Local News

Wake School Board Examines Alternatives To Reassignment

Posted January 2, 2006

— Around 3,000 students are eligible to utilize the grandfather option to remain on their present schools; for example, 5th graders. But that's not the case for many rising 10th graders, and their parents are not happy about that. They make up the bulk of the feedback the Wake County School System got about the reassignment proposal.

Since the reassignment proposal was made public, parents have been voicing their outrage and coming up with alternatives to keep their children at their current schools.

"Yeah, I'm definitely hoping it doesn't happen, but I'm not sure," said rising 9th grader Jenna McBreyer.

The student shuffle will fill seven new schools, two high schools and five elementary schools. School board member Beverly Clark is doing some legwork of her own.

"I was out at 8:30 this morning, looking at new subdivisions, looking at areas included in the plan, those that aren't, to see what makes sense," said Clark. "I don't want to have to reassign children."

Clark's colleague on the Board, Carol Parker, said reassignment is a necessary evil because of the county is growing so fast. Clark thinks 9th grade centers housed in temporary modular classrooms are better options than reassignment.

"That would be in the most cases, 600-700 children that we'd be able to put in temporary locations," said Clark. "The problem is finding those locations."

By the numbers, the roster of new students coming into Wake County schools is equivalent to the population of Knightdale - 7,000 and counting.

"So, it's really important that as we build schools, we need to populate them and you can't afford to open schools that are half empty," said Parker. "We don't have that luxury."

For the next month, the staff will go over the feedback, re-assess and make some modifications before making a formal presentation to the school board Feb. 14. After which, parents will verbally get their chance to weigh in on the plan in a series of public hearings set for the first week in March.

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