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Some Wake Co. Year-Round Students Could Face Reassignment

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Tracy Figueredo said she has not thought much about the debate over converting Wake County schools to year-round schedules because her daughter already voluntarily attends one.

The public school system expects to add about 40,000 more students over the next five years and expect to convert some schools to year-round schedules to maximize space.

Parents who do not want year-round schools are already worried about how the plan could affect them, but parents who already have children in year-round schools could be affected by the change, too.

"I really didn't think it would affect me at all," Figueredo said.

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    But if Figueredo's neighborhood school is on a list to switch, her daughter could be reassigned to a closer year-round school, which is how the school system has reassigned students in the past.

    "I would have to think about it, but I wouldn't be terribly upset," Figueredo said.

    Figueredo said she is for a closer school because she could give up the long daily commute.

    "I spend about 20 minutes commuting to the year-round school, and then wait in the car-pool line for another 10 to 20 minutes," she said. "Then, it's 20 minutes back home. So, that's an hour out of my day each day."

    But Wake County Board of Education member Ron Margiotta thinks others may be resistant to the possible change. If the school board goes forward with a plan to convert as many as 20-30 elementary schools, he saidm Wake County could be dealing with its biggest reassignment plan ever.

    "Because of the combination of opening new schools and mandatory year-round assignments, people are going to be shuffled all over the place," he said.

    Nearly 10,000 students already voluntarily attend year-round schools. Although school board members have not determined the rules for converting schools or reassigning students, parents are ready for the process to play out.

    Figueredo said she wants to know which schools will make the list to convert.

    "That's the big mystery," she said. "You want to know which schools, so you know how it will affect you."

    School officials said they hope to create the list of schools by the end of August.

    Margiotta said he would continue to fight mandatory year-round schedules even though other board members say they are inevitable.

    The school system has said it is lacking 3,000 elementary-school seats for the start of school in 2007.


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