A Durham school faces reassignment

January 31, 2008 9:53:17 PM PST
It was standing room only at a special Durham school board meeting Thursday.

A development boom in South Durham has some parents waging a war against reassignment.

Creekside Elementary School is at the center of the controversy.

School leaders and parents agree; they want to avoid reassignment, but exactly how to do that is the question.

With growth comes growing pains and parents at Creekside are feeling it.

"We specifically picked a home in the Creekside zone and it's probably one slated to be moved," parent, Sherry Kurtz said.

With property values and their students on the line, they watch and listen at a special school board meeting.

Campus maps outline solutions for Creekside's exploding enrollment of 1,000 students.

"Our goal is to do everything in our power to keep the Creekside family together," Minnie Forte-Brown with Durham Public Schools said.

It would require the completion of a multi-million dollar classroom expansion project by 2009. Additional mobile classrooms would be needed by this summer.

The school already has more mobile units than allowed, requiring special permission from other government agencies.

A pending report on increased traffic near the school could also delay road permits. For those parents, a plan is almost a promise.

"Some of us came in feeling like we were being ripped apart and now we leave with hope," Kurtz said.

More so than hope though, school leaders are urging parents to be realistic.

"Students will still be eating lunch all day; we'll be losing some playground space because we'll have to take that up with mobile units, so people are going to have to make some sacrifices," the Durham Public School Board said.

Sacrifices parents say they are willing to make, as long as their neighborhood school stays the same.

School leaders say the school's future will likely depend on whether they can add additional mobile classrooms.


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