UPDATE SEPT. 18 - Draft 2

  • The school board received Draft 2 of the 2019-20 Student Enrollment Proposal on Tuesday, Sept. 18.


    Look up your address to see your proposed assignment in Draft 2 of the proposal. 


    Here are the main changes recommended in Draft 2:

    • The following neighborhoods would remain based at Cedar Fork Elementary and West Cary Middle instead of being assigned to Parkside Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle School:
    • Families in the Parkside Elementary base attendance area would have the option to apply to Pleasant Grove Elementary as a traditional calendar application school, as well as Powell Magnet Elementary. Under this proposal, Pleasant Grove calendar application students would not receive district transportation while Powell students would. SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK
    • A portion of the Poe Elementary base would be assigned to the new Southeast Raleigh Elementary. SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK
    • The Draft 1 proposal for all students in the Southeast Raleigh Elementary base attendance area to be assigned to Centennial Middle and Southeast Raleigh High will be phased in, instead of happening immediately. SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK
    • A downtown Raleigh area assigned to Turner Creek Elementary would be assigned to Conn Elementary, Centennial Middle and Southeast Raleigh High beginning 2019-20. Draft 1 had recommended making this change in 2020-21. SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

    Other considerations

    We have received a good deal of feedback online regarding some of the proposed changes.


    We are not recommending any additional changes at this time, but our staff is continuing to review information regarding proposed assignments from Davis Drive Middle to East Cary Middle and from Mills Park Elementary and Middle to Carpenter Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle (Cameron Pond neighborhood.)


    Today’s presentation contains staff responses to the proposed changes that have prompted the most feedback. 


    What happens next?

    Parents can continue to share their feedback on this forum.


    We also have scheduled four public meetings where parents will have an opportunity to learn more information and share feedback in person.


    Please note that each of these meetings will have a specific topic focus. Please attend the meeting regarding the proposal that applies to you. If you attend a meeting focused on a topic that does not affect you, there will be student assignment staff available to help answer your questions.

    • Sept. 24 - Cary High School, 638 Walnut St., Cary - TOPIC: Proposed assignments related to East Cary and West Cary Middle schools, as well as proposed calendar application school changes.
    • Sept. 26 - Wakefield Middle School, 2300 Wakefield Pines Drive, Raleigh - TOPIC: Proposed assignments to relieve overcrowding at Heritage High School.
    • Oct. 3 - Panther Creek High School - 6770 McCrimmon Parkway, Cary - TOPIC: Proposed assignments related to Alston Ridge Middle School and Parkside Elementary School.
    • Oct. 1 - Apex High School (Green Level campus) - 7600 Roberts Road, Cary - TOPIC: The opening of the new Green Level High School. Information will be presented about likely academic and extracurricular offerings in the first years of the school.

    Draft 3 will be presented to the board on Oct. 16, and the board will then begin working toward a final plan. A vote is expected on Nov. 20. View full timeline.

     

_______________________________

Draft 1 of the 2019-20 Student Enrollment Proposal was released on Aug. 21.

This is the beginning of a community discussion about the best ways to fill new schools opening in 2019 and to make the best use of existing school facilities. We are committed to ensuring that every child in Wake County attends an excellent school, no matter where they live.

We strive for a collaborative and transparent process. On this forum, we encourage you to find the topic thread that applies to you, then ask questions and provide feedback. School district staff and board members monitor this site regularly.

We will be able to respond directly to questions of process or clarification. We will answer more detailed questions in a frequently asked questions document.

Some Mills Park Middle School students are proposed to attend a different school starting in 2019-20 to reduce overcrowding at Mills Park Middle.

See if you are proposed to be affected.

Please share your feedback and ask questions below.

152 Responses

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Nathaniel Greene 3 months ago

As a member of the Cameron Pond community, I was very concerned and disappointed when I learned that our neighborhood was going to be reassigned to Alston Ridge Middle School (as well as Carpenter Elementary) from Mills Park Middle (and Mills Park Elementary). Our neighborhood has been very excited about the new Panther Creek Greenway extension that will connect our neighborhood directly to the Mills Park Schools. This greenway is currently scheduled to be finished in Fall of 2019, right when our neighborhood would be rezoned to another school that would be impossible or very unsafe to walk or bike to. By my read of the plans, our students would have to walk less than a mile in order to get to school on the greenway, and they would never have to even cross a street to do this. I would have thought that since the WCPSS board amended their Student Wellness Policy in 2017, that walking and biking to school would have been a top priority. For reference, the policy states (Policy Code 6140, Section E.10) that WCPSS will "support active transportation to and from schools, including walking and biking."

It should be noted that this greenway has been paid for by a Town of Cary PRCR bond referendum (funded by our own money via a tax increase), a federal grant, and NCDOT, so a lot has gone into this particular pathway, and it will be a heavily used segment. This segment has also been planned for years as the pedestrian bridge underneath 540 was built when 540 was extended. Note that the bond referendum passed in 2012 and while the project has had delays, everything has finally fallen into place.

Please allow our kids to maintain healthy lifestyles by being able to walk and bike to school on a safe route where there is zero risk of traffic accidents. Thank you for your consideration.

82 Votes
 
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Krissy Campbell 3 months ago

One of the pillars used to determine school assignment is proximity. Upon completion of the Panther Creek Greenway, Cameron Pond will be the closest school to Mills Park ES and MS. This particular portion of the greenway was made possible by Cameron Pond giving up some of its property. Furthermore, the project cost ~ $1.2 million that will essentially be vacant if Cameron Pond residents are not allowed to use it for its primary purpose; connecting students to their schools. This would be a tremendous waste of tax-paying dollars and goes against the 2012 Cary Parks and Recreation Bonds Referendum that was largely supported based on the concept that students would be able to safely walk or bike to school. The ability to walk or bike to school not only has health benefits, but also cuts down on transportation demands and carpool wait-times which is a whole other discussion on its own. While I understand that growing populations pose capacity issues, I would ask that you consider filling lower-capacity schools with newer neighbourhoods that have not had a chance to build close bonds with their school, friends and staff members. Cameron Pond represents a small footprint that arguably would not have a significant impact on capacity issues at Mills Park. Conversely, the impact on our children is unquantifiable. I share these feelings with many other concerned Cameron Pond residents and hope you will take these arguments into consideration. Our children have demonstrated an overwhelming desire to stay at Mills Park. Please allow them to continue to build lasting friendships and provide them with a sense of security. Thank you!

76 Votes
 
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Nathaniel Greene 3 months ago

Above post was specifically for Mills Park Middle, this is specifically for Mills Park Elementary to Carpenter Rezoning--reposting on this thread from the "Miscellaneous" thread since this was updated to include Mills Park Elementary:

As a member of the Cameron Pond community, I was very concerned and disappointed when I learned that our neighborhood was going to be reassigned to Carpenter Elementary from Mills Park Elementary. Our neighborhood has been very excited about the new Panther Creek Greenway extension that will connect our neighborhood directly to the Mills Park Schools. This greenway is currently scheduled to be finished in Fall of 2019, right when our neighborhood would be rezoned to another school that would be impossible or very unsafe to walk or bike to. By my read of the plans, our students would have to walk less than a mile in order to get to school on the greenway, and they would never have to even cross a street to do this. I would have thought that since the WCPSS board amended their Student Wellness Policy in 2017, that walking and biking to school would have been a top priority. For reference, the policy states (Policy Code 6140, Section E.10) that WCPSS will "support active transportation to and from schools, including walking and biking."

It should be noted that this greenway has been paid for by a Town of Cary PRCR bond referendum (funded by our own money via a tax increase), a federal grant, and NCDOT, so a lot has gone into this particular pathway, and it will be a heavily used segment. This segment has also been planned for years as the pedestrian bridge underneath 540 was built when 540 was extended. Note that the bond referendum passed in 2012 and while the project has had delays, everything has finally fallen into place.

The choice to specifically rezone our neighborhood to Carpenter actually seems dangerous. Not only will our kids not be able to walk or bike to school safely (have to cross NC-55 and walk along busy roads), we will have to travel along Carpenter Fire Station Road (scheduled for widening and construction over the next few years--all construction will be planned to be complete in 2022), turn on to NC-55, and then make an unprotected left turn onto Morrisville Parkway. Not only is a terrible left turn to make during commuting hours (left turn bay is not long enough to house current traffic demand), but we would have to make an unprotected left turn across NC-55 traffic (or our school buses will). Our local community was devastated when a Panther Creek High School student died being asked to do the same thing back in 2014 (1 mile up the road at NC-55 and McCrimmon Parkway). We then would have to make one or two more unprotected left turns to actually arrive safely at the school. The road infrastructure simply isn't ready for this elementary school to be a safe option for our community.

I also don't understand why our community, which has been zoned to Mills Park for years, without a greenway in place, is being taken from an overcapacity school and reassigned to a school that is just as overcapacity. This seems to go against every single "pillar" mentioned by student assignment staff. It seems the overcrowding at Carpenter Elementary may be adversely affecting Student Achievement to a higher degree than at Mills Park Elementary. There is no gain in any way for our community by this rezoning, unless you prefer a year-round calendar option, but in our current zoning, we already have the option to apply for a year-round school.

Please allow our kids to maintain healthy lifestyles by being able to walk and bike to school on a safe route where there is zero risk of traffic accidents and keep our kids attending the school that our community has attended for years. Thank you for your consideration.

79 Votes
 
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Amy Holcomb 3 months ago

I also live in the Cameron Pond community, and want to make sure that the Board takes into account the soon to be completed Panther Creek Greenway that will connect Cameron Pond to Mills Park Elementary and Middle schools. The greenway is a $1.2M investment by the Town of Cary with the exclusive goal of connecting Cameron Pond to Mills Park. The greenway broke ground this summer, and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019, after which we will be able to walk or bike from Cameron Pond to Mills Park Elementary and Middle schools. My daughter is currently a 2nd grader at Mills Park Elementary, and we are looking forward to having this option to bike or walk to school through the remainder of her elementary and middle school years.

I know that the current draft proposal is aiming to address growth concerns in West Cary, however, Cameron Pond is a relatively small and established neighborhood of 344 homes that is completely built out. Because ours is a more mature neighborhood, we will not have any future growth that will impact Mills Park attendance rates.

Given the significant investment in the Panther Creek Greenway that is connecting our neighborhood to Mills Park, and the fact that our neighborhood is small and completely built out, we strongly believe that Cameron Pond should continue to be assigned to Mills Park Elementary and Middle schools.

73 Votes
 
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Crystal He 3 months ago

I was very disappointed that Evan's Farm being assigned to Alston Ridge Middle instead of Mills Park Middle. All our neighbor communities(Hortons, Weycroft, newly opened Amberly Glen, newly opened Ridgefield Farm) have been assigned to MPM. We want o go to a traditional middle scholl and the only option is West Cary Middle which is 20 mins away! Not even mentioned that my family has been struggled to request transfer for another calendar option for two years in a row and got denied in two years! I lost trust in calendar option. Please consider include Evan's Farm into Mills Park Middle as bas school. Thanks!

26 Votes
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Patrick Shou 3 months ago

I agree! Calendar option is a joke. I have never heard any success from neighbors in Evan's Farm or nearby communities. Evan's Farm was assigned to Mills Park Middle which was one of the major reasons we chose to live here. Please keep us in Mills Park Middle as well as Hortons Creek Elementary, which is less than one mile away from our community.

16 Votes
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FNU SHAILENDRA 2 months ago

Agreed calendar Option is not meant for general public. No body ever get calendar option of their choice.

1 Vote
 
 
 
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Jessica Hartman 3 months ago

I would like to echo the above sentiments. When we purchased our home in Cameron Pond in 2014 (before having kids), it was due in large part to the established nature of the neighborhood and the proximity to Mills Park Elementary and Middle School. We were aware of the proposed greenway (approved in 2012) and were pleased by the idea that our kids would be able to walk to school safely and quickly. Now that our oldest is on the verge of entering elementary school, we are quite disappointed and dismayed that those options are being proposed to disappear.

According to the Town of Cary’s Mills Park Concept Plan: “Mills Park will act as a trailhead for the greenway as well as an access point for greenway users to reach the schools. Children will be able to safely bicycle and walk to school from their neighborhoods on the greenway system.” Moving Cameron Pond away from MPES and MPMS appears to be at odds with the Town of Cary’s Mills Park Concept Plan that would enable the children specifically in the Cameron Pond neighborhood to safely bicycle and walk to school from our neighborhood greenway. Once the Greenway is complete, Cameron Pond will be closer than any other neighborhood to the physical location of the school.

This reassignment appears to be directly at odds with the WCPSS pillars, namely Stability, Proximity, and Operational Efficiency. If one of the major goals of student assignment is to maintain proximity, then reassigning a neighborhood that will be physically connected to the school grounds just doesn't seem appropriate.

Please help us keep our kids active, reduce area traffic by cutting down on the use of carpools and cars, and maintain stability for our kids by keeping Cameron Pond assigned to MPES and MPMS.

74 Votes
 
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Faryn Roy 3 months ago

Similar to other posts here, we are residents of Cameron Pond and would like to strongly advocate for the 344-home Cameron Pond neighborhood to maintain its assignment to Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle School.

The Panther Creek Greenway has finally broken ground (approval and funding completed in 2012!) with an excepted completion date of Fall 2019. It would be massively ironic for our neighborhood's connection to our elementary and middle schools to coincide with a reassignment - rendering the Town of Cary and NCDOT's investment into this Greenway near useless.

I grew up in an area where I was not afforded the ability to walk or bike to school. The prospect of my children having that opportunity was part of what drew us to purchase a home in Cameron Pond 4.5 years ago.

Cameron Pond is a stable, complete neighborhood, soon to be connected to Mills Park Elementary School and Mills Park Middle School via Greenway, so please consider the negative effects on our children should you take away their long-awaited ability to walk or ride bikes to school.

73 Votes
 
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Lynsay Simper 3 months ago

For many neighborhoods in this area, "Walk to School Day" means parents driving to drop-off points because walking safely to school with our kids is not possible. Now that the Greenway extension is about to be built, connecting Cameron Pond to the Mills Park Schools, we are proposed to be reassigned away from these schools. I understand how this might have looked like it made sense on a map without the Greenway information, but now that WCPSS is aware of these facts, along with our community's unified position, I hope that the next draft will take them into account and keep Cameron Pond at Mills Park Schools.

70 Votes
 
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Michael Arndt 3 months ago

I am another homeowner in Cameron Pond, and I would like to add my voice to what has already been well stated and properly backed up with facts by others in our subdivision. How can WCPSS consider assigning Cameron Pond away from MPMS and MPES just as the city is about to complete a greenway that will directly connect our subdivision to the schools?

72 Votes
 
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Krissy Campbell 3 months ago

Can someone please explain how moving students from one school (Mills Park Elementary) who is at > 100% capacity to another school (Carpenter Elementary) who is also at > 100% capacity will help alleviate West Cary's student population issue? I just want to understand the thought process. I mean no disrespect.
Thank you.

35 Votes
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Matt Dees admin 3 months ago

Hi Krissy. Draft 1 proposes a number of assignment changes that moves some students from west to east. The reason for this is that much of the present and planned future growth is in the western-most part of the county, yet the schools in this part of the county are overcrowded, as you know. We need to assign some students to schools farther east where there are available seats and the pace of residential growth is slower. You are right that Carpenter is also crowded, but we are proposing to assign some students in the easternmost part of the Carpenter base attendance area to Morrisville or Cedar Fork (see maps attached.) Hope this helps.

4 Votes
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Scott Lemke 3 months ago

Matt,  Based on the table on slide 19 of the first draft, it appears carpenter elementary will still have a higher over utilization (133%) than mills park elementary (126%).  If I am looking at the numbers correctly, there would be greater over utilization at a school with lower acedemic proficiency scores. Moving Cameron Pond students from Mills Park Elementary to Carpenter seems to conflict with all four pillars. Stability is decreased by moving students of long time residents whose parents have contributed to MPE to a different school and switching from a traditional calendar to a year round.  Proximity is reduced, particularly when factoring in the new greenway connection from Mills Park to Cameron Pond.  Students would need to travel along hwy 55 and cross railroad tracks to get to Carpenter vs a greenway that doesn’t cross any non-neighborhood roads.  Finally, MPE isn’t as over crowded based on utilization percentages as Carpenter Elementary and is predicted to have lower over utilization the following year.

39 Votes
 
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Nedal Safwat 2 months ago

Dear Matt,

I completely understand the issue that the Wake County is facing with increase of influx of people into the area. However, it is also important to capitalize on the initiatives from Wake County Public School System to utilize the proximity as it has many benefits on the overall society. The green way being built is a huge advantage to connect Cameron Pond to Mills Park Middle and Mills Park Elementary. Between the short distance and green way, the impact is significant on safety, traffic, and overall sense of community. Stability is another major issues, since we are taking kids that have attended the school for a number of years to transfer them for no urgent reason to a new school and new environment. Most importantly, we are detaching these kids from the community they are currently in and moving them across the other side. To make things even more difficult, I would end up having my middle school child on traditional calendar and my elementary school child attend year-round calendar. If I elected to apply to traditional, it would be 20 mins away (not accounting for traffic, bus wait time, car pools). Parents including our selves, have been involved in supporting the MPMS and MPE both financially and physically to ensure that we provide to our community. Now we are being asked to be taken away from our community losing all of our contributions. I believe that would send the wrong the message to communities in our county. Another consideration is that Cameron Pond is not a huge community, so it will not make a significant difference as far as capacity changes. Finally, why do the existing residents have to suffer and go through all the changes impacting their established life to accommodate new residents. I have personally lived in Cary for the past 28 years and it does not make me happy that everything I have contributed to our community is ignored. I have faith in Wake County Public School System, and I have faith that they won't disrupt the residence at Cameron Pond that goes against the pillars of proximity and stability.

13 Votes
 
 
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Matt Dees admin 3 months ago

map attachment

5 Votes
 
 
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Krissy Campbell 3 months ago

If student safety is a priority, how can the school board justify making Cameron Pond residents cross a busy hwy (55) and turn left at a busy intersection (55 & Morrisville pkwy) to attend Carpenter Elementary, rather than take a greenway to the Mills Park schools, which will not cross a single road, let alone a busy one? Again, trying to understand the thought process. No disrespect implied.

64 Votes
 
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Leslie Cramer 3 months ago

I am in agreement with my neighbors in Cameron Pond and share the same opposition to our neighborhood being rezoned away from Mills Park Elementary and Middle schools to Carpenter Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle. When we bought our home in October 2017, our realtor specifically showed me the approved budget that the Greenway would be built connecting our neighborhood to the Mills Park Schools. This was one reason we choose Cameron Pond because we saw an opportunity to use the Greenway to teach them a lot. Walking to school instills important values including: 1. Being environmentally conscious - it is a great lesson in acknowledging what is in your control on a daily basis to reduce your impact on our environment and I hope to instill those values in my kids. 2. Being active on a daily basis - Life long habits of exercise start when you are young and the Greenway is the perfect way to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. As well as mine! I will not let my younger kids walk/bike alone, so it is a perfect excuse for me to get in my steps each day as well. Once they are older, riding their bikes to Mills Park Middle will be safe and quick.
I understand this is the first proposal and that the WCPSS Board has asked for our input. I know my neighbors in Cameron Pond unanimously object to rezoning us away from the Mills Park Schools. Please reconsider and ensure the Cameron Pond & Mills Park Greenway project does not go to waste.

72 Votes
 
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Kevin Younge 3 months ago

Many Cameron Pond neighbors posted comments in the other and calendar change threads before this was broken into a separate topic. Please ensure all comments are appropriately taken into account when evaluating feedback of this reassignment. We previously posted this last week plus adding some context from subsequent exchanges with city and school board officials.

We were very disappointed to learn that Cameron Pond students will now be sent to Carpenter ES/Alston Ridge MS instead of Mills Park ES/MS. The Town of Cary is building a greenway to connect Mills Park to Cameron Pond to provide an easy connection between the neighborhood and the school. Now rather than walking 0.5 miles, our children will have to bused farther to a new, unfamiliar school. Changing schools is very disruptive and stressful for our children, and having to bus to another school when our current school will be within walking distance doesn't make sense. Please reconsider the school assignment.

Below message sent to city and school board officials.

Our family lives in the Cameron Pond neighborhood in West Cary. We’re writing to you with regards to the planned Panther Creek Greenway connection from the Cameron Pond neighborhood to Mills Park and adjacent Mills Park schools (short walk). Greenway construction is supposed to begin soon with a project cost of $2.4M.

Since one of the stated objectives of the greenway was to connect the Cameron Pond neighborhood to the park and schools, we were surprised to learn yesterday that the 2019 draft school enrollment reassigns the Cameron Pond neighborhood to Carpenter Elementary / Alston Ridge Middle School instead of Mills Park Elementary / Middle School. It seems like this school reassignment reduces the utility and overall return on investment of the Panther Creek Greenway for the city.

