July 26, 2008

Cabarrus School Board Approves Transfer Options: Parents Have Until Aug. 14 to Decide

By Josh Lanier, Independent Tribune, Concord, N.C.

Jul. 25--CONCORD -- The Cabarrus County Board of Education approved transfer measures Thursday for schools that did not meet No Child Left Behind standards for a second consecutive year.

W.M. Irvin, Winecoff, Weddington, Coltrane-Webb, Wolf Meadow and Royal Oaks elementary schools failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress as set by NCLB, and parents will have until Aug. 14 to decide if they would like to transfer their children to other schools. Packets will be mailed to parents and students of the six schools on Aug. 6 that will outline steps to switch schools.

Parents will have a chance to ask school officials questions about their options at town hall meetings scheduled for Aug. 9 and 10.

Marion Bish, federal programs director for Cabarrus County Schools, presented the transfer options to the board, saying that although seven of the county's elementary schools didn't meet AYP, improvements were being made.

"This was the year that AYP standards were raised, and we saw about a 12 percent increase in AYP standards in math," she said. "The bar got a lot higher this year, but we're still seeing strides."

Board members also reviewed proposed redistricting measures that would move between 118 and 103 students from Central Cabarrus High School to Mount Pleasant High School.

Currently, U.S. 601 acts as a man-made border between the two school districts, but proposed lines would push Mount Pleasant's reach over the highway, extending from N.C. 49 to the north and Biggers Road to the south. In a revised version introduced Thursday, Zion Church Road would be the northern border and Biggers Road the southern.

School board members asked Assistant Superintendent Jim Amendum for other scenarios and breakdowns of students who may be affected by the change before proceeding to the next board meeting on Aug. 11.

Parents in those areas will be notified by mail and may speak with school board members at an Aug. 28 town hall meeting before a vote is held to redraw the lines.

The measure was intended to balance out the number of students in area high schools.The redistricted areas would not go into effect until the beginning 2009-10 school year and rising seniors would be allowed to stay at their current high school.

The proposed changes would increase Mount Pleasant's student enrollment from 867 students to 985 or 970 in 2009 and a project 1092 students by 2012.

This was the first school board meeting in four years for Don Hoyle since he was appointed to fill Liz Poole's recently vacated seat. She resigned last month.

Hoyle will remain on the board until new members are sworn in following the Nov. 4 election.

"It's a new adventure every time you come here," he said. "It's nice to be back, even if it's only for four months."

-- Contact Josh Lanier: 704- 789-9144


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