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Boy, 8, could be reassigned to fourth school in five years

Posted January 8, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— For one Wake County family, the proposal to reassign nearly 10,000 students is very personal: It could send their 8-year-old to his fourth school in five years.

Dad: 'Like pawns in a chess game' Dad: 'Like pawns in a chess game'

"We didn't expect we were going to be moved around like pawns in a chess game," father Charles Miller said.

The Millers live in the county, just outside Apex. Since their son, Chad, started school, he has attended schools in Apex, Raleigh and, potentially, Holly Springs.

Chad entered kindergarten at West Lake Elementary, was reassigned to Oak Grove for first grade and then switched to Middle Creek for second grade. Chad stayed there for third grade, but the draft reassignment plan would put him at Holly Springs Elementary School next year.

"I don't see how that is good for a child to be moved four times and still be in elementary school when our house hasn't moved," Miller said

School board member Eleanor Goettee said the school system does not intend for a child to be reassigned so many times and that she sympathizes with such families.

"Even with the most sophisticated software that we use, even with the most expert staff ... there can be some unintended consequences that come out of the draft," Goettee said.

Board members say that parents can apply for a transfer after the plans have been approved. Often, those affected by reassignment argue for neighborhood schools or for a traditional, nine-month school calendar.

Miller said that the reassignments his son has undergone are particularly ironic – given that his parents opted to put him in year-round school.

"We're embracing what they want to be done, and we're being penalized the most," Miller said.

Goettee said the school board wants to hear from families with potential hardships at a series of public hearings on the reassignment proposal. One was held Thursday evening. The next meetings will be held:

  • Jan. 12 at Millbrook High School, 2201 Spring Forest Road, Raleigh
  • Jan. 14 at Fuquay-Varina High School, 201 Bengal Blvd., Fuquay-Varina
  • Jan. 15 at East Wake High School, 5101 Rolesville Road, Wendell

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  • momof3anddog Jan 29, 2009

    In the late 80's my youngest daughter went to 5 different elementary schools in as many years in Wake County. At the time I was furious, but I got the impression that they didn't care about my daughter, but rather on the amount of Federal/State money they were going to receive, not on whether the base was diverse or not. I finally gave up fighting. Now I'm not saying that this would be good for everyone, but my daughter can handle almost any situation and can make friends anywhere with anyone. She had to learn how to adjust and adjust she did!

  • helpme Jan 12, 2009

    the same thing happened to my child - from 6th grade to 10th grade my child attended 4 different schools due to reassignments -- thankfully my child adjusted well and took it all in stride : )
    sometimes these things do work out for the best - adversity builds character

  • lorivalentine1 Jan 9, 2009

    Wow.. thanks to the Wake county school board for caring so much about our children's mental health and well being.. We can all thank god they are on our side.

  • wcnc Jan 9, 2009

    And people wonder why my kids don't go to public schools....

  • familyfour Jan 9, 2009

    leave it to the county to skreew our kids up......

    I hope things work out for the little fella.....

    I would seriously consider homeschooling, and tax evasion if they did this to my kids....

    .......and would absolutley be MOVING!

  • mom2threecld Jan 9, 2009

    this is WRONG. the child can't develop good friendships if he can't keep his friends. wcpss doesn't care whats in the childs best intrest. my youngest will go to private school when it is time for him to go for this very reason. my older 2 already graduated from wake county schools with a good education, but now the reassignment junk is not right. they need to think of the child

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 9, 2009

    Children are being harmed. Ask the children what they would like for a change.

  • Adelinthe Jan 9, 2009

    And they wonder why kids feel they need to join gangs.

    Gangs give them roots (something WCPSS does NOT) and protection (something WCPSS does NOT#2).

    Praying for them all.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • happymom Jan 9, 2009

    "Just send them to a private christian school then they would go to the same school for the entire 10 years.
    Arthur in the Garden"

    You paying? Not everyone can afford this, and it not fair to penalize folks for not being able to afford it by making them change schools every year.

    Someone mentioned putting Ron Margiotta in charge. I'm all for it! He's the only board member with any common sense. While we're at it, when are we going to push for county-wide elections? Since these folks make decisions that impact everyone in the county, the entire county should be able to vote for them. That should fix a lot of our woes.

  • tiblet Jan 9, 2009

    this is not a new problem...when I was an elementary school student in Wake County I went to three different schools in three years...