Mills Park schools and ease of access via the greenway were both key factors for us in purchasing a house in Cameron Pond in 2015. We ask for your consideration in helping with this discrepancy between the town of Cary’s infrastructure investments and school assignments.

—Summarized points from subsequent exchanges with city and school board officials on this matter. •Wake County School policy 6140 states that active transportation, including walking to school, should be supported. The Panther Creek Greenway being developed at significant cost to the city meets that end for Cameron Pond residents. •Planned widening of Carpenter Firestation Road may impact the community’s ability to easily get to Carpenter Elementary •While we don't have specific data, we believe the number of students in Cameron Pond will not significantly impact overall student enrollment rates at Mills Park ES / MS. •We can see Mills Park from our house and were really looking forward to the opportunity for our children to walk to school. It is both the Town of Cary and Wake County Schools’ objective to promote walking friendly communities and active transport.

71 Votes
 
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Balu Ambady 3 months ago

As residents of Cameron Pond with a child attending Mills Park, we'd like to request WCPSS to consider our request not to re-assign this neighborhood to Alston Ridge (YR), and West Cary (Traditional). As pointed out in detail by many previous pots on this forum - we want our children to take advantage of the tax-payer built Greenway to walk/bike to Mills Park which is just 5 minutes away instead of sitting in a bus for 20-30 minutes or more.

67 Votes
 
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Tom Ju 3 months ago

I agree with and share all of my Cameron Pond neighbors' concerns.

How could anyone rationalize re-assigning Cameron Pond to ARMS, a neighborhood much further away from ARMS than to MPMS, yet keep neighborhoods much closer to ARMS and further away from MPMS to stay with MPMS? Especially given the fact that Cameron Pond has always been assigned to Mills Park, will be physically connected to MPMS/MPES via a Greenway, making it possible to walk/bike to school without any traffic intersections to cross. If 'proximity', 'stability', and 'operational efficiency' are primary drivers for assignment decisions, how could anyone justify this? What about safety and providing healthy & eco friendly choices to children? It's only logical to keep Cameron Pond @ Mills Park.

66 Votes
 
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Jackie Parker 3 months ago

I support all of my neighbors comments regarding the re-assignment of Cameron Pond from MPE/MPM to other schools. I also supported the Greenway construction that would connect the Cameron Pond neighborhood to the Mill Park schools. We are active users of the greenway system and having a Greenway connect to the schools that are not the Base schools of the nearest neighborhood goes against the pillars of reassignment as well as the Town of Cary's commitment to community connectivity and eco-friendly options. We ask that you reconsider the current draft assignment to allow us to remain at Mills Park.

70 Votes
 
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Kiran Madam 3 months ago

My name is Kiran Madam, resident of Cameron Pond sub division. We have two kids, a 1st grader and a Kinder Gartner.

We moved to NC specifically wake county area about 3.5 years ago hearing good things about the region. One of the most important reason I moved here is that they are known for excellent schools and was immensely impressed with its motto of four pillars – Student Achievement, Stability, Proximity and Operational Efficiency.

To buy a home, I searched for over a year and every weekend we went for open houses. We looked about 50 to 60 homes before finalizing Cameron Pond for two primary reasons. First, the subdivision is assigned to Mills Park which is on traditional calendar and second reason, there is a green way proposal to connect the mills park with Cameron Pond subdivision. With this proposal, you are simply ignoring the very own motto of ‘Proximity’ that the school system is based on. Second, it is wrong to simply take our kids and put them on a totally different calendar year.

My wife and I choose our current jobs based on Mills Park School traditional year, its operating hours and the proximity of the school to our home. At present we do not send kids to ‘before school’ or ‘after school’ as we have an understanding with our employers to work on schools start/end time schedules. During summer, my kids go to India to spend time with their grandparents. With the new proposal, it will put a severe financial hardship on my family as I have to look for their camps once every 8 weeks and potentially look for before and after school. There is also good chance we have to look for totally new jobs as our employers may not agree if we change our schedules drastically.

I totally understand that wake county school system has a challenge to deal with influx of new residents and have to make changes to accommodate new residents. However doing those changes should not cause severe inconvenience to existing residents who have paid taxes all along and have settled down.

I am hoping the draft proposal will be reversed and we will be assigned MPE and MPM.

65 Votes
 
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Kiran Madam 3 months ago

Here is the link to abc11 news, where cameron pond parents have expressed their concerns:

https://abc11.com/education/concerned-parents-consider-legal-action-to-stop-proposed-school-reassignment-/4080700/

54 Votes
 
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Julie Ju 3 months ago

As a Cameron Pond resident, I echo the above sentiments of my fellow concerned neighbors. Since proximity is one of the main pillars the school board uses to decide on school assignments, it defies logic to move Cameron Pond from MPE and MPMS. The connecting greenway being built will position us to be one of the closest neighborhoods to MPE and MPMS. Our kids will be able to walk and bike safely to school, which will also promote healthy physical activity. If this connecting greenway is not used, this will be a massive waste of taxpayers hard earned money.

69 Votes
 
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Abby Chen 3 months ago

As a member of the Evans Farm community, I was very concerned and disappointed when I learned that our neighborhood was going to be reassigned to Alston Ridge Middle School from Mills Park Middle. We were assigned Mills Park Middle (MPM) for about 6 years. Traditional Schools are one reason we chose this community. Although we have West Cary Middle for traditional option. But one of the pillars used to determine school assignment is proximity. While west cary middle is far away. This means: 1) our kids will have to get up very early in the morning, losing almost 1 hour of sleep every day; and 2) our kids will also have to quit many beloved activities every day since they will come home late. They will spend hundreds of extra hours on the School Bus every year, which will be a huge waste of their time. That is also not economic for the school system. We suggest retaining Mills Park MS as our base school. Our neighborhood has been very excited about the new Hortons Creek elementary that close to our neighborhood as a traditional school option. However, our neighbors’ request about transfer for another calendar option have been denied. In addition, all our neighbor communities on green level church road (Hortons, Weycroft, newly opened Amberly Glen, newly opened Ridgefield Farm) have been assigned to MPM. To be economic for the school bus system, mills park middle school is closer to our community. It is much easier to maintain old communities’ previous assignment and assign new communities to new schools. This will save many families to transfer kids to adapt to new school system. And this is good for our kids’ health to be stable and avoid changes. Please consider our voice seriously and keep Mills Park Middle as our base school.

19 Votes
 
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Fan Zhang 3 months ago

I'm one of those Cameron Pond residents that posted comments in other thread before this topic was created. I have voiced my concerns about moving my kid who is now a 3rd grader part way through his elementary year from a traditional calender to a different YR school. I also want to add here that I am in agreement with my neighbors and share the same concerns in this thread. Similar to some other posters we bought this house about 4 years ago for schools and also the prospect of having opportunity to walk or bike to the school. We've always try to lead a healthy and active life style and encourage our child to do the same. We enjoyed the walk to school day each year ever since he attended Mills Park Elementary. I understand the tremendous amount of time and effort you must have put in making rezoning maps but I really appreciate if you could take into the consideration of connection safety and the overall environmental and healthy benefit it would bring if Cameron Pond can have Mills Park as its base school.

69 Votes
 
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Xiaoqing Chang 3 months ago

As a member of the Evans Farm community, I was very concerned and disappointed when I learned that our neighborhood was going to be reassigned to Alston Ridge Middle School (YR) and West Cary (Traditional) from Mills Park Middle (Traditional). All our neighbor communities on green level church road (Hortons, Weycroft, newly opened Amberly Glen, newly opened Ridgefield Farm) are assigned to Mills Park Middle. I would like to request WCPSS to consider our request to keep Mills Park Middle schools as our base middle school. When we purchased our home in Evans Farm in 2011, it was due in large part to the established nature of the neighborhood and the proximity to Mills Park Middle School. We want to attend a middle school following traditional calendar, but the only option we have now is the West Cary Middle, which is 20 min drive away from home!! This is against the key criterion used to determine school assignment, which is proximity. Also, to have to transport students to a school far away from home create extra burden on the existing school bus system and not economic. I understand that wake county school system has a challenge to deal with influx of new residents and have to make changes to accommodate new residents. However doing those changes should not cause severe inconvenience to existing residents who have paid taxes all along and have settled down. I am hoping the draft proposal will be reversed and Evans Farm will be assigned to have Mills Park Middle school as its base school.

18 Votes
 
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Georgina Hosang 3 months ago

I also support my neighbors of keeping Cameron Pond assigned to Mills Park Middle and Elementary schools. With Mills Park being so close to home, kids have the opportunity to walk home without crossing any major roads. Once the Greenway opens, it will provide an even safer route home for them. If the kids are going to other schools, they will need to spend more time on bus and limit their after school activities.

62 Votes
 
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Ryan Simper 3 months ago

As a Cameron Pond resident, I am extremely disappointed in the reassignment first draft, taking our kids away from Mills Park schools and zoning them to Carpenter/Alston Ridge Middle. While I recognize that emotional pleas (my kids love their school, we support the PTA, change is harmful, our property values could go down, we bought in this neighborhood because of this school) are heard every single year and typically ignored or backgrounded because omelettes require breaking eggs, this particular reassignment issue is VERY DIFFERENT THAN THE REST. Why? While those emotional pleas are certainly true here, my comments are focused on the Panther Creek Greenway. This greenway, on land in part gifted to the Town of Cary by the developer of Cameron Pond, and funded by a Town of Cary bond, gives our children the unique opportunity to walk to school without crossing a single intersection. It's a pointless expenditure of taxpayer money to create a greenway path connecting Cameron Pond to Mills Park unless used to walk to and from school (as the other portions of the greenway connecting it past Cameron Pond/Mills Park are not scheduled to be completed for many years. Given WCPSS health and wellness guidance and active lifestyle programs, turning backs on this asset seems to contradict published WCPSS policy. Having the kids of Cameron Pond walk to school would additionally alleviate burdens on the WCPSS busing system, taking kids who would normally be riding the bus and allowing them to walk. The rezoning proposal would require all Cameron Pond students to be either bussed or driven to school. I recognize that Mills Park is overcrowded and changes need to be made, but taking kids who have a purpose-built greenway connection to walk to school and zoning them to another overcrowded school shifts but does not solve problems. I see that in an above post, Mr. Dees addressed that concern which I appreciate, but given the greenway/WCPSS pillars concerns, this issue seems to be yet another point in a strong case suggesting that Cameron Pond remain districted to the Mills Park Schools. Thank you for considering my feedback and that of my neighbors.

66 Votes
 
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Mia Bashir 3 months ago

We’re addressing you as parents concerned about the proposed Wake County Public School System’s 2019-2020 Enrollment Proposal.

We understand that the proposal is motivated by a desire to utilize the new schools opening in 2019 as well as to shift students from currently over-utilized schools to fill underutilized schools. While these goals are laudable, the current plan will cause a number of unwelcome consequences.

Our family is specifically concerned about the reassignment of elementary school students living in Cameron Pond from Mills Park Elementary School to Carpenter Elementary School. This reassignment will be tremendously disruptive for the kids who will have already spent one or more years at Mills Park Elementary. Elementary school is not a year-to-year experience, rather it is a time of growth when the kids need to feel nurtured in a comfortable, familiar environment. Transferring these students during their elementary school years jeopardizes this environment and their sense of stability.

Our oldest child, in particular, took some time to adjust to school, and is now thriving in the third grade. She thinks of Mills Park Elementary fondly as “her school” and dreads the prospect of a transfer. Our second child, is just starting kindergarten at Mill Park Elementary. Apart from their feelings, which are very important to us, a transfer to another school will force both to go through a complete readjustment to a new place, new students, and new routines. Particularly in our daughter’s case, this will be a substantial set-back and will undoubtedly disrupt her fourth grade learning experience.

Importantly, this shift also forces our family out of the traditional calendar year and into a year-round school. Our family’s month-to-month schedule is built around assumptions from a traditional calendar year, and forcing two of our children onto a year-round calendar is both disruptive and unfair.

We moved to Cary eight years ago, and Mills Park Elementary was one of the primary reasons we chose the Cameron Pond neighborhood. We are part of a thriving community that exemplifies why so many people want to move to Cary. We have invested in Cary under a good-faith understanding of how the school system worked and with the assumption of stability for our kids. The proposed forced reassignment will damage our trust in the Wake County Public School System and the County in general. It is unfair for our families to be forced into this change while families new to the area will be able to immediately enroll their children in our former school.

Our community is small, but the effect of this forced transfer on our kids and families is immeasurable. Forced school reassignment is disruptive to our children’s educations. Moreover, it tarnishes Cary’s reputation as a family-friendly place. The proposed reassignment plan will furthermore discourage new families from moving to Cary.

We ask you to support our kids and our families by opposing the 2019-2020 Enrollment Proposal in its current form. Specifically, we implore you to help our elementary school kids complete their formative educational years at their currently assigned base schools, in our case, Mills Park Elementary School.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and support.

60 Votes
 
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Brenda Nichols 3 months ago

I am deeply concerned about the proposed school reassignment plan impacting my children and my entire neighborhood, Cameron Pond. Not only do the proposed changes take my children away from the outstanding academics and access to technology at Mills Park schools, but they directly conflict with Cary Town Council’s active project of connecting Cameron Pond to Mills Park via the Panther Creek Greenway. I implore you to reconsider this assignment plan so that it aligns with Town Council’s greenway plans to allow the students of Cameron Pond to not only remain at Mills Park Schools but also encourage them to be fit and conserve natural resources by walking to school using the new Panther Creek Greenway.

Ground has been broken this summer on this project using land from Cameron Pond, with the full expectation by the town and Cameron Pond residents that this greenway would be used by the students living in Cameron Pond as a safe walking/biking route to their base schools, Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle. Now, if the draft plan of the school assignment committee is adopted, the taxpayer money spent on this project will benefit no one as our students, rather than attending the most proximal elementary and middle schools will be bused to various schools scattered outside of West Cary (i.e., to schools east of HWY 55).

Several high density housing communities have been built near Mills Park and rather than busing those new residents to alternative schools, Cameron Pond, a small but close knit neighborhood that has a long history with Mills Park schools is now set to be scattered about to year round base elementary and middle schools which all but guarantees that even within our neighborhood there is little chance that my son and my daughter will ride the bus and attend school with their best friends because they will all be on different tracks. As a family with two working parents, the year round school option has never been appropriate for our needs and the traditional school options in this draft plan are farther away and inferior by the standards of measure captured in the school report cards. Our children have made tight bonds with their Mills Park family but with year round schools, that sense of community and family is eroded significantly which can have devastating psychological and emotional consequences to our most precious resource on earth…our children. Outside of Cameron Pond, my son and daughter both have best friends that live in Cary Park and South Bridge neighborhoods that are still slated to be part of the Mills Park Schools’ families, and the emotional damage to the kids of Cameron Pond that will lose their peer support system will have ripple effects that are not being accounted for with this plan.

Last year the bus that took my children to Mills Park Elementary was occupied mainly by students who were picked up in downtown Cary, with only about 10 Cameron Pond students on the yellow route. I have no idea why so many students from so far away were bussed to Mills Park Elementary but, if those students would be reassigned to the schools east of HWY 55, which seems to make much more sense, then that leaves only one full bus plus a handful more students from Cameron Pond to remain at Mills Park Elementary. For an elementary school with approximately 1000 students, the approximately 50 from Cameron Pond have little overall impact to adjusting the overall assignment plan. It is a similar situation for middle school students, my son of whom will be one next year; he has his heart set on attending Mills Park Middle as he spends many weeks at the YMCA Camp Outer Limits there in the summers and so many of his friends will be there. The number of middle school students from Cameron Pond that attend Mills Park Middle is a small percentage of the school; thus, any changes to reassign Cameron Pond students out of Mills Park Middle will have little impact on resource utilization at Mills Park Middle. All it does is create a loss of community for our children and causes unnecessary emotional distress and anxiety in an age-group of kids that do not yet have the ability to cope with such high stress situations.

Instead of helping our children succeed in life, this plan can have very serious unintended consequences in a vulnerable population that is not emotionally developed to handle such upheaval to their life, community and sense of self. The larger resource impacts and least emotional/psychological impact would come from assigning students in the new high density housing units to schools other than Mills Park as they do not have the strong bonds yet made. Please consider such options in order to maintain stability of students’ lives, a pillar of the reassignment plan.

An additional point is that a main route from Cameron Pond to points east of HWY 55 is now closed and will be closed for several years, the railroad crossing at Carpenter Fire Station Rd just east of 55. Thus, bus routes will be quite inefficient and long to take Cameron Pond elementary students east rather than taking them on the very short trip over 540 to Mills Park Elementary, the closest elementary school to our neighborhood, thus increasing fuel consumption and increasing costs overall for school transportation.

Thank you for reconsidering this plan and finding alternative solutions that align with Cary Town Council and that provides the much needed stability for our students to learn and be successful contributors to our community.

65 Votes
 
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Binu Thomas 3 months ago

Dear Wake County School Board Members: Ms Monika Johnson-Holster, Dr. Jim Martin, Mr Donald Agee, Ms. Roxie Cash, Mr. Kieth Sutton, Mrs. Christine Kushner, Ms. Kathy Hartenstine, Ms. Lindsay Mahaffey, and Mr. Bill Fletcher

Thank you for reading this post and for your thoughtfulness during the decision ahead of you. In agreement and solidarity with my my community of Cameron Pond, please consider the following five key points.

One of the pillars for school assignment is proximity. Upon completion of the Panther Creek Greenway in 2019, Cameron Pond will be the closest (~1.5 mile)school to Mills Park Elementary and Middle Schools. This particular portion of the greenway was made possible by the generous donation of Cameron Pond developers by gifting this land to promote healthy communities in Cary and Wake County. Please consider this generosity and what is yet to come.

Another pillar, WCPSS board amended the Student Wellness Policy in 2017, that walking and biking to school would have been a top priority. The policy states 'Policy Code 6140, Section E.10) that WCPSS will "support active transportation to and from schools, including walking and biking.”

This greenway, funded by a Town of Cary bond, gives our children a safe path to walk to school without crossing a single intersection.The decision to specifically rezone our neighborhood to Carpenter appears reckless, dangerous and negligent: crossing NC-55 & walk along busy roads, travel on Carpenter Fire Station Road scheduled for widening and construction over the next few years, turn on to NC-55, and make an unprotected left turn onto Morrisville Parkway amidst homeowner traffic.

Mills Park is proposed to be reassigned to a school that is overcapacity. This assignment is also causing a cascading impact to existing students and families of Carpenter Elementary.This seems to go against every single “pillar." It appears that the overcrowding at Carpenter Elementary may be adversely affecting Student Achievement to a higher degree than at Mills Park Elementary. As parents we our hearts break as opportunities for our kids at Mills Park are taken away by this proposal.

Please allow our kids to maintain healthy lifestyles by being able to walk and bike to school on a safe route where there is zero risk of traffic accidents and keep our kids attending. If this proposed change is reversed there will be additional benefits in minimizing the cascading impact of displacing existing students in adjacent schools as well.

61 Votes
 
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Megan Hu 3 months ago

Just as other families living in the Cameron Pond neighborhood, I am very disappointed to hear that the draft proposal would move Cameron Pond students out of Mills park schools. Mills park schools are the NEAREST schools to our home and have always been our base schools ever since we moved to Cameron Pond in 2013. My kids have a close bond with Mills Park schools. They like to dress in orange (MPE's school color) and they hang their handmade clay panther and leopard (mills park's mascots) on the mailbox. The proposed change will be very disruptive to their lives. Furthermore, they are so looking forward to walking to the schools after the Panther Creek greenway project completes next year.
Mills park is literally our extended backyard. It doesn't make sense for our kids to bus to other unfamiliar schools when our current schools will be within walking distance. I strongly request WCPSS to reconsider the draft assignment and keep Mills Park schools as the base schools for Cameron Pond students.

61 Votes
 
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guang hu 3 months ago

Dear Wake County School Board Members, As a resident in the Cameron Pond community, I also want to express my strong advocate for maintaining the assignment of Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle School as the base schools for our neighborhood. I want to emphasize and reiterate some of the arguments in the above posts: 1. One main consideration for school assignment is proximity. We are a mature and built-out neighborhood that is among the very closest ones to the Mills Park ES and Mills Park MS. It is only logical to maintain those as our base schools. 2. Cameron Pond will soon be connected to the Mills Park Schools by the Panther Creek Greenway extension, which is a million dollar project designed to provide direct and convenient access to the schools and funded by Town of Cary PRCR bond referendum and NCDOT. The proposed re-assignment would defeat a most significant function of this greenway, and result in an utter waste of tax payers money. 3. With the Panther Creek Greenway, children in our neighborhood will be able to walk and bike to schools on a safe and convenient route. It is in everyone's, especially the school board's, interest to allow children to have a safer and healthier access to education. With these reasons, I strongly urge you to consider maintaining Mills Park ES and Mills Park MS as the base schools for the Cameron Pond community. Thank you.

