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Redistricting committee has third meeting

Posted Friday, January 5, 2007

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Siler City, NC - The redistricting committee for the Siler City and Silk Hope areas met on Thursday night, January 4, at 6:00 p.m. in the multipurpose room of Siler City Elementary School. The committee is comprised of principals and parent representatives from the affected schools, Board of Education members, central office staff, and Superintendent Ann Hart.

During the meeting the group revisited maps revised during the second committee meeting. These consist of four possible attendance scenarios. The group fine-tuned the zones on the maps using established criteria for the process: 1) maintain rated capacity for Silk Hope School; 2) maintain intact neighborhoods; 3) maintain a contiguous attendance zone; 4) maintain natural boundaries; 5) avoid overlapping bus routes; and 6) send neighborhoods to the closest school. The latest map revisions, now narrowed to three scenarios, will be made available as soon as they are completed by the OR/Ed. Lab.

At the Board of Education work session on Monday, January 8, Hart will report on the progress of the committee during her superintendent’s report. This will be a non-discussion item.

The committee recommended a redistricting display be available at Siler City Elementary School and Silk Hope School later in the month of January for the public to view and make comments about. Large scale maps and a PowerPoint presentation will be part of the showcase. Committee members will be available at specified times to answer questions. Dates and times of the displays will be announced as soon as they are determined.

During its February 12th work session at the central office, a discussion of the redistricting issue will be on the agenda. The Board hopes to make final redistricting decisions by the end of February.

The committee has been working with the OR/Ed. Lab at North Carolina State University to create and revise maps of optimal elementary scenarios for student populations. The redistricting process is necessary because a new elementary school, Virginia Cross Elementary School, will open in the fall of 2007.

The committee will determine if it needs to meet again based on public feedback of the scenarios in the coming weeks.

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