North Carolina Newspapers

Gifted program may expand
After a drought of several years,
local children in sixth through
eighth grade soon could see the
return of programs for highly gift
ed students.
The current program for gifted
students Tier I— is in place for
fourth- and fifth-graders.
But the Tier I task force, a group
mandated by Superintendent Neil
Pedersen, will suggest at the Chapel
Hill-Carrboro Board of Education’s
Thursday meeting that the program
be extended to middle schools.
“In the past, there were con
cerns that kids were self-contained
all day, and that was the problem
that led to the old program being
phased out,” said Denise Bowling,
the city schools’ executive director
of curriculum and instruction. “It’s
much more difficult to isolate kids
from their peers in middle school
than in elementary school.”
The task force also recommends
changing the name from Tier I to
LEAP, or Learning Environment
for Advanced Program.
“We thought that the name
Council downs development plan
Chapel Hill Town Council
members offered a variety of
criticism Monday to a plan for
an addition to the Meadowmont
But the developer remains
“That’s the Chapel Hill process.
We’re not new to the process,” said
James Baker of the Lundy Group
Inc. Baker spoke on behalf of
the project’s developer, Castalia
Group LLC.
Criticism spanned almost every
facet of the 76,000-square-foot,
mixed-use project, proposed for a
lot on Barbee Chapel Road near its
intersection with N.C. 54.
Baker emphasized what he said
is the plan’s striking architecture
and relatively discreet presence,
but the council was not swayed.
“Let me just be blunt. There’s
nothing about the plan that I like,”
said council member Dorothy
Verkerk, who went on to compare
the proposal to a “19th-century
insane asylum of brick.”
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Professor/Chair of Sociology, (919) 962-5044,
Tier I was not forward-looking
enough, since we’re including
middle schools as part of the plan,”
said Carol Horne, a Smith Middle
School gifted-education specialist.
It’s still undecided whether LEAP
w ould be available in all four district
middle schools or if students would
have to travel to participate.
“If there’s only seven kids from
a middle school who qualify for
LEAP, it’s not efficient to have a
class for them,” Bowling said.
The task force, which met six
times last fall, solicited opinions
from the public and studied other
gifted programs before drafting its
“We did study other models,
but we didn’t try to replicate,” said
Home. “The LEAP program is spe
cific to our district.”
Bowling said that parents of cur
rent Tier I students were surveyed
and that she personally asked many
parents for input. “Parents in the
past have been divided between
sending their kids to different
schools for Tier I or keeping them
at their home schools,” she said.
The task force also recommend
Council member Mark
Kleinschmidt said he also dislikes
the proposed appearance of the
building and the way it would be
landscaped, with three tiers of
parking and three rows of oaks
and sycamores to screen it from
the road.
“It looks like one of the mis
takes in (Research "Mangle Park),”
Kleinschmidt said.
Some council members thought
a building closer to the street
might be more appropriate.
The development’s original
plan called for the location’s archi
tecture to accentuate the entrance
to the development.
“I just wonder if the point of
having striking architecture at
the entrance of this development
is lost if it becomes invisible,”
Kleinschmidt said.
“I don’t understand why you
want to hide it.”
Council member Cam Hill
shared similar sentiments.
“If you’re going to have striking
architecture, have striking architec
ture and sell it to us,” he said.
ed using the Naglieri Nonverbal
Ability Test —a national standard
ized exam to determine place
ment into the program.
“When we studied the NNAT,
we found that since it’s a nonverbal
test, it doesn’t discriminate against
non-English-speaking students and
that it isn’t unfair to minorities,” said
Ann Collins, a gifted-education spe
cialist at Culbreth Middle School.
Bowling said students will need
to score in the 99th percentile for
automatic placement into the pro
gram, but students whose scores are
close still will be considered.
“If there is a 9-year-old who is
writing a book on their own and
intending for it to be published,
they would certainly be consid
ered,” said Collins. “No one test
would rule a student out.”
The task force plans to admin
ister the NNAT to all third-grade
students this spring and hopes that
LEAP can be implemented for the
2005-06 school year. The final
decision is up to the school board.
Contact the City Editor
Another issue was the view the
building would present to anyone
entering town on N.C. 54.
Joddy Peer, the project’s archi
tect, emphasized during his presen
tation that the building is screened
from the road in that direction by
rows of trees. But council members
said they thought more needed to
be done.
Several council members noted
that when Meadowmont was first
proposed, the view from N.C. 54
was a major concern for residents.
Council members also asked the
developers to reduce the amount
of parking lots the plan includes,
possibly by increasing the amount
of parking under the structure.
Baker said that he was glad he
heard the council’s concerns and
that the developer would work
to address as many as possible,
though there are limits to what
can be done.
“There’s no physical way to
respond to every comment.”
Contact the City Editor
SBP candidates share
plans for future tuition
Although all four student body
president candidates have plans to
prevent future tuition hikes, none
were present Thursday when the
Board of Trustees voted to raise
out-of-state tuition by $950 and
in-state tuition by S2OO.
Seke Ballard and Seth Dearmin
said conflicting schedules kept
them from attending. “I believe my
academics are suffering,” Ballard
said, noting that campaigning
takes a lot of his time.
Leigha Blackwell and Tom
Jensen said they chose to spend
Thursday morning campaigning.
“We’re keeping up with (tuition
talks),” Blackwell said.
Jensen said campaigning pro
vides an important opportunity to
present his plans for tuition. “If I lose
the election, it really doesn’t matter
what any of my ideas are,” he said.
While Student Body President
Matt Calabria acknowledged the
candidates’ busy schedules, he said
he was surprised by their absence.