61 Votes
 
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Kristen Lemke 3 months ago

I posted under another reassignment discussion topic but wanted to reply here as well. I am asking that the Wake County School Board please reconsider this reassignment.

I also live in Cameron Pond and am extremely disappointed to be reassigned from Mills Park Elementary and Middle schools to Carpenter Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle. According to the presentation published today it appears that Carpenter is at the same utilization percentage as MPE. I didn't see any usage info for other schools in our area such as Horton's Creek, which is also on a traditional calendar like MPE.

Additionally we were looking forward to using the greenway that will connect our neighborhood to the Mills Park schools. The greenway will allow a reasonable walking/biking distance for older elementary and middle school-aged students.

The logic behind being assigned West Cary Middle as our traditional-calendar choice for middle school is unclear, as it's over 5 miles away. It seems more in line with the physical fitness goals outlined in the school board's policy on student wellness to allow our kids to walk the short distance than spend more time sitting on a bus.

We moved to this neighborhood because of Mills Park schools and we've met the cap requirements. I understand there is no guarantee of a school assignment but in looking at distances and the usage numbers provided in the slide deck, I'm just not seeing the benefit to either the schools or the students with the proposed new assignments. Thank you.

59 Votes
 
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Natalie Ortiz 3 months ago

As another resident of Cameron Pond, I would like to reiterate the statements and points that my fellow neighbors have eloquently expressed. We looked for homes in Cameron Pond when we found out we were pregnant with our first child in 2014 with the number 1 reason being the affiliation with Mills Park and the future walkable access that the greenway would provide. Our offer on our house was accepted on the same day we had our first ultrasound and it was always in the back of our minds that this would be the place we would call our forever home and community as we raised and educated our children. Our proximity to Mills Park especially after the greenway completion along with the long standing history our small neighborhood has with MP makes this such an important reason to keep us connected. We appreciate the board taking the time to read and listen to feedback and hope that all of the points made are taken into serious consideration.

61 Votes
 
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Gang Xi 3 months ago

Dear Wake County School Board Members, as a resident in the Evans farm community, I also want to express my strong advocate for maintaining the assignment of Mills Park Middle School as the base schools for our neighborhood. I understood our local schools became more crowed because of great increase of population in the West Cary area. I am glad to know there are more new schools opening in this area. However, the assignment is a problem. Based on the proposed map, it is unbelievable that our community will be assigned to new opening Alston ridge middle school. I did not mean we cannot be assigned to a new school. What really concerned me was the criteria this proposal was made. If location was the reason, then why Evans Farm was the only community that located in the south of O'kelly Chapel road will be assigned to Alston ridge middle school but not all other our neighbor communities. Therefore, I eagerly request the school board members to reconsider this proposal and treat us equally as our neighbor communities, keeping Mills Park Middle School as our base middle school. Thank you for your consideration.

22 Votes
 
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Patrick Shou 3 months ago

As a resident and homeowner of Evan's Farm, all family members as well as grandparents are very concerned about the reassignment to Alston Ridge Middle. Lots of our neighbors bought/rent our homes within two years ago, some of us moved in only one year ago. Traditional calendar schools, Mills Park Middle and the new Hortons Creek Elementary, was the #1 reason that we decided to live in Evan's Farm. Year round calendar provided by Alston Ridge Middle won't work well for our travel plan. Unexpectedly, we have never heard any success transfer request from neighbors in Evan's Farm or nearby communities. In addition, all other neighbor communities on Green Level Church Rd (such as Hortons, Weycroft, newly opened Amberly Glen, newly opened Ridgefield Farm) have been assigned to Mills Park Middle. Evan’s Farm is the ONLY community which will be assignment to Alston Ridge Middle. Furthermore, to be economic for the school bus system, Mills Park Middle is closer to our community. As for Hortons Creek Elementary, it's within one mile away from our community. Students from Evan's Farm can even walk there via the Nancy Branch Greenway. Therefore, please consider our request seriously and keep Mills Park Middle as the base school for Evan's Farm students. Thank you!

14 Votes
 
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Scott Lemke 3 months ago

I also oppose the proposal to change the Cameron Pond base school from Mills Park to Carpenter Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle School. 

We bought our home in Cameron Pond before our oldest daughter was born.  We picked a lot with convenient greenway access so that our kids could use it to get to the Mills Park schools.  Now that the greenway is finally being built, the school system is proposing changing our schools.  I walked to school when I was growing up.  It was fast, convenient, and provided great exercise.  I would like my kids to have the same opportunity as I did.

According to the table on slide 19 of the first draft, it appears Carpenter Elementary will still have a higher over-utilization (133%) than Mills Park Elementary (126%) under the new proposal.  Allowing Cameron Pond to stay at Mills Park could help balance it out.  I don’t have enrollment numbers from Cameron Pond to know for sure.

Moving Cameron Pond students from Mills Park Elementary to Carpenter seems to conflict with all four pillars. Stability is decreased by moving students of long-time residents whose parents have contributed to MPE to a different school and switching from a traditional calendar to a year round.  Proximity is reduced, particularly when factoring in the new greenway connection from Mills Park to Cameron Pond.  Students would need to cross and travel along hwy 55 and cross railroad tracks to get to Carpenter vs. a greenway that doesn’t cross any non-neighborhood roads. For academic achievement, test scores are lower at Carpenter.  Finally, MPE isn’t as over-crowded based on utilization percentages as Carpenter Elementary and is predicted to have lower-over utilization the following year. 

I hope that the assignment board please reconsiders where to assign Cameron Pond based on the proximity to Mills Park Schools and ability to walk or bike to school, stability of keeping students in a familiar school and traditional calendar to which families have adapted their schedules, maintaining Mills Park acedemic excellence, and balancing school utilization.

62 Votes
 
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Jane Bossert 3 months ago

I would like to reiterate the concerns of many of my Cameron Pond neighbors regarding the proposed reassignment of our community from MPES/MPMS to Carpenter/AR, respectively. I have lived in Cameron Pond for almost 12 years with children who have attended the Mills Park schools from K-8. Since we moved here in 2006, we've been waiting for a proposal to be approved to complete the greenway and provide access to schools. Now that this proposal has been approved and is indeed in plan to be completed within a relatively short period of time, it is frustrating to see that investment will be suboptimized if the reassignment plan goes forward. It will hurt our community in the long run, negatively affecting home sales in the future. Moving students who could walk or bike to school safely to schools that are completely inaccessible in this way, does not benefit students or promote the healthy/fit lifestyle that aligns to the values of the Town of Cary.

In addition to the above, this reassignment, like so many others, is very disruptive to families. Longer bus rides, change in calendar options affecting families and traditions, mixed calendar families, and so on. Arguments you've heard before but are no less valid than they are in the past.

Again, please consider the reassignment plan and allow Cameron Pond students to stay with their current enrollment plan. If for no other reason than to optimize the investment being made in the greenway that has been planned for so long.

64 Votes
 
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Jennifer Whitham 3 months ago

I oppose the reassignment of Cameron Pond neighborhood for the 2019-2020 school year and agree with the arguments already raised by my fellow neighbors. We bought our home in 2012 with the promise of one day being able to walk our kids to school and have them ride their bikes as they got older. This portion of the Panther Creek Greenway has been delayed but is finally coming to fruition next year, and just as that happens, you are proposing to take away that opportunity for a healthy lifestyle from our children. This directly contradicts WCPSS policy. Looking at a map I would have also naturally drawn a line at 540, but I hope that now that the board has been educated on the presence of this greenway and its purpose, you will keep Cameron Pond assigned to Mills Park Elementary and Middle school.

Not only would this reassignment fly in the face of your policy for an active and healthy lifestyle and your pillars of Proximity and Stability, this is also a huge SAFETY concern. I encourage the school board members to come and drive from our neighborhood East on Carpenter Fire Station Rd between 8 and 9am in the morning and then wait in a quarter mile line of traffic to make a right hand turn, only to then wait to attempt a left hand turn from Hwy 55 to Morrisville Parkway while playing chicken with the oncoming morning commute traffic. Almost once per week do I see an accident at the intersection of Hwy 55 and Morrisville Parkway and I certainly do not want one of those accidents to be involving a school bus full of children. Especially a school bus full of children who could have had the chance to WALK to their school and never have to cross a single street.

Please keep Cameron Pond assigned to Mills Park Elementary and Middle Schools.

60 Votes
 
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Jennifer Whitham 3 months ago

Attachments that illustrate the Panther Creek Greenway connection of Cameron Pond Neighborhood to Mills Park Schools

52 Votes
 
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Jennifer Whitham 3 months ago

Final map showing the number of homes in Cameron Pond where the easement is used for the Panther Creek Greenway

53 Votes
 
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Anna Walters 3 months ago

I am another Cameron Pond resident opposed to the reassignments. My reasons align with those posted by my neighbors, but to sum it up, I don't understand how it aligns with your pillars of proximity and stability. Please consider another option, and oppose the current draft.

60 Votes
 
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Sudhakar Upadhyaya 3 months ago

Hi. I am a resident of Cameron Pond neighborhood and I echo the concerns expressed here. The proposed reassignment not only conflicts with the neighborhood schooling that the town is proposing, but also wrong on many fronts. I would like to list out some of my reasons below.

  1. Constant reassignments disturbs students learning ability and brings in stress to the students. Example: My 10 year old started at Mills Park Middle this year. Starting middle school in itself is a huge transition. Moving to another new school next year will only add to his stress and impact learning

  2. Constant reassignment impacts families. Especially in families where both parents are working - there is a lot of planning that goes in to manage the school timings. These changes do not help with that planning. The stress the parents go thru, whatever said at done, at times impacts the children and their up bringing. Not a good idea long term

  3. Students build relationships and friendships over years in schools and make solid memories around them. These reassignments disrupt this and you will not be building any experiences to the students that is good or worth remembering.

  4. The town is building a green way from our neighborhood to the Mills Park Schools to facilitate children walk/bike to schools. If you are reassigning the students, why are we investing in this green way? Your decisions are 100% in conflict.

I hope you reconsider your decision and keep status quo. Thank you

Regards -Sudhakar Upadhyaya

59 Votes
 
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Weiwei Wang 3 months ago

As a resident of Cameron Pond, I was very disappointed to learn that our community would be rezoned to Alston Ridge MS and Carpenter ES. We have been living this neighborhood for more than four years and seen the growth of its surrounding areas. We understand that Cary has been overdeveloped and WCPSS has to reassign students to other schools. However, since proximity is one of the major pillars that is being considered when student assignment decisions are made, please help me understand this: If our kids could walk to Mills Park ES and MS in 15 minutes without having to cross the street using the greenway (which will be just behind our backyard and expected to be finished next fall), why are we rezoned to Carpenter ES, which will be a 47 minutes’ walk from our house? With the reassignment, we would have to cross the highway 55 and make a terrible left turn onto Morrisville Pkwy to get to Carpenter ES. The traffic congestion has already been a problem in that area. We just saw a big car accident yesterday afternoon at the busy intersection between highway 55 and Morrisville Pkwy. We were stuck in the traffic for almost 40 minutes. We all know that there was a Panther Creek High School student who died in Sep. 2014 when the car diver was making a left turn between NC-55 and McCrimmon Parkway, which was devastating to all our communities in west Cary. We DO NOT want history to repeat itself and we DO NOT want anything like this to happen to our kids and our families. Our kids have been going to Mills Park ES, which is a traditional school. Both Alston Ridge MS and Carpenter ES are year-round schools. Moving Cameron Pond students to the new schools will not only be unhelpful for the improvement of the stability (one of the four pillars), but also cause more chaos and emotional stress for both parents and their kids, which will affect students’ performance and achievement at school. I believe that is not the purpose of rezoning. Please reconsider the reassignment plan and keep our kids in their current schools. Thank you.

60 Votes
 
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Ted Yang 3 months ago

I am in agreement with my neighbors in Evans Farm. I also oppose the proposal to change the Evans Farm base school from Mills Park Middle School to Alston Ridge Middle School (Year Round) and West Cary (Traditional). To buy a home, my wife and I searched for over half a year and went for open houses every weekend. Actually my work location is at NCSU which is far away from Evans Farm. The most important reason that we bought a home at Evans Farm was the Traditional calendar schools, Mills Park Middle and the new Hortons Creek Elementary. We want our children to attend a middle school following traditional calendar, because year round schedule will be a nightmare for us. But the ONLY option we have now is the West Cary Middle, which is 20 minutes drive away from home at light traffic. It could easily get tripled at rush hour in the morning!! The transportation of students from home to a school far away creates extra burden on the existing school bus system and is not cost- and time-efficient. This proposal is simply against the motto of pillars of “Proximity” and “Operational Efficiency”, which are used to determine the school assignment. In addition, all our neighbor communities on green level church road (Hortons, Weycroft, newly opened Amberly Glen, newly opened Ridgefield Farm) are assigned to Mills Park Middle. Evan’s Farm is the ONLY community which will be assigned to Alston Ridge Middle.

This draft proposal will cause severe inconvenience to the existing residents in Evans Farm who have paid taxes all along and have settled down. I would like to request WCPSS to reverse this proposal and keep Mills Park Middle school as our base middle school. Thank you for your consideration.

11 Votes
 
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Kim Johnson 3 months ago

Please note that I understand and appreciate the work that is required to alleviate the stress on the Wake County schools in an area that has been experiencing such rapid growth. However, I must stand with the majority of my neighborhood in opposition to the proposed Elementary and Middle school changes for the Cameron Pond subdivision and I implore you to take a closer look at this area in particular.

First and foremost, the investment of the Panther Creek Greenway should be the most compelling reason to keep our school assignments with Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle Schools. This is a great investment made by the Town of Cary and the Cameron Pond neighborhood and one of the major selling points for its creation with the community and voters who supported the greenway was that it would enable the children in our community to walk/bike to school. Upon completion, our neighborhood will be one of the closest to these schools.

Secondly, I find conflict with all four of the factors mentioned in the WCPSS reassignment communication

Student Achievement- In the case of Mills Park Elementary the current achievement levels are stellar although. As other neighbors of mine have mentioned the proposed changes would place Carpenter Elementary into a greater utilization percentage than Mills Park Elementary which I fear may cause the Carpenter Elementary achievement levels to suffer

Proximity- As stated above and by several of my neighbors Mills Park Elementary and Middle schools are the closest in proximity to our neighborhood upon completion of the Panther Creek Greenway. Transportation to the proposed schools involve higher traffic commutes, longer and more risky bus rides, and possibly the preference to drive students to school

Stability- The stability of this neighborhood is being greatly disrupted by the proposed changes. The Mills Park schools have always been the neighborhood schools and all of the families here depended on continuing this on. In addition, families are being asked to move from base schools that are traditional to year-round. This would be a drastic change for working families and all families that will need to make adjustments for such a huge change.

Operational efficiency-I do not see how there could be any improvement in efficiency while increasing the utilization percentage of Carpenter Elementary for the staff as well as traffic to and from school for families

Additionally, while I understand the need to address overcrowding in schools and that Mills Park Elementary is a capped school; it is also my understanding that for the last couple of years the school has not reached full capacity and has been able to enroll all new registrations without the need to send anyone to the overflow school.

Now for my family’s story: We have a child beginning Kindergarten this year and another child in Pre-school. The transition we are currently going through to put our first child in public school is tremendous and I cannot imagine starting over after just one year to do it all again and change to a new school that is unfamiliar to me as well as my children. I plan to allow my child to ride the bus to school this year because of the proximity to the school and the bus ride being so quick. I’m sure I will feel differently with such a young student taking a bus to a school further away and traveling across such a busy road (hwy 55) and train tracks. My husband and I are strong supporters of the public-school system and we want it to be successful. Reassignments such as this taint our faith in the system here and make us second guess our choice to move here for the great schools. Please reconsider the proposed reassignments specifically as it relates to the Cameron Pond neighborhood and allow our families to have the same neighborhood school experience that I think most all of us grew up with.

59 Votes
 
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Kathryn Berman 3 months ago

I also agree with the many well-made points posted here by the residents of Cameron Pond regarding the possible reassignment of Cameron Pond elementary and middle school students to schools existing well beyond the neighborhood area.

I am a grandparent of a second grade student attending Mills Park Elementary school, and also a former classroom teacher. Having moved to this area two years ago, my husband and I have been following the growth of the West Cary area and I have found several of the points mentioned in an News & Observer article written by Scott Bolejack on August 30 insightful regarding the considerations being written in favor of keeping the Cameron Pond students in MPES and MPMS for future years.

This article cites The Cary Community Plan and its efforts to keep the communities of Cary together as complete working neighborhoods. In interviewing Scot Berry, Cary's director of development services, it was stated the community plan encourages "destination centers," places with homes, restaurants, stores, and small business and let's hope also schools! There is the idea of taking an area and making it where there is the "whole live, work, play" occurring in a single neighborhood location. In the article, Debra Grannan, Cary's assistant planning director said "We always look for that whenever possible." The existence of the Greenway in this particular location at Cameron Pond supports this concept of encouraging the building of neighborhoods where "people live, work and play" and also go to school.

The News & Observer article, "Western Cary is Booming - But at What Cost and for How Much Longer?" also points out "the closer people live to where they work and play, the less time they need to spend on Cary roadways." Busing students well away from their community centers works against Cary's Community Plan. Please consider keeping the Cameron Pond neighborhood children in attendance at Mills Park Elementary and Middle School. The Greenway that connects Cameron Pond to the Mills Park Schools supports the Cary Community Plan and its well thought out considerations for the future of the communities in this area.

62 Votes
 
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Darby Wang 3 months ago

I would like to provide input on the proposed move of Cameron Pond away from Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle School. I purchased a house in Cameron Pond in 2014, excited that in the future, my children would have a safe and quick route to walk or bike to school via the Panther Creek Greenway. I think that active transport is an excellent way to promote wellness in children, and I was also glad to hear that Wake County considered active transport to be a priority. I was very disappointed to see the plans to move Cameron Pond out of Mills Park zoning. The children living in Cameron Pond will have access to walk or bike to school without crossing any intersections (the one road it may appear to cross on a map already has a large pedestrian bridge constructed under it for the greenway). There are also other benefits, such as decreased transportation demands. Please allow our students to demonstrate healthy living by being able to walk and bike to school. Thank you for your consideration.

58 Votes
 
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Sini Abraham 3 months ago

As a homeowner in Cameron Pond who has the Panther Creek Greenway directly behind their house, the decision to re-zone our neighborhood is extremely disappointing. The promise to have the Greenway accessible for our kids to walk or bike to school was extremely appealing since it adds to our already small community feel. Throwing away tax payer dollars to build a Greenway to nowhere is a waste of tax payer dollars.

Once built, it would a 1 mile door-to-door from our neighborhood to MPS without the need to cross any highways or busy streets. While on the other hand, the proposed school will require crossing a busy road and make turns onto a already street that is already not efficient, adding to the traffic and accidents on 55. It also doesn't provide any way for our kids to walk/bike to school - which has been on of most recommended methods of additional physical activities for children and core focus of WCPSS.

In addition, the the incremental kids going to the proposed school just increases the overcrowding there, not providing a solution or resolution as promised via 'Student Achievement' portion of the 4 Pillars used for assignment decisions. It also violates the 'Proximity' pillar since once built, the Mills Park Schools would be 1 mile from the neighborhood.

We request that you reassess the assignment map and take into consideration the concerns all parents have expressed above.

63 Votes
 
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Jeremy Wang 3 months ago

Reassignment of Cameron Pond students away from Mills Park E/M schools is not serving these students' best interest nor the priorities of Wake County Schools. As so many other residents have expressed, the Panther Creek greenway creates a direct link between Cameron Pond and Mills Park. Students in this neighborhood will have one of the most direct, unobstructed walking paths of all students assigned to Mills Park schools. Please consider making Stability, Proximity, and Operational Efficiency priorities in letting kids walk and bike to their neighborhood schools.

60 Votes
 
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Jason Steiner 3 months ago

Our family believes in choice of CLOSEST SCHOOLS to serve the Cameron Pond Community. Currently, the two traditional school options for the Cameron Pond Community are Mills Park Elementary and Middle School. If we wanted to choose a year round option for next school year for our two middle school aged children (to start the 2019-2020 school year), we should be able to choose from Mills Park Middle or Alston Ridge - not be forced to one option. Our family supports the effort to keep Cameron Pond, the closest neighborhood to Mills Park by distance, as our traditional option and Alston Ridge as our year round option.

60 Votes
 
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Richard Berman 3 months ago

I am a grandparent of a Mills Park Elementary student. I would like to add my support to the parents who have written to give their reasons as to why their children should not be re-assigned to another school.

