New Hanover County Schools is hosting a tour for Realtors next month of five of the schools in the district to shed light on what they have to offer, according to a news release.
Jonathan Barfield, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners chairman and a Realtor, mentioned the Aug. 16 tour at a Wilmington-Cape Fear Home Builders association panel discussion Thursday, saying, "So many Realtors will tell their clients, 'You don't want to go to this downtown school.'"
But Barfield himself went to two of those downtown schools, he said, adding, "What's wrong with those schools? Most folks really don't know what's happening with our schools other than their perceptions."
Both Barfield and New Hanover County School Board Member Stefanie Adams, who initiated the idea of a Realtor tour of some of the schools, said there are more to the facilities than test scores.
“Our schools are so much more than a Report Card score, but for many Realtors, that is all they have to refer to when talking with prospective buyers," Adams said in the release. "We want to provide them an opportunity to feel the culture in each building, meet the students, observe our incredible programs and hear the stories of academic and personal success."
After the tours, there will be a panel discussion with the schools including parents, principals, teachers and students, according to the release.
The group will board buses and depart from the Board of Education Center, 1805 S. 13th St., at 8 a.m. Aug. 16. The tours are scheduled as follows:
- 8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Rachel Freeman School of Engineering, 2601 Princess Place Drive, Principal Dionne Sturdvant. Freeman students will demonstrate STEM education projects such as robots and 3D printers in their new STEM Lab.
- 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Snipes Academy of Arts and Design, 2150 Chestnut St., Principal Rachel Manning.During the tour of Snipes, students will treat guests to special musical performances.
- 10:30 a.m. -11:15 a.m. The International School at Gregory and Williston Middle School, Gregory Principal Leigh Ann Lampley; Williston Principal Ron Villines. The group will gather in the Gregory Media Center and get information about the schools from both principals. Realtors will hear about the unique programs offered such as Spanish Immersion, Mandarin Chinese and STEM.
- 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunset Park Elementary School, 613 Alabama Ave., Principal Diego Lehocky. Realtors will participate in a panel discussion with principals, students, parents, and staff from the featured schools. NHCS Board members, Senior Leadership Team, administrators, and other staff are invited to attend.