Parents sound off against Wake schools' reassignment plan
Posted November 18, 2014
Cary, N.C. — The Wake County Public School System’s proposed reassignment plan will affect less than 2 percent of the district’s enrollment, but some of those impacted by the changes spoke during Tuesday night's Wake school board meeting.
And they were not happy.
“We love our community. We love our neighborhood and we love our children. We’re asking for stability,” said Jennifer Covington, an Apex resident who said the proposed plan will leave her two daughters on different school schedules for years. “We feel like pieces in a chess match that we don’t want to be a part of.”
The reassignment plan, which would affect no more than 2,734 students, would help populate three new schools opening next year – Friendship High School and Scotts Ridge Elementary School in Apex and Abbotts Creek Elementary School in north Raleigh. The effort is also aimed at creating efficiencies in transportation and aligning school calendars so students remain on the same calendar from elementary to high school.
The school system has worked on the plan, currently in its third version, since August. The latest iteration reflects changes based on more than 2,200 online comments and feedback from a number of public information sessions.
School board members will discuss the plan during a Nov. 25 work session and vote on it Dec. 2.
The latest reassignment plan, the fourth in recent years, comes as the state’s largest school system anticipates an 11 percent enrollment increase, or 18,615 students, by 2018. That number would bring the district’s enrollment to 171,915.
Parents who spoke during Tuesday’s meeting, the majority of which were against the proposed plan, were mostly from Apex's Haddon Hall and Brookstone neighborhoods. They attacked two of the plan's four priorities – stability and proximity.
"We want community. We want stability. We want a neighborhood school," said Francine Shafeek, who lives in Haddon Hall. "We don't think our request is unreasonable."
Ann Marie Miller was the only parent who spoke in favor of the plan, but wondered if her children will get into their base middle school, Apex Middle.
“It’s strange to me that my children’s move will not save the base school you’re putting them at,” she said. “I think the bigger overreaching problem is that Apex needs more traditional schools.”