Wake County Schools

Some north Raleigh parents push back against Wake school reassignment plan

Posted November 17, 2021 8:34 p.m. EST

— Just as the leaves turn every fall, the Wake County Public School System is once again hearing criticism from some parents upset about plans to shuffle students among schools to deal with growth and overcrowding.

The school board was updated Tuesday about the reassignment plan, which would shift up to 3,000 students, or about 2 percent of the school district's enrollment.

"We are not done with this process. This is only Draft 2," Glenn Carrozza, assistant superintendent for school choice, planning and assignment, said Wednesday.

But that hasn't stopped parents from complaining.

"This is a big blow to kids," said Cammie Sollie, whose two children attend Abbott’s Creek Elementary School in north Raleigh.

The current plan would move some Abbott's Creek Elementary students to nearby Durant Road Elementary School.

Sollie said she fears the students will lose their sense of community if they’re moved.

"When they’re comfortable in a building where they feel secure with their teachers and their friends, the ability to flourish in those areas is major. To move them, they have to start from scratch," she said.

Jessica Seltzer likewise slammed the reassignment proposal, saying her children would no longer be able to walk through their Falls River neighborhood to school.

"It’s unfair. It’s ridiculous," Seltzer said. "I think it’s an extra transition that’s unnecessary."

Abbott's Creek Elementary is one of several schools in the district over capacity, Carrozza said. The reassignment plan tries to address such issues, he said.

"We’re opening three new schools. We also are trying to provide relief to overcrowded or capped schools, as well as provide support to under-utilized schools," he said.

The three new schools are Apex Friendship Elementary School, Barton Pond Elementary School in north Raleigh and Herbert Akins Road Middle School in Fuquay-Varina.

In addition to moving students, all three could force school calendar changes on families:

  • Apex Friendship Elementary will be a traditional-calendar school that could pull students from year-round Olive Chapel Elementary School.
  • Herbert Akins Middle will run on a year-round calendar but could bring in students from traditional-calendar Fuquay-Varina Middle School.
  • The shuffle to fill Barton Pond Elementary could force students from year-round Sycamore Creek Elementary School to York Elementary School or Lynn Road Elementary School, both of which operate on traditional calendars.

Carrozza said the district is still collecting feedback from families about what works best.

"We try to provide the most proximate school for families," he said. "It’s not always the case, but we look at revisions throughout the entire process."

The school board has scheduled a Nov. 30 public hearing on reassignment, and it's expected to approve a final plan on Dec. 7.

"It’s not a lot of time to give community members and elected officials to come together to work on solutions in the long term," Sollie said.

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