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Northwood's overcrowding shortchanges students

By Meg Miller
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007

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Pittsboro, NC - When the teachers of your core subject classes are raising the flag about class sizes there is a problem. This is from the latest Teacher Advisory Committee minutes. This committee is made up of the teachers of the year from the county schools.

Question/Comment #18A: Skip Tibault reported that Northwood teachers who teach classes
with End of Course (EOC) exams have expressed concerns regarding the large class sizes of
EOC classes at Northwood. He said that large numbers in a classroom disrupt small group
activities and place additional pressure on teachers and students to perform well on EOC
exams. He asked Dr. Hart if anything could be done to limit class size.

I urge anyone with a child of high school age, or really any concerned citizen to enter the discussion concerning the location/timing of the proposed NE High School. Northwood is at 1000 students (250 OVER capacity). By time the new high school is projected to open it could potentially have 1500 students, over twice the limit.

There is room at Chatham Central and the Board of Education should be urged to redistrict to give Northwood some room and buy some time. We also need the high school to become priority number one.

Please get involved in this. The question now is whether the land on Jack Bennett is where the
high school should be. Over the years of owning that land the Board of Education failed to have soil test and feasibility studies done, so the answer to that question is still up in the air.

I send these posts out periodically because I don't feel folks truly understand the gravity of the situation. The teachers are dealing with it daily, in classes of 32 and 33 in such subjects as
Chemistry and Spanish. Please email the superintendent/school board and ask them to:

A) Move the construction of the high school to the front burner ahead of the Briar Chapel middle school.

B) Redistrict to send students (not necessarily Northwood students) to fill up Chatham Central. This could easily be done by shifting Jordan Matthews students to Central and some western most Northwood students to JM.

Popular? No. But with Central sitting with all that space and classes of 17-18 it is the prudent move. Both JM and Central score higher on EOC testing across the board than Northwood, so the move shoudn't be seen as something "negative".

In the meantime, please support Northwood and it's teaching staff.

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