The Cabarrus County school board plans to decide this week whether it will move forward with a student reassignment plan that uses Rocky River Road as a boundary to determine which students will attend the new Patriots Elementary School.
The board is scheduled to make its final decision on the plan at its meeting at 6 p.m. Monday.
The reassignment was made necessary by the construction of two new elementary schools set to open next fall: Patriots Elementary, off Rocky River Road in Concord, and the replacement A.T. Allen Elementary School in Concord.
Under the proposal being considered, children who live north of Rocky River Road would attend Harrisburg Elementary. The Patriots Elementary School district would take in children from neighborhoods south of Rocky River Road.
That includes Bradford Park, a Harrisburg neighborhood that has objected to moving its children from Harrisburg Elementary.
At last Monday's meeting, several Bradford Park residents urged board members to consider the longer bus rides and resulting higher transportation costs of busing students to Patriots Elementary School.
"I will have to drive past Harrisburg Elementary on my way to pick up my daughter at the newly formed Patriots Elementary," Bradford Park resident Tish Biester told the board.
Wayne Williams, who was elected school board chair at that meeting, said he drove the distance from Harrisburg to Patriots Elementary. He said he believed no bus ride would be lengthened by more than 10 minutes.
But board member Andrea Palo said she was concerned the distance would increase costs and lengthen bus rides. She and board member Mike Helms voted against moving forward with the plan. Palo suggested the board continue to consider a plan from Bradford Park residents.
Their proposal suggested leaving children from Bradford Park and neighboring Cabarrus Woods at Harrisburg Elementary and moving children from Harrisburg subdivisions Heatherstone and Stallings Glen to Patriots Elementary.
Board members did reverse an earlier decision to swap some students between A.T. Allen and Rocky River. In one of the original plans, some students attending A.T. Allen would have moved to Rocky River, and some from Rocky River would have moved to A.T. Allen.
The board held a public hearing Thursday to hear residents' thoughts on middle and high school student reassignment plans.