Wake County Schools

Students at low-performing Raleigh school get new building, technology

Posted December 12, 2011

— Students at Wilburn Elementary in Raleigh moved into a new building featuring state-of-the-art technology on Monday. 

"I love it, and my kids love it too," parent Maty Emuobor said of the Raleigh year-round school's move to its new Marsh Creek Road campus.

Principal Mark Tracy said the new school building boasts high-tech classrooms with smart boards, computers and other tools to help make learning more interactive.

"I think we have a perfect storm in a positive way of making positive academic and social growth for all our students," Tracy said. 

For more than a year, Wilburn operated out of mobile units on Spring Forest Road. 

The new building goes along with other changes for the school, which was identified last year as one of the four lowest performing schools in the county. All teachers at these so-called "Renaissance Schools" had to reapply for their jobs.

At Wilburn, 80 percent of the teachers, including principal Tracy, are new.

"We are seeing academic growth in reading and math across the board in K-5," Tracy said. "We are seeing some preliminary results to show what we are doing is successful, but it's going to take some time."

Wilburn students move into new building Wilburn students move into new building

Tracy said the school expects positive changes in end of grade test scores this year, but the biggest impact will likely be seen within the next three years.

Emuobor said she is encouraged by the transformation she is already seeing in her second and third graders.

"You can tell the kids are more excited. They're happier, and they are doing better so far in school, too. They are getting better help and stuff," she said.

The Renaissance Schools project is being funded using the federal Race to the Top grant.


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  • fayncmike Dec 14, 2011

    This is a wonderful piece of news. Of course, as usual, it's brought out the whiners.

  • claygriffith01 Dec 13, 2011

    Education is the responsibility of the Parents. It's nice that we have public schools to help with that, but if you just shove your kids onto the bus and expect the government to teach them all they need to know to be successful then you are delusional. As stated by someone I'm sure some of you will recognize "Don't have kids if you cannot afford to educate them"

  • minus1234 Dec 13, 2011

    I've noticed that the people who post negative comments are usually the ones that are jealous because thier child's school did not get this new technology.

  • Shamrock Dec 13, 2011

    "Maybe they need some new teachers,"

    The article clearly states they have 80% new teachers at this school.

  • laneah Dec 13, 2011

    It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach, to see the public's perception of problems that exist in education. Blame the schools, blame the teachers, or blame the parents it really doesn’t matter. We waste time and resources blaming everyone instead of working together to do something about it....the NC Department of Education has WASTED so much money creating the EOGs which have done nothing but drag our students and schools down. Instead of looking at true progress, which is the growth that a student exhibits from the beginning of a school year to the end of the school year, we have some obscure formula used to measure students progress by state created EOGs. Our underpaid (teacher salaries have been frozen for the past 4 years and health benefits have declined rapidly) and overworked teachers often do not get the support needed from administration, parents, politicians, who are all too busy playing the blame game instead of working together to ensure the best possible education

  • ufishbone Dec 13, 2011

    Sorry, but the typical responses reveiled ARE part of the issue.
    Enviorment plays a BIG role in development.
    'old buildings'.. they cost more to run, old technology is just that...old technology, it's not the same, apply this to ANY industry or application, it doesn't produce top results.

    Now put yourself in this situation, how would you like to go into a 10' X 14' classroom with 12 other people, share a computer or watch educational video on an old 32" tube tv.

    Think about it, the environment plays a big role in attitude!

    But not here, some are blaming Obama, or 'it cost too much, must be the parents fault'...typical 'blame party politics'

  • LBJ192 Dec 13, 2011

    "Throw more money at at it. It's the great Obama way. Wake me the eve of election day please."

    Now that diversity busing is gone, you will see a lot more money being poured into low performing schools. But, this is what your former school board wanted, right?

  • whatusay Dec 13, 2011

    Will test scores improve because the kids now have a new school? I don't think so. Maybe they need some new teachers, and some new parents. Learning starts at home.

  • citizensoldier16 Dec 12, 2011

    This story is so typical...throw money at material things and we all expect grades to go up. How about we keep the old building and start expecting some personal RESPONSIBILITY from parents. It's not the teacher's fault, or the building's fault, or the computer's fault that your kid got a D-. It's his fault, and if he's not old enough to take personal responsibility for himself...its YOUR fault for not making or helping him study. Every kid can learn...too bad the same can't be said for parents or the government.

  • vrigg45071 Dec 12, 2011

    Fired 80% of the long time staff who busted it to help those kids. If you have never taught at a low-performing school, you have to WANT to be there. Clean house, throw money at it and it will all be beautiful. Don't get me wrong, I hope the test scores go through the roof. However there was a better way to go about it.