Education

Morrisville parents want to keep their neighborhood school

Posted April 5, 2010
Updated April 6, 2010

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— A group of Morrisville parents who support the Wake County Board of Education’s neighborhood-schools concept say they fear proposed assignment changes could send their children to a school farther from home.

Morrisville parents sign petition for neighborhood schools Parents sign petition for neighborhood schools

Parents in the Breckenridge and McCrimmon at the Park neighborhoods say they have a neighborhood school and are happy. Now they've learned that their traditional-calendar option could change to Weatherstone Elementary School. The parents say the school is farther away than Cedar Fork Elementary School, where their children currently attend.

"We just want a neighborhood school like we have had in the past,” parent Elizabeth Benjamin said. “Weatherstone does not make sense. It is double the distance from our neighborhood.”

Hundreds of parents signed a petition Monday evening stating that they don't want their children attending Weatherstone.

"(Weatherstone) is almost 10 miles away from home,” parent Shuyun Mu said.

The proposed assignment change comes weeks after the school board voted to move to community-based schools and away from the district's longstanding busing policy to achieve socioeconomic diversity, which allows no school more than 40 percent of students receiving free- or reduced-price lunches.

The Morrisville parents WRAL News spoke with Monday said they support the board’s direction but so far, their changes are not giving them a better choice.

"They have reassigned us to a non-neighborhood school, which is very upsetting,” Benjamin said.

Newly elected school board member Deborah Prickett said the assignment changes affecting Breckenridge and McCrimmon at the Park neighborhoods appear be an un-intended consequence of board’s vision of community schools.

"It is like a domino effect. As you pull one thing and change one thing, it impacts something else,” Prickett said.

Prickett understands why the parents are upset, and said she plans to address their concerns.

"I am not in favor of them going to Weatherstone. That is what I am advocating for,” she said.

A final vote on community-based student assignment is on the agenda for the school board's meeting Tuesday.

Those who wish to attend can claim a voucher for seating beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the system's Administration Building, 3600 Wake Forest Road.

There will be 153 vouchers available, based upon the capacity of the board meeting room.

As people leave the room, vouchers will be recycled and additional people will be allowed inside.

Tuesday's meeting will be the second time the school board uses tickets to control crowd size. At its last public meeting, on March 23, board chairman Ron Margiotta said he set time limits on public comments and implemented the ticket policy to adhere to building fire codes and other safety concerns.

8 Comments

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  • emtbuff Apr 6, 2010

    "oogum- Breckenridge is not a "rich" neighborhood. Very affordable homes considering the location."

    Yes and after the Board denies their requests those homes will become even more affordable as their property values plummet. Who wants to buy a home when your only 2 school choices for Elementary Education send you 10 miles away when there are 5 or more Elementary schools closer? There are already a lot of "For Sale" signs up in that neighborhood from what I've seen driving around. They also have to navigate some nasty rush hour traffic. During peak travel times it takes 1/2 hr or more just to get from one side of Morrisville to the other! I pity these parents if they have kids in more than one school and have to utilize before/after care. Their kids might not be on a bus for 1 1/2 hours like some kids but they will be stuck in the car for the same amount of time. Morrisville has too large a population and not enough elementary schools for everyone to have a 'neighborhood' school

  • caneFan Apr 6, 2010

    "It is like a domino effect. As you pull one thing and change one thing, it impacts something else,” Prikett said.

    Perhaps Ms Prikett is starting to understand the complexity of this process? There are about 140,000 dominoes, and this whole new board majority plan is going to topple a whole bunch. This is just the beginning.
    (note: I really do know how to spell her name, but GOLO doesn't like it ;-)

  • ncdogguy Apr 6, 2010

    If they voted and support this school board...they deserve what they get!

  • NC Reader Apr 6, 2010

    There is no way everyone is going to get a "neighborhood school". If they put everyone in the closest school, some will be vastly overcrowded and some, vastly underenrolled. That is extremely obvious to anyone with a lick of sense. However, the new school board members touted this during the election, so let's see how they will deal with it.

  • bill52674 Apr 6, 2010

    oogum- Breckenridge is not a "rich" neighborhood. Very affordable homes considering the location.

  • flashyswife Apr 6, 2010

    153 vouchers! I believe this violates the public meeting laws. Can they really keep people out who want to be there and cannot get a voucher? They should use the meeting room that one of the news stations offered so that everyone can attend that wants to attend. Right now my 2 kids will be split between high schools. I cant wait to see how far apart they will be.....

  • PeaceOut2017 Apr 6, 2010

    I support those parents, Neighborhood schools for the win!

  • Pseudonym Apr 6, 2010

    Evil rich people who want their kids to stay near home! How dare they!