BRUNSWICK COUNTY — New school assignment recommendations are coming next month to northern Brunswick County.
Brunswick County Schools hosted its first informational redistricting session Tuesday featuring its consultant, Cropper GIS.
CropperGIS has been tasked with creating a completely new assignment district to make room for Town Creek Middle School, Brunswick County Schools’ (BCS) newest addition set to open to students in the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year.
New assignments are also underway for BCS’ northern elementary schools, with the county’s growth having especially strained Belville Elementary School, currently 43% above the BCS policy for its elementary school enrollment cap. Approximately 261 students will be required to be shuffled amongst the district’s underutilized elementary schools to alleviate crowding at Belville Elementary. These changes are expected to also take effect by the upcoming academic year.
New lines in November
At its first information session this week, CropperGIS informed attendees of its basic school reassignment criteria:
- keep students in neighborhood schools
- keep maximum student numbers at 1,400 for high schools; 750 for middle schools; 600 for elementary schools
- keep the average bus route between one hour to an hour and 15 minutes.
(Note: Each school building has its own capacity accommodations, but for simplicity, over and under capacity figures are based on BCS policy)
School officials consider Belville Elementary to host district’s highest-priority capacity issue, tied for the most overcrowded school in the district (both Belville and Leland Middle School are the same percent over capacity, per school policy). Belville Elementary has 261 too many students enrolled, who will be required to be reassigned to schools under capacity, including Lincoln Elementary (room for 24 new students) and Town Creek Elementary (room for 22 new students).
Since those numbers don’t add up, it seems likely other under-utilized schools in the district will also be considered to make up for the approximately 215 students that would, in theory, still remain enrolled at Belville Elementary while keeping enrollment capacity at each elementary school at 600 students. But those schools, like Bolivia Elementary (room for 183 students), would require a lengthier bus trip for the Leland-area students.
Leland Middle School is 43% above capacity, with 1,002 students enrolled. South Brunswick Middle, currently the only other district Leland-area students could be assigned to, is also overcapacity, with 89 too many students. But soon, Town Creek Middle will come online in Winnabow, effectively splitting the two district’s population pool. Town Creek could host 700; plus, there’s room for about 45 students at Shallotte Middle and room for 209 at Cedar Grove, both of which sit in the southeastern end of the county.
Located on the northeastern end of the county, Waccamaw Middle (a K-8 school) also may have room for a few dozen students.
CropperGIS will present its draft assignment options on November 18, at 6 p.m. at North Brunswick High School. This second information session will include a public comment section, which was not available during the first introductory meeting.
Draft recommendations will be reviewed by the School Board December 17, with the possibility open that board members approve new school assignment options.
BCS’ consultant will continue work through winter 2020 on a district-wide analysis. CropperGIS’ work will include site selection for a new school, should it be deemed necessary, along with redistricting scenarios to make way for a new school.
Any school or student “could be impacted by as a result of phase 2 recommendations,” according to CropperGIS’ presentation. View existing school assignment districts online now, which will be updated with new recommendations when they become available. BCS has created a feedback form, open now, where it asks community members for opinions and suggestions prior to the establishment of new assignment options.
View CropperGIS’ updated redistricting timeline below. Click to enlarge.
Keep up with school assignment updates on Brunswick County Schools’ new redistricting page.
Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at email@example.com