When we were preparing to move to Cary, I noted the importance the Town gives to greenways. After moving in, I noted the significant funds the residents have provided for steps to improve "walkability" and transportation in general.

Re-assigning Mills Park Elementary students at this time is truly at cross-purposes to the Town of Cary's objective of creating walkable communities. Surely, many of the families living in the Cameron Pond Community were aware of the Town's development priorities when they decided that this was the community where they wanted to raise their children.

Please reconsider this proposed re-assignment. Retaining the current school assignment better reflects (1) the stated development priorities of the Town of Cary, (2) the desires of residents of the Cameron Pond Community, and (3) the wishes of the residents of the wider Wake County area as reflected in the school system's "pillars" to be used when making school assignment decisions.

56 Votes
 
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Yan Tang 3 months ago

I am another concerned parent live in Cameron pond neighborhood. I strongly oppose the draft student assignment. we should be able to keep our school choice at Mills park elementary and middle schools. Town of Cary is building a green way to connect our neighborhood and Mills park schools. Please consider proximity and stability for all the students live in Cameron pond.

59 Votes
 
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SUNIL POOSA 3 months ago

Wake County proposing a change in our base middle school from Mills Park Middle to Alston Ridge Middle, starting school year 2019-2020. we had purchased our homes based on the fact that our base middle school is Mills Park Middle. With this change, will effect my kids middle school will be effected, and also it adds no value to the home buy i did based on fact that Mills Park will be our base middle school. Making ALSTON RIDGE (Year Round) , is not suitable for kids living in around school

i sincerely protest this change.

26 Votes
 
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Rashmi Sahoo 3 months ago

I am living in Cameron pond for almost six years. We chose this neighborhood due to Mills park elementary and middle school. Both my kids love being in Mills park. We are looking forward to the trail to walk to school. It benefits kids health. I am active participant at school activities as Mills park is hardly 2 miles from my home. Changing the school from our neighborhood will not only affect kid's emotional and physical state, but also lower their academic performace. So I request wake county to please reassign Mills park elementary and Middle school to Cameron pond neighborhood . Thank you

58 Votes
 
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Julie Ley 3 months ago

I oppose the reassignment of Cameron Pond neighborhood and agree with the points already raised by neighbors. As the schools are within walking distance, our children should not be reassigned, and our children should not be uprooted from their schools. Please make the right choice. Thank you!

60 Votes
 
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Erica omalley 3 months ago

I've lived in Cameron Pond for 12 years. These people are my family, my kids will have life long friendships because of the opportunity to attend a neighborhood school together. The proposal for our neighborhood is not logical from beginning to end. * Take us away from a school where we will be able to walk too- that the TOC has invested money in for that sole purpose. * Take us out of a tradition school and move us to year round school (this will divide up our neighborhood because of the different tracks). We are a neighborhood that enjoys each other and socializes together, because we all know each other. We have kids in class together, we volunteer together. *Provide us with a traditional school that is 8 miles away without traffic or construction it would take 20-30 minutes. As it is now my 2nd grader arrives home at 5:00pm because of bussing issues. *Take us out of a high performing school and give us a lower performing school to attend.

Please reconsider this proposed re-assignment. Retaining the current school assignment better represents the TOC development priorities, what the Cameron Pond Community is overwhelming asking for, and the wishes of the residents of the wider Wake County area as reflected in the school system's "pillars" to be used when making school assignment decisions.

59 Votes
 
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Cindy Johnson 3 months ago

I am in agreement with my Cameron Pond community neighbors and prior comments on this topic. I have 2 daughters, one who will graduate Mills Park Middle (MPM) this year and another who was scheduled to attend MPM and is currently in grade 4 at Mills Park Elementary (MPE).

We were very disappointed to learn that Cameron Pond students will now be sent to Carpenter ES/Alston Ridge MS instead of MPE and MPM. The Town of Cary is building a greenway to connect Mills Park schools to Cameron Pond to provide an easy connection between the neighborhood and the school. Now instead of walking 0.5 miles, my daughter will have to bused 35 minutes to West Cary Middle. Due to the greenway being built, I am asking for consideration to keep MPE and MPM as the base traditional schools for our kids.

Summarized points from subsequent exchanges with city and school board officials on this matter: - Wake County School policy 6140 states that active transportation, including walking to school, should be supported. The Panther Creek Greenway being developed at significant cost to the city meets that end for Cameron Pond residents. - Planned widening of Carpenter Firestation Road may impact the community’s ability to easily get to Carpenter Elementary - We believe the number of students in Cameron Pond will not significantly impact overall student enrollment rates at MPM & MPE

It is both the Town of Cary and Wake County Schools’ objective to promote walking friendly communities and active transport.

Thanks for listening and giving this consideration as the Cameron Pond greenway to MPE/MPM is a factor that should be considered when assessing our school assignments.

61 Votes
 
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Emilia Peytcheva 3 months ago

I posted this originally under the Alston Ridge thread, but here it is again: I want to join my Cameron Pond disappointed and angry neighbors in questioning how the decision to reassign Cameron Pond to Carpenter Elementary, Alston Ridge Middle and Cary West is in the best interest of our children and how it complies with the Wake County's goals on placing priority on physical exercise and wellness. As many already outlined, we will soon have a Greenway connecting us to both MPE and MPM, which will allow majority of the kids in the neighborhood to safely walk or bike to school. In addition to allowing our kids enjoy a healthy lifestyle, this will certainly alleviate the burden associated with shortage of buses and bus drivers. Also, many of the homeowners have selected Cameron Pond exactly because of its proximity to the schools and the expansion of the Greenway and have patiently waited their turn to get into MPE or MPM. What makes even less sense is that Amberly stays with Mills Park, regardless of the fact that there is no safe way to walk from there. If such a proposal were approved, not only would our kids spend 40 or more minutes on a bus (if bussed to Cary West), but their safety will be in question given such buses will have to cross major highways and busy roads during peak hours. A final point - how is Cary West even comparable to Mills Park? We are reassigned to a school several academic levels below Mills Park - this is a very unfair decision, given most of us purchased homes in Cameron Pond EXACTLY because of Mills Park.

56 Votes
 
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Nipuna Senaviratna 3 months ago

I, like many other Cameron Pond residents voiced their opinion here, oppose the reassignment of Cameron Pond neighborhood to different elementary and middle school from 2019-2020 School year.
Proximity to Mills park elementary and Middle schools were one of the main reasons for us to move to the Cameron Pond neighborhood 5 years ago and we were exited to find out that the greenway to the Mills Park finally being built with planned completion by 2019. Cameron Pond is one of the closest neighborhoods to Mills Park Schools and one of the very few neighborhoods with direct walk/bike access without crossing any roadways so I’m trying to understand the rationale behind this proposal which goes against the factors listed in WCPSS board policies on Proximity, Stability and operational Efficiency.

57 Votes
 
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Kirk Goldman 3 months ago

I am a resident of Cameron Pond with this three kids in the WCPSS. One of the great perks in life is to be able to walk or bike to school. One of the better side effects is a stop for lunch or ice cream with your friends on the walk home from school on a shortened day or a Friday. (Having your parents bring you after you get off the bus doesn’t count.) Last Friday, my middle schooler - who attends Mills Park MS - had just that opportunity. As parents we know she and her friends can make it safely home because of the sidewalks and crosswalks that go all the way to the school... even before the new greenway gets completed.

Moving the children of Cameron Pond away from the Mills Park schools will eliminate that possibility. There is no sidewalk or otherwise safe and passable way to walk or ride to Carpenter Elementary.... much less the upcoming Alston Ridge MS. The traffic on Carpenter Fire Station Road heading east of Cameron Pond toward 55 has gotten so bad that the town has a project to widen the road... however it will be several more years before that project even gets started. As a parent, I do not want my child headed through this and the dangerous intersections between Cameron Pond and Carpenter Elementary.

Cameron Pond has long been a part of the Mills Park Schools community. The town of Cary, Wake County and even the state recognized that when planning for foot access to Mills Park from Cameron Pond was part of the 540 planning. It’s no accident that the tunnel underneath 540 was placed prior to the greenway... just like a Morrisville Pkwy bridge over 540 preceded the connection of the actual road. The town, county and state were part of this explicit decision of to keep this neighborhood connected to the schools.

The residents of Cameron Pond have sacrificed in kind. We have given the Town of Cary land for the Greenway. Individual residents have given easements from their personal property to allow for completion of the greenway to allow all of the kids of Cameron Pond to get to Mills Park for school. This comes at great personal expense as their property value may decline because of this access, but they have sacrificed for the greater good. Please do not let that be for naught.

Keeping the kids of Cameron Pond in Mills Park Elementary and Middle Schools is exactly within the mission of WCPSS. We are a small, established community that will not have a material impact on Mills Park. In fact, the maturity of the neighborhood will allow school enrollement better predict enrollment. Please fulfill the mission of WCPSS and keep our kids in Mills Park.

Thank your for your time and consideration.

59 Votes
 
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Michele Kuchera 3 months ago

Cameron Pond is a small community that is positioned in close proximity to Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle school. Children should be given the option to attend the school that is closest to their neighborhoods. And with the new greenway connecting our neighborhood to the schools would keep a community feel within this area that is growing quickly. Attending a school that is nearest to our homes allows for more parental involvement, school spirit, community and cohesiveness. I don't feel that children attending Mills Park Elem. and Middle should be moved to another school. They are established with the teachers, administration and each other. I think each voting member should place themselves in the shoes of each family that will be forced to make their children leave their security, friends, and school. There has to be another way.

56 Votes
 
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Diane Brodersen 3 months ago

It makes no sense that the district now wants to rezone the Cameron Pond neighborhood from Mills Park Elementary and Mills Middle to Carpenter and Alston Ridge Middle. We have always been Mills Park and now that construction started on a greenway that will connect our neighborhood to the Mills Park schools (which will allow our children to bike and walk to school) the district now feels it’s time to rezone Cameron Pond to schools miles away where busing/driving is the only option. I continue to hear it’s to address to growth in our area, but the district is moving our kids from an overcrowded school to an even more overcrowded school. Yes, there is growth in our area but move neighborhoods where walking to school would not be an option.

53 Votes
 
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Greg Schaaf 3 months ago

I am also in the Cameron Pond neighborhood. When we moved into our home it was with the hope and expectation that we’d be at Alston Ridge Elementary and then Mills Park Middle schools. We researched both schools and had friends that attend both schools. While we understand moving us from Alston Ridge to Carpenter (there are probably 5 closer elementary schools than ARES) I just don’t understand moving us away from Mills Park as well!! That would mean both of the schools that we had an expectation of are kids attending will now both have been reassigned. I would hope that you could find a way to give our community some consistency and continuity in our schools choices. Sincerely, Greg

51 Votes
 
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Steven Park 3 months ago

As a parent of children who attend Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle, I hope the current proposal for the 2019/2020 school assignment was drafted without the knowledge of the new walkway connecting Cameron Pond, my current neighborhood, to Mills Park. This greenway is currently under construction after many years of planning by the town of Cary, and it is projected to be completed in 2019. The walkway will make Cameron Pond as one of the closest neighborhoods to Mills Park schools with less than 0.2 miles of walk. In contrast, the proposed plan would send the children in this neighborhood to distant schools (Carpenter Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle), requiring busing or driving across a major highway (Hwy55) and railroads. For a family like ours with multiple children attending both elementary and middle school, this will lead to approximately an hour of driving for a round-trip since the proposed schools are located in the opposite direction from our neighborhood. It is self-evident that the proposed school reassignment will be toxic and unhealthy to many children and families in the Cameron Pond neighborhood. It is stated by WCPSS that student assignment is based on the following four criteria: student achievement, proximity, stability and operational efficiency. I can’t speak for the proposal’s impact on the student achievement, but the current draft directly contradicts the WCPSS policy on at least 3 out of 4 criteria in proximity (< 0.2 miles to both vs > 3 miles to each), stability (many years vs. 0), and operational efficiency (walk vs busing). I’m afraid WCPSS leadership would lose their trust and credibility from the parents and voters of Wake county if these criteria were not applied fairly and consistently.

57 Votes
 
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Russell James 3 months ago

We have lived in Cameron Pond since 2012, and we have 3 children that have all attended Mills Park Elementary. Our two oldest have gone through Mills Park Middle, and are now both at Panther Creek. Our youngest is a 5th grader at Mills Park Elementary, and was scheduled to go to Mills Park Middle for the following 3 years. I understand the growth in West Cary causes significant challenges for school overcrowding, but to choose Cameron Pond as the neighborhood to be moved away from the Mills Park Elementary & Middle schools seems short-sided. First, CP was here much earlier than many of the newer neighborhoods proposed to stay at Mills Park. Why move CP residents instead of newer communities? Second, CP will be connected directly to Mills Park through the greenway scheduled to be opened in 2019. That was one of the strongest selling points for why we picked Cameron Pond when purchasing a home - I hate that our oldest 2 weren't able to take advantage of it because of approval delays, but our youngest would still have 3 years to walk to & from middle school. Third, our family and other CP families have built relationships with the faculty/staff of the Mills Park schools, and to uproot families with those relationships instead of newer neighborhoods that don't have the same history seems counter to the pillars of Wake County's plan. I understand school reassignment is a difficult task for those involved, and there will always be negative reactions to a new plan. But this does not appear to be sound logic, nor does it appear to actually fix the issue at hand. I appreciate the forum to voice opinions, and if there are logical counter-arguments to be heard I am all ears. But I am not optimistic that other communities considered for redistricting have a stronger case. Sincerely, Russell James

56 Votes
 
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Juliette Ciani 3 months ago

I agree with and share all of my Cameron Pond neighbors' concerns.

Proximity is one of the factors to be considered in student assignment - per WCPSS policy. Given that Mills Park Elementary School and MPMS are the closest schools to Cameron Pond - particularly once the Greenway is completed, it seems completely illogical to assign students to schools further away. It also is egregious to use funding to create a Greenway - only to take the opportunity for students to use it away. In addition, stability is a factor per WCPSS policy.. Cameron Pond residents have attended MPE and MPMS since those schools were constructed, with Cameron Pond parents actively serving as volunteers. We know the teachers, the administrators and the facilities. The current proposal will changes the base school assignment from a traditional school to a year-round school, a decision that no doubt will impact stability as students who have attended school together for years are now divided into different tracks.

I hope WCPSS leadership will reconsider and keep the children of Cameron Pond at MPE and MPMS. Thank you for your consideration.

55 Votes
 
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Suzanne Park 3 months ago

I also live in Cameron Pond, and am in agreement with that reassigning students from Mills Park to Carpenter Elementary would be terrible for our area. Not only would students not be able to walk or ride bikes to school once the greenway is finished, but the traffic flow to Carpenter Elementary would cause major problems to an already busy area. A major selling point for us was knowing MPES was an excellent school on a traditional calendar. I would be deeply disappointed if our base school was reassigned, and I can imagine that this will also affect our property values. Please reconsider this proposal!

55 Votes
 
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Colleen James 3 months ago

As a resident of Cameron Pond, I too adamantly disagree with the proposal to reassign our Elementary and Middle Schools. As a whole, we have given our time and resources to support both Mills Park schools and as a result our children have thrived. Their success in part stems from the stable and consistent environment of knowing the Mills Park buildings, the principals, the teachers, their neighbors and their peers. They have built solid foundations of trust in their learning environment that they count on being there year after year. Switching not only to new schools but a new year round schedule with every nuance of their life being turned upside down is detrimental to their learning and well being. We face two options - 1. Keep our children in the Mills Park family. Let them continue Walk to school Wednesdays. Let them utilize the new trail that connects their home to their school. Let them keep established relationships. Let them feel safe and confident in their environment and schedule. Or 2. Ship them to schools that are much further away that are totally unfamiliar on a year round schedule that none of us have chosen in a school that has the same if not more number of students. Overcrowding is an issue that needs to be addressed, but our group of students should not to be the one that is moved. Please look at our history and proximity and consider how you would feel if your child and family faced such upheaval.

53 Votes
 
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Aaron Franklin 3 months ago

I add my voice of deep concern regarding the reassignment of residents in the Cameron Pond neighborhood away from Mills Park schools. I reaffirm the many points that have been spelled out above, including the significance of the greenway project, proximity to the school, long bus travel times, etc.

My family moved to North Carolina over four years ago when I took a job as a professor at Duke. It was a difficult choice to move to northwest Cary rather than Chapel Hill, but we felt that Cameron Pond and the close connection to community resources, including and especially Mills Park schools, was very compelling. We understood that the Mills Park schools were overfilled at that time, so we patiently (and painfully) awaited our turn to be transferred in to the schools that brought us to this city and neighborhood. In the last four years, my children have had a tour of WCPSS schools. First Weatherstone Elementary, then White Oak Elementary, then FINALLY we made it into Mills Park this school year . . . . only to find out about this proposal. Disheartening? That's an understatement. It actually feels like our school, city, and county leaders have disregarded the very real pains associated with living in this area. Growth is important to support, but must be balanced with maintaining a certain quality of community life for existing citizens. Should this proposed assignment change for the Cameron Pond neighborhood not be removed, then I can assume nothing short of apathy from our representatives for the very real concerns held by strong citizens of this community.

Based on the number of voices and sound concerns raised in opposition to this issue, I choose to look forward optimistically to the next revision of this proposal, trusting that the responsible representatives will make the appropriate modifications to keep Cameron Pond in Mills Park schools.

54 Votes
 
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Arpita Sullivan 3 months ago

As a resident of Cameron Pond one of the many reasons we purchased is the proximity to MPES and MPMS. Especially the opportunity for our children to eventually be able to walk to the MP campus. A neighborhood school should be exactly that, a school for the neighborhoods that are in closest proximity to the school. This proposal is disheartening, we are able to walk to a school that is less then a mile away. Ley our children continue to feel a sense of community and utilize the new trail that connects their home to their school. To send them miles away makes no sense.

54 Votes
 
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Bryan Stanislaus 3 months ago

I agree with the thoughts and sound reasoning of my fellow Cameron Pond residents and effected communities.

My family has enjoyed the privilege of living in Cameron Pond over the last six years and have twin boys that attend Mills Park Elementary. Proximity to good quality/highly rated schools played a key role in our decision to live in Cameron Pond, given that the community has been tied to Mills Park Schools since their construction only strengthens the argument to maintain that union. The investment of the Town of Cary to complete the Greenway adjoining our community by 2019 directly to the Mills Park Schools is further evidence for reconsideration and amendment of the rezoning of our community. This established history and financial commitment gives rise to a safer commute, improvement of life style and preserves property value.

To remove our children from their traditional calender out of established school setting within the closest proximity to their home frankly goes against the four pillars of WCPSS (as echoed by many residences already).

Furthermore, the upheaval that rezoning causes to the community of MPS, will have a negative impact on the PTA’s. They have diligently invested their time and efforts to encourage community participation to further the advancement of the growth and needs of our children. This proposal, FRANKLY, undermines the motivation of the dedicated families to contribute to our community schools.

Thank you for the consideration,

Bryan Stanislaus

48 Votes
 
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Qinglin Wu 3 months ago

As a member in Evans Farm community, I was very disappointed about the plan on the reassignment to Alston Ridge Middle School from Mills Park Middle. Traditional schools are the main reason we chose this area. As the concerns raised by our neighbors above, it is very difficult and extremely trouble for our kids to join the West Cary Middle which is very far away from our community. And that is also not economic for the school system and transportation. It is much easier to maintain old communities’ previous assignment. This will save many families to transfer kids to adapt to new school system. Please consider our opinion seriously and keep Mills Park Middle as our base school.

11 Votes
 
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Belinda S 2 months ago

Dear Board of Education,

As a six year resident of Cameron Pond, I am writing to express my sincere disappointment in the board’s intention to rezone our children and our community from Mills Park Elementary. We are very vested in our community. Cameron Pond has been a wonderful community to raise our twin boys in. With the advent of the Panther Creek Greenway project which is near our home and will connect our community directly to both Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle School, and extend to Green Level Church Road it only makes sense for our children to attend the community schools to which our neighborhood is adjoined. The Town of Cary and our Cameron Pond community have invested heavily into seeing this project come to fruition. At least a million dollars of taxpayer money would essentially be wasted. Furthermore, we have contributed tremendously to Mills Park PTA and their efforts to raise money for a playground. With the recent dismal news involving our community being rezoned, I suspect their fundraising efforts will be deeply impacted. What is the incentive to contribute to fundraising efforts that will ultimately fail to benefit families within our community? It is quite clear that the well being and best interest of children is not a priority among the boards and committees as children are recklessly shuffled from school to school without regard to the emotional and financial impact on children and families. As taxpaying and voting members of this community, our opinions should be considered. It is wrong to remove students and families who have been established within the Mills Park Elementary and Middle School families and exchange their devoted committed presence with families who are barely or not yet established within the community. Those involved in altering these assignments should all be ashamed of themselves for the breath of upheaval caused within the Wake County public education community. They are indeed apart of the problem and not the solution. It is my hope that you will support members of this community and reconsider your decisions and keep Cameron Pond families within the Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle School community.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Belinda Stanislaus

49 Votes
 
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Ethan Notkin 2 months ago

We are residents of Cameron Pond and writing in support of our children and all of our neighbors who are voicing their concerns here. I would like to request WCPSS allow the established Cameron Pond neighborhood to remain assigned to Mills Park schools rather than re-assigned to Carpenter Elementary/Alston Ridge Middle.

