With seven of nine members present, the Board voted 4-3 against a proposed consolidation of Chantilly and Highland Mills, both Montessori elementary schools. The Board also voted 6-1 to make no changes at Myers Park Traditional and Elizabeth Traditional, both elementary schools with traditional programs. The Board also voted 7-0 against a proposal to redraw boundaries for Mint Hill Middle and Ballantyne Elementary schools.
Staff also brought forward a change to the proposal that would add a partial International Baccalaureate magnet program at Blythe Elementary and a partial language immersion/talent development program at Mallard Creek Elementary. The Board has not voted on that.
The comprehensive review, which began with a series of community forums and work sessions in June, seeks to align Board decisions with the district’s strategic plan and establish a consistent, strategic approach on individual issues. The review is intended to be wide-ranging and examine issues including magnet schools, transportation, boundaries, enrollments, use of facilities and funding.
The Oct. 4 votes continued the Board’s consideration of a proposal by CMS staff that would have made changes ranging from boundary shifts to closing buildings. The proposal is based on guiding principles approved by the Board earlier this year as part of the comprehensive review.
The original proposal, unveiled Sept. 28, would have closed 11 facilities in CMS. Six were closures of buildings with the programs moving to larger or better facilities. Two would have consolidated one school into another, and closed three middle schools, shifting their students shifting either to newly established Pre-K-8 programs at the feeder elementary schools or to another middle school.
Another 29 schools were proposed to get targeted assistance from staff, which could include help with a school improvement plan or with changing community perception of the school. Five schools now at overcapacity would have boundary changes to relieve overcrowding, according to the proposal.
Additional changes would create eight schools with enrollment of pre-kindergarten through grade eight, one school with enrollment of kindergarten through grade 12 and one school with grades six through 12.
Other changes proposed by staff would change Irwin Avenue from an elementary school into an administrative facility to house employees now at the Education Center and the Professional Development Center, and create two year-round, multi-track magnet schools at other sites.
The Board will make a final decision at its Nov. 9 meeting.
To see the presentation from the Oct. 4 work session, click here.
The Board will also hold another series of public forums in October to allow public comment on the proposals. To see a list of the forum meeting places and times, click here.