Wake County Schools

Wake school board reconsiders Panther Creek freshman center

Posted February 21, 2012
Updated February 22, 2012

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— The Wake County Board of Education had second thoughts Tuesday on its previous decision to lease a Morrisville office building for a ninth grade center for Panther Creek High School.

Panther Creek High parents were upset by the decision saying last week that they thought their ninth-graders would be put in mobile units at Alston Ridge Elementary School, which is about 2 miles up N.C. Highway 55 from the high school.

Board members cited feedback from parents and staff in their decision to rescind their previous vote and have a public hearing March 6 on the topic. 

Bus schedule changes remain under review

During a work session earlier Tuesday, the board reviewed a proposal that would change bus schedules and reduce the number of routes.

The Wake County Public School System posted a survey on its website two weeks ago to gather public comments on the changes proposed for the 2012-13 school year. It received more than 9,400 comments.

The main issue parents had with the change were conflicts with their work schedule, securing before-school care for their children and how the change would affect extracurricular activities. 

Wake school board responds to parent's concerns about bell time changes Wake school board responds to concerns about bell time changes

The majority of respondents were from families with elementary school children.

Administrators say the proposed changes would increase efficiency and accommodate growth while reducing the bus fleet by 112 buses, saving approximately $12 million over a two year period. The move also would restore school transportation efficiency to 99 percent, preserving $4 million in state revenue.

The district would cut back on the number of tiered bus routes, lengthen bus runs and increase the number of students on each run.

The changes would affect 30 percent of the county's schools. Fifteen percent of those schools would have a 41 to 50 minute change, while 3 percent would see a more than 50 minute change. 

Broughton High School in Raleigh, for example, would start 40 minutes earlier; Holly Springs Elementary School would dismiss students nearly an hour later, around 4 p.m.

Next year, the school board estimates that 2,000 more students will be riding buses.

During Tuesday's work session, the board discussed a proposal to draw back 10 minutes from some of the bell times. They also planned to look at five schools with the most dramatic bell change and determine if they can leave them at their normal times. 

Any changes to next year's bell schedule must be in place by the end of March.

Under the new assignment plan, parents can choose from at least five elementary, two middle and two high schools, based on their address. The schools are a combination of traditional-calendar, year-round calendar, magnet and other specialty options.

The plan was created after the board decided to stop using busing to balance socio-economic diversity across schools and place more emphasis on allowing students to attend schools closer to their homes.

During the work session, a handout stated the bus schedule plan was not a product of the new assignment plan, arguing that the busing change would help accommodate changes to any assignment plan because it allows added time between tiers giving more flexibility between routes. 

Parents have until Friday to rank their school choices under the new assignment plan before school staff place students. They will notify parents by March 16.

If the school board approves the schedule changes, Superintendent Tony Tata said parents would be allowed to switch their school choices so the hours of their selected schools meet their needs.


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  • fayncmike Feb 22, 2012

    ""They will be notify parents by March 16."

    What does that sentence mean?
    4 Dollar Gas Is Your Fault"

    It means they will be notify parents by March 16.

  • rand321 Feb 22, 2012

    This is only the beginning of the capacity problems which are gong to lead to more tax increases. Wonder how Paul Coble and his cadre of would be moral police are going to stomach asking the voters for more taxes?

  • cartman Feb 22, 2012

    I'm glad they are getting input from parents on the Panther Creek 9th grade center. I can't believe they considered having it located in Brier Creek!!! That's several miles away! It made no sense!

  • warbirdlover Feb 22, 2012

    Wake County School Board have their own little Payton Place. Sure glad I live in Moore County!

  • westernwake1 Feb 21, 2012

    This is good news. I applaud the school board on reconsidering placing the freshman center so far away from Panther Creek High School. It is good to hear that they plan to hold a public meeting about this for input from parents.

  • ykm Feb 21, 2012

    Oh the drama, this beats survival hands down, well minus the bikinis.

  • Princess1 Feb 21, 2012

    Well, I probably shouldn't pay out of pocket but... It comes down to the students and what they need. Also, the school system has increased the expectations for all and often those expectations cannot be met without more materials etc. I actually had my Principal recommend that I purchase a particular app on the I-Pad for my students. She wanted to see the app used but the school has no money to pay for it. Sometimes the public has no idea what we teachers are often asked to do. I am not complaining, again spending my money has been my choice for my students. I would like to say THANK YOU to 4 DOLLAR GAS IS YOUR FAULT for recognizing teachers in a positive way.

  • vraptor Feb 21, 2012

    this is stupid. to save costs => increase the class sizes, dump all the assistants, add vouchers. get a better product at a much lower price with private schools with vouchers.

  • Screw WrAl Feb 21, 2012

    "If the schools open a hour later, what can I do about my children?"

    The State will be glad to take them from you.

  • Screw WrAl Feb 21, 2012

    "Yvonne, go away."

    She can't. Barber told her not to.