The school system’s process for choosing the site of a new elementary school in the High Point area hit a bump this past week that should have been avoidable.
The school system long has been looking for a place in the southwest part of Guilford County to put a new elementary school because of the area’s growth. The site selection and price negotiations have been done privately, which is not where the problem lies. They commonly are kept private.
But the school system did not formally announce that site even after getting it under contract and filing for High Point to annex and rezone it.
The way some people learned about it was letters inviting them to an open-house-style meeting at Shady Grove Wesleyan Church, a city of High Point requirement for the rezoning. But those letters went only to people who live near the site.
It may be that if not for the city’s requirement, the selection process is not yet to the point that GCS normally would announce any site to anyone. But once any kind of meeting for the public became a required part of the process, that meeting should have been announced broadly.
The meeting was not listed in any of the official calendars of events or “This Week in GCS” announcements regularly issued by the school district.
Not even the county commissioner whose district includes that site, James Upchurch, was told of the meeting. He learned of it through word of mouth.
And the meeting apparently did not go the way that GCS officials surely hoped. Among the complaints has been a lack of transparency, a thought probably widely shared by those who are highly interested in where the school will be built but learned of this site only from news reports.
New schools are always highly anticipated. Given that all of the taxpayers chip in for them, all of the taxpayers deserve to get any information that is released.
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