We bought our house precisely because our children would be able to attend Mills Park schools, and in our decision to purchase our home we also took into account the Town of Cary’s proposed Panther Creek greenway extension connecting our neighborhood to our base schools, which will be completed over the next year. We are extensive users of the Town’s greenway system. When voters approved a multi-million dollar bond referendum to complete the greenway which would allow our children to walk/bike to school, it only re-affirmed that we had made the right decision to move here. We were very disappointed to learn of the details of Draft 1 of the enrollment proposal. The proposed re-assignment of our neighborhood to Carpenter/Alston Ridge is in direct conflict with the Town of Cary’s carefully considered town planning to create an artery along the Panther Creek Greenway that would connect Mills Park schools with Cameron Pond and activity centers like the NW YMCA.

Please allow Cameron Pond to have a DIRECT greenway connection to its long-time elementary and middle schools at Mills Park. Please reconsider this re-assignment.

49 Votes
 
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Lisa Ju 2 months ago

As residents of Cameron Pond with two children who attend MPE, we strongly oppose the proposed reassignment of our schools from MPE and MPM to Carpenter Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle school. As noted by many of our neighbors, we are one of the closest neighborhoods to the Mills Park schools and reassignment to a traditional school option 20 minutes away is at odds with the Proximity pillar. Furthermore, the Panther Creek Greenway extension which is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019 (precisely when we would be rezoned under the current proposal) would directly connect Cameron Pond with MPE and MPM and allow children in the neighborhood to safely walk and bike to school. Please reconsider the reassignment of Cameron Pond.

49 Votes
 
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Katie Phillips 2 months ago

comment...I attended Wake County Public Schools and have always been a proponent of public schools. I have very fond memories of my time in the Wake County public school system and always imagined that my children would also attend public schools one day. When my husband and I decided to move to Cary, NC in 2014, we specifically looked for a house that was within walking distance of the local public schools. We bought our house in Cameron Pond largely because of the greenway that would open in 2019 (our daughter’s 1st grade year) and link our neighborhood to the Mills Park schools.
When we learned that the initial student assignment plan for the 2019-2020 school year would reassign our children away from the Mills Park schools at the exact time the greenway is scheduled to open we were very concerned and confused. We are confused because this decision conflicts with each of the 4 pillars that Wake County states they use to make student assignment decisions (see table below). Wake County Pillar Impact of Reassigning Cameron Pond Student Achievement • The assignment plan has our children being moved to an existing school that has a projected utilization rate (128%) for each of the next 4 years that is higher than our current school’s projected utilization rate (119%). Therefore, this proposal is sending our children to a school that will be move over-crowded than their current school which can only negatively impact student achievement. *Data from the August 21st draft of the 2019 Enrollment Proposal Stability • By reassigning the Cameron Pond neighborhood, our children will not only be required to change schools, but will also have to change from a traditional calendar to a year-round calendar. Proximity • The Cameron Pond neighborhood is next door to Mills Park; we can see the see the Mills Park schools from our neighborhood. • Beginning next school year, the greenway will be completed, and our children can walk or bike to school without having to cross a single road. • Taking away our children’s ability to walk / bike to school is in direct opposition to the amendment Study Wellness Policy that Wake County adopted in 2017. For reference, the policy states (Policy Code 6140, Section E.10) that WCPSS will "support active transportation to and from schools, including walking and biking." Operational Efficiency • By reassigning the children away from Mills Park, all children in our neighborhood will have to either ride the bus or have someone drive them to school (no longer able to bike or walk). This will require additional buses / drivers / gas, etc. • The commute time will be significantly longer and more dangerous for our children as they will now have to either ride on Hwy 55 or cross over Hwy 55.

I respectfully request that you reconsider the proposal to move the Cameron Pond neighborhood away from the Mills Park schools. This is a great opportunity for the Wake County School board to show highlight its integrity and reinforce its commitment to the 4 pillars outlined above.

Please allow our kids to maintain healthy lifestyles by being able to walk and bike to the schools that are next door and on a safe route where there is zero risk of traffic accidents. Please use new neighborhoods that have not had a chance to build close bonds with their school, friends and staff members to address over-crowding issues and fill lower capacity schools.

Thank you for your consideration.

Katie Phillips

49 Votes
 
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Natalie Quilter 2 months ago

We are residents in Cameron Pond and have three children ages 13, 9, and 3. We have lived in Cameron Pond for the last 12 years and have been long standing supporters of Mills Park Elementary and Middle. We do not understand why you would try to rezone our children so far away to a new school when our current school is so close. Also changing us from a traditional calendar to a year round calendar would be difficult and create a disconnect between our oldest son who is in a charter school on a traditional calendar. Our family cannot operate with children in different school calendars.

Additionally we also actively supported the new greenway from our neighborhood to our elementary school. The new plan would mean that our students would no longer be assigned to the very school we are physically connected to by the Town of Cary greenway project. Please consider the damaging impact this decision would have on families in Cameron Pond. We urge you to consider altering this assignment that supports the families needs and the community plan already in progress.

46 Votes
 
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Christy King 2 months ago

As another resident of Cameron Pond, I would like to reiterate the statements and points that my fellow neighbors have so eloquently expressed. My children will be rising 6th and 7th graders for the 2019-2020 school year. We live on Magalloway Drive, and as you know the greenway that is being built begins at the Magalloway/Cameron Pond junction, so we can literally walk a few steps from our front door and be on the greenway. My boys are so excited to finally be able to ride their bikes to MPMS next year. When we were looking to build back several years ago, the only neighborhoods we looked at were ones that would be affiliated with Mills Park Elementary and middles schools. We also loved the idea of the future walkable access that the greenway would provide. Our proximity to Mills Park especially after the greenway completion along with the long standing history our small neighborhood has with MP makes this such an important reason to keep us connected. We understand that the growth in this part of the county has been extreme but we appreciate the board taking the time to read and listen to feedback and hope that all of the points made are taken into serious consideration.

Thank you so much for your time!

Christy King

46 Votes
 
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Jennifer La Rocca 2 months ago

As a resident of Cameron Pond, I am disappointed that our neighborhood children are proposed to be reassigned away from Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle school. With the proposed greenway scheduled to connect our neighborhood to MPE / MPMS in 2019, the children would have an easy walk to those schools. Instead they would be bused much further away. I respectfully ask you to reconsider this reassignment. Thank you.

46 Votes
 
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Alison Nardiello 2 months ago

I am also a resident of Cameron Pond and my family is very upset by the current draft to reassign our kids away from Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle School. We also live right by the greeenway that is being built and very much looking forward to being able to use this opprtunity for the kids to walk to school. Our neighborhood has been part of the Mills Park Schools since they have opened and they are one of the closest neighborhoods in proximity to these schools. This reassignment makes no sense to us as they are building this greenway precisely to connect our neighborhood with the schools. There are several neighborhoods that were not reassigned that are further away from the Mills Park Schools and will not have this greenway connection allowing our kids to walk/bike to school with our community. It simply makes no sense at all. I truly hope, despite the pressure to reduce the population in these schools, that the board take the time to carefully consider our feedback and that everything is taken into consideration when making this decision. Thank you!

44 Votes
 
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Jennifer Walker 2 months ago

I have been a resident of Cameron Pond for 11 years and I strongly oppose the reassignment of our neighborhood. I request that you reconsider this part of the proposal. With the greenway being built, it will allow our children to walk/bike to school. I just can't understand why, when we have a school less than a mile away, we would be assigned to a school so much further. Thank you for your consideration.

36 Votes
 
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Jill Fuller 2 months ago

Dear Wake County School Board Members - I want to thank you for all the time and effort you put into such a taunting project. I'm sure it is not easy with the unprecedented growth in this area. I am a resident of Cameron Pond and my neighbors have articulated many fundamental reasons on why we would like to keep our schools the same for our children. And I agree and support all the information they provided! But I would like to take this opportunity to write a more personal reason to why I would like to keep the current schools in place for our neighborhood. It is because my daughter has an IEP, and one of the most important aspects is consistency so she can learn. With a change like this her entire life will be turned upside down. It will be a change from traditional to year round (the new traditional school would just be too far) so we would take the year round option, it would be a change in school administrators, environment, structure, and of course all new peers. For a child that struggles in school these changes will not only hinder her ability to learn, but stop it. She would focus on tackling her new surroundings more than her school work. Because that is what she has to do! She needs all the distractions to be kept at a minimum so she can learn. This change may even cause her to be held back and that is something that will have a life long effect. Please consider keeping the school assignments as they currently are. Thank you for reading and taking the time to understand this situation.

38 Votes
 
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ShyChiann Fang 2 months ago

My family has been a resident of Cameron Pond for over 12 years and has observed first-hand the spectacular growth that has occurred in the West Cary area so we appreciate the challenging decisions the Board must make to alleviate the overcrowding of our schools. It is not, however, clear to us what data the Board reviewed to suggest that rezoning this neighborhood which has a very small footprint (344 single family homes) relative to other larger nearby communities will provide meaningful long term relief to the overcrowding at Mills Park Elementary (MPE) and Mills Park Middle School (MPM). We add a very small amount of students to the overall population at these schools. Cameron Pond has been zoned to MPE and MPM since they were constructed and the residents have invested significant time and resources supporting these schools to make them the successes that they are.

We believe a compelling reason to reconsider this rezoning is that it appears to be at odds with the Town of Cary’s Mills Park Concept Plan that would enable children, specifically in the Cameron Pond neighborhood, to safely bicycle and walk to school from our neighborhood greenway. There was overwhelming public support for the 2012 Cary Parks and Recreation Bonds Referendum that would complete the Town of Cary’s Mills Park Concept Plan and Cameron Pond being a neighborhood linked to Mills Park was part of what the voters supported. Wake County Board of Education says that it assigns neighborhoods based on the criterion of proximity in evaluating any student enrollment proposal. Once this Greenway is complete Cameron Pond will be closer than any other neighborhood to the physical location of the school. If Cameron Pond residents do not use this path to bike and walk to school this multi-million dollar project will sit eventually vacant for years to come until final phases of the plan are complete. This is not an efficient use of taxpayer money that was designated to design and build the Panther Creek Greenway and connect our neighborhood to Mills Park schools.

Thank you in advance for considering the points above when preparing Draft 2 of this proposal. We’re hopeful that you will hear the voice our community and keep Cameron Pond zoned to the Mills Park schools.

42 Votes
 
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ping xin 2 months ago

As a resident and homeowner of Evan's Farm, all family members are very concerned about the reassignment to Alston Ridge Middle. plesae keep Mills Park Middle as the base school for Evan's Farm students. Lots of our neighbors bought/rent our homes within two years ago, some of us moved in only one year ago. Traditional calendar schools, Mills Park Middle and the new Hortons Creek Elementary, was the #1 reason that we decided to live in Evan's Farm. Year round calendar provided by Alston Ridge Middle won't work well for our travel plan. Unexpectedly, we have never heard any success transfer request from neighbors in Evan's Farm or nearby communities. In addition, all other neighbor communities on Green Level Church Rd (such as Hortons, Weycroft, newly opened Amberly Glen, newly opened Ridgefield Farm) have been assigned to Mills Park Middle. Evan’s Farm is the ONLY community which will be assignment to Alston Ridge Middle. Therefore, please consider our request seriously and keep Mills Park Middle as the base school for Evan's Farm students. Thank you!

9 Votes
 
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Tracy St Clair 2 months ago

I, too, oppose the reassignment of Cameron Pond away from MPES and MPMS. I have lived in Cary over 20 years--my children are grown, but are successful products of the WCPSS. Because of Wake County's reassignment plans, we went to 4 different elementary schools and 2 different middle schools. I, too, fought the reassignment plans back in the day, and never one a single fight. But I never had such a valid argument as the fact that we have a Greenway connecting our neighborhood to the schools. This is a strong factor to consider when we ask you to keep Cameron Pond at their current schools. Please reconsider your reassignment proposal, and take Cameron Pond off the plan. It only makes sense to allow the children of Cameron Pond to walk/bike to the schools connected to their neighborhood. Thank you.

37 Votes
 
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Rekha Upadhya 2 months ago

I would like to reiterate the serious concerns what rest of my Cameron Pond community members have shared regarding school change. When we decided to move to this community several years ago, the one compelling reason for us to choose this community was the Mills Park School was the base school. Mills Park was the traditional school close to the proximity and considered one of the best schools in the regions. We knew that County would have the greenway to school ready in few years and would work so well for us and the kids. Kids are being attached to the school and teachers and now the news of transition has shocked us and the kids. It will be extremely disappointing for us and the kids if the school changes, it will feel that our life changing choice of choosing this community is futile. Change in style of learning traditional vs year around decision has been forcefully brought on kids! Kids will be completely devastated to the changes as they are emotionally and mentally attached to the school and the teachers. Wake County School Board, kindly reconsider the decision and make changes so it impacts the families in a minimal way. Please take in to account the emotional turmoil of what families will have to go through by the decisions you make.

39 Votes
 
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Jennifer Southworth 2 months ago

As a member of the Cameron Pond community, I echo the serious concerns about being moved away from the Mills Park Schools. One of the reasons for choosing this community, was our assignment to Mills Park. Our children (in addition to our entire neighborhood community) have been anxiously awaiting the Panther Creek Greenway extension completion to provide a literal pathway to our education. Walking / biking to school has been a top priority for us and are devastated to learn that this Greenway will be completed just as our neighborhood will be re-zoned to a different school. This Greenway will allow our children to safely walk / bike to school on a DAILY basis. Please take the time to read all feedback from our community and reconsider this initial decision to re-zone our neighborhood away from Mills Park.

38 Votes
 
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Eric Li 2 months ago

As residents of Cameron Pond, we are very disappointed by your recent decision to reassign our neighborhood kids to Alston Ridge/Carpenter next year which we believe is misguided.

Before we bought our house in Cameron Pond five years ago, we were attracted by its close-by excellent school system. After the news was announced about Town of Cary building a new greenway to connect the neighborhood and Mills Park schools(MPE and MPM), we were very excited about walking or biking to the schools which would be enjoyable, wholesome, and, most importantly, safe. Some of our good friends in the subdivision had to sacrifice part of their properties in order to make ways for the greenway to build. The building project seems to be in progress and now it will become something that no one in Cameron Pond will use due to your recent reassignment. This is a total waste of our taxpayers' money which is more than one million dollars just in this section of the greenway. Maybe you are not aware of this greenway project and we hope that you will reverse your plan now so that we can enjoy commuting in a safe and convenient way, for both children and parents.

We understand that the wake county school system is going through the growing pain right now. We already experienced it first hand when our daughter had to go to Weatherstone elementary for most part of her first grade, due to MPE's cap. She spent an hour one way on the school bus and was physically exhausted every day, which increased the chance of involving in accidents drastically. Being capped was something you can't control back then; however, right now you have the power to reverse your original plan so that our kids can continue their education and full elementary/middle school experience at MPE/MPM. Please make the right call.

38 Votes
 
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I, like the rest of the Cameron Pond residents very disappointed regarding the possible reassignment of Cameron Pond elementary and middle school students to schools existing well beyond the neighborhood area. I live in Cameron Pond and have 2 kids already in Mill Parks elementary and another 2 year old. Proximity to Mills park elementary and Middle schools were one of the main reasons for us to move to the Cameron Pond neighborhood 6 years ago. Cameron Pond is one of the closest neighborhoods to Mills Park Schools and after completing the greenway next year our kids will be walking /biking to school. We strongly oppose the proposed reassignment of our schools from MPE and MPM to Carpenter Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle school where the kids would need to cross and travel along hwy 55 and cross railroad tracks.

39 Votes
 
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Heather Fischer 2 months ago

Today was a landmark day for the Fischer family. My husband Jeremy and I dropped off our one and only child at Mills Park Elementary for her first day of Kindergarten.
On a day that is supposed to be a bittersweet moment in our lives recognizing that our daughter is growing up to fast, and we have to let her, I am even more saddened by the proposed school reassignment changes for 2019-2020 and their potential negative affects on her and our Cameron Pond community.
Back in 2006 when we were looking to move to Cary, we very carefully researched neighborhoods, schools, and proposed infrastructure changes to the surrounding area. We choose Cameron Pond, not only for the beautiful neighborhood, proximity to both of our companies, and easy access to the future 540/Triangle Expressway, but we settled on Cameron Pond because of one day being able to send our children to the highly rated Mills Park ES. The school’s reputation, test scores, diversity, quality teachers, and overall reviews/ratings from parents made our decision to purchase in Cameron Pond neighborhood a no-brainer.
My neighbors have all eloquently stated all the various reasons why Cameron Pond should not be reassigned from Mills Park ES/MS. I will reiterate a few of them here for you: 1. The Panther Creek Greenway project has been a long awaited by many Cameron Pond families to provide a safe, easy accessible pathway for walking or biking from our neighborhood to Mills Park ES/MS. With a scheduled completion date of Fall 2019, it would seem rather pointless to plan for something of this magnitude and not use it for one of the original, stated purposes - to link our neighborhood to the schools. It is my understanding that our neighborhood has given land to the town of Cary for this purpose, as well as many residents have provided easements to allow the construction of said Greenway.
2. The proposed reassignment appears to be at odds with Wake County Public School System’s pillars for determining school assignment: “Our school board and district staff makes all these decisions by weighing four factors: Student Achievement, Stability, Proximity and Operational Efficiency.”
a. Student Achievement – Based on NC Schools Report Cards published 2017 findings (https://ncreportcards.ondemand.sas.com/SASVisualAnalyticsViewer/VisualAnalyticsViewer_guest.jsp?reportPath=/ReportCard/NC_SRC&reportName=NC+Report+Cards), your proposed decision would take my child out of a highly rated ES and place them into schools with lesser scores on (1)School Performance Grade, (2)Read to Achieve, and (3)End of Grade Tests. Futher indicators that would have a possible negative affect on our children by moving them from Mills Park would be (4) Lower Student Growth Rates, (5) Higher teacher turnover, and (6) Fewer teachers with 4 to 10 years or 10+ years of experience in the proposed schools. As a concerned parent, this one keeps me up at night. We all want the best for our kids and currently that is Mills Park.
b. Stability – Our community is part of the Mills Park family. During the school year, you can’t help but notice the blue and orange tie dyed tees and the panther paws sprinkled through the neighborhood. I understand that we need to address overcrowding in our schools and that Mills Park ES/MS are capped schools, but it is also my understanding from talking to Mills Park ES staff that for the last few years it has not reached full capacity and students have been able to enroll without issue.
c. Proximity – Mills Park ES/MS is closer and more convenient to our neighborhood than Carpenter ES or Alston Ridge ES. The potential new schools would remove any chance our children could ever walk or bike to school with heavy traffic, higher speed limits, and no sidewalks. This makes me a bit sad. My fondest memories from childhood were walking home with friends or riding our bikes when we were old enough.
d. Operational Efficiency – I am not sure how this would save money moving children from an existing school to another existing school. It appears that Alston Ridge ES is not as populated as Carpenter ES or Mills Park ES. With the amount of new housing construction popping up along Hwy 55 would that not a better source for feeding the school than reassigning Cameron Pond from Mills Park.
3. The shift from Traditional to a Year-round calendar is also a concern. For most families, the start and stop of smaller breaks within the year-round calendar does not afford children the opportunity to spend quality and quantitative time at sleep-away camps or summers with family. The very things that made summer so much fun when we were their age. It also becomes a monetary and planning drain on families as you search and plan months in advance for short term activities for tracked out kids.
4. Cameron Pond is a stable, well-established community. All phases of construction were completed years ago. I cannot imagine the number of elementary and middle school children in the neighborhood would significantly vary from year to year and could not be factored into Mills Park ES/MS student planning.
I stand with my neighbors in asking the Board to reconsider the 2019-2020 school reassignment proposal to keep our Cameron Pond community and Mills Park ES/MS together.

38 Votes
 
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Mike Salmon 2 months ago

We have been residents of Cameron Pond for 11 years,and similarly to our neighbors we are very disappointed in the reassignment first draft taking our children away from Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle and zoning them for Carpenter Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle. Not only can we see the school campus from our homes, the Panther Creek Greenway currently under construction will allow parents and children a safe, convenient commute to/from school. Ultimately, this creates a win/win as this is a unique opportunity to walk to school while reducing road congestion. Thank you for considering this feedback.

