LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Here’s a plan for restructuring

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2019

It appears as though public discussion concerning restructuring (I prefer this to consolidating) our school system has finally taken center stage among the people of Stanly County.

There is no need to go into the details in this letter as to why this has happened because that has already been spelled out by a number of writers and speakers.

It has also been mentioned that those who feel something needs to be done should come forth with proposals on how to accomplish restructuring.

My purpose in writing this letter is to address the issue at the high school level. I am aware that much needs to be done at the elementary level, but I will reserve that to be a topic at another time.

Suffice it to say I hope that our younger students will be prepared to adapt to a stronger academic environment when they enter our improved high schools

First, there is no way our four small high schools can provide academic programs comparable to what can be had in larger high schools.

Our schools should have on-campus in-classroom settings and advanced placement in every discipline, at least two foreign languages, math through calculus, vocational education, band, chorus and whatever else is needed to make our students competitive in college and/or the workplace. We must cut out the traveling back and forth just to take a single course.

Second, here’s how I would accomplish that.

Let’s have two high schools, West Stanly and East Stanly. And I do not mean spend a great deal of money on two new buildings. We can do this expeditiously and economically by having West Stanly where West Stanly is now, and East Stanly in the building presently housing Albemarle High School.  Then draw the zoning line to balance the sizes of the schools and the distance students would have to travel.

Given the current student population, the two schools would be of sufficient size to enable the kinds of offerings indicated above.

One more thing. I don’t like directional names for schools.  Instead of East Stanly, I would call it Uwharrie High, or Falling Rivers High or something like that. Instead of West Stanly I would prefer something like Crossroads High, Bear Creek High or perhaps some name chosen by the people of that area.

Finally, our students are as smart as students from any area of the state and nation, and we owe it to them to provide an education at the secondary level that will enable them to compete with students from much larger areas on a level playing field.

Chris Bramlett, Albemarle councilman