Wake County Schools

Wake school leaders discuss proposed enrollment plan

Posted August 19, 2014

Wake County Public School System
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— Wake school leaders are considering a student enrollment plan that would adjust the attendance zones of current schools to alleviate overcrowding and help fill 17 new schools the district plans to build over the next four years.

The plan would affect 36 elementary schools, 16 middle schools and 11 high schools. A number of affected schools are in southwestern Wake County, including Apex and Holly Springs.

Some schools would be impacted more than others. For example, part of the attendance zones for Brassfield, Durant Road, Green and Wildwood Forest elementary schools would be switched to Abbots Creek Elementary, which is scheduled to open in 2015. Millbrook High School’s attendance zone would expand to include students originally slated for Broughton, Enloe and Wakefield high schools.

The plan comes as the district is projected to grow by over 18,000 students over the next four years. To address the influx of students, three schools are scheduled to open in 2015 (two elementary, one high), five in 2016 (four elementary, one middle), six in 2017 (five elementary, one high) and three in 2018 (two middle, one high).

Tuesday’s proposal is the fourth in recent years that would change where students learn in Wake County. The school board passed a controversial student assignment plan in 2012 that tied school assignments to a student’s home address but allowed families to keep their children in their current schools.

Other aspects of the proposal:

  • Utilizes the district’s move to base school assignments on smaller parcels, which would help keep students in or close to their neighborhoods and make it easier to assign students to new schools.
  • Would match up the calendars of feeder schools. For example, a child may attend an elementary school on a traditional calendar, but then go to a year-round middle school. The proposed plan would sync feeder schools under one calendar, school officials said.
  • Allows families to “grandfather” their children to remain at their current school. Younger siblings of grandfathered students can also attend the same school as their older sibling. But these students would be considered transfer students and would not be eligible for school bus transportation.

Parents can type their address on the Wake schools’ website to see if they would be affected by the proposed plan and can also share their thoughts of the proposal online.

"We are working hard to make good decisions, to get good data," school board chairwoman Christine Kushner said. "The more data we have, the better decisions we will be able to make as a school board."

Public hearings are scheduled for September, October and November to solicit input on the proposal. Board members expect to approve the plan in December.

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  • e196c542 Aug 20, 2014

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    After reading your comment, I went back and did some deeper poking around. I found the maps I think you are referring to. I was hoping for a more friendly interface closer to Google Maps rather than a PDF with limited zoom capability, and nearly no streets labeled. Having looked at the maps, my opinion of the assignment plan has gone from bad to worse.

    The Davis Drive map is particularly fun (of the few that I have looked at), with three discreet islands, two of which requiring at least a 30 minute commute (each way), passing probably three different Middle School buildings. The locations of which are shown in such small type as to be nearly unreadable.

  • archmaker Aug 20, 2014

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    the wcpss website has all the maps you need. in fact, when you go to the tool to look up your address, their are tabs right there for elementary, middle, and high school maps.

  • e196c542 Aug 20, 2014

    I am sympathetic to the fact that the BoE is dealing with a rapidly growing population. While my address has not been reassigned for several years, for a while it WAS reassigned frequently. There needs to be a map published with the assignment plans. Entering my address and getting my base schools is fine, but I want to SEE A MAP that shows why children in my neighborhood get bussed PAST West Cary Middle School to be taken to Reedy Creek Middle School. The data exists, the only reason I can think of to not show it as a map is that it will show just how dysfunctional the assignment system is.