Local News

Cary parents speak out against school reassignment

Posted October 3, 2018 12:54 p.m. EDT
Updated October 3, 2018 5:58 p.m. EDT

— Sini Abraham has two children at Mills Park Elementary School in Cary.

The conversation about school reassignment has been a challenging one, especially with her first-grader.

“He’ll just randomly say, ‘But I don't want to go to a different school. I like my friends. I Iike my teacher,’” Abraham said Wednesday.

Abraham joins dozens of parents from her neighborhood, many of whom attended Tuesday night's Wake County school board meeting. They told the board they do not want their children reassigned to different schools.

“He is a sweet kid who can probably adapt anywhere, but the fact that he’s starting to get anxiety as a first-grader about having to move, those things are things that are starting to trickle in their minds, so that’s my biggest concern,” Abraham said.

One concern the parents cite is consistency and security that comes from familiar environments. Another is proximity.

The students in Cary’s Cameron Pond neighborhood who attend Alston Ridge Elementary School and Mills Park elementary and middle schools could be reassigned to Carpenter Elementary School and the new Alston Ridge Middle School.

“I believe the answer is keeping the established neighborhood at their established schools and moving new neighborhoods to new schools,” one woman told the board Tuesday. “This will immediately stop the bleeding.”

Parents said their children’s current assignments would allow them to use part of Cary's greenway trail to commute to and from school.

Wake County Public School System spokesman Matt Dees said he understands the proximity argument, but it's only one of four points when it comes to making these decisions.

“In this case, operational efficiency is one of the driving factors behind the proposal at this time because Mills Park middle school and elementary school are two of the most crowded schools in our district,” he said. “We're trying to relieve some of the crowding there as well as make room for new growth that we know is coming online for that part of the county.”

The next draft of the reassignment plan is expected Oct. 16. Final plans are expected in November.