School District Recommends Dismantling Neighborhood School with 50-Year History
On March 26, 2012, the Dual Language Administrative Team of the Chapel Hill Carrboro (NC) City Schools released a report that recommended that Frank Porter Graham Elementary School be dismantled as the neighborhood school and be converted into a magnet school for a Spanish dual language program starting in 2013-2014.
The FPG community was completely shocked by the report as no one from the school was represented on the committee looking into the issue or even aware of the committee’s activities.
FPG has been a neighborhood school since 1962. It is a community school that serves a diverse population of students from 41 different nations. FPG currently has a Spanish dual language program that is offered as one facet of the school’s offerings.
The school also has a vulnerable population of Karen- and Burmese-speaking immigrants who fled for their lives and have created a new “village” at FPG. Many students within the Karen/Burmese community walk to school each day and their families are involved in the life of FPG because of their proximity to the campus. A move to another school (as recommended by this report) would be disastrous for this fragile population.
We believe that FPG, the school that earned the highest growth in the CHCCS district in 2010-2011 school year, should be allowed to continue its work in helping each child, regardless of cultural background or socioeconomic status, grow and learn.
Having a dual language magnet school in our district may be a laudable goal, but it seems short-sighted to disrupt what is going on at FPG for that purpose.
Please sign this petition and show your support for this neighborhood school that is committed to improving the education of every child in its care.
Please don’t dismantle Frank Porter Graham Elementary School as a neighborhood school in favor of creating a dual language magnet school, as recommended in the March 26, 2012 report of the Dual Language Administrative Team.
I am not against dual language education or the creation of a dual language magnet school in the Chapel Hill Carrboro City School District. I am not against narrowing the achievement gap in our community.
I do, however, value the system of neighborhood schools that flourishes in Chapel Hill and Carrboro and believe that the creation of the district’s first Dual Language magnet school should be done in a careful, thoughtful and inclusive manner.
Instead of dismantling a thriving community school, please look at creating a dual language magnet school at one of the two new schools (Elementary #11 and Elementary #12) that are set to open in our district in the next 2-7 years.
If it makes sense for the district to create a dual language magnet school, let that happen alongside what is going on at FPG, not instead of it.