School board narrows Chatham Grove rezoning to two options

Posted 5/17/19

PITTSBORO — Several months later, they’re down to two.

The Chatham County Board of Education officially eliminated four of six possibilities for the new attendance zones for elementary schools …

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School board narrows Chatham Grove rezoning to two options

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Posted

PITTSBORO — Several months later, they’re down to two.

The Chatham County Board of Education officially eliminated four of six possibilities for the new attendance zones for elementary schools on the eastern side of the county, leaving two scenarios with one difference.

The only difference between Scenarios D and E, the two remaining, is the inclusion of the entire upper half of Chatham Park in the Perry Harrison School attendance zone in Scenario D. In E, the Perry Harrison zone is cut off along U.S. Hwy. 64, with slight overlap to Hanks Chapel Road in Pittsboro.

Chatham County Schools Chief Operating Officer Chris Blice brought multiple new documents before the board Monday night, including Scenarios E and F. He also presented a Scenario Benefits Matrix, developed in conjunction with N.C. State University’s Operations Research and Education Laboratory, which he said measured the presented scenarios with board priorities and other keys. The six-point matrix included:

• Optimal utilization of all schools

• Preventing overcrowding at Chatham Grove by the fifth year

• Allowing room for growth at all elementary schools in the region

• Allowing students on Mt. Gilead Road to attend a closer elementary school

• Having all Chatham Park students going to the same school

• Having all Briar Chapel students going to the same school

Blice particularly stressed what he termed “unanticipated growth,” any new developments or housing that come in response to Chatham Park.

“As Chatham Park develops, there will be other things that pop up,” Blice said. “So we tried to look at how each of the scenarios respond to that.”

On the matrix, Scenario D checked all six listed boxes and was the only one that “allows room for growth at all elementary schools in the region,” while E hit four.

Scenarios A, C and F only checked three, while B only succeeded in two categories. That led the board to unanimously vote to remove A, B, C and F “given (they did) not meet the school board’s objectives and the strategic approach for redistricting Chatham Grove,” according to board member Melissa Hlavac’s motion.

The board delayed making a final decision on the zoning to consider the two remaining options and allow Blice to do some driving comparisons between D and E. A decision could be made at the June or July meetings, something in which the board expressed interest.

Superintendent Derrick Jordan repeated an oft-stated mantra throughout this process, that “there absolutely won’t be a scenario that will satisfy everybody.”

“We are about one year out, and you’re at a point now where you could potentially make some decisions now about the boundaries,” he said, “and I think that is huge, as opposed to making the decision next June, which happens in some school districts.”

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