Parents concerned for future at Highland Creek Elementary

Parents concerned for future at Highland Creek Elementary

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Tony: TBurbeck@WCNC.com

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on September 9, 2010 at 7:34 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Highland Creek Elementary School is on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' list of facilities that could be expanded, downsized or closed.

The school is a few years old, the building is in good shape and the students perform well.

But it has one problem the district could consider when making changes in an attempt to make the district more efficient.

"It's been overcrowded since day one," said Highland Creek PTA President Karen Peterson.

Peterson said 1,216 students currently attend classes in a building meant for 750 people. Mobile trailers house all second- and third-graders. Parents aren't allowed to stop by to eat lunch with their kids.

That overcrowding is one reason why Highland Creek is on CMS' list of schools that could be expanded, downsized or closed.

But parent Vicky Fitzgerald says none of those options will work for the school. She has concerns about expansion.

"I don't know how they could effectively teach a classroom that's already overcrowded,” Fitzgerald said.

But she also thinks it would be a bad decision to downsize the school.

"Why would they build a neighborhood school and take it away?” Fitzgerald said. “That really doesn't make sense.”

Fitzgerald also doesn’t think the school should be one of the 10 that CMS says could close next year.

"I don't see how the county could close a school that's a high-performing school,” Fitzgerald said.

The latest testing reports show 87 percent of Highland Creek students are at grade level.

"So many children would probably end up being bused, you know, to God knows where. I can't even imagine having to be split up and sent somewhere else," parent Paige Ludlow said.

There's also the option of doing nothing, which brings us right back to the overcrowding problem.

Some parents could decide for themselves before CMS makes any decision.

"There are many of us who have children next year who are already looking somewhere else,” Ludlow said.

CMS says the list of schools is in the very early stages, nothing is cast in stone and it is possible no changes could be made as well.

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