Local News

Wake Schools to Hold Public Hearing on Reassignment Plan

Posted January 15, 2008

— The fight continues today over where children should go to elementary school in Wake County. The district could reassign more than 6,800 students under its draft plan for next school year, but some parents don't want their children to change schools.

Tonight, those parents will get a chance to be heard. The first of three public hearings will be held at Sanderson High School tonight. Some parents have begun protests already.

“We love this community. I volunteer at the school. My children can walk to school,” said parent Ryn Hagstrom.

Hundreds of parents have protested the idea that their children might have to change schools next year under the district's reassignment proposal.

The Board of Education will decide.

“For me to actually advocate for a change in the reassignment plan, I need to see a reason that rises above those shared by all other parents in the system,” said school board member Eleanor Goettee.

School district administrators say reassignment is inevitable.

“We don’t get some kind of sick pleasure from it. Since 2000, we’ve had 30,000 students enter the Wake County Public School System,” said schools spokesman Michael Evans. “At the same time, we’ve reassigned about 30,000. So, it’s a direct function of growth.”

District officials said they also try to balance economic diversity to make sure no school has a high concentration of low-income students.

The reassignment plan is not final.

The board will hold two more hearings on the draft plan – Thursday at Green Hope High and Jan. 24 at Middle Creek High. Each public hearing will be from 7-9 p.m.

People can register online to participate in the public hearings. Online registration ends at midnight the night before the hearing date. People can also register by calling Wake Schools’ Customer Service Center during business hours at 850-1600.

People also can register at the public hearing site in the hour before the public hearing begins. The board will first hear people who have registered online or by phone prior, then those who sign up in the hour before the hearing.

To allow the maximum number of speakers, people may sign up to speak at only one of the public hearings. Each speaker will get three minutes.

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  • parent_of_3 Jan 16, 10:01 a.m.

    Being an advocate for your children is the most important thing you do. IEP meetings are intended to help your child with the services or help that they need. They are a wonderful tool so that everybody knows what is going on with a child with an IEP. I have nothing but good things to say about my IEP experience. Don't be afraid of them, they are there to help you.

  • poohperson2000 Jan 15, 8:06 p.m.

    As soon as your child qualifies for special services, that child is covered under the American's with disabilities act. My school had no OT therapist for my son in K. I called the school and they promptly directed me to the proper person at the school district and within two weeks we had an OT person at our school. They have had to contract that position in the past and I had to fuss to get progress reports, but eventually I got them. Just stay on top of things and it all will work out.

  • NCTeacher Jan 15, 7:19 p.m.

    I know this has nothing to do with the topic, but several people have mentioned IEPs.

    IEPs are legal documents. By law, the school your child is assigned to MUST follow their IEP to the letter or risk a lawsuit. If they don't have those services already- they are required to provide them. If it means they have to create a new class, they HAVE to do it. Don't go into an IEP meeting feeling intimidated because you don't know if things will get done. We have to do them- it is our job.

  • NCTeacher Jan 15, 7:14 p.m.

    NeverSurrender-

    You could always look at it as the teachers were happy to see a parent actively involved in their childs education.It is sort of rare that we see that. That IEP (and everything surrounding it) is a legal document and we are obligated by law to follow it to the letter.

    And if your child has an IEP and requires special services- those services MUST be offered regardless of what base school they attend.

  • poohperson2000 Jan 15, 4:04 p.m.

    NeverSurrender

    Go to http://www.wcpss.net/special-education/ and look at the handbook so you know your childs rights before the IEP meeting. This is a great handbook, and with this info it will empower you and let you find the loop holes they may explore or the ones that you can explore to get your child what is needed.

  • teach4er Jan 15, 2:01 p.m.

    I meant to say, parent of 3 not Nancy.

  • teach4er Jan 15, 1:59 p.m.

    Nancy,

    You're probably right. It looks like we're headed for status quo.

  • parent_of_3 Jan 15, 1:52 p.m.

    Nancy,

    Increased taxes are inevitable no matter how you look at it. The areas with the largest population boom, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, are going to need more schools than say Garner and Southeast Raleigh. Even if you take into consideration the per student amount how do you devise a plan that figures how much each student is worth to its school system? Taxes here will go up one way or another. Other states with community based school systems do pay more taxes to keep those systems. I'm looking at my bill now. We pay on average about $1.00 per thousand here and other states pay more on the average of $20-$30 per thousand. Your idea is commendable just not practical.

  • NeverSurrender Jan 15, 1:48 p.m.

    "You are the best advocate for your child. You do not need someone else to tell you what I'm sure you already know about your base school."

    That's just it...we don't know where he's going or what services are going to be offered. Until WCPSS lays their cards on the table during the initial IEP meeting, there's not a whole lot of due diligence we can do at this time. His school may well be on the other side of Raleigh for all we know.

    "We attended several IEP meetings and as parents we would overide some of the decisions that were made by our advisors. Much to their dismay I'm sure."

    As far as I'm concerned, they can get glad in the same clothes they get mad and heaven help them if they try to take out any of their frustrations upon him!

    Our mission is to ensure that our son gets the services he needs to have the most successful outcome for his IEP given his disability and to do everything in our power to ensure it's success.

    I hope they're on the same page. We'll see!

  • parent_of_3 Jan 15, 1:45 p.m.

    teach4er,

    I agree with you on premise but really I don't think that is the way to fix the problem either. We couldn't possibly understand how day to day decisions are made by the WCPSS and it's board let alone do it ourselves without the info they ue to make those decisions. We just had an election and there were plenty of discontented individuals then, so what happened. Elementary schools in this county are not equal as it stands now. That has been an issue for a while now and that is not going to change anytime soon I'm afraid.

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