Douglas County parents voice disapproval of high school redistricting plan

Around 100 upset parents attended a public hearing Thursday night to voice their concerns about a countywide redistricting plan for Douglas County high schools.

They appealed to School Superintendent Gordon Pritz and the Board of Education members to delay their decision scheduled for Monday night.

However, Pritz said after the meeting, "Any delay creates major problems," citing the hiring and transfer of teachers for New Manchester High School, which will open in August.

Among many concerns expressed by parents are the division of the Chapel Hill community and increased distances as 2,000 students will be transferred to fill the new school. Many students will have to travel 8 to 10 miles to the new school instead of 1 to 3 miles to their current high schools.

Pritz said he will recommend board passage of two amendments to the plan during Monday's 7 p.m. meeting. One will allow rising 10th graders to remain at their current high school -- along with rising 11th and 12th graders, who are allowed already. His other change would allow all siblings in a family to continue to attend the current high school of the oldest sibling.

However, those choices will mean parents -- instead of school buses -- will have to provide their children's transportation to remain at their current high schools.