High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives Jan 6 1974, Page 47

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - January 6, 1974, High Point, North Carolina Attendance zone Issue worrisome for county Jamestown by Jim Hawkins Enterprise staff writer geography and history were key factors in the formation of the elementary school attendance zones now making up the Overall Jamestown school District which includes parts of Greensboro High Point and the Rural areas in Between. Superintendent e. P. Pearce said this is particularly True of the Millis Road elementary school zone the newest of the five zones. The Jamestown Millis Road Union Hill. Sedgefield and Florence zones have remained essentially the same since 1961 when the Millis Road area was carved out. On the other hand the populations of at least three zones those served by the Union Hill Jamestown and Sedgefield schools have experienced a dramatic shift in racial populations in the years since 1970. Pearce said the influx of Blacks into the previously nearly All White zones came with the Extension of various Public housing projects into areas served by the three districts. The population shifts he pointed out did not affect the Florence or the Millis Road zones. The shift meant that enrolment at Jamestown elementary school this year includes about 212 Blacks out of a total of 823 students while Millis Road elementary school just a mile away has 6 out of an enrolment of 582. The same shift several years ago brought a heavy influx of new students into the Union Hill zone Many of them in mid year after housing developments on the Eastern Side of High Point opened. Pearce emphasized that there was no gerrymandering of zones and districts and that the Guilford county Board of education had no control Over housing patterns. The shift of the Black population into areas on the edges of both High Point and Greensboro have been a part of a major growth pattern which has caused the school system to seriously seek a new site near High Point for a major school Complex in order to relieve crowding conditions. Pearce said completion of the construction program which initially contemplates a new High school and a new elementary school will bring not Only changes in elementary zones but a major redistricting which will include parts of nearby High school districts As Well As the Jamestown District. Basically he foresees dividing the Jamestown District along the Southern Railroad giving most of the Western half to the new District and the remainder to a District entered on the existing Ragsdale High school. Looking Back into history. Pearce said that before the 1960s, the Jamestown District had but one High school that at Jamestown. It served students from the elementary unit there As Well As those from the Sedgefield and Union Hill units. Millis Road had not then been established and the Florence school was at that time All Black and sending its 9th Grade graduates to the William Penn High school in High Point. Crowded conditions at Jamestown led to construction of the county system s first separate High school that at Ragsdale on a site on . 29a. Completion of this school in 1959 took the four top grades from the Jamestown unit. Also Pearce said the Board of education saw a need to work toward a new Junior High school completed in 1967 on the Ragsdale Campus. Tub High Point Enterprise sunday morning january 6,1974section d heavy lines enclose Jamestown school District he pointed out that even then the Jamestown elementary school where the Junior High program was set into motion remained crowded since it served not Only its present area but Large parts of the present Millis Road area As Well. This condition brought about construction of the Millis Road school in 1971 and the creation of new attendance zone for it to serve. Pearce said the area Between the Jamestown and the Sedgefield schools was assigned to the new unit thus reducing the territories these had been serving. This action left a relatively Small but highly populated area on the Western edges of Greensboro to the Sedgefield school and a larger and growing area which included a substantial area within the High Point City limits to the Jamestown elementary zone. Union Hill and Florence schools were not affected to a major degree. Pearce said Millis Road elementary school began life with a school population of about 400 it now has almost 600, a figure which is considerably higher than the 500 for which it was built. All of this Pearce emphasized took place before the official surge toward integration got under Way. Even the principals who Are now at the Jamestown and Millis Road schools were there before the integration pressures arrived. Pearce said that when the integration Issue did appear on the scene in 1970, the department of health education and welfare did not require any changes in the Jamestown District. He said they took the closest look at the Florence school but found it met requirements. That school Pearce said was one of the first to undertake integration. During the mid-1960s Florence school began a kindergarten program for children of both races and shortly thereafter installed an ungraded elementary program which Drew both White and Black students. As a result that school had changed a under the then Quot Freedom of choices plan a from All Black to about 50 per cent White. He said this situation was Quot totally satisfactory to Federal officials. The program established under hew guidelines did not bring major changes in attendance patterns in the High Point area. The Federal officials did not require Cross busing As was established for the nearby High Point school system. Over the county the program implemented under the watchful Eye of the Federal Eastern District court left the High school districts As they stood but it did require pairing of a number of elementary schools on the Northern Eastern and Southern sides of Greensboro. The Florence zone was left with its boundaries As were the Jamestown Union Hill Millis Road and Sedgefield zones. The plans for the program Pearce said were drawn up in Greensboro by Federal officials and by members of his staff. The influx of students from Public housing areas came shortly thereafter. Pearce said it took place As Quot a direct result of City governments deciding to come this the population shifts affected the Jamestown and Union Hill and Sedgefield zones particularly since they Are on the edges of the major cities. The developments he said took place on the southwestern Side of Greensboro in the Sedgefield area and on the Eastern Side of High Point in the Union Hill and Jamestown areas. The Allen Jay and the Florence zones were not affected nor was the Millis Road area Between the two major cities. Records at the administration building show that last year Millis Road had two Black teachers among 24 assigned to the school Pearce said he believes this figure has risen to three or four for this year. There were five Black students at the school last year in an enrolment of 613 this year there Are six in an enrolment of 582. At nearby Jamestown school last year four Black teachers were included in the 32 assigned to the school. There were 183 Black students in an enrolment of 790 last year Pearce said. He said this year the school has 212 Black students in a total enrolment of 823 students. Pearce noted that Jamestown Junior High school had eight Black teachers in the staff of 64 last year and that Ragsdale High school had four Black teachers in a staff