By Steve Unruhe
New attendance zones for elementary schools will go into place in the fall of 2024 with the passage of the Growing Together plan by the Durham Public Schools Board of Education.
George Watts Elementary will continue to be a Montessori magnet school under the plan, according to Matt Sears, former school board member and currently Director of Partnerships for the Durham Public Schools Foundation. However, the school will now have a “base area” that includes almost all of Trinity Park (excluding Buchanan Blvd. north of Markham) and extending east through downtown. Families living within the base area will be guaranteed enrollment at George Watts.
Jennifer Aguilar, principal of George Watts, says that families will still have to apply for the pre-K program. Older children, however, will no longer need a special application. The school will remain the same size, around 350 students, with about two-thirds of those students living within the base area of the school.
A goal for the Growing Together plan for the entire DPS district, according to Mr. Sears, was to double the number of elementary magnet seats. The plan moves schools into five regions. Within each region, families should have equal chances at access to magnets. Each region has access to Montessori, Dual Language Immersion, and year-round schools.