Wilmington City Schools parents ask for wider public discussion on grade-level schools

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com

WILMINGTON — Two parents raised questions about the prospect of Wilmington City Schools (WCS) shifting to Grade-Level Centers in its three elementary buildings at Monday night’s board of education meeting.

Both parents asked that there be more of a public conversation, involving a larger number of parents, about the pros and cons of grade-level centers.

After the meeting, WCS Superintendent Mindy McCarty-Stewart said it is important that parents’ voices are heard, and moreover that parents do need to buy into the change if it is carried out.

She said the district will do what it needs to in order to help provide parents information about the matter.

The superintendent said the district is looking at how to structure the elementary buildings “to maximize what we know are best practices for teachers to put in the classroom for students.”

The three main benefits in grade-level centers are academics and learning, the maximizing of resources, and social and emotional benefits for the children, according to McCarty-Stewart.

Laura Struve, who teaches English at Wilmington College, said she researched grade-level centers over winter break, and what she found made her very concerned about WCS’ plan to move to the configuration.

“There are a lot of things to consider. I’m concerned the district is moving very quickly to make a decision without talking about the pros and cons of this configuration,” she said.

The other parent who spoke said “you can’t just have a committee of a select few people and [then] come out and say it.”

The Grade-Level Center Steering Committee includes teachers, parents, administrators, bus drivers and school board members, McCarty-Stewart said previously.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.


By Gary Huffenberger