Wake County Schools

Parents question Wake assignment plan's feeder patterns

Posted January 4, 2012
Updated January 5, 2012

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— Wake County schools leaders say they have received mostly positive feedback on the new student assignment plan, which is set to take effect in two weeks, but a group of parents is asking the board to take another look at the feeder patterns before moving forward with the new plan.

Wake County parents will be asked to start ranking their school choices under the new plan on Jan. 17. At Tuesday's work session, some board members questioned whether that date should be pushed back, based in part on concerns in a handful of neighborhoods about feeder patterns.

When a parent chooses an elementary school, it is paired with a guaranteed middle and high school. Some parents, like Maria Reier, don't like their pairings.

"Our neighborhood is in a terrible position in this plan," she said.

Reier and a group of Carpenter Elementary School parents took those concerns to board members. They're upset that an effort to feed one year-round school to another puts their guaranteed choice farther from home.

"We want a closer middle school as a feeder, because just having a closer one on our choice list is not any guarantee at all," Reier said.

Wake schools staff say they are receiving good feedback on the new plan from a variety of channels, including from a test run of the plan last year. Reier says she believes the feedback would have been different if the feeder patters were clearly laid out in the test drive.

“If I could go back now, I would answer differently,” she said. "They need to do a final plan test drive where feeder patterns are in place."

Reier's is one of several neighborhoods voicing similar concerns. That's why some newly elected board members suggested delaying the first selection process to spend more time working on feeder patterns and other aspects. Education Parents question Wake assignment plan's feeder patterns

"I do not believe that what we see is a sustainable long-term, healthy plan for Wake County," said school board member Jim Martin.

Superintendent Tony Tata says he feels confident that they'll have a good plan moving forward. He says he and his staff are looking into the concerns, but he believes board leadership is guiding members in the right direction.

Board member Chris Malone says it's important to monitor and make adjustments later, but not to push major changes now.

"I am really concerned about the instability of the system and where people are going to be going to school," he said.

Reier says she doesn't think they should completely scrap the plan, but she does think major changes are needed.

The Cary parent group is scheduled to meet with school board member Debra Goldman and staff on Thursday to discuss their concerns. The assignment task force plans to answer additional questions for board members before next Tuesday's meeting.

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  • Screw WrAl Jan 5, 2012

    "I would like the board to know that I am very satisfied with the new plan. What I would be unhappy about is having them change it again."

    Man oh man you are not going to like what is coming then.

    "Maybe the ultimate plan here is to annoy parents to the point that they decide homeschooling is better"

    Close, the sane parents pull their kids and take them elsewhere. There's no sanity in the wcpss. There certainly won't be now that more diversity only thinkers have been re-elected.

  • ArmyWife456 Jan 5, 2012

    Zealotry,

    If that is the case that your children are riding the bus for 4 hours a day to get to and from school, maybe you need to talk to transportation about that. With stops, the longest bus time in Wake County is 1 hour and 15 mins for elementary kids and 1 hour 30 minutes in middle and high... Maybe it needs to be brought to the attention of the principal or transportation, but then again maybe you are just exaggerating. But enjoy the move and the problems in your next system, since nothing can please everyone...someone can always find fault in a public system.

  • nic Jan 5, 2012

    As a parent of 3 children in WCPSS I would like the board to know that I am very satisfied with the new plan. What I would be unhappy about is having them change it again. I think many parents are just tired of the not knowing from year to year where your child will be going to school and would like their children to go to schools closer to them. If you don't like that school you have other options. If you don't like your other options pay for private school. Now get over it and let's move on

  • wakemom Jan 5, 2012

    My kids are riding the bus a total of 4hrs a day just to get to a traditional calander school.
    Zealotry

    sounds like you need to move closer to the or to a city

  • LBJ192 Jan 5, 2012

    "My kids are riding the bus a total of 4hrs a day just to get to a traditional calander school."
    Zealotry

    Sounds like quite the exaggeration since most kids go to school within 5 miles of home.

  • Zealotry Jan 5, 2012

    I am moving out of Wake County just because of the disfunctional schools! Just when things were getting better and my kids were going to be able to go to a school close to home, a new board takes control and in no time at all we Wake will be right back to the old song and dance. Wake County School system is terrible! My kids are riding the bus a total of 4hrs a day just to get to a traditional calander school.

  • YourMom Jan 5, 2012

    I don't know about you guys but I'm tired. Maybe the ultimate plan here is to annoy parents to the point that they decide homeschooling is better (which it can be) and then the number of students will drop to a more manageable amount.

  • Screw WrAl Jan 5, 2012

    "This is the "tip" of a big iceberg. Moving students to different schools is much more complicated. There will be busing issues. Programs in schools will have to be changed as the student population changes. Some staff will have to moved to other schools.. ."

    What, no whining about the wasted 3 million today?

    There are already busing issues, will never change until they take away the free rides for most. That should've been done years ago. Programs will have to be changed as they should. Why should every child get the same opportunity to take every single program this county offers? Unlike Magnet schools where they hoard all the goodies for themselves. And as for teachers needing to move to other schools, good. Why shouldn't they. They've been changing our kid's schools for decades.

  • Screw WrAl Jan 5, 2012

    "magnet period for the next school yr has already opened and closed last month. notifications will be sent out starting around the 13th of parents request."

    Means nothing. They will resend all the apps and you'll get to do it all over again after next week.

  • wakemom Jan 5, 2012

    As a parent of a child entering K, I approached it as where do I want my child to go to school in August. I think everyone knows that any feeder pattern for Middle School and High School will change 100 times before she ever gets there based on what I have seen since we have lived in Raleigh. I haven't seen mention yet that Magnet School registration is already closed and in progress. Seems a little late for changes now.....I have spent more time touring schools and picking her K options than I spent picking my college. Fingers crossed for Magnet as I haven't been impressed with the regular schools that I have toured so far.
    amanda11

    magnet period for the next school yr has already opened and closed last month. notifications will be sent out starting around the 13th of parents request.

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