Durham County

Lakewood Elementary gets takeover reprieve from state. Glenn still on target list.

Lakewood Elementary School
Lakewood Elementary School Google Street View

A Durham elementary school has been taken off the state’s list for potential takeover by the North Carolina Innovative School District (NCISD) but another remains in jeopardy, according to an NCISD press release.

Lakewood Elementary School was one of six schools on NCISD’s list. The list has been reduced to four and still includes Glenn Elementary School of Durham.

NCISD superintendent Eric Hall updated the evaluation process Wednesday afternoon.

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“The focus, enthusiasm and interest generated by the ISD is genuinely encouraging in many ways,” Hall said. “As we continue this process and begin to focus on which schools will join the ISD next school year, I hope the energy and interest in implementing new strategies to support our struggling schools and drive better outcomes for students continues. We’ve had many productive and thoughtful conversations over the past few weeks and continue to be excited about opportunities ahead for the students in these schools.”

Durham school board Chairman Mike Lee said he received an email from Hall Wednesday morning letting him know that Lakewood would be removed from the list.

“I’m extremely excited about Lakewood being removed from the list and also excited that Hall and the committee selecting the schools are listening to the community,” Lee said.

He said Hall cited new leadership at Lakewood and the belief that the school has the tools in place to improve academic outcomes as part of the reason Lakewood was removed.

Lakewood is led by James Hopkins, an experienced principal who most recently served as an assistant principal at Carrboro High School. Before that he was an assistant principal at Jordan High School and a teacher at Riverside High School, both in Durham.

Lee said the district will now turn its attention to Glenn.

“Now, we will focus all of our attention on saving Glenn from this experiment,” Lee said. “I look forward that challenge.”

NCISD and Department of Public Instruction (DPI) staff have met with local superintendents, school boards, principals, teachers and parents in each of the previously identified six schools. They asked questions, shared and discussed performance data, and learned more about the strengths and challenges of each school and its students.

The next step in the process, according to the news release, is to analyze the final assessment reports conducted by DPI and to continue discussions with each community to make a final recommendation on which schools will join NCISD for the 208-19 school year.

Two schools will be chosen.

Greg Childress: 919-419-6645, @gchild6645

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews