Rumors and confusion about school boundaries swirled through northern Mecklenburg County this week, apparently sparked by plans to open a new elementary school in Huntersville next year.
The school, dubbed new Stumptown elementary during construction, will pull students from the crowded Torrence Creek Elementary in 2013-14. Boundaries for the new school were approved in 2009-10, and the school board will get an update on that plan at Tuesdays meeting. No new action is scheduled.
Middle and high school boundaries will not change, contrary to reports elected officials say they have been hearing.
Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain acknowledged that her efforts to squelch false reports Wednesday may have fueled confusion. In a Facebook post Wednesday morning, Swain urged real estate agents to stop spreading rumors and instead encourage customers to follow discussions on potential school boundaries.
Yes, when Stumptown Road Elementary opens, there WILL be some boundary/feeder changes. There will have to be, she wrote. What that is right now, NO ONE knows.
Wednesday afternoon, she added a post saying people were telling her letters are being passed around with misinformation about boundaries for the high schools.
Rhonda Lennon, the school board member who represents the northern suburbs, said she has gotten about 20 calls and 50 emails about boundary rumors, including reports that boundaries for Hough High in Cornelius are about to change. But Swain and Lennon said they hadnt seen the letter.
Former principal speaks out
Jimmy Poole, former principal of North Mecklenburg High, recently wrote to Huntersville officials detailing his concerns with the high school boundaries drawn when Hough High opened and suggesting the school board should reconsider them.
Poole has repeatedly said he thinks the boundaries skewed school demographics so Hough has most of the white and middle-class students while North Meck now has a preponderance of low-income minority students from Charlotte. The change has damaged Norths academic and athletic performance, Poole said in his recent letter.
I believe that the school board should look at new boundaries for the northern end high schools, Poole wrote, and went on to suggest several neighborhoods he thinks should be rezoned.
Even if the board were to consider new boundaries, there wouldnt be time to make changes for 2013-14. The school board agreed to make boundary decisions by Nov. 15 of the previous year, with the magnet lottery held in January.
Poole said he expects northern parents dissatisfied with school boundaries to attend Thursdays town hall meeting with Superintendent Heath Morrison. That session, which is open to the public, is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hopewell High, 11530 Beatties Ford Road.