Wake County Schools

Parents sound off against Wake schools' reassignment plan

Posted November 18, 2014

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— 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.”

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  • ConservativeVoter Nov 19, 2014

    Historically most of Wake County's reassignments have been for socio-economic diversity reasons, very few are for moving students to balance out school assignments and populate new schools.

  • AmazedAtThis Nov 19, 2014

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    Thanks. To your point, funny, not a single comment about the quality of education. Our school system is still one of the best in the country. The detractors seem to be in primarily 2 groups: 1) those who are going to have a problem with most anything, and 2) a vocal minority of folks worried about how all this inconveniences them. My experience is that the school system works really hard to address sibling issues and such. Can't get them all, I get that,but the level of negative noise is way out of proportion to the actual size of the problem. And at the risk of annoying the monitor, the headline on this article sells more ad space than one like 'Reassignment affects smallest number of families in years'. Just saying....

  • Hippy_mom Nov 19, 2014

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    You make great points, AmazedAtThis. I read in the N&O this morning about the parents making such a fuss. That's a fine example they are setting for their kids. If the school your child is assigned to is so bad, why not volunteer there and be the change you want to see (apologies to Gandhi)?

  • Karen Orndorff Nov 19, 2014
    user avatar

    I am so glad my child did not attend Wake County Schools but a few years.

  • 678devilish Nov 19, 2014

    This is going to be an on going problem for years to come. I do hope they will find a solution that will be favored by all.

  • AmazedAtThis Nov 19, 2014

    Let's see....3 new schools being opened, somebody has to attend them, eh? The proposed plan is allowing more families to have calendar consistency all the way through the system (check), saving $ on transportation since kids will be going to schools closer to their homes (check), and addressing over crowding by building more schools in neighborhoods (check). And it only affects 1.7% of the total population. If Tedesco, et al, were still in power they would be showing this as an example of their success. Haters gonna hate...

  • European American Nov 19, 2014

    To all the complainers... got any real ideas that could possibly work?

  • Garnerwolf1 Nov 19, 2014

    Diversity? Look at the stats. They're nowhere near, and never have been, their stated goals. At least not in regards to F&R percentages.

  • injameswetrust2003 Nov 19, 2014

    Does the board make any efforts to seek out comments from low income parents? They are shuffled around at will because board members know they won't hear anything from them.

  • Naysayer Nov 19, 2014

    The "Socio-economic diversity policies" of the school board are creating 80% of the issues. Stop this nonsense and won't be as much churn. Wake County voted in the current board members, so will need to live with it for now.

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