36 Votes
 
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Carol Vercellino 2 months ago

As a resident of Cameron Pond since 2010, our family agrees with our neighbors in opposing the reassignment plan. Our neighborhood is largely a traditional, established neighborhood with families already in the routine of attending traditional calendar schools. To change our neighborhood school assignment not only impacts the consistency children need in younger years but also introduces a new calendar system (year round) that most families are not accustomed too. When we purchased our home in 2010, there were two main drivers - proximity to excellent schools and the new greenway connection to those schools. We have been so excited to finally see the greenway construction begin this year so that kids could walk/bike to school safely. It's incredibly disappointing to think our school system board would overlook the proximity, stability and connection our neighborhood has to the Mills Park schools. We please ask that you reconsider the reassignment of Cameron Pond and keep us at the Mills Park schools.

32 Votes
 
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Ravi Muthuswamy 2 months ago

Resident of Evans Farm community since 2012. i am against this new proposal as my kid, now a sixth grader attending Mills Park Middle School, has been on the traditional calendar all along (having attended Mills Park Elementary from K-5 grades). Per the new proposal, she would either be reassigned to Alston Ridge Middle or another Middle on the traditional calendar that is 8 miles away from home. Alston Ridge Middle will operate on a year round calendar and will be highly impossible for us to now make to adjustment to a different calendar schedule. My older kid went from Mills Park Elementary to Mills Park Middle to Panther Creek High where she is in the junior year now. So, forcing a family that has been pretty much on the traditional calendar all these years to a new calendar does not sound reasonable. The idea to move my kid to another middle school 8 miles away (traditional calendar) is also a bad one. This move would mean my kid will have to be on the bus by 6:45 am (as against the current 7:35 am) and will return home much later than the current 3:30 pm. Why are the kids being punished for no fault of theirs? Why are we being punished for no fault of ours? When we moved in to this region, we decided to buy a home here based on the school ratings. Mills Park was our preferred school. Why are we expected to send our kid to a school that is far away when the current one is less than 3 miles away. I am totally against this proposal. What's next? Reassign my older kid as Panther Creek will soon get crowded as well?

6 Votes
 
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Jeanne Stockman 2 months ago

I've lived in Cameron Pond for over 11 years and have 3 children who have either attended or are currently attending the Mills Park schools. While I appreciate the need to fill new schools and the challenges posed by reassignment, certain elements of the first draft reassignment proposal fail to take important facts into consideration. First and foremost of these is the greenway that is being constructed to link Cameron Pond with the Mills Park schools. Ground-breaking is imminent with slated completion in Fall 2019. It would be an unfortunate and avoidable waste of taxpayer dollars to reassign Cameron Pond to schools other than Mills Park, especially when the vision of this greenway resource is finally on the verge of becoming a reality and bringing long-awaited benefits to our community.

Second, based on the figures in the first draft proposal, Carpenter Elementary is and would remain very over-crowded. It makes no sense to reassign Cameron Pond from Mills Park to Carpenter Elementary to alleviate over-crowding since doing so would not meaningfully improve this problem. Instead, children would suffer disruptions by being reassigned to another school on another calendar for no benefit because they would still be in an over-crowded environment.

I echo the other concerns raised by my neighbors. The Board has a formidable task in front of it and it is important to consider all the facts in these matters, especially since the lives and welfare of children are at issue. I hope the Board will reconsider this draft to give life to the greenway project that is now finally underway and keep Cameron Pond assigned Mills Park Middle and Elementary. Thank you for your consideration.

32 Votes
 
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Kiersten Williams 2 months ago

I expressed my concerns about Cameron Pond being moved from Mills Park schools in another thread the day this draft of the reassignment plans was released. I am sitting looking out my back window at a small patch of the greenway that has already been built. My kids constantly ask me when it will be completed as they are so excited to be able to ride their bikes along it to school! With construction of the greenway ready to move forward, I had to break it to my kids that they may not be riding their bikes to school after all. My youngest is enduring an hour long bus ride each way to her overflow school, White Oak, this year. She was especially disappointed by the news. She was so excited to have a place at Mills Park next school year and be able to spend less time on the bus and more time with our family. We love walking and biking together. She asked me, "What will the point of the greenway be then, if we can't use it to get to school?" I didn't have a good answer for her. We are hoping that the concerns of our community are heard and that the reassignment plan will be reconsidered.

34 Votes
 
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Fei Yao 2 months ago

Dear Wake County Board members: My family lives at Cameron Pond, and my son is attending 3rd Grade this year. He has been in MP since the Kindergarten. I'm deeply concerned and sad that he has to be re-zoned to another school next year. I understand board members have a formidable task ahead for this ever growing area. If this is all for the kids' and community's future I suggestion:

  1. Keep the kids at where they are, and the Grand Father rule should be extended to whoever has already been enrolled into the school, together with their siblings. Not just who will be the 5th Grade next year. How do you justify if you are 5th Grade you will get big impact, NOT 4th, 3th, 2nd, 1st Grade.
  2. Proximity is the king, and I believe this is the sole principle for school safety, and community growth, and better kids education. Cameron Pond is the closest to Mills Park Elementary and Middle than any communities around here. Also the Green Way has already started to connect Cameron Pond community and Mills Park Elementary, Middle. Kids can walk, bike to school without problem.
  3. This will create a long lasting physiological trauma for kids years later. Friendship takes a long time to bond, and I have been told Cameron Pond has been assigned to different school historically.
  4. How about families who have multiple kids, and how are they going to juggle between schools, tracks, etc. It could create lot of financial burden for them unnecessarily.

For the sake of the kids and community please keep us at Mills Park Elementary and Middle.

Best Regards

32 Votes
 
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Patrick OMalley 2 months ago

As a Cameron Pond resident who has lived here for 12 years I find it troubling that the proposal has slated our removal from Mills Park. To move this neighborhood away from a school that they had helped open and foster through the first years seems counterproductive to the lessons we try to teach our kids day in and day out. There is such a thing as community pride and doing the right thing. Mr. Regan and the school has promoted Panther Pride to my 2 high school children as well was my second grader today. This Panther PRIDE stands for Positive Attitude, Respect, Integrity, Discipline, and Excellence. This simple mantra and character traits are the hallmark of what makes this school and community special to the ones have invested in it. And to be unceremoniously cast off to the next school in need of bodies and test scores is a lesson we don’t want to teach our children.
I am saddened for my many neighbors and for my wife who volunteered countless hours over the years on the PTA to ensure the school had a local connection and foundation for years to come. These people are the cornerstone of a community that make it special and an attractive place for people to make it their home.
There is also the greenway project that you may have heard about that is funded and due to be finished soon that would make Cameron Pond the ONLY community with direct and unabated access to the school campus. And while this connection to the school via a path in huge and unprecedented in our area, it is the connection of the parents, teachers, and students that really make this school home for so many people. So these two connections are something of a perfect marriage and should keep Cameron Pond and Mills Park together.
With that said, I am in agreement with my fellow neighbors and I strongly hope that WCPSS will reconsider your first draft proposal and think about the affect you will have on countless numbers of children, families, and a community.
Thank You.

33 Votes
 
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FNU SHAILENDRA 2 months ago

As Cameron Pond residence and parent of 2 Kid, I think it is definately best idea to provide kid's school in walk able or self ride proximity.Currently My kid is going to Alston ridge ES and I was h sure that new reassignment will provide them opportunity to get school that is just behind their community and they will able to ride bike to the school. As far as utilization wise none of school is running 100% or below 100% so basic rule is failing anyways. Cameron Pond is small community and old community , so it is definately considerable request. As I see everyday on bus stop , looking at numbers of kids accommodating kids to nearest school is best idea and avoiding adding traffic to highways with lots of left tuns and railways crossings. Board member Please avoid adding traffic to HWY 55 which is already over crowded due to new community , RTP and markets. Moving Cameron pond to MPE and MPM would help avoid railway crossings, crossing hwy and make a small old community healthy.

28 Votes
 
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Kavita Torvi 2 months ago

As a resident of Sedgefield community, i would like to know how a community which is being built after ours and is 0.5 miles from our community is assigned Mills Park Middle. Our subdivision was completed more than 2 years ago. Wake county has used the "years at residence" as a measure to assign schools .. it is unfair that newer housing projects are getting better schools and the subdivisions that are compete are being assigned to low score schools.

7 Votes
 
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Kavita Torvi 2 months ago

All across the country, people buy homes based on school district. Lot of people including us have paid a higher price for homes in good school district and to gain proximity to these school hoping "Common Sense" prevails and kids can attend the nearby schools. But Wake County has decided to assign a Middle school with a score of "5" and more than 6 miles away instead of the Mills Park with a score of 9/10 and 1.5 miles from our house. Does not make sense. Please consider our request to keep our base as Mills park.
Another issue that I want to bring up is "time on the bus".. lot of things happen on the bus and drivers cannot stop everything that happens on these buses. More time the kids are on the bus, more issues come up. It is not a good idea to assign kids to far away schools when there are schools right around the corner. I have already had two kids in two different calendars for 2 years. When we requested Green hope elementary, which was our calendar option, it was denied two years in a row even though it was not "CAPPED" . Now the new draft says that they need to fill Green hope. It is a very obscure logic of assignment and the 4 pillars that are mentioned in the draft do not seem to BE the basis for the assignment. Please keep Mills Park middle as our base and do not reassign our neighborhood to far away schools when there are schools so near to our homes.

8 Votes
 
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Jenny Smith 2 months ago

Thank you for keeping the Amberly neighborhood at Mills Park Middle. After we were forced out of Mills Park Elementary school last year, I am happy to see that our closest proximity middle school will serve my children. We are less than a mile from MPM and appreciate the opportunity to continue with the middle school closest to us.

2 Votes
 
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Matt Gredvig 2 months ago

As a resident of Cameron Pond, I am in agreement with the comments previously made by others in the neighborhood regarding the proposed reassignment, and I would like to respectfully ask you to reconsider the current proposal based on the 4 pillars used by WCPSS for school assignments. In addition to providing stability, keeping our neighborhood at the existing schools also touches on the other 3 pillars.

Proximity - With the completion of the new Panther Creek Greenway next year, our neighborhood will be one of the closest to Mills Park from a walking / biking perspective.

Operational Efficiency - The children in our neighborhood will have the ability to safely and quickly walk/bike to MPE/MPMS instead of sitting in traffic waiting to get to a school further away. This is especially true for anyone who must stay on a traditional calendar instead of year round given how far away our traditional options are.
- Having more children walking / biking to Mills Park will improve operational efficiency by reducing the carpool lines at Mills Park.
- Moving our neighborhood appears to reduce overcrowding at Mills Park while making Carpenter more overcrowded. Slides 19 and 20 of the board presentation show the utilization of Mills Park Elementary going from 130% (120% w/ trailers) in 2017 - 2018 to 126% (117% w/ trailers) in 2019 - 2020 and 121% (112% w/ trailers) in 2020 - 2021. Meanwhile the utilization of Carpenter goes from 129% (121% w/ trailers) to 133% (125% w/ trailers) in 2019 - 2020 and 132% (124% w/ trailers) in 2020 - 2021.

Student Achievement - Making Carpenter Elementary more overcrowded may have a negative impact on student achievement levels at that school.

Please allow our children to fully enjoy and utilize the future greenway by keep our neighborhood mapped to MPE and MPMS. Thank you for your consideration.

27 Votes
 
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leonor corsino 2 months ago

I am a resident of Cameron Pond and agree completely with the statements expressed by my neighbors. Similar to many of our community members, we moved to Cameron Pond due to the proximity to the schools and the hope that our children will have a childhood full of memories while walking to school and growing up with friends that live close by and that go to the same school. As a parent, It is my hope that my children get the same opportunities I had growing up and that they will get the opportunity to be surrounded by familiar faces and friends. Reassigning our children to schools farther than Mills park will represent a significant loss and will have a significant detrimental impact on our children. Our points have been well stated by others in our neighborhood and it is my plea to all members of the Wake County Public Schools to reconsider the decision to reassigned Cameron Pond to other schools. Our community is small and well established, as stated above, our children due NOT represent a burden to Mills parks schools. KEEP CAMERON POND children in MILLs Park SCHOOLs.

27 Votes
 
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Abby Durden 2 months ago

My family is asking that the WCPSS Board of Education reconsider the draft student assignment plan for 2019-2020. Specifically the plan to change Cameron Pond's base from Mills Park ES/MS to Carpenter ES/Alston Ridge MS.

We believe that WCPSS will be missing out on a great opportunity that has been years and millions in the making, a chance to save money on transportation costs and battle against childhood obesity and inactivity. The Town of Cary and Cameron Pond have invested heavily in the Panther Creek Greenway in each case with the express purpose of creating a way for the children of Cameron Pond to safely bike or walk to MPES and MPMS. I am a pediatrician and every day I see the ever rising rates and complications of childhood obesity. Children walking or biking to school, what a great example for WCCPS to promote.

Once the Panther Creek Greenway is complete Cameron Pond will be closer than any other neighborhood to the school, meeting the boards criteria for proximity which is also really important to our family.

Thank you,

Abby Durden

26 Votes
 
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Lianne Franklin 2 months ago

I am a resident of Cameron Pond and I first want to express sincere appreciation to all of the school board members for their devoted service and for putting the time, effort, and thought into these difficult zoning issues as we experience historical growth in every city within Wake County. I want to add my voice to my neighbors' in expressing deep concern over the proposed realignment that would push us out of our neighborhood school of Mills Park. As a retired public school teacher, I am extremely passionate about the importance of public education. In the last decade, as choices for parents about where to send their kids (charter, magnet, home, private etc.) have increased, I have become extremely concerned about the dissolution of neighborhood schools that has come with those choices. As fewer and fewer parents choose their neighborhood school, the burden and cost of transportation goes up and the sense of community and investment into that community goes down and is lost. It becomes an "every man for himself" sort of mentality. One of the reasons we chose this neighborhood is because we saw kids playing on the street together when we drove through it to look at houses--something we hadn't seen in other neighborhoods. We learned that the kids were playing together because they knew each other, the kids knew each other because they all went to school together. Most of the kids in our neighborhood go to Mills Park and as a result, we have a tight-knit community within our neighborhood. I hope that is evident even in our uniting for this cause! Pulling these kids out of Mills Park would dissolve this community as we would all be spread across different tracks and traditional school options. Please don't tear this wonderful community apart! Proximity matters. Neighborhood schools matter--they truly build the foundation of a community.

Thank you for consideration on these points--you have enormous power to influence hundreds of families and an entire community for good. I hope we can work together for a solution that will appease all of our concerns.

Sincerely, Lianne Franklin

29 Votes
 
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John Nardiello 2 months ago

Wake County Public School System has long advocated for physical activity and a healthful lifestyle for students. The proposed zoning plan is in contradiction to this philosophy, as it deprives the students of Cameron Pond Community the opportunity to safely walk and bike to school. The plan for the Panther Creek Greenway, allowing students specifically in the Cameron Pond Community to walk and bike to Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle School, was met with overwhelming public and county support. Given that Cameron Pond will be physically connected to the Mills Park campus via the Panther Creek Greenway, it seems illogical and fiscally irresponsible to send the children of this community to schools that are miles away. I urge you to reconsider this new enrollment proposal that will adversely affect the health and well-being of our children, and leave a multi-million dollar, taxpayer funded project underutilized.

24 Votes
 
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Brenda Nichols 2 months ago

Wake County Board of Education Members and Office of Student Assignment Staff: I acknowledge the difficult task you have to manage resources for North Carolina’s largest school system; however, I implore you to reconsider moving the students of Cameron Pond out of Mills Park Elementary and Middle Schools as currently proposed in Draft 1 of the 2019/20 enrollment plan since this draft does not factor in the soon to be completed Panther Creek Greenway Project. The Cameron Pond developers donated 20 acres of land to the Town of Cary with the purpose of creating Mills Park and connecting the Cameron Pond neighborhood to Mills Park and the schools. Many individual Cameron Pond homeowners have an easement on their property that will be used as part of the greenway. The distance from the trailhead in Cameron Pond, through the tunnel under 540, to the Mills Park schools is 1 mile; a fact that the algorithm does not account for. This safe, healthy alternative to get to school allows for increased operational efficiency, one of the 4 pillars of the school board’s student assignment plan, by reducing carpool lines as more Cameron Pond Students use the greenway. The MPE carpool is manageable currently, with the last pick up completed typically within 20 minutes from dismissal. By shifting the Cameron Pond students to schools they cannot walk or bike to only increases the carpool lines at these already overcrowded alternate schools. Mills Park ES utilization with trailers will decrease by 3% from 120% to 117% while Carpenter elementary increases by 4% from 121% to 125% (according to pages 17 and 19 of Draft 1). The current draft plan is at odds with the operational efficiency pillar as it relates to overcrowding and carpooling.
There’s also the natural resource impact as bus routes will be longer (based on distance and/or time), and more dangerous, for the students of Cameron Pond, and the carbon footprint of each family with be expanded. Mills Park Elementary and Middle sit on one campus. Picking up at 2 schools on a single campus is efficient and conserves fuel. Under the proposed plan, families like mine will have to navigate the very congested traffic of the HWY 55 area between Alston Ridge Middle and Carpenter Elementary at the peak of morning and evening rush hours, meaning more cars on the road in an already congested area which compounds the problem of long bus rides. Although these schools appear to be proximal on a map, long drive times and added fuel use for Wake County school buses is expected, thus adding to the cost of student transportation. Not only will our children be more fit by walking and biking to Mills Park schools, but they will have a first-hand lesson in resource conservation.
There are other solutions that allow Cameron Pond students to remain at Mills Park Elementary and Middle schools. There are areas proximal to the under-utilized East Cary Middle school, which is ~12 miles from Mills Park, that are assigned to Mills Park Elementary and Middle schools currently and in the 2019-2020 plan (pgs 18, 29-31 of draft 1). These areas do not seem to be reasonably close to Mills Park base schools whereas Cameron Pond is one of the closest communities. This shift alone to assign students from these far away areas to schools closer to them would reduce overall carbon footprints and save fuel for Wake County buses and reduce overall transportation costs while still balancing the projected utilization rates equitably under the pillars of proximity and stability.
In addition, age of the neighborhoods/community should also be considered when making assignment decisions such that established/stable neighborhoods like Cameron Pond (existing for more than 13 years) should remain in current assignments with newly developed nearby communities assigned to other schools under the stability and proximity pillars. This presents the least disruption to the children, families, and schools who have come to have mutual working relationships. As a neighborhood assigned to Mills Park Schools for many years, we have strong bonds with the faculty and staff and the newly developed communities (there are many that have come after Cameron Pond, many so new as to have few to no residents yet) do not have strong bonds to any schools yet and thus would be much easier to place them in any school versus displacing the established students from their schools. At this vulnerable age, such reassignment has lasting emotional and psychological impacts that can contribute negatively to student achievement. By taking this approach, there are several neighborhoods that could more readily transition to Alston Ridge Middle while leaving Cameron Pond students at Mills Park Middle.
Overall, the gains in operational efficiency at Mills Park schools due to opening of the Panther Creek Greenway, the additional strains imposed at Carpenter ES and Alston Ridge Middle under the proposed plan, and the alternative solutions with respect to proximity and stability pillars provide objective rationales to allow Cameron Pond students to remain at Mills Park Schools. On another note, I understand that Mills Park Elementary School has the lowest enrollment numbers in years. There are even some classes that are not at full capacity under the law. So this puzzles me even more as to why there is any discussion about removing Cameron Pond from Mills Park Elementary. The school operates very well and seems to handle the slight “overcrowding” in a few classes just fine, as evidenced by the most recent school report cards just issued. Adding more students to an even more overcrowded school with student achievement challenges and technology resource limitations does not seem in alignment with any of the pillars.
I’ve had to tell my fifth grader that he cannot bike to school as the route across the narrow sidewalk on the bridge above 540 is too dangerous but, that he can look forward to riding his bike to middle school next year because the greenway will allow him to safely connect to his school. Please allow this to be his reality. Thank you for your time to read this post. We’d like to continue this dialog with the board and the student assignment staff before draft 2 is issued so that you can reconsider keeping Cameron Pond connected to the Mills Park schools as was intended.

19 Votes
 
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Rekha Upadhya 2 months ago

I am a resident of Cameron Pond for more than 10 years. As a parent of a child attending middle school, I am deeply concerned about the impact of changing from traditional to Year-Around school. As we plan well in advance for summer programs so the time can be well spent either with family or in a 2-3 month continuos learning program which is very much essential socially and academically for growing kids and it helps families spend quality time together due to the long break. However switching to a Year-around will simply take away all the benefits and will require a long adjustment period for families, adding to the stress levels of kids and families. Any alternative option of traditional other than Mills Park will not work either due to the added time spent on road getting to/from school. It would only add to the stress of the children and reduce the productivity and performance of the school. Utilizing the GREENWAY by the kids to go to school is not only beneficial to the health of the children but in turn will support the wake county core goals of stability and Operation Efficiency. Not to mention the other benefits of transportation reduction for wake county.
Kindly request board to reconsider their decision, please let the kids continue what they already have. Let us not add to their stress, while they already have enough challenges to face with learning every day.

