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I-SS board approves closing seven schools to out-of-district attendance

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The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to close seven schools to out-of-district attendance for the 2022-23 school year.

The seven are Lake Norman, Lakeshore, Shepherd and Troutman elementary schools, Lakeshore Middle School and Lake Norman and South Iredell high schools. All schools are currently either over the state recommended capacity or nearing it.

According to Tim Ivey, chief technology, facilities and maintenance officer, out-of-district includes any student who by residence would attend the Iredell-Statesville Schools and wishes to attend a school outside of their designated residential attendance zone as well as those students who live outside of the Iredell-Statesville Schools and wish to pay tuition to attend school in the district.

Ivey told the board the proposal only applies to new applications for out-of-district attendance for the 2022-23 school year.

Students who currently attend a school outside of their attendance zone and those who live outside of the Iredell-Statesville School district would be allowed to continue to attend their school during the 2022-23 school year as long as they meet district requirements outlined in the out-of-district approval letter and the board’s Policy 4150 School Assignment.

In addition, there will be three exceptions for new out-of-district attendance:

Students with siblings would be allowed to attend the same school as their sibling if the sibling is currently attending an out-of-district school.

Students who are children of employees would be allowed to attend an out-of-district school.

Schools with magnet programs will accept attendance in magnet programs based on available space and entrance criteria.

“I really hate that we are having to do this, but I understand we only have so many seats in our schools,” board member Martin Page said. “We are not going to take any kid out of a school they are already in, and if their sibling comes up, they can go to the same school. We are trying to do this with as least damage as possible. I do hope that we can sell it that this is only for new students that want to go to our schools.”

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