The Cabarrus County school board may vote Monday night - just after a public hearing on the issue - whether to send some Jay M. Robinson High School students to Northwest Cabarrus High starting this fall.
Subdivisions affected are Pine Hill Estates, Candleberry, Weaks Park, Crestview, Cochran Park, Weddington Woods, Fairway Ridge, Rosewood, Laurel Park, Mountain Laurel and Province Green.
Under the proposal, about 100 current eighth- and ninth-graders in those neighborhoods, and some other nearby residences, would be reassigned to Northwest Cabarrus starting with the 2010-11 school year.
Board Chairman Wayne Williams said the school system is considering the reassignments to balance enrollments between the two schools.
"We have a lot of empty classrooms we could be using at Northwest, instead of students sitting in trailers at Robinson," he said.
Next year's enrollment at Northwest, as it stands, could also force the elimination of some teaching and coaching positions, force cancellation of some advanced placement courses and create a change in sports conference status, which could increase teams' traveling time and expenses.
Fifty parents who oppose the proposal met last week at the Laurel Park neighborhood clubhouse to discuss their concerns.
Many of them said they worry that their children will be moved again once assignment lines are drawn for the new Harold Winkler Middle School, which is set to open in fall 2011.
Others, with both under- and upperclass-age children, didn't like the idea that siblings would not be attending the same school.
Students affected by the change also voiced concerns.
"I think it's too late to make that decision," said Casey Williams, an eighth-grader who learned she had made Robinson's cheerleading team the same day she found out she might be moved to Northwest. Like many others, she has already signed up for freshman courses at Robinson.
Chairman Wayne Williams said he sympathizes with parents and students, but when new school construction projects were approved in previous years, no one could predict the future of the economy today, or the pupil assignment changes that would result.
"We didn't have a crystal ball years ago to see that our growth was going to stop," Wayne Williams said.
Not all parents who attended the meeting were bothered by the proposal. Parent Hailey Hale said reassignments are to be expected: "We live in a nice neighborhood, but Concord is a big city. If you want a small community school, then move to Mount Pleasant."
Both Northwest Cabarrus and Robinson, she said, have equally good reputations.
The public hearing will be at 6 p.m. Monday in the Cabarrus County Schools Education Center, 4401 Old Airport Road, Concord (off N.C. 49 about 3 miles north of U.S. 601).