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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Charlotte School Closings Coming: Eliminating Segregation & Failure

Lots of Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Boundaries Changing; 20 Possible Closings

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will post boundary plans affecting more than 20 schools this weekend, but crowded Highland Creek and Torrence Creek elementaries won't be among them.

Boundary changes are part of a complex package of school changes proposed for 2011-12, with a school board vote set for Nov. 9. The changes are designed to save money and boost academic achievement.

CMS planners had originally listed five crowded suburban schools that could be relieved by boundary changes. The board voted to take two southern schools off the list and held off action on two northern schools because the board member representing that area was absent.

Mike Raible, the district's head planner, said Tuesday that his staff has decided it's not practical to move kids out of Highland Creek in northeast Charlotte or Torrence Creek in Huntersville next year.

He also said officials no longer plan to send students from the current Waddell High zone to West Mecklenburg High.

A proposal to close Waddell and turn the southwest Charlotte building into a K-8 foreign-language magnet originally called for dividing the high school students among three schools, including West Meck.

Waddell and West Meck have gotten federal School Improvement Grants, based on high poverty and low academic performance. A state official overseeing the grants said CMS could use some of Waddell's grant money to help those students transition to new schools if Waddell closes, but only if those students go to a higher-performing school.

Boundary changes that will be posted at over the weekend include:

Dividing the current Waddell zone among South Mecklenburg and Harding high schools if the board approves closing Waddell.

Moving some of West Meck's zone into a new neighborhood zone for Harding, which is currently a full magnet.

Creating boundaries for new pre-K-8 schools at Ashley Park, Berryhill, Bruns, Byers, Druid Hills, Reid Park, Thomasboro and Westerly Hills elementaries, which are slated to expand if the board votes to close Spaugh, Wilson and J.T. Williams middle schools. Those schools are in west, central and northern Charlotte.

Reassigning some Wilson students to Whitewater Middle and some Spaugh students to Sedgefield and Alexander Graham middle schools.

Creating boundaries for Winding Springs Elementary in northern Charlotte, which is currently a magnet school but is slated to become a neighborhood school.

Reassigning students from the center-city Irwin Avenue Elementary, which is set to close.

Reassigning neighborhood students from northern Charlotte's Lincoln Heights Elementary, which is proposed to become a full magnet school.

Reassigning neighborhood students from Oakhurst Elementary in east Charlotte, which is slated to close.

Taking the Cochrane Middle School zone out of Garinger High, starting with next year's ninth-graders, if Cochrane becomes a combined middle/high school.

Moving some students out of Community House Middle in the southern Ballantyne area.

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Sources: ABC News, CMS, McClatchy Newspapers, WCNC, Google Maps

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