Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Collaborative Planning for Schools in Guilford County....good idea?

Good idea.....let me know? Jeff

DATE: August 18, 2004

TO: Willie Best, County Manager
Dr. Terry Grier, Superintendent
Alan Duncan, Chairman, Board of Education
Mary Rakestraw, Board of Commissioners
Rob Bencini, Director, Community Development

FROM: Jeff L. Thigpen

RE: Collaborative Planning For Schools

I am writing to request that we convene a School Budget Committee meeting to discuss a project designed to facilitate collaboration among school boards, county commissions and planning departments in selecting sites for schools.

I have attached a one-page summary sent by Dr. David Salveson with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the Center for Urban and Regional Studies about a collaborative planning for schools initiative. His organization is currently involved in pilot projects that are being implemented in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Macon counties.

I am requesting the meeting to allow Dr. Salveson to present the initiative, and begin a process of determining whether there is sufficient need and support among the Board of County Commissioners, the School Board, the Planning Department, and the elected officials in Greensboro and High Point, Jamestown, and the towns to go forward with this kind of initiative.

I hope this effort will be looked upon favorably and that it can be associated with the Guilford County Comprehensive Planning process.


Facilitating Collaboration in School Site Selection

The Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, along with the Orange County Dispute Settlement Center,is conducting a project to facilitate collaboration among school boards, county commissions, city councils and local land use planners in selecting sites for new schools. The project is aimed at understanding and improving the collaboration that takes place in North Carolina in selecting sites for new public schools. The project has been endorsed by the North Carolina Board of Education, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners and the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association.

The project stems from research conducted by CURS on the impact of state and local school board policies on the design and location of schools in North Carolina. As part of that research, CURS conducted focus groups with school boards and planners across the state. One of the key findings of the report was the need for better communication and collaboration among school boards, planners and county commissioners in choosing the location for new schools. The goal of this project is to help the key stakeholders coordinate their thinking and their actions regarding school site selection and local land use. For example, CURS hopes to develop a model collaborative planning process that could be used by communities across the state.

Initially, we will be working in two communities: Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Macon County. Although implementation of the project will vary slightly in each community, depending on the needs and interests of the participants, participation will likely involve two or three, half-day workshops. The workshops will bring together representatives from the local school board, county commission/city council and planning departmentin an effort to develop a model process and criteria for selecting school sites. The project will not cost participants anything.
The Center’s report, Good Schools – Good Neighborhoods: The Impact of State and Local School Board Policies on the Design and Location of Schools in North Carolina, can be downloaded for free from our website:


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