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Shrinking of Myers Park IB forges ahead

The third time was not the charm for some parents who want their children to remain at Myers Park High's International Baccalaureate program. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board last night again reinforced its decision to send some Myers Park International Baccalaureate students to other schools starting next year. WFAE's Simone Orendain has more: In November, the school board voted to send the nearly 400 IB students who don't live in Myers Park's attendance zone to IB programs at either East Mecklenburg High or Harding University High. Then in December, two board members tried to overturn that decision. But it stayed in tact. Last night, school board member Kaye McGarry pushed for rising sophomores and juniors outside the attendance zone, to continue with their IB studies at Myers Park. She had fellow board member, Rhonda Lennon's support. Lennon argued those two years in IB are a crucial time to get involved in school activities. And this would help make college applications strong. "I know we've been down this road two times. And sometimes the third time's the charm. And I'm hoping that tonight we find it in ourselves to say this is not costing us anything. It is costing them everything if we don't go along with this," she said. Board member Richard McElrath said it really doesn't matter what school an IB student attends. He says being in the academically rigorous program means these students are already talented. "If the parents have a good attitude and tell the child, 'This is life. You're not guaranteed that you're going to be in the same place all the time. But you are guaranteed you're going to take your attitude and your talents with you when you go. And if you take them and you use them wisely, you're going to be OK,'" he says. McElrath and six other board members voted against the proposal. Less than 10 Myers Park IB parents attended last night's meeting. One parent whose child will be displaced says she was impressed during a recent visit to East Mecklenburg's IB program. But her family still hasn't decided whether her daughter will go there.