Wake County Schools

Tata proposes combined elementary, middle school

Posted September 2, 2011

— Wake County schools Superintendent Tony Tata said Friday that having a combined elementary and middle school could save money and benefit students.

Tata has proposed making Hilburn Drive Elementary School in northwest Raleigh into a kindergarten through eighth-grade school.

Hilburn Elementary has 349 students but can hold up to 800 students. The school lost a number of students when two schools recently opened.

There are also plans to build a small middle school off Leesville Church Road. Tata said that, instead of spending $35 million building the new school, classrooms at Hilburn Elementary could be refurbished for far less money.

Staff members at Hilburn Elementary said they think it would be great to have older children roaming the halls.

“I do feel having them here will be a great benefit for the younger kids, to see them as a role model,” STEM coordinator Jennifer Lecorchick said.

This year, Hilburn Elementary became a STEM school focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics to help attract students.

"The relationships, the bonds and the program opportunities that would be allowed by that type of format are tremendous," Principal Gregory Ford said.

Wake to consider K-8 school Wake to consider K-8 school

Jackie Jackle, who has two daughters at the school, said she was shocked at first about the idea. At a parents meeting, she asked Tata whether the school would have the same electives and after-school activities as other middle schools. When he said yes, she became more open to the idea.

"I really think this would be a fantastic thing for our students here. I'm really excited about the prospect," Jackle said.

Tata said he will propose the change to the school board at its meeting on Tuesday. It would go into effect for the 2012-13 school year. Tata said the need for middle school seats in northwest Raleigh will grow by about 300 to 500 in the next few years.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • storchheim Sep 6, 2011

    It's not there will be ONLY K and 8th graders on the bus. There will be all ages between.

    What about a bus monitor to make sure things stay under control, if the problem's really that bad? And if any kid misbehaves, have a series of punishments with the 3rd time being expulsion from the school, not just from the bus. Make the ineffective parents deal with their little darling.

    And put cameras on the bus too, to remove any question of what happened.

  • Nancy Sep 2, 2011

    "Who wants their first grader ridign to school with 8th graders!"

    Except that already happens at year round schools, like Westlake. Been doing it for years.

  • Rebelyell55 Sep 2, 2011

    Not so sure about this. May stop those "Graduation" between grades that waste so much money and serve no purpose. I was in a school like this, it only made for more fight to keep the older kids from picking on the younger ones. If ya didn't have an older sibling or a known uncle who would come after them, you were at the mercy of the hoodlums. In the current day and age, I'm not in favor of this since the school personnel have their hands tied to stop it.

  • venitapeyton Sep 2, 2011

    Perhaps a reporter could visit Princeton Union School (Johnston Co) which houses K-12. It was an eye opening experience for me.

  • corey3rd Sep 2, 2011

    it's all great till we get reports of an 8th grader beating up a 3rd grader.

  • dont_get_it_twisted Sep 2, 2011

    Staff members at Hilburn Elementary said they think it would be great to have older children roaming the halls.

    “I do feel having them here will be a great benefit for the younger kids, to see them as a role model,”
    ROLE MODELS yeah maybe 10 out of every 100 students. I would be homeschooling if this were to happen... There has to be another way other than combining the two schools into one... He needs to take that mess back to DC give me a break. Next they will want the K-5 to go to school in the mornings and the 6-8 schooled in the afternoon

  • slappywhite Sep 2, 2011

    looks like this dude is ignoring "THE PROBLEM" also

  • mrsmom Sep 2, 2011

    This is a REALLY BAD idea! Who wants their first grader ridign to school with 8th graders! It may save money in the short term, but it is going to cause problems in the long run! This worked back when we had K-12 community schools and respectful kids but times have changed.

  • taylor3297 Sep 2, 2011

    The only problem will be if they share buses. There are many school systems in our country still do this due to number of students. There are some that are still K-12. Classes can be arranged and timed so there isn't any interaction between the lower and upper grades.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Sep 2, 2011

    yrish - "I think it's a terrible idea! And that means my kindergartener would have to ride a bus with filthy mouthed teenagers? I think that idea stinks!!!"


    Bad enough standing next to them in line at McDonald's or whatever.

    Their mamas don't raise them right nowadays. Had we talked like that, we'd have had to pick up our teeth off the floor.

    Should be that way nowadays too, cause some of these punks need it.