Raleigh, N.C. — Parents get their first chance Thursday to weigh in on the Wake school district's plan to reassign more than 26,000 students over the next three years.
The proposal, released Saturday, is an attempt by the district to plan for population growth and movement more than a year in advance. District authorities said planning for three years would save money for schools and aggravation for families.
"Families have more information and have it earlier," Chuck Delaney, assistant superintendent of the Wake County Public School System, said in a release. "The multiyear proposal responds to public requests for information and input."
The public is invited to comment on the plan in public meetings through Dec. 10. Public meetings, each beginning at 6:30 p.m., are as follows:
- Nov. 20 – Knightdale High, 100 Bryan Chalk Lane in Knightdale
- Dec. 1 – Cary High, 638 Walnut St. in Cary
- Dec. 3 – Wake Forest-Rolesville High, 420 W. Stadium Drive in Wake Forest
- Dec. 4 – Holly Springs High, 5329 Cass Holt Road in Holly Springs
- Dec. 8 – Broughton High, 723 St. Mary's St. in Raleigh
About the plan
For 2008-2009, the first year of the plan, 8,162 students would be reassigned. Three new elementary schools will open up in eastern and southern Wake County, necessitating moving younger students in those areas.
Middle and high schoolers will also be moved in western Wake to relieve overcrowding, particularly in Cary.
The plan calls for the greatest number of students – 14,200 – to be reassigned in 2009-2010, when two high schools, two middle schools and one elementary school open. Most students moved will be in northern, western and southern Wake that year.
In 2010-2011, 4,409 students will be reassigned, as an elementary school and middle school open in northern and southeastern Wake.
The Wake County Board of Education will determine which reassigned students are eligible for grandfathering, allowing them to stay at their current schools. In the past, students have been required to provide their own transportation to school if they did not move.
The second and third year of the draft assume that the 10 schools will open as planned. However, their construction is dependent on capital funding and enrollment growth.
Overall, the number of students reassigned is comparable to those moved in the past three one-year plans.
How the plan was formed
More than 100 parents and educators met and discussed reassignment options for over 5,000 total person-hours. School system officials said they kept in mind the concerns that emerged from those planning sessions.
Of paramount importance was keeping the same students together through elementary, middle and high school.
Officials said they also considered schools' socioeconomic balance, the distance students would be bussed and the state's magnet-school policy.
Taking into account public feedback, WCPSS staff will make their recommendations to the county Board of Education by Dec. 16.
The school board will hold a new round of public meetings and finalize the plan by or on Feb. 3, 2009.
Mailings will then be sent out to the parents of affected students, who will know their final assignments by mid-May of next year.