Many Union County students change locations

The first day of school this year in Union County is also the first day of a controversial pupil reassignment plan.

About 6,300 of the system’s 42,000 students have been moved this year, because school officials said they needed to deal with overcrowding. That proposal was bitterly opposed by parents, some of whom sued to stop the change.

The suit was dismissed July 23 by Judge Lucy Inman, and the plan is now in effect.

Several parents who talked with The Observer on Saturday said they have misgivings about the reassignment but are ready to move ahead.

“I think it’s a short-term fix,” said one man, whose neighborhood along Lawyers Road was moved from the Porter Ridge to the Piedmont school zones. “The western part of the county is still growing, so we’ll have to deal with this again.

“But we”re reconciled with this. It’s time to move on. We’re looking forward to a good year.”

Another parent, whose son was moved from Weddington to Sun Valley high schools, said his son actually prefers Sun Valley.

Students, mostly in the fast-growing western part of the county, were moved to less-crowded schools farther east. Reassigned students were sent to Fairview Elementary, Parkwood Middle, Parkwood High, Piedmont Middle, Piedmont High and Sun Valley High.

Principals and PTAs at a number of schools said they made special efforts in recent weeks to make the new students and their parents feel welcome. Some of those took place at open houses last week.

Not all of the students who were to have been reassigned will be in new schools this week. The Union County school board approved a number of board transfers, but school system officials said they won’t have a final tally until early next month.