Hearing Thursday on Attendance Lines for New Schools
Parents will have an opportunity to weigh in Thursday on the proposed attendance districts for two new public schools opening next fall.
The Moore County Board of Education will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. in the board room of the Central Office in Carth-age on the proposed attendance lines for Crain's Creek Middle and West Pine Elemen-tary schools.
The two schools are scheduled to open at the beginning of the 2010-2011 academic year.
Crain's Creek Middle is in the Union Pines High School attendance area. It will help to relieve overcrowding at New Century Middle, which is the only middle school presently serving that area.
West Pine Elementary is in the Pinecrest High School district. It will ease overcrowding at both West End and Pinehurst Elementary schools.
The school board is expected to make a final decision on the attendance lines at its regular meeting March 8. The board heard a presentation from Deputy Superintendent Larry Upchurch on the proposed attendance lines at its Jan. 7 meeting.
The attendance district proposal for West Pine Elementary pulls 315 students out of Pinehurst Elementary and about 114 students from West End Elementary, for a total of 429 students at the new school. About 30 percent of that population would be on free and reduced lunch.
West Pine Elementary will have a maximum capacity of 550 students. The plan would reduce the number of students at West End Elementary to about 460 students and Pinehurst Elementary to about 350.
Basically, the boundary divides Pinehurst by N.C. 211 and N.C. 5.
Students living in the Lake Pinehurst area, Clarendon Gardens, Village Acres, Pinewild and areas west of N.C. 5 and north of N.C. 211 would attend West Pine Elementary, while students living in Old Town, CCNC, Pinehurst No. 6, The Fairwoods on 7, the Monticello Road area and Jackson Hamlet would remain at Pinehurst Elementary.
Taylortown, Foxfire Village and Jackson Springs are included in the West Pine Elementary attendance district. Students attending Academy Heights Elementary would not be affected.
Students living in West End, Seven Lakes and Eagle Springs will remain at West End Elementary.
Upchurch said at the January meeting that the West Pine Elementary proposal was the school system's "best effort" to get the number of students it needed to populate the new school without breaking up communities.
Crain's Creek Middle represents a less complicated situation, and Upchurch floated two ideas for that school's boundaries.
The first option simply combines the attendance districts for Cameron Elementary and Vass-Lakeview Elementary. Under this option, all the students who reach sixth grade and attend those two schools would be assigned to Crain's Creek Middle. Upchurch said this option follows the school system's history of using a clear feeder pattern.
Under this plan, total enrollment at Crain's Creek next fall would be 393 students - 46 rising sixth-graders from Cameron Elementary, 79 rising sixth-graders from Vass-Lakeview Elementary and 142 rising seventh-graders and 126 rising eighth-graders from New Century Middle. About 60 percent of those students would be on free and reduced lunch.
Total capacity at Crain's Creek Middle is 550 students. The opening of the new school will drop total attendance at New Century to about 500 students.
The second option is very similar, but feeds the western portion of the Cameron Elementary attendance district to New Century because it's closer to their homes than Crain's Creek. Next year, it would send 17 students from that area to New Century - -three rising sixth-graders from Cameron Elementary, and 14 students in sixth and seventh grade already at New Century this year.
The second option could reduce school bus rides by almost an hour, Upchurch said.
Maps of the attendance proposals can be found on the school system's Web site - www.ncmcs.org.
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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