Wake County Schools

Wake parents encouraged to test student assignment proposal

Posted June 19, 2011 2:34 p.m. EDT
Updated June 20, 2011 2:40 p.m. EDT

— Wake County schools are holding a series of outreach events this week to get more parents involved in figuring out how one proposed student assignment plan would work.

School staff set up computers at First Baptist Church in downtown Raleigh Sunday and helped parents do an online test drive of the Community-Based Choice plan, or "blue plan."

"I didn't know about it. I didn't realize until I came into church this morning and realized they were doing it here," parent Stephanie Bullock-Allen said.

The families of 10,260 students have done test drives, but Superintendent Tony Tata appealed Friday for at least 12,000 families to participate.

The idea is to get feel for what student distribution might actually look like under the plan. Greater participation will produce more accurate results, he said, adding that families in eastern Wake County and southeast Raleigh are currently under-represented in the results.

"That they are taking the time and the effort to garner our wishes and what we desire, I do appreciate it," Bullock-Allen said.

The blue plan allows parents to choose from a variety of four to six elementary schools, each linked with a middle and high school. Students get priority based on whether they have a sibling at the school or live close by, and the district takes into account achievement balance and capacity at each school.

"My kids were 15 to 20 minutes away, so bringing them back a lot closer to home is helpful," said Jenine Dolby, who has three children in Wake County schools.

The alternative, the Base Schools Achievement plan, or "green plan," is more similar to the current assignment model. Under it, the school system assigns students based on student achievement, ensuring that students from low-performing areas end up at high-performing schools.

Since that plan has stable feeder plans from elementary to high school, a test drive of it wasn't necessary.

Parents who prefer the green plan say they like that the feeder plans would let them know with confidence where their child would go to elementary, middle and high schools, Tata said.

The trial run of the blue plan lasts until Friday.

Tata plans to give feedback on both plans and detail a work plan to devise the final student assignment policy at the Tuesday meeting of the Wake County Board of Education.

Blue plan test drive outreach events on Monday

  • Wendell Elementary School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Southeast Raleigh High School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Fuller Elementary School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Wakelon Elementary School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Ligon Middle School, 8-10 a.m.
  • Zebulon Middle School, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Hodge Road Elementary School, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Boys and Girls Club, 605 N. Raleigh Blvd. in Raleigh, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.