“Being a trustee is one of the
most important, if not the most
important, roles that the student
body president has,” he said.
Despite their absences, candidates
said they understand that tuition is
increasing annually, and they’ve
outlined ways to ease the burden on
students in their platforms.
Dearmin and Blackwell stressed
that stabilization of tuition costs is
key to fixing the problem.
“People come here expecting to
pay a certain amount,” Dearmin said.
“The biggest piece of conversation
needs to be tuition predictability.”
Dearmin said he would work
with the UNC-system Board of
Governors and state legislators to
achieve predictability.
Blackwell said she wants to
implement a system modeled
after successful ones at other
schools, specifically the University
of Illinois system, which provides
fixed tuition rates for four years.
“(We’ll) see what worked for
them, what didn’t and try to apply
it,” she said.
Taking a different approach,
Jensen is proposing a “Quality
Student Retention Fund” that would
offer alumni the option of donating
money to a fund connected to tuition,
relieving stress on increases.
Jensen said he is confident that
alumni will want to ensure that
UNC-Chapel Hill students receive
a quality education.
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12pm-I:3opm Intermediate
I:3opm-2pm Beginning
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157 Rams Plaza Chapel Hill
Fresh @ 3
Every Friday morning,
Peter Giuliano, our roast
master, has a batch of what
he feels is the coffee of the
week roasted for us.
This Friday, it’s Columbia
Huila from the Condor
coop, a group of small
farmers growing the heir
loom Typica varietel in the
traditional manner. In
Columbia this is the har
vest season - our Huila is a
“fresh crop coffee”. The
result is a glimpse of what
Columbian coffee was like
years ago - sweet, mild
and balanced, with a full
body and honey-like
We’ll have it ready for
you by 3 PM Friday and
available all day Saturday
- so you have truly fresb
coffee until next Friday.
Columbia Huila
In the west end Courtyard on
Franklin Street, free parking.
Telephone: 968-8993
“Being a trustee is one of the most
important, if not the most important,
roles that the student body president has ”
“We’re not going to get the best
students (with tuition hikes),”
Jensen said. “We’re going to get
the most wealthy students, and
we don’t want that.”
Using what he calls a “grassroots
effort” to take on tuition, Ballard
said he plans to send letters to the
General Assembly from parents and
guardians of UNC-CH students
expressing their disapproval.
Ballard also plans to work
with the Association of Student
Governments to spawn organi
zations among all UNC-system
schools that would lobby the
General Assembly.
With faculty retention issues also
looming, all four candidates said
they will strive to find a balance.
■ A Durham man was arrest
ed at 11:50 p.m. Wednesday and
charged with three counts of mis
demeanor possession of stolen
goods, Chapel Hill police reports
Reports state that he also was
charged with one count of resist
ing arrest.
According to reports, Michael
Earl Whitehurst, 26, ran from
officers who were investigating
a suspicious condition on Nunn
Officers caught up with
Whitehurst at the end of Sunset
Drive, and a search revealed sev
eral items reported stolen from the
UNC campus.
Stolen items included three
credit cards, two wallets and
a cell phone, all of which were
taken from campus residents,
said police spokeswoman Jane
Whitehurst was taken to Orange
County Jail to be held on a SSOO
secured bond.
He is scheduled to appear
March 7 in Orange County District
Criminal Court in Hillsborough.
■ A Durham man was arrested
at 2:30 a.m. Thursday and charged
with four traffic-related misde
The charges were for driving
while intoxicated, failing to stop
for police lights, speeding and driv
ing without a license, Chapel Hill
police reports state.
According to reports, Jorge
(The iatti} (Ear llrrl
P.O. Box 3257, Chapel Hill, NC 27515
Michelle Jarboe, Editor, 962-4086
Advertising & Business, 962-1163
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Blackwell said the University
can’t afford to lose good teachers.
“Our faculty is obviously so
important to the University,”
Blackwell said. “We need to make
sure they are compensated for.”
Dearmin said minor changes in
tuition must be expected to secure
top-flight faculty members.
“Saying there will be no tuition
increases isn’t feasible,” he said. “It
really is that balance between an
affordable education and a quality
Assistant University Editor
Jenny Ruby
contributed to this article.
Contact the University Editor
Alvarez Ortiz, 30, was stopped
while driving a 1986 Volkswagen
on Fordham Boulevard near Sage
An Intoxilyzer test measured his
blood alcohol content at 0.12 per
cent, reports state.
Ortiz was taken to Orange
County Jail to be held on a S3OO
secured bond.
He will appear March 1 in
Orange County District Criminal
Court in Chapel Hill.
■ Two license plates were
reported stolen Wednesday,
including one from a UNC stu
dent, Chapel Hill police reports
According to reports, one of
the license plates was stolen at
12:56 p.m. from a student living
in Morrison Residence Hall.
The plate was taken while the
resident’s 1995 Ford Explorer was
parked at 321 W. Cameron St.,
reports state.
The other license plate was
reported stolen from a 1997 Ford
Taurus while it was parked at a
residence at 10002 Main St.;
reports state.
■ A break-in was reported at
2 p.m. Wednesday at 204 Cottage
Lane, the home of a junior at
UNC, Chapel Hill police reports
According to reports, an
unknown suspect forced the door
open and took SBO worth of prop
erty, including shirts, pants and an
alcoholic beverage.
■ Due to a reporting error, the
Jan. 26 article “Exiled locals may
see new start” gives the wrong title
for Natalie Ammarell. She is now
chairwoman of strategic planning
and development.
To report corrections, contact Managing Editor
Chris Coletta at

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