School changes topic of upcoming public hearing

By: By Melonie McLaurin -

HAMLET — Richmond County Schools is considering making changes at two locations for the upcoming school year, and will give parents an opportunity to voice their views.

“We are in the process of finalizing facilities plans for next year,” Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman said in a statement to the Daily Journal on Friday. “Some of the changes involve Rohanen Middle School and Cordova School.”

A public hearing is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 allowing the public to “express views as to the closing of the Rohanen Middle School as to all students and the repurposing of Cordova Elementary School as to special education students,” according to a notice dated Jan. 28.

“The best interest of every student is the number one factor in our considerations,” Goodman said. “I have met with both staffs about the potential changes and have scheduled parent meetings at both sites.”

According to statistical information from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Rohanen Middle School serves 309 students — more than 100 fewer than comparable schools in the district and 358 fewer than in comparable schools across the state. Cordova, a school for special needs students, has a population of 76.

During a realignment in 2010, the Richmond County Board of Education voted to close Rohanen Primary and Cordova Elementary schools with the opening of the newly constructed East Rockingham Elementary School. Cordova was then repurposed to house students from the Roberdel Children’s Center — which was an “upgrade” from the previous facility, according to Daily Journal reports at the time.

The public hearing will take place in the board room at the Richmond County Board of Education, 118 Vance Street, Hamlet, 30 minutes prior to the board’s regular meeting.

The school board also has a special meeting scheduled for 7 a.m. Monday to “consider personnel matters,” according to a notice released Friday afternoon.

William R. Toler contributed to this story. Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.


By Melonie McLaurin


Jan. 27 – 7 a.m. – Personnel Matters

Feb. 7 – 4:30 p.m. – Public Hearing

Feb. 7 – 5 p.m. – Regular Meeting