from one school to another packed a public hearing on redistricting Monday night.

They held signs showing which schools they want their children to attend.

Hundreds of Chapel Hill-Carrboro students have to be reassigned because of construction and growth.

"We are opening a new elementary school in August of 1998. We also have a 500 capacity new wing opening at East Chapel Hill High School," said Elizabeth Carter, school board member.

Members of the redistricting committee face a difficult task, maintaining racial balance while sending students to neighborhood schools.

They presented two plans that would reassign 900 to 1,000 students. Parents from the Stoneridge-Sedgefield area countered with two alternative plans that would reassign fewer students.

"Distance affects friendships. School volunteerism is diminished, and the prospect of a 45 minute daily commute to pick up athletes at 5 o'clock affects siblings, homework and the dinner hour," said parent Virginia Guilfoile.

Members of the committee promised parents that when they meet again in January, they will be thinking about all the comments they heard at Monday night's meeting.

The changes would go into effect next fall for elementary and high school students but not until the following year for middle school students.

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