Wake County Schools

Wake County parents can get head start on assignment choices

Posted January 11, 2012 7:33 p.m. EST
Updated January 12, 2012 9:40 a.m. EST

Wake County Public School System

— Wake County parents don't have to wait to learn about and research options for next school year, they can log on to the student assignment website this week, plug in their address and get a list of elementary, middle and high school options.

Parents can't begin ranking their choices until Jan. 17, but school district leaders urge them to begin preparing now for that decision. 

On the site, there is a letter next to each choice with a corresponding key on the left stating if it's a traditional, year-round, magnet or school with a specialized program.

When a school name is clicked, a more detailed page appears where parents can read a description of the selected option and even see students' test scores from the past 10 years. This is all designed to help parents make more informed choices.

Here's how the new plan works:

- Parents log on and rank their top school choices.

- Students get top priority to the schools closest to their homes.

- Priority is given to students who already have siblings in a school, even above proximity.

- The new plan guarantees feeder patterns: Once a student is enrolled in an elementary school, that student can follow the path to connected middle and high schools.

- Any student who is happy with his or her current school can stay put, and parents don't have to do anything.

So, who actually has to log on and make choices for next year?

- All rising kindergartners must participate. District leaders are encouraging parents to register those students now so they get the student ID number they'll need for the selection process.

- All new students to the system must also participate, as well as any current student who wants to make a different choice.

Some other key points:

- Once a student is confirmed in a school choice, that school can't be changed.

- However, parents do have the option to participate in choice selection each year.

- Choices can be made outside of feeder patterns. A student enrolled in an elementary school doesn't necessarily have to advance to the paired middle school.

- Finally, the system is not first come, first served, so students' chances of getting into a school are not impacted by when parents rank choices.