of 56. Enrolments at these schools showed 268 Blacks among the 1,551 at the Junior High school and 143 Blacks among 1,197 at the High school last year. At Florence four of the la teachers last year were Blacks and 110 of 223 students while at Allen Jay High school there were three Black teachers on the staff of 39 but no Black students. The nearby Allen Jay primary school had two Black teachers among 25 and three Black students in an enrolment of 601. Pearce explained that the systems Quot Rule of thumbs is to try to assign teachers on the same racial percentage ratio As the system As a whole experiences. He said this Means an Effort to have about 15 per cent of teachers in a school Blacks. In the main he said this holds True although there Are some differences. While the racial make up of the student body shifts due to population changes the Overall policy of the system to provide equipment and assign staff remains constant. Pearce said All of the elementary and secondary schools have been studied by representatives of the Southern association of schools and colleges and that they have All been accredited. The system he said provides the same Basic equipment for All schools. In the Case of an All new school new equipment is provided. Looking Back into history. Pearce pointed out that before the construction of Ragsdale High school the system s major capital program was at the Jamestown site. He said the late 1950s brought addition of several structures on the Campus there to provide space specially designed for primary and elementary grades. Long Range plans he said Call for the 1911 building to be set aside for use As an auxiliary unit for such purposes As Assembly and for the More recent facilities to be used for classroom purposes. The same is True for the Florence unit. When the new addition there is completed Pearce said classrooms will be moved and the existing building will be used for auxiliary purposes. Reshuffling will bring better racial balance new building program includes redistricting plans by Jim Hawkins Enterprise staff writer Guilford county school officials Are looking ahead toward the development of a major school Complex in the southwestern area of the county to serve an entirely new school District. Already the system is seeking land North of High Point and West of . 68 for a Campus which eventually could provide space for three new schools. Creation of the new District to relieve crowded conditions in the present Jamestown school District would bring with it a realignment of elementary and High school zone and District lines so that attendance patterns would More nearly represent the Overall racial makeup of the area school superintendent e. P Pearce said. The new District Pearce said will include parts of the existing Northwest Guilford and the Western Guilford High school districts As Well As the Western half of the present Jamestown District. He said the school system is now considering dividing the Jamestown District along the Southern Railroad and placing the Western half a except the town of Jamestown which would remain tied in with Ragsdale High school a in the new District. The new District would also include the county school attendance area North of High Point As far As 1-40 and As far West As the Forsyth county line. Plans Call for construction of a new High school and a new elementary school on the proposed new Campus Pearce said pointing out that funds for both these structures have already been allocated. The future could Well bring construction of a Junior High school As Well when this facility is needed he added. Attendance zones within the new District would funnel children from Florence school and from the new elementary school into the High school. Ragsdale High school located on the Southeast Side of the Railroad would serve As a focal Point for existing schools in the District except for Florence. It would receive students through the Jamestown Junior High school from Jamestown elementary Millis Road Sedgefield and Union Hill schools. Pearce said that the town of Jamestown would probably be tied to Ragsdale since it is already identified with it. Although no decisions have been made there remains a possibility that the Long narrow Allen Jay District located along the Randolph county line could be divided so that the Western portion would be placed in the Ragsdale District and the Eastern portion could be added to the Southern Guilford High school District. The Allen Jay District now has a primary school and a combination elementary and High school Structure. The High school is on a tract which has no space for future development. The big problem holding up construction of the two new schools is the need for Public sanitary sewer services Pearce explained. He pointed out that Public sewer services Are an essential since the facilities would be located in the High Point watershed area. Pearce said the county system had hoped a sewer system being planned for a subdivision being located across an Arm of Oak hollow Lake could be extended North of the subdivision As far As the proposed Campus. He said he Learned recently that the Board of county commissioners did not act to increase the size of the lines which will run under the Lake to the new subdivision. However Robert Shaw chairman of the Board of commissioners has said he feels that Extension of a sewer line to serve the new school site will not be a problem. Pearce said the present Over crowded conditions at most of the Jamestown District schools have led officials to think beyond changing attendance zone lines to redistricting a process which he said could Quot change everything from top to noting that Money is already available Pearce said the school system has Quot been searching and thinking this he said will make possible Quot a More equitable there would be. He said some re shuffling of assignments for racial balance. The action he said is not being taken Quot under duress from the department of health education and welfare or of the courts but to provide better conditions for both elementary and High school age children. Pearce said the new High school would open with grades seven through twelve and the new elementary school with grades kindergarten through six a pattern that has already been applied in other areas of the county. Western Guilford High school opened with grades seven through twelve but the lower grades Are being shifted Back to Guilford elementary school due to increased enrolment at higher Levels. Also Southern Guilford High school opened with the same Grade Range and planning is under Way to shift some grades to lower level units. When the time comes to shift some children from the new school a new Junior High Structure would be necessary Pearce explained adding that the new District would provide no space for Transfer of lower grades. Redistricting is not new to the county system. It has Only recently created a new District for an Eastern Guilford High school out of the Northeast and the Southeast districts. The change which eliminates the Gibsonville District goes into effect when the new building is ready. Pearce said the new District would affect not Only the Jamestown District but portions of the Colfax area and of the Guilford District As Well. Children who attend the Colfax elementary school North of High Point go on to High school at Northwest Guilford High school near Oak Ridge. Pearce noted that the Guilford District continues to be one of heavy growth

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