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Two year-round Cumberland County schools may change to traditional

Posted November 30, 2015

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— Two year-round schools in Cumberland County may change back to a traditional calendar.

In a meeting Monday night, school officials said they were considering the change in an effort to help with overcrowding at a neighboring school, but some parents are not happy about the proposed changes.

Kevin Newbold launched a petition to keep Ed V. Baldwin Elementary, in Hope Mills, a year-around school. His 5-year-old daughter attends the school and her younger sister hopes to join her in 2016.

"I see my daughter who is here now in kindergarten and come seven, eight weeks, she is bored," he said. "She wants to stop, but then they get a three-week break and when she comes back she is fresh and ready to go."

In addition to Baldwin Elementary, school officials are looking to change Teresa Berrien Elementary School, in Fayetteville, to a traditional nine-month school calendar.

Todd Yardia, the principal at Baldwin, said he would like to keep the year-around program, but said new students lose out when they transfer into the school.

"Last year it was about 150 students that transferred in during the school year," he said. "All of them came from a traditional calendar. What that means is they missed anywhere from two to six weeks of school."

School leaders said the change would also save transportation money by eliminating double bussing, but Veronica McFalls said she likes the flexibility a year-around school provides.

"As a parent I can plan my vacation. I don't have to plan my whole vacation during the summer - I can do spring," she said. "It is great for families."

If the proposal goes through, parents who opt to keep their children at Baldwin after being reassigned would have to provide their own transportation. Administrators will present the proposal to the school board Tuesday.


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