17 Votes
 
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David Wang 2 months ago

I am also a resident of Cameron Pond. I agree with my neighbors' posts and will not reiterate points already made. I can only plead that you please assign the entire Cameron Pond neighborhood to Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle for consistency, proximity, and transportation efficiency.

19 Votes
 
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Beth Shalesh 2 months ago

I am a resident of Cameron Pond since 2014. I also agree with my neighbors' posts and will not reiterate points already made. The proposal truly represents the opposite of everything that the Cameron Pond residents seek for their children. Please assign the Cameron Pond neighborhood to Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle for consistency, proximity, and transportation efficiency.

12 Votes
 
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Brenda Nichols 2 months ago

Mills Park Elementary School has it's lowest enrollment numbers in years.  Many of the classrooms are below capacity.  The school has adapted quite well to the slight "overcrowding" as evidenced by it's recent report card.  The students and staff flourish in this environment and the school does not have an overcrowded feel at all.     As noted in draft 1, Mills Park ES utilization with trailers will decrease by 3% from 120% (2017/18) to 117% (2019/20) while Carpenter elementary increases by 4% from 121% to 125% over this same period under the plan (according to pages 17 and 19 of Draft 1).  Based on the recent report cards, adding more student to Carpenter ES while decreasing Mills Park ES enrollment seems to not serve the best interest of the students and staff at either school. Cameron Pond parents are highly engaged at Mills Park, filling 2 of 5 PTA officer positions and serving as room parent for ~17 classrooms this year.  Under draft 1, Cameron Pond families will potentially disperse to multiple other options and thus our support of wake county public schools would be lessened, which is a loss I don't want to see happen.  As my kids are in 5th and 2nd grade currently I don't have personal insight into the Mills Park Middle School, but from my friends and neighbors know the situation is similar there as well.   The loss of Cameron Pond families at both Mills Park schools would be detrimental to both the elementary and middle school communities. Please reconsider and leave the current Cameron Pond neighborhood assignments as they are.  Thank you for your time.

12 Votes
 
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Chase Brady 2 months ago

As a resident of Cameron Pond I would like to ask you to reconsider the recommendation of moving our neighborhood to different schools. I would like to reiterate and expend on just three points made by my neighbors.

1) Middle School. There seem to be many areas assigned to MPMS school that should not be there. It is difficult to understand why neighborhoods all the way at Rt. 64/county line and 64/Jenks Rd area are assigned to MPMS when we can see the school from our neighborhood yet you propose for us to go somewhere else. Please see bus Rt. 12 from these areas to Mills Park. The first stop starts at 7:09am and gets to the school at 7:52 am. That is over a 40 minute ride to school. Again, makes no sense why students this far away would be assigned to Mills Park Middle.

2) Utilization (elementary school). If we look at utilization (one of the pillars) by moving Cameron Pond to Carpenter Elementary you are making the utilization of Carpenter go higher than Mills Park will be. You will be moving us from a crowded school to an over-crowded school. Mills Park enrollment is currently at an 8 year low and I presume Carpenter is at an all time high. According to your own figures in Draft 1 (including trailers): 2017-2018 utilization at Mills Park=120% and Carpenter=121% 2019-2020 utilization Mills Park=117% and Carpenter=125%.
2021-2022 your projection shows Mills Park at just 112% while Carpenter is still high at 124%.
So again, despite Mills Park having record low numbers this year and projections for decreasing numbers you are moving our small neighborhood to an overpopulated school that shows no sign of relief. Also, please look at Town plans that there are many homes slated to be built right down from Carpenter Elementary on both sides of Morrisville Carpenter Rd. that will also drive enrollment even higher there.

3) Panther Creek Greenway (both schools). As you are now aware, the Panther Creek Greenway will soon be built and will directly link Cameron Pond to the Mills Park Schools. In addition to Cameron Pond gifting land to the Town of Cary to be used for the greenway, many of us voted for this referendum years ago and many neighbors have also sacrificed parts of their yard in easements to ensure the success of this project. The Town of Cary had a vision to create these greenways that would connect neighborhoods to school so that children could actually safely walk and bike to school. As WCPSS mentions in the video about the 4 pillars, you take into account the "endless carpool lines" as a reason for moving or keeping children at a particular school. Obviously, once the greenway is complete the nightmare Mills Park carpool lane to both schools will significantly decrease.

Obviously you can not all come out and see our neighborhood so I would like to include a few photos taken by a neighbor so you can at least get a feel for Cameron Pond in relation to the Greenway and Mills Park As you can see from the one photo the path under 540 is actually already built. There is another great photo where you can a good portion of the greenway that is already built and how it leads from our neighborhood under the 540. By looking at the aerial photos hopefully you can get a feel for just how close we will be to Mills Park... less than a mile.

I would also like to point out that Cary Park and other 'proximate' neighborhoods on the south side of Green Level have to walk on busy roads just to get to the tunnel. Once across the Green Level tunnel they still have to walk up Mills Park Dr. which is packed with buses and cars going to and from the school which is why there are really no elementary students and parents making that trek to school. On the other hand, our kids will actually never have to get on ANY major road. They take the greenway in our neighborhood and follow it up to the other side of the 540 where they will then be at school. This will be a 100% safe passage for even the youngest of kids and easy for parents with babies to still be able to walk their elementary children to school. Middle school children will be able to get to school without a parent. This will free up not only the carpool lines at both school but it will also greatly decrease parking congestion caused at events like graduations, holiday learning experiences, carnival nights, meet the teacher, and science fairs. Families usually end up parking at both the middle school and elementary schools and often times the parking spills down along Mills Park Rd. almost to Green Level because the parking lots can not accommodate the number of families coming to these events.

We do not believe that the algorithm took into account the greenway when creating a map. We think 540 was seen as a natural barrier that prohibits our kids from walking to school and therefore cut our neighborhood our of Mills Park which it is not. Our kids currently can walk to school using the pedestrian bridge OVER the 540 (side note: we can get to Mills Park making three left turns and remaining on the same sidewalk for the entire walk while never crossing a street to get to school) and soon our kids will be able to have safe passage UNDER the 540 never getting near any street. Please take this information into consideration when creating Draft 2. Thank you for your time.

11 Votes
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FNU SHAILENDRA 2 months ago

I would like add to it . These points are valid and hope Staff and board will understand the the reality.

 1. HWY 540 is not used for school transportation 

I looked at assignment and realize there is misunderstanding or say gap reality vs visualization. Board/ Staff using HWY540 (Toll road with limited exits) as base of separation or boundary for school zones but in reality none of school bus or parents travel through HWY 540 for schools. I am attaching same school assignment map with Blue thick line which show actually roads that is used for transportation for schools. These 2 roads are Green Level Church Road and Hwy 55. In my opinion it would be wise to consider HWY 55 and Green Level Church road for school zone definition. It would reduce stress for parents, School Bus Drivers and Students all of them by avoiding and adding lots of traffic. 2. New Community coming on Morrisville Carpenter road which add 300 families Carpenter Elementary school is over crowded and New development is starting soon to add around 300 homes and one new construction is going on which is going to add more than lots condominiums on Morris vile carpenter road. It should be considered as from next years all new families will be getting enrolled in carpenter school. 3. Health is wealth/ Time is Money As so many people already mentioned and i think it has lot of value in it that Why county school board is forcing people to travel in car even though school is just right behind our community.

Attachments: Capture.PNG
7 Votes
 
 
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Krissy Campbell 2 months ago

Two days from now, you will vote on whether or not you support your own policy:

Wake County’s Student Wellness Policy Code 6140, states “The board is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness”, and in section E-10 “Supports active transportation to and from schools, including walking and biking”.

Please keep Cameron Pond at Mills Park Elementary and Middle School. We are a small community with a unique circumstance in the greenway. Please keep us connected.

11 Votes
 
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Lance Roy 2 months ago

As another resident of Cameron Pond, I write to join the opposition to the reassignment of our neighborhood from Mills Park ES to Carpenter ES. The numerous posts above clearly state the multitude of reasons to keep Cameron Pond assigned to Mills Park. The pillar of proximity is important because it directly impacts child safety and wellness, issues of paramount concern to the school board. Assigning Cameron Pond to Mills Park helps improve both safety and wellness. Safety is improved by allowing children to reach school without needing to cross Highway 55 twice daily to get to Carpenter ES. The greenway route extensively discussed allows access to school without crossing a single major road. Child wellness is obviously improved if students can walk to their school through increased daily exercise. The impact of childhood obesity on our community should not be overlooked. Eliminating the option to have children walk to school at Mill Park and instead ride a bus or car to Carpenter ES is counter to our shared goal of improved child health. I hope you will consider all of the feedback in this thread and keep Cameron Pond assigned to Mills Park schools.

10 Votes
 
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Michael Arndt 2 months ago

My understanding is that the greenway extension project connecting Cameron Pond to the Mills Park schools was not fully known when the first draft of school re-assignment was completed. I know it will take courage to make any changes to the existing draft proposals, but I do hope this can be given serious consideration now that the board understands the proximity and greenway path connecting Cameron Pond to Mills Park.

9 Votes
 
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Ginger Lowi 2 months ago

I live in the small neighborhood of Ashley Woods and am concerned about the feeder pattern proposed for my neighborhood. Taking our children from Mills Park Middle and reassigning them to Davis Drive Middle, then sending them to Green Level High, while most other students from Davis Drive will be sent to Green Hope or Athens Drive High will prove to be very disruptive. Stability at this age is very important and this proposed assignment does not provide it. My middle schooler will be leaving her friends to attend a new middle school. Any new friends made will most likely be headed to different high schools, leaving my child starting High School with very few established friends. Social Stability is an important factor in academic performance as well as overall well being. Moving a few students from our small established neighborhood does not make a big difference in decreasing the student population at Mills Park Middle.

2 Votes
 
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Ephraim Tsalik 2 months ago

I am a resident of Cary Park, the part that was reassigned in the last plan that affected this area. I first want to say that I understand the concerns raised by the Cameron Pond community and support their desire to stay at MPMS. Though the rest of my post will focus on my thoughts as it pertains to me and many of my neighbors in Cary Park.

As a longstanding Cary Park family with multiple children affected by the 2017-18 division to our neighborhood, we want to thank WCPSS and your staff for all the hard work you have invested in the current assignment plan. Through our interactions with you a couple years ago, I have a much better appreciation for the challenges and tough choices you face.

I and many of my neighbors in Cary Park are very happy with the current proposal pertaining to our neighborhood and MPMS. We applaud keeping K-8 alignment as a strong factor in your consideration, as this keeps families on the same calendar for both elementary and middle schools. In our case, this means families will remain aligned from elementary to Mills Park Middle.

It is also incredibly reassuring to know that our children, who already had to face changes recently, will not be facing another school change next year (in some cases, students might be in their fourth school in as many years). For our neighborhood, this is perfectly aligned with operational efficiency, proximity, stability for students, and it maintains our neighborhood’s integrity!

As you and your staff refine the 2019-20 assignment plan, we want to express our appreciation for the thought and care you’ve demonstrated regarding our neighborhood's assignment. We hope that no additional substantive changes are made going forward which might further divide Cary Park.

4 Votes
 
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Kamesh Munagala 2 months ago

I second Ephiram's post above. Thank you for keeping Cary Park with MPMS in the first draft, and I hope it stays that way in future drafts. For us, being assigned to Hortons Creek Elementary last year was somewhat disruptive, and I am glad that the school board decided not to cause us further disruption this year. Thanks once again!

5 Votes
 
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Jason Hillenbach 2 months ago

As a resident of Cary Park and a parent of three children (currently in 3rd, 5th and 7th grade), we welcome the stability of keeping our children on the same academic calendar in elementary and middle school. As part of the northern half of Cary Park that was split from the rest of the neighborhood just last year, the constancy of keeping Mills Park Middle as our base perfectly aligns with the school district's goal of promoting operational efficiency, proximity and stability for students. On top of that, it maintains our neighborhood’s integrity and ensures our elementary and middle school children will not be on two radically different calendars.

My family and I would like to thank you for the thought and care you’ve demonstrated regarding our neighborhood's assignment. We truly hope that no substantive changes are made in the next draft that will further divide Cary Park more than it is.

5 Votes
 
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Gloria Garver 2 months ago

I also would like to echo Ephraim's posting above. We are personally very aware of the stress that school assignment brings to each and every family affected. Further, this is a complex situation for school assignment given that this rapidly growing area looks vastly different than it did over 14 years ago before we even had school aged children! We want to stand in support of this assignment plan which keeps K-8 calendar alignment for our elementary and middle school students as a priority. This is very important within a family having multiple students who aren't yet old enough to drive themselves to school or school activities/meetings. Thank you WCPSS Board and Staff for proposing to keep Cary Park assigned to MPMS which is the same calendar as our elementary schools, and we sincerely hope that future drafts maintain this part of the plan.

4 Votes
 
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Qiao Xu 2 months ago

I want to thank WCPSS School Board and Staff to keep Cary Park at MPMS with the current proposal and hope that will not change in the subsequent proposals. Stability for our kids is much needed and appreciated after last year's changes.

4 Votes
 
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Ann Gooch about 1 month ago

I am a resident of the Ashley Woods subdivision in Cary (District 8) and my family is impacted by the proposed 2019-2020 proposed school assignment plan. According to Draft 2 of 2019-2020 Assignment Plan, elementary –age students in Ashley woods will be moved from Highcroft Drive Elementary base school to Green Hope Elementary base school; and middle-school-age students will be moved from Mills Park MS base school to Davis Drive MS base school. I have reviewed Draft 2 presentation and was disappointed to see no change and no reference to the concerns raised by Ashley Woods residents on the proposed assignment plan. I watched the Board meeting and appreciate that Ms. Mahaffey brought up our concerns related to the unique flip flop feed pattern (Green Hope ES > David Drive Middle > Green Level HS) that the small number of students in Ashley Woods students would be subjected to that separates them from their peers twice (next year) and again at the end of middle school. This is very disruptive to their social and educational development during a critical time. I have a middle school student and 3 elementary students that will all be adversely affected by this plan.

I also appreciate Dr. Martin’s comment regarding established neighborhoods having some sort of “seniority” when it comes to stability. We all know there is overcrowding and immense growth in western Wake County. Ashley Woods is a small, established neighborhood built in the late 1990s (yes, you read that right), representing a relatively small number of students (estimated 40 students K-8). Why does our neighborhood have to bear the burden of reassignment when we have been assigned to Highcroft ES and Mills Park Middle since they opened? Why does my family have to disrupt 4 young students when we have lived at the same address for 14 years? I know the Board is trying to remove caps from these schools, but caps on new students allow those of us who have been here all along to maintain our spot and allow new residents to attend the school only when there are open seats. I think caps place the burden appropriately on the families new to the base and appropriately give established residents seats at their schools.

Question 1: How does moving Ashley Woods students from Highcroft Drive (currently 123% capacity) to Green Hope Elementary (134% capacity with trl / 181% capacity with no trl) improve operational efficiency?

Question 2: Why is it acceptable to isolate students in Ashley Woods by moving them from Mills Park Middle to Davis Drive Middle for 1-3 years and then feed them back to Green Level High School? This is in direct conflict with the Stability pillar. A change like this seems like a temporary fix rather than a longer term solution.

Question 3: Has the Office of Student Assignment considered moving more students on the north end of the MPMS base area to Alston Ridge MS to relieve the overcrowding at MPMS?

Question 4: Has the Office of Student Assignment considered reassigning the undeveloped land west of Ashley Woods to a new base school and leaving Ashley Woods unchanged? This would be far less disruptive while still redirecting future growth to a more eastern base school.

I request Staff and Board Members to listen to our concerns and reconsider the reassignment of Ashley Woods students. Overall, I think any possible benefit to the operational efficiency does NOT outweigh the cost/risk to our kids’ stability by isolating them with this flip flop feeder pattern. Please revert our neighborhood base schools to Highcroft Drive ES and Mills Park MS in the next versions of the 2019-2020 Student Assignment Plan.

1 Vote
 
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Gloria Garver about 1 month ago

In Draft 2 - would again like to thank WCPSS Board and Staff for trying to keep the bigger picture in mind as well as listening to the details. Northern Cary Park is again happy in Draft 2 to be proposed to stay at MPMS as this keeps K-8 alignment, helps Stability for these students who were just reassigned less than 2 years ago, and does address Proximity and Operational Efficiency in that we are less than 0.5 miles from MPMS! Additionally, while not a pillar, this proposed plan does preserve our Neighborhood for at least our middle school assignment, which is something we very much appreciate. Thanks again, and please keep northern Cary Park assigned to MPMS for draft 3 and beyond!

1 Vote
 
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

We have answered some frequently asked questions. Please read and share feedback. https://wcpss.granicusideas.com/discussions/2019-20-student-enrollment-proposal/topics/draft-2-faq-2

1 Vote
 
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Brenda Nichols about 1 month ago

I am deeply disappointed that Draft 2 of the student assignment plan has not reverted the Cameron Pond neighborhood back to the current assignments of Mills Park Elementary and Middle schools for the portion of the neighborhood currently assigned there and of Alston Ridge Elementary for the portion of the neighborhood currently assigned there.  We have presented compelling data in support of our request to leave Cameron Pond assignment as is.  The PTA president at Mill Park Elementary, who does not live in our neighborhood, has appealed to the board as well, demonstrating the remarkable support that Cameron Pond families have on the Mills Park school community.  Our families will use the greenway to access the schools. Please do NOT compare the Cary Park students' use of their greenway to forecast what Cameron Pond students will do as these are independent.  We plead for your office to reconsider the plan and to leave Cameron Pond students at their current assigned schools. 

5 Votes
 
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just a citizen about 1 month ago

everyone is sympathetic to families and children that have to be moved but how much does western Wake County have to give up for Mills Park? Because the old board kowtowed to the parents and opened those schools as traditional in the highest growth area of the county, everyone else needs to suffer. Simply because of the need to relieve overcrowding at Mills Park, many many schools are getting reassigned. Yes, all those kids that are capped out of MPE and MPMS have to go somewhere, and that has led to capping (even if only temporarily) at other schools in western Wake. And still you want to have your cake and eat it too. Enough! And by the way we are on COUNTY schools here, not TOWN schools, so the presence of a TOWN BUILT greenway has ZERO AFFECT on what the WCPSS school board does. If you took the greenway as an assurance that you would always be at MP schools that is NOT the problem of WCPSS.

1 Vote
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Josh Whitham about 1 month ago

most of us that are affected by this proposed change, from the Cameron Pond neighborhood, had zero input into Mills Park's calendar status. Our children certainly had no say in that process. We are simply asking that our children be allowed to remain at the school that is literally in our backyard. We would like to be able to utilize the greenway that was proposed as a walkway from our neighborhood to the schools. And it's not as if we'll be relieving overcrowding with the proposed move, but rather worsening overcrowding at another school- Carpenter Elementary.

6 Votes
 
 
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Josh Whitham about 1 month ago

As a Cameron Pond homeowner, I'm extremely frustrated and disappointed in the 2nd draft, which still has the Cameron Pond subdivision being relocated from the Mills Park schools. We are being relocated to a more overcrowded school much farther away, on a different calendar option than we're currently on (unless we choose our traditional option even farther away), requiring us to traverse a highly congested section of Highway 55 and putting our children's lives at unnecessary risk twice every day, and eliminating the possibility of our children ever walking or riding their bikes to school on our beautiful new greenway. Never mind the effects on the academic or emotional well being of our children, who will be forced to say goodbye to their friends and hopefully make a few new ones. It sounds like an excellent deal for our neighborhood. I can't imaging why any of us are complaining.

4 Votes
 
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Kiersten Williams about 1 month ago

I am still hopeful that the decision to move Cameron Pond from Mills Park will be corrected in the next draft to #KEEPUSWHEREWEARE. My primary concern is transportation. Obviously, with a greenway connecting our neighborhood directly to the Mills Park schools, our children will have a safe and healthy way to get to school. With the new traffic pattern in place with the road closure of Carpenter Fire Station at 55 going towards Carpenter Elementary, traffic gets very backed up at that intersection. Since this road closure (which will be closed for at least four years), I've seen the aftermath of several accidents that have occurred with cars turning right onto 55 from Carpenter Fire Station. I've also seen accidents turning left off of 55 onto Morrisville Parkway or Morrisville Carpenter Road. The left turn lanes already cannot accommodate all of the traffic trying to turn left at the busy times of day that our children would be going to school. There will be no safe route for our children to walk/bike to either Carpenter Elementary or Alston Ridge Middle. Additionally, according to the figures I've seen, we are being moved from one overcrowded elementary school to another. This does not seem like an effective long-term solution. It seems to make far more sense to allow students to have some consistency with their education and zone future developments for other, less crowded schools.

