CoastLine: New Hanover County School Redistricting

Feb 14, 2019

New Hanover County redistricting of its high schools is complete; as for middle schools, the process continues.  The Board of Education plans to assign middle school and elementary school students in 2021.

New school assignment letters are going out in March to about 9% of New Hanover County high school students and 45 Murray Middle School students, who will move to Myrtle Grove.

Going forward, one of the biggest redistricting hurdles is deciding what to do with Williston Middle School. Officials say this is a key piece of the puzzle.

Vice Chair of the School Board, David Wortman, recently suggested Williston Middle School, a low-performing school, become an arts school.  After community members challenged that idea, calls to turn Williston into a vocational school with an arts component have gained traction.  A newly-formed Williston Exploratory Committee is now charged with gathering community input on the school’s future.

In recent years, research shows that New Hanover County Schools have increased the degree of racial and socio-economic segregation.  In other words, high-minority school populations are typically also high-poverty schools.

With us to explore the process, the priorities, and the challenges of the redistricting process:

Lisa Estep, Chairperson, New Hanover County Board of Education

Cammie Bellamy, Education and Growth & Development Reporter, Wilmington Star News