During a special meeting Tuesday, the Cumberland County Board of Education looked at proposed reassignment plans for four of the district’s target areas.
Joe Desormeaux, the associate superintendent of Auxiliary Services for Cumberland County Schools, made the presentation during a morning meeting of the board’s Auxiliary Services Committee.
The plans came with different options for all four areas.
No action was taken.
The target areas include T. C. Berrien Elementary School, middle school realignment for T. C. Berrien, Lillian Black Elementary School and Ireland Drive Middle School.
Desormeaux said the proposed plans would “go to the community (to) get their feedback for the different options.”
That could take place later this month, he said.
“We’re trying to do it at one of the schools involved,” he said.
The factors driving the assignment change were listed as: the impact of the pandemic, proximity, utilization and diversity.
T.C. Berrien plans
Currently, 178 students live in the student assignment area and attend T.C. Berrien Elementary in kindergarten through fifth grades, according to a PowerPoint presentation from Desormeaux.
The four proposed plans for the reassignment of T.C. Berrien were:
– Divide T.C. Berrien between Lucile Souders and Ferguson-Easley elementary schools. That would be a minimal movement of 178 students, where only students from T. C. Berrien would be affected.
This option “may provide the greatest reduction in transportation cost,” the plan said.
– Divide T.C. Berrien between Ferguson-Easley and Glendale Acres and Ashley elementary schools; connecting the student assignment area by transferring students from Walker-Spivey Elementary School. This would involve the movement of 193 students, with students from T.C. Berrien and Walker-Spivey being impacted by the reassignment.
– Divide T.C. Berrien between Ferguson-Easley, Alma Easom and Vanstory Hills elementary schools; connecting the student assignment area by transferring students from Walker-Spivey Elementary to Alma Easom and Vanstory Hills and from Alma Easom and Vanstory Hills to Glendale Acres and Ashley elementary schools. In this case, 252 students – from T.C. Berrien, Alma Easom, Vanstory Hills and Walker-Spivey would be affected.
Most students would be affected by this option.
– T.C. Berrien is reassigned to W.T. Brown Elementary School. This plan would reassign all 178 Berrien students to W. T. Brown, where T. C. Berrien students are currently housed.
Each of the four plans comes with different assignment goals in mind.
Middle school realignment
The proposed plans for the middle school realignment for T. C. Berrien are:
– The southeastern-most part of Luther Nick Jeralds Middle School would be reassigned to R. Max Abbott Middle School, containing seven students.
Nick Jeralds has 596 students in sixth through eighth grades, with a building capacity for 716 students. This plan would reduce that number to 589.
R. Max Abbott has 762 students in sixth through eighth grades, with a building capacity for 950 students. This plan would increase that number to 769 students.
Lillian Black Elementary proposal
The three proposed reassignment plans for Lillian Black Elementary School, which has 175 students in kindergarten through fifth grades, are:
– All of Lillian Black would be reassigned to W.T. Brown. As a result, Lillian Black would be closed.
– All of Lillian Black and the southernmost portion of Manchester Elementary School would be reassigned to W.T. Brown. In addition to the 175 students from Lillian Black, the 78 students from the southernmost portion of Manchester would be reassigned to W.T. Brown.
– All of the Lillian Black Elementary School district, the southernmost portion of Manchester and T.C. Berrien would be redistricted to W.T. Brown.
Overall, this would require the movement of 431 students, the closure of Lillian Black Elementary and better utilization of the facility at W. T. Brown.
Ireland Drive proposal
The proposed reassignment plan for Ireland Drive Middle School:
– There are 284 students who live in the student assignment area and attend Ireland Drive Middle in sixth through eighth grades. The Ireland Drive facility would become part of Douglas Byrd Middle.
This would consist of a movement of 354 students, a combining of the district with the use of both buildings and reducing staffing costs.
All of these students would feed to Douglas Byrd High School.
Board member Charles McKellar said he hopes the school system thinks about the future growth in the affected areas. "I would hope when we look at these plans, we're looking at how we can operate more efficiently," McKellar said.
Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.