Wake County Schools

Little drama as Wake approves student assignment for 2015-16

Posted December 2, 2014

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— The Wake County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a student assignment plan aimed at accommodating a growing student body and filling three new schools for the 2015-16 school year.

The proposal, which affects 26 elementary schools, 18 middle schools and 13 high schools, also continues goals of tightening up student assignments, using school proximity and aligning school calendars so that students remain on the same school calendar from elementary to high school.

An estimated 2,700 students across the county are impacted by the plan. That's less than 2 percent of the total enrollment.

"We feel that what we came up with was as logical and as fair and minimizes changes for our families," said board member Susan Evans.

In opening the meeting, Board Chairwoman Christine Kushner said, "Student assignment has always been very central to the issues of the board, and, at times, it has overtaken student achievement."

She praised the process this time around for transparency and a lack of the drama that has marked previous reassignment discussions.

Throughout the planning process, the board has made changes to the plan based on feedback received through meetings, online comments and emails.

About half of the students shifting schools will do so to fill Abbotts Creek Elementary, Scotts Ridge Elementary and Apex Friendship High School.

Kushner pointed out a young woman in the audience who had spoken out in public meetings and said she knew that the student, a rising Apex sophomore, was likely to be unhappy with her assignment to the planned Apex Friendship High School.

Other board members chimed in to support the plan, noting the stress associated with school reassignment but assuring the student that it would be for the best.

Not all feedback requests, however, were granted, staff said, because doing so would have created efficiency issues or the changes were not positively supported by data.

"Know that I applaud the passion that you have for your children and your schools," Kushner said. "I want the community to know that we care very deeply for every school in Wake County, and these have been very difficult and frustrating decisions."

Evans emphasized the challenge of the growing student population, especially in her district in southern Wake County.

"I can't wait to do it all over again next year, because guess what: I'll have several new schools opening in my district again next year. Woo hoo," Evans said.

Some employees get Christmas bonus

Christmas came early for some support staff in the county's schools when the board voted unanimously in favor of a $1,250 bonus. School workers get smaller raises than other public-sector employees 08/12: School workers miffed by 'insult' of a raise

The money goes to non-certified workers like clerks, custodians and bus drivers. 

Teachers and administrators, many of whom got a pay raise this year authorized by the state legislature, will not get the bonus.

Board members said they'd work on a way to supplement increases for teachers who received less than others.

Wake school board names new leadership

Tuesday's meeting was the board's annual reorganization meeting, and they opened with a vote on the board chair and co-chair. Board members re-elected Kushner, who represents central Raleigh, as chairwoman of the board and Tom Benton, who represents northeast Wake County, as vice chairman.

New schools get names

In a work session before Tuesday's meeting, board members gave the thumbs-up on the names for four new schools to open over the next three years.

In eastern Raleigh, Beaver Dam Elementary will open for the 2016-17 school year.

That same year, White Oak Elementary will open in southwest Cary; and Oak View Elementary will open in west Holly Springs.

Northeast Raleigh will get a new middle school in 2017. It will be called River Bend Middle School.

All of the new schools will be paid for by bond money approved by voters in 2013.


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  • theliberadicator Dec 3, 2014

    There was little drama created purposely this year. They'll make up for it next year, as Susan Evans has already suggested they will. Now they have a County Commissioners board just like them, a total partisan and very left thinking group, and they will be coming at the public's throat with all they have.

    For every dollar you have.

  • Ryan Kurtz Dec 3, 2014
    user avatar

    Of course there's little drama, the board is controlled by democrats and Rev. Barber and his gang of minions turn a blind eye to anybody with (D) in front of their names.

  • Terry Watts Dec 3, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce has endorsed a plan (and delivered it to WCPSS) that uses achievement to achieve balance across the district. The plan also stipulates that students, once placed into a school, cannot be reassigned.

    As for more Magnet Seats, what's wrong with increasing the number of available seat in programs like Gifted/Talented or Academically/Intellectually Gifted??? Why do you take issue with something that actually allows parents to gain greater control over their child's education and direct their children into more specialized classrooms that fit their needs???

  • disgusted2010 Dec 3, 2014

    Little drama as much as WRAL tried to stoke the fire and create scandal.

  • Terry Watts Dec 3, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    What would you suggested solution be???

  • cjw6105 Dec 3, 2014

    The voters will get what's coming to them after voting for essentially 100% Democrat school board and county commissioner candidates.

    PROPER racial balance of Wake public schools will again become this county's holy grail. The board will tell you that forced busing is necessary to relieve overcrowding, but what they're really doing is color-coding these schools.

    The magnet schools will increase in number, and forced busing to these schools will again resume. The trick here is to open only so many slots per magnet school, then force distant areas with the desired racial composition into those schools. When the smaller number of voluntary slots is filled and there are cries for more openings, the board will declare that more magnets are needed to keep up with public demand.

    And having total control of the county commission means that Democrat ideals of building schools where they're politically correct instead of where they're really needed will probably be fully pursued.

  • NiceNSmooth Dec 3, 2014

    I saw no mention of new schools in East Wake county? or are we going to wait until East Wake Middle crumbles?

  • taylor3297 Dec 3, 2014

    This issue was to fill new schools and in this case no one is going to have an extra long bus ride.
    What I do find interesting is they gave all Mills Park and Highcroft families what they wanted and have done so each time an issue has arisen.
    The rest of us been ignored.

  • heelhawk Dec 3, 2014

    Prepare for all the parents whose child has to ride a bus longer than 10 minutes, gets home too late, gets home too early, doesn't like their lunch period, track out doesn't align with the disney time share week, and/or is assigned to a school with a bad mascot,

  • jimcricket15 Dec 3, 2014

    Well you put DEMs back in charge of the board. So please do not be shocked when they return to their ever lasting game of STUDENT roulette. Oh they claim it is necessary, but it is not. They simply lack any thinking skills for a different solution. One day we will leave the horse and buggy days of education behind. I fear it will not be till 2300.