Local News

Reassignment Plan Could Affect 6,400 Wake Students

Posted December 7, 2007 4:55 p.m. EST
Updated December 8, 2007 1:52 a.m. EST

Wake County Public School System

— More than 6,400 Wake County elementary students could change schools next year under the public school system's reassignment plan for the 2008-09 school year.

The proposal only covers elementary schools and attempts to get the same economic diversity in the student body at all schools. It's designed to fill seats at three schools now under construction – Laurel Park, Mills Park and Sycamore Creek.

The plan also seeks to fill seats at the schools that are losing their students to the new schools.

For instance, a number of students at Hillburn Elementary, which has a traditional calendar, are slated to attend Sycamore Creek, in North Raleigh, which will be year-round.

Of the more than 6,400 students who might be impacted, about 2,700 of those would fill the new schools.

The proposal would mean more than 3,400 students could move to schools closer to their homes in an effort to balance student diversity across the Wake County Public School System.

Karen Donlon and her family live in North Raleigh near Leesville Road. When she found out her 6-year-old daughter, Cree, would be moving to a school closer to home, based on the new reassignment plan, she was all for it.

"I do a lot of driving back and forth because she's considered a transfer student," Donlon said.

Cree is a first-grader at Briar Creek Elementary. She's slated to go to the new Sycamore Creek Elementary.

Wake School Board member Rosa Gill said the system is slated to grow by another 6,000 students next year. It's already trying to accommodate more than 134,000.

"We weigh what we have to do to provide access to all students, and then we try to come up with the best solution," Gill said.

The school system's plan also includes a grandfather option for about 1,400 rising fourth- and fifth-graders who could opt to stay at their current schools.

The entire growth-management proposal is available on the school system's Web site.

School officials will use community input to prepare an assignment proposal to present to the school board at its Jan. 8 meeting. After receiving the proposal, the board will hold public hearings and work sessions as it works to finalize the proposal in February.

Middle and high schools are unaffected by the plan.