Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools

South Estes, Public Housing, Chapel Hill
Leoneda Inge

A big step is underway to help bridge the “digital divide” in Chapel Hill.

Town officials announced today, along with AT&T, that residents living in eight of its public housing communities will soon have free internet service.

The move is a long time coming, especially in a town that is already one of the most wired in the state.

The South Estes Public Housing Community in Chapel Hill sits right off 15/501, near University Mall.  The 44 units were built in 1970, are gray in color and probably need a little fixing up. 

An Instagram photo posted by a teenager was the reason dozens of people showed up to Thursday’s Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board meeting.

The photo, which has made several headlines, features two girls waving North Carolina regiment flags at a school field trip to Gettysburg. Many say the photo has been interpreted out of context, but for others it speaks to larger issues of racial insensitivity and inequality in the school system and community.

A screen shot, shown above, shows the post and comments before they were taken down.

A picture of a school bus in the snow.
schoolbusdriver.org

Winter weather prompted many schools to close across central North Carolina today. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools made that call later than others. 

Classes at Chapel Hill-Carrboro high schools were canceled today, but not before elementary and middle school students got to their desks.

(Left) An Image of the original Orange County Training School, Circa 1916. (Right) The new Northside Elementary School
Rootsweb.ancestry.com, Chapel Hill, Carborro Schools

The site of an early 1900s training school for African Americans is now one of the most technologically advanced, energy efficient buildings in the state.

Northside Elementary School, in Chapel Hill, has been awarded Platinum LEED certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council. It's one of only 40 schools in the country to achieve such status.

Students at Estes Elementary finishing lunch.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

Schools in Chapel Hill and Carrboro have launched a district-wide composting program in their cafeterias. 

The program started on the first day of classes in 15 elementary and middle schools.  Many individual schools in North Carolina have started composting, but few districts have created their own programs. 

Dan Schnitzer, sustainability coordinator for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, says the schools will be able to use some of the compost their students create.

Classroom
WUNC File Photo

State lawmakers still can’t come to an agreement over how large of a pay raise they want to give public school teachers.

House leaders want to give teachers an average six percent raise, while Senate leaders want to give them about 11 percent. But the Senate plan would cut more than 6,000 teacher assistant jobs to help pay for that larger salary boost. 

It’s a concession that many school leaders say they can’t get behind. They want raises, but not by laying off thousands of teacher assistants.

Sim Bowden has worked this corner in Chapel Hill since 1999.
Carol Jackson

Every weekday, Sim Bowden manages the pedestrians at the intersection outside of Estes Hills Elementary in Chapel Hill. He's there for an hour and fifteen minutes each morning and afternoon, shepherding kids and adults safely across the busy street. Watching him is mesmerizing. His hand is usually in the air -- he waves to everyone, cars, trucks, school buses. And everyone seems to know Sim.

"Hello, cutie," shouts a mom in a silver SUV.

Today is the last day of school in Chapel Hill, and it also marks the end of Sim's fifteenth year working this corner.

  In the wake of the most recent General Assembly session, some teachers across the state are expressing concern about policies that affect the classroom, like voucher programs and budgetary restraints.

Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC Reporter Dave Dewitt; Wilmington Star-News education reporter Pressley Baird; and Carolina Public Press reporter Jon Elliston.

The Wake County school board has a new chairman and another new student assignment plan; Chapel Hill is embroiled in its own fight over reassignment; and the legislature and the State school board are tussling over virtual charter schools. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC Education Reporter Dave DeWitt about these and other education topics.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system is considering eliminating one of its most iconic academic programs. A report commissioned by the district recommends eliminating the Chinese dual-language emersion program.

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