Wake County Schools

Wake school board to vote on possible calendar changes Tuesday

Posted September 16, 2014 9:59 a.m. EDT
Updated September 16, 2014 5:14 p.m. EDT

— The Wake County Board of Education is expected to vote Tuesday on possible calendar changes for some of the county's over- and under-enrolled schools.

The board presented recommendations for five schools – Mills Park Elementary, Mills Park Middle, Alston Ridge Elementary, Ballentine Elementary and Wakefield Elementary – early this month, and members have been hearing from parents and school officials since.

Two options are on the table to alleviate overcrowding at Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle. The board could vote to bring in 21 modular classrooms at a cost of almost $2 million or switch the school from a traditional calendar to multi-track year-round.

Changes are also possible at the following schools:

  • Ballentine Elementary, currently a multi-track year-round school at 65 percent capacity, would lose its temporary classrooms and one of its tracks to boost capacity to 75 percent. The move would save $245,000 and eliminate six teacher positions. A new elementary school is planned for the area in 2018, but funding is yet to be determined.
  • Wakefield Elementary, currently a multi-track year-round school at 91 percent capacity, would be converted to a traditional calendar. The move would place the school in sync with the calendars at Wakefield middle and high schools. While it would increase the elementary school’s capacity to 108 percent, it would bring capacity below 100 percent if the school uses all 10 of its temporary classrooms. Abbotts Creek Elementary is scheduled to open in 2015 to help reduce overcrowding in the area.
  • Alston Ridge Elementary, a single-track year-round school at 112 percent capacity, would be converted to a multi-track school, which would reduce capacity to 85 percent. In addition, temporary classrooms could be added. The move would result in a cost of $160,000 for two temporary classrooms. A new elementary school is scheduled to open in the area in 2017 to help reduce overcrowding

Schools using a multi-track year-round calendar can enroll more students by operating on four separate tracks. Each track runs for about nine weeks, followed by a three-week break. The tracks are staggered so three tracks can operate at any given time.

The proposed calendar changes come as the district is also considering a student enrollment plan that would adjust attendance zones for 63 current schools to alleviate overcrowding and help fill 17 new schools the district plans to build over the next four years.

Officials project the district will grow by 18,000 students over the next four years. To address the influx of students, three schools are scheduled to open in 2015 (two elementary, one high), five in 2016 (four elementary, one middle), six in 2017 (five elementary, one high) and three in 2018 (two middle, one high).