Local News

Wake County Schools' Reassignment Proposal Due Out Wednesday

Posted January 21, 2004

— Wake County parents are preparing for another big school reassignment that would involve thousands of students next year.

The proposal and school-by-school information will be made available online at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

More students than ever before will be assigned to year-round schools as seven new schools open and 4,000 more students are expected to move into the area.

The reassignment proposal will likely impact students in northeastern, eastern and western Wake County. School administrators will not say exactly how many families will be affected, but they admit the numbers are big.

More students are also expected to get year-round assignments because most year-round schools will now become base schools.

Reassignment in Wake County is a game of strategy, and parents of students in public schools know their kids may have to make the next move.

"I think for a lot of people, it's the anticipation they don't know if they'll be affected or not," parent Tim McBrayer said.

McBrayer understands the reality. He has been through it. His daughter was assigned to a new school when she was in the second grade.

"Parents and kids, they build an allegiance to a school over a long period of time," McBrayer said. "Many years."

Wake County asked for public input in a series of meetings early on, because a big shuffle is anticipated with the new schools opening.

"We heard from our community thorough a series of meetings. We told them we wouldn't put together the proposal until we did that," said Dr. Ramey Beavers of Wake County Schools.

As a result of those meetings, most of the students in the reassignment plan will be moved to a school closer to home and the majority of students who will be affected have not been reassigned in the last four years. The areas around the seven new schools are expected to have the biggest impact.

Even after all the work ahead of time with parents and students, there are still people hoping for even more advance notice in the future.

"Ten years long range; five years short term," Erv Portman said.

Portman is part of a citizens group that wants to make the process easier for parents, "so that when reassignment happens," he said, "it will be old news."

McBrayer thinks his kids are safe from reassignment this year.

"I think we're OK," he said. "You never know for sure. There's always the chance you're not OK."

McBrayer said he still will be at his computer when the proposal is released next week.

After the proposal is released, parents have two more weeks to add more input before it goes to the school board.

,

Michelle Singer

and

Kamal Wallace

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