Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has incorporated significant changes suggested during a month of public feedback into student assignment proposals that are up for a vote Wednesday, a roster of proposals posted Tuesday afternoon shows.
The changes will delight some who have fought for change while dismaying others.
For instance, Superintendent Ann Clark’s proposed pairing of Dilworth and Sedgefield elementary schools now incorporates what families dubbed the Two Great Middle Schools plan. The pairing would continue as proposed, with students in a merged attendance zone going to Sedgefield for grades K-2 and Dilworth for 3-5.
The revised version shifts middle school assignments for students in the Dilworth, Eastover, Montclaire and Pinewood elementary zones, starting with sixth-graders in 2019-20. Residents of several neighborhoods say this plan will balance demographics and create desirable middle school options through the area, making the elementary changes more palatable.
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That proposal has strong support from many neighborhood and school groups, but is likely to dismay families in the Eastover zone, who weren’t scheduled for change in the plan Clark unveiled on April 25. Many have objected to a last-minute proposal they’ve had little time to respond to, shifting their assignment from Alexander Graham to Sedgefield Middle.
Families in the Myers Park neighborhood, who lobbied for their own neighborhood school, did not get their wish. But those in the Montclaire neighborhood, who pushed to be assigned to a closer high school, will see their assignment move from Harding High to the closer and more prestigious Myers Park High.
The proposal for extensive changes at Morehead STEM Academy, a K-8 magnet school, has been revised after vigorous parent objections, though it’s not clear whether the magnet families will be happy with the latest version. Clark’s original proposal would have turned Morehead, Nathaniel Alexander Elementary and Martin Middle, all located at the Governor’s Village campus near UNC Charlotte, into combined neighborhood/magnet schools, with the grade levels broken up among the three schools.
The version posted Tuesday drops Martin from the plan, with Nathaniel Alexander and Morehead becoming neighborhood schools with the science, technology, engineering and math magnet program. Both schools will serve the current Nathaniel Alexander zone, with neighborhood students taking part in the STEM program. The grade levels housed at each school remain to be determined.
Elyse Dashew, the board’s vice chair, said Tuesday that all the major elements of Clark’s plan will be up for a vote. Clark's original plan included 44 numbered proposals for boundary and magnet changes. Wednesday’s agenda includes 14 motions, with related actions clustered for a single vote.
It still falls to the nine board members to decide whether to approve, amend or postpone each item. Some have said the board needs to allow more time for public discussion and for Clayton Wilcox to take over as superintendent in July.
“I do not support a delay, but I can’t tell you what will happen at the dais,” Dashew said.
Wednesday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the meeting chamber of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. It includes a public hearing on the assignment changes, and will be broadcast live online and on CMS-TV Channel 3.