I have children in sixth and eighth grades. My eighth grader attends Mills Park Middle and is thriving. My sixth grader is homeschooled, and was planning to attend Mills Park as a seventh grader. With the potential change in schools, he has expressed his desire to keep homeschooling. Mills Park is familiar and safe to him, and the potential change has caused him great anxiety. As a parent, it's incredibly hard to watch kids go through this sort of struggle.

Thank you for considering the concerns of our community!

4 Votes
 
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Jason Steiner about 1 month ago

As a resident of Cameron Pond, I'd like to keep our children where they are #KEEPTHEMWHERETHEYARE. I can see Mills Park from my back door. At worst, our children should be going to the closest middle school, not West Cary. I'm happy to have a choice of MPMS or Alston Ridge for middle school, but, I can't see how West Cary and the distance to that school makes sense for us in Cameron Pond. WCPSS - please reconsider keeping children in Cameron Pond at the closest schools to us - Mills Park first then Alston Ridge second or for the year round option.

4 Votes
 
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Jane Bossert about 1 month ago

As a long time resident of the Cameron Pond community, I support the comments of my many neighbors who have presented a very clear and compelling case for keeping our neighborhood assignment as it is at MPES and MPMS. We will have waited over 12 years for our community to be connected to the greenway and schools. Now that that vision is becoming a reality, the board recommends a reassignment. While I understand the need to manage the growth of development and student population in our area, it makes no sense to move an established neighborhood so close to the currently assigned schools.

Our students DO walk home and WILL utilize this new greenway. I am 100% confident of that. When my children were at MPES, we had Walk-to-school Wednesdays. The turn out was incredible and students loved walking with their friends, the morning exercise and arrived at school ready to focus. I imagine many more terrific and healthy community-building activities once the greenway is complete. With schools further away, this will not be possible.

In addition to the greenway, I oppose the reassignment due to the additional distance to be traveled, the traffic and safety concerns, as well as the movement of a base school assignment from traditional to year-round calendar which is especially disruptive to families.

KEEPTHEMWHERETHEYARE

5 Votes
 
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Andrea Jung about 1 month ago

I am a Cameron Pond Resident and was extremely disappointed when draft 2 was left unchanged. Although I understand the difficult job the board has, this change is incredibly disruptive for young children. I completely concur with all comments already made by my neighbors. Sending this neighborhood across 55 while widening and additional construction projects will create safety issues for buses. Cameron Pond is a fully established neighborhood who has patiently waited for the greenway to be completed only to be placed at a school where no walking options exist at all. Please for the sake of the children, please leave Cameron Pond in the MillsPark Schools, both Elementary and Middle School. #keepthemwheretheyare.

4 Votes
 
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Jeanne Stockman about 1 month ago

I urge you to reconsider the decision to move Cameron Pond from MPE and MPM to the year-round schools of Carpenter Elem and Alston Ridge Middle. Please keep us where we are. This proposed reassignment does not make sense for several reasons:

  1. The taxpayer-funded greenway that will connect Cameron Pond to MPE and MPM. That greenway is a game-changer, bringing those schools even closer to us since the greenway is a literal shortcut through undeveloped land to those schools with no road to be crossed. Why render that use of taxpayer resources virtually useless by creating a road to nowhere?

  2. The substantial disruption to the children that have attended these schools for the past 10 years. My oldest is in 9th grade at PCHS, I have twins in 6th grade at MPM. I've lived in my house for 11 years and my children have attended MPE and/or MPM for the past 10 years. My children have built connections to their friends in Cary Park, Greystone, Southbridge, and elsewhere over the past decade. This is our community, on the western side of 55. This is where we grocery shop, where we go to the gym, where we worship, where we go out for ice cream and where kids can ride bikes to meet up with friends. Much of that base is continuing at MPE and MPM, while this small subset of kids in Cameron Pond is being shuttled across 55 to entirely different schools where they have no connections and know no one. That is harmful and avoidable. There are plenty of new and newer neighborhoods with little to no vested interest in a particular school that lack the longstanding positive connection Cameron Pond has to MPE and MPM. Keep Cameron Pond part of its existing community. Newer neighborhoods should go to newer schools.

  3. The lack of roads to cross 55, increasing traffic and risk of accidents. Carpenter Fire Station road no longer crosses 55 as of summer 2017. The eastern portion of Carpenter Fire Station is slated for construction in coming years. Morrisville Parkway does not cross 540. There are precious few ways to cross from the western side of 55 to the eastern side. Traffic backs up dangerously on 55 at the Morrisville Carpenter and Morrisville Parkway intersections because the turn lanes cannot accommodate all the traffic. This creates a safety issue that can be avoided by keeping Cameron Pond at its community schools on the western side of 55.

  4. West Cary Middle is not a reasonable traditional school option for Cameron Pond. West Cary Middle is too far away and too disconnected from our community to be a reasonable traditional calendar option. My middle schoolers know no one there. I can't reasonably disrupt their lives by sending them to a lower-performing school where they know no one for 7th and 8th grade, and where very few of those West Cary students would be continuing on to Panther Creek High. That would hurt them not only for 7th and 8th grade, but for high school as well as they would miss the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with students they are reasonably likely to be in school with going forward. MPM should be the traditional calendar option for Alston Ridge Middle. In addition, the grandfathering policy should be extended to existing 6th graders so they can finish out their time at MPM and not have to go to 4 different schools in 5 years. Make MPM the traditional calendar option instead of West Cary.

  5. Year-round calendars are more disruptive with older children and take away limited, valuable family time. Since at this point there is no reasonable traditional calendar option, I'm faced with the prospect of having to send my 2 middle schoolers to a year-round school. I have a high-schooler on a traditional calendar, and am painfully aware we have very limited time together as a family before she leaves for college. Now, 2 of those 3 years I'll have children on different calendars with no real summer for us all to be together. East Cary Middle was under-enrolled as a year-round school for good reason, at the middle-school level it is too disruptive to most families to be year-round. The grandfathering rules should be expanded so students with older siblings on a traditional calendar can finish out their time at MPM.

  6. There are plenty of new residents moving to the area to fill new schools. Existing neighborhoods should stay at existing schools. Given the astronomical growth in this area, there will not be an issue filling new schools. New entrants do not have the same investment in existing schools that long-time residents do, and it causes harm to kids to be moved when they have been together in school for 7+ years. Please avoid causing this needless harm. There are alternatives that would accomplish the goal of filling the new schools while avoiding harm and disruption to the kids of Cameron Pond.

  7. When you look at the large base area for MPM, it makes no sense to send Cameron Pond elsewhere. The base area of MPM extends from O'Kelly Chapel Rd to Route 64. Given the proximity of Cameron Pond to MPM, I fail to understand how other areas that are really far away from this core community are still included in MPM's base yet Cameron Pond is not. Reassigning areas near 64 to the newly opened Apex Friendship Middle, or areas near O'Kelly Chapel to Alston Ridge Middle, would make more sense. The greenway adds to this point, as no other neighborhood would have the direct, don't-have-to-cross-a-road-connection to MPM, yet Cameron Pond is being singled out as having to change from this safe, community-enhancing option and move to the other side of 55. If you haven't seen the greenway site and this area, please come visit our neighborhood so you can see why the current proposal doesn't make sense.

  8. Assigning Cameron Pond makes Carpenter Elem more crowded than ever and does not improve over-crowding. Carpenter is an over-crowded school. In an effort to alleviate over-crowding, it makes no sense to move kids from one over-crowded school to another, especially when Carpenter Elem is even more over-crowded than MPE. Please reconsider.

I agree with the comments of my neighbors on this draft and in response to Draft 1. I know you have a tough job, but the decisions regarding Cameron Pond don't make sense when you consider the facts we are all raising. Keeping us where we are will better serve your goals and objectives than will moving us, and doing so will avoid needless harm and disruption to our children. #KEEPUSWHEREWEARE

4 Votes
 
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Aaron Franklin about 1 month ago

In my response to Draft 1, I mentioned the difficulties my family has experienced in our 4-year journey through WCPSS schools. Rather than repeating that history, I'll present a new request.

There have already been many compelling points made for keeping the Cameron Pond neighborhood in the Mills Park schools. Allow me to offer one more: COMMON SENSE. I know, I know; what room does such a rare artifact have on the political stage? Unfortunately, typically it has none. It turns out that even local politics are charged with sufficient bureaucracy so as to minimize common sense. Note that the definition of bureaucratic is "overly concerned with procedure at the expense of efficiency or common sense."

So, my request is this: Buck the trend. Don't be blinded by limited projections or ill-fitting comparisons. See us -- the people. Hear what we are saying -- the perspectives are many and varied, yet the message is consistent. Make room for common sense in your considerations. Take more than a passing look at the map showing the greenway connecting Cameron Pond to the Mills Park schools. For a moment, forget that you are involved in this process. Forget that you are looking at a map of a neighborhood in Cary or a school that you have any jurisdiction for. Now pretend someone tells you a story about this neighborhood in the picture and how it was stripped from attending that school just a walkway away. When you hear this, you should say exactly what anyone would, "Wait, that doesn't make any sense!" And you'd be right, as it lacks all common sense. Don't let your political conquests and experience consume that wonderfully simple gift of common sense.

There's no question that you are good people; the folks drafting these boundaries, the school board members, the city council and mayor -- all seem to be terrific, stand-up people. But even the best of people can become consumed by the fog of bureaucracy, which leads to a tendency to forget about the citizens, their lives, their patience, their sacrifices, and their neighborhood's walking path that connects them to two schools at a distance of just over two laps around a track. Common sense . . . that's all I'm asking for.

keepuswhereweare

cpforcommonsense

3 Votes
 
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Rahul Nath about 1 month ago

keepuswhereweare

I am a member of the Cameron Pond Community. I am extremely disheartened and disappointed on the proposal to re-zone our community for a host of reasons, which I am underlying below. I plead to the Wake County Board to reconsider the draft proposal as it adversely impacts our children’s lives 1) Wake County and West Cary in particular, has seen tremendous growth over the last few years. The seeds of this growth have been sown by neighborhoods like Cameron Pond. As part of moving to a neighborhood, a critical decision factor for families is the quality of schools for that area. It is with this assessment that Cameron Pond is part of the Mills Park Schools, the community started growing from the mid-2000s. Over time, as the community established itself, we have built an ever-growing bond with the school and its families. The community invests and contributes actively in the growth and wellbeing of the school. Taking us away from this school system, does nothing but breaks the bond we have established over time 2) The Mills Park based on the mandate is a joint effort between the Wake County Public School System and the Town of Cary. The park is intended to serve residents in its close proximity with the recreational and healthy lifestyle needs along with the highly ranked elementary and middle schools within the park perimeter. Cameron Pond, after the completion of the greenway has a direct walk-way to the park and the schools. In keeping with the growing focus on healthy lifestyles for our kids and families, we are one of the few communities in the area where kids can just walk their way to the schools, once the greenway is completed. The Walk to School idea is actively promoted by the state. The proportion of kids walking and using bikes is significantly low. Our community is ideally located to promote this culture. It just does not make sense to disconnect us from the school system when we have a closer connectivity in general to the park premises 3) The new base school, Carpenter Elementary will lead to traffic congestion for our community. First of all, Mills Park is much closer than Carpenter Elementary. Additionally, we are on the other side of a busy highway 55 and during rush hour, the drive to the school would by far be more than the drive to Mills Park, not to mention that the safety concerns are heightened. It will also crush the very idea of promoting the Walk to School idea being promoted across the state. The reassignment on the other side of 55 just does not make sense. 4) Its an investment when we move to a community. Investment in its long-term potential, home values, quality of schools. Established neighborhoods like Cameron Pond should not have to suffer for growth and new neighborhoods being built. This community itself is one of the harbingers of the success that West Cary has witnessed over the last few years. It is unfair and unjust for us to have been attempted to be moved a number of times, considering its proximity to the schools themselves. It bears no common understanding of reasons behind the attempt 5) Reassigning our neighborhood will negatively impact us in a variety of ways a. Kids of this neighborhood who are currently enrolled in Mills Park, will now have to make hard choices between the base school, magnet school or private school. Their friendships will be broken, their bond with their teachers will be broken, their connection to the park community will broken b. We can assume the value proposition of the community also will be negatively impacted. There is no doubt that Mills Park Schools are amongst the best in the state. With no disrespect to other schools, we do not wish to be taken away from MP schools having vested so much over the last decade in its growth.

3 Votes
 
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Suzanne Perkinson about 1 month ago

I am writing to support my opposition to the proposed reassignment of Cameron Pond students away from Mills Park schools.

With the proposed reassignment of Cameron Pond children out of Mills Park Schools, families, neighborhoods, communities, and schools will be damaged.

This proposal is clearly counter to each of the four defined pillars. Cameron Pond students' proximity to the MP schools is obvious; and clearly, logistical efficiencies have numerous benefits - health, traffic, time - our children can soon walk to school via the Green-way. Even if not, traffic is controlled, efficient, and safe. Stability - there's no question that keeping children in the same schools they've been in for years has significant benefits, both at the individual student level as well as the larger community level. Consistency - parent volunteerism, and continuity for the students within a school they are accustomed to and thrive at, all bear significant and meaningful contributions towards this pillar. Lastly - operational efficiency - elementary students would be moved to a school that is already overcrowded - not to mention that the beneficial logistical considerations obviously impact this operational pillar as well.

The time that parents from our neighborhood have invested in our schools over the past many years - since the neighborhood was established - is immeasurable. Parents won't be able to sustain that level of volunteerism should you make this change, given the effects of both distance, and families juggling multiple student schedules. Sending our families elsewhere, while simultaneously saving seats for neighborhoods not even yet built, will have a negative effect on each school, and student, involved.

Maintain our stability and consistency. It's why people choose to live in Cary, and is what your - and our - pillars are based upon. Moving forward with decisions such as these undermines both.

County-wide, current and future residents will pay much closer attention to elections as decisions that can erode our neighborhoods, families, and schools continue. All residents - current and prospective - have no choice but to look at the pattern and history of decision-making being made that affect their children.

Please consider what you would want for your children. We expect for ours what the pillars define - but they must be represented in actions.

5 Votes
 
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Nedal Safwat about 1 month ago

Safety was raised by one of the members in discussion of the draft proposal. Re-assignment of Cameron Pond to Carpenter Elementary goes against the concern for safety of students. Residents of Cameron Pond is being switched from using small side roads to access Mills Park Elementary, to a school that requires crossing Highway 55. In addition, it also requires crossing railroad tracks, which is a significant consideration. Today, Cameron Ponds kids have a Walk To School Day where they walk to Mills Park Elementary and Middle to demonstrate that they can walk. If there is a change, there will be no option for kids to walk. Keep the safety we have, keep the community we have, and keep the proximity we have. I have faith that Wake County Public School System will go by the principals they preach in the pillars.

5 Votes
 
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David Lee about 1 month ago

If proximity is a pillar, I don't understand why students who live in Amberly, which is closer to Alston Ridge Middle than Cameron Pond, are assigned to Mills Park Middle. Additionally, my daughter is a 6th grader at Mills Park. The proposed assignment would have her switch to a YR calendar for two years before switching back to Trad in High School. To avoid the calendar change, we would end up over 7 miles away at West Cary Middle, rather than Mills Park which is only 1 mile away. My two kids have gone to SEVEN DIFFERENT Wake County schools in the twelve years we've lived at the same address. We have spirit wear from SEVEN DIFFERENT schools! Enough is enough. I've lived at the same address for over 12 years. My daughter should be grandfathered in at Mills Park over kids who are just moving in to neighborhoods much further away.

Attachments: CP2.pdf
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Brenda Nichols about 1 month ago

David,

If you haven't, please also post this in the more recent thread "Topic: Draft 2 Feedback about Proposed Reassignments from Mills Park Elementary and Middle". I 100% agree with you. Ridgefiled Famrs that is a new Neighborhoo North of McCrimmon Pkwy is another new community that could be assigned to Alston Ridge Middle over Cameron Pond. And Crestmont and Greenmoor new neighborhoods as well as others south of Green Level West rd could be assigned to either Lufkin Rd Middle or Apex Friendship middle rather than Mills Park Middle. There are SO MANY other options that make more sense than moving Cameron Pond which is in walking distance to Mills Park Schools.

3 Votes
 
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

This public forum is for parents affected by proposed assignments related to Alston Ridge Middle School and Parkside Elementary School. This includes proposed assignment changes for the Cameron Pond neighborhood, as well as the proposal to open both the new schools on a multi-track year-round calendar. Sign up to speak now - https://goo.gl/forms/15FRWFGV7gAYu0AB3 - or you may sign up in person prior to the meeting. Each speaker will have up to three minutes to share feedback with board members and staff. We will address questions in a follow-up FAQ that will be posted online within a week.

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Kelly Krist about 1 month ago

I just received an email from MPMS about how Wake County is partnering with the Carolina Hurricanes to bring Power Play to all the middle schools. This partnership supports a community wide healthful living campaign around daily physical activity outside of school. Given that Wake County wants to promote an active lifestyle for students I would think the board would keep Cameron Pond assigned to both Mills Park Middle and Elementary since we will have a greenway in less than a year connecting our community to both these schools. This greenway would allow our students to walk or bike to school on a daily basis. That itself is an example of leading an active and healthy lifestyle.

3 Votes
 
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Chase Brady about 1 month ago

STUDENT ASSIGNMENT: “How many walkers are there currently at Mills Park Elementary and Middle? According to the principals, there are about 15 regular walkers and bikers at the middle school. There are no students officially listed as walkers/bikers at elementary, though there are a few most days.” Student assignment

When we asked Mills Park schools they told us that they don’t keep numbers of walkers since we are a non walking school so they have no idea how many people are walking. Greystone is a neighborhood that is connected to Mills Park by gasp an enclosed greenway that doesn't cross any streets just as ours will be. They have so many walkers that a crossing guard is now needed. Please stop making up your own 'facts' to try and force the school board to make bad decisions based on student assignments misinformation and agenda. We have video that was taken last week of the so called 15 walkers...guess we lost 2 walkers since you all last told the board about the 'fresh information from mills park was 17 walkers'. Our neighborhood alone has more than 15 walkers at least once a week! One video we have (I am unable to attach it) is a quick version with someone driving down Green Level Church that shows about 70 walkers and we also have a longer version of this video taken while sitting at the police station where you can count about 200 kids in the coarse of 20 minutes - please let us know if you would like us to send it to you so you can update your FAQ's.

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Chase Brady about 1 month ago

STUDENT ASSIGNMENT: Why can’t you move developments that aren’t built yet out of Mills Park Middle instead of moving existing students? This is something we are considering for Draft 3. But please remember that doing so does nothing to relieve current crowding at either Mills Park Elementary or Middle. Both schools have enrollment caps that are keeping hundreds of students in the base attendance area from attending. Looking at the Mills Park Elementary base attendance map, student assignment staff recommends reassigning the portion of the base attendance area that is on the other side of 540, which includes the Cameron Pond neighborhood. We use major roadways as boundaries when possible.

This is great news that you use major roads as boundaries to reassign because the 540 actually goes under our roads and we don't have to cross 540 - the major road we have as a barrier is 55. Did you know that our kids can currently walk on the same sidewalk from our neighborhood ALL THE WAY to Mills Park without ever crossing a road? By your rational, the neighborhood Holland Farms to the south of Morrisville Parkway should be moved from MPE base as they actually cross two major, 4 lane roads - Morrisville Parkway and Green Level Church - to get to school. Their neighbors also already go to White Oak (Traditional alignment) so that seems like a neighborhood that should not be in the MPE base area. For the middle school you can take your pick of major roads that are barriers ... Morrisville Parkway, Green Level West, Jenks Rd.? Since 540 is not a barrier for us and you use major roadways as barriers when possible, we would request that you reexamine those neighborhoods that meet that assignment criteria and move them from the Mills Park base.

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Nipuna Senaviratna about 1 month ago

From what I see these proposals are targeted to reduce the stability and push parents to move their children out of traditional/neighborhood schools to private or charter schools which are either close by or at least a stable option.

WCPSS kept on changing school assignments last few years, • have you ever done a research/survey to find out how many remain in newly assigned public schools after reassignments? • How many moved to private/charter or magnet? • Have you done a research/survey to find out on how many remains is public schools when the change is from a better performing school to less performing school? • Or what happens when you push the kids to a further away school? I searched on WCPSS site but couldn’t find any this topic, may be because it’s easier for public schools when people move to private or other option.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Parents, the Board of Education this afternoon will review and discuss possible alternatives to Draft 2 of the 2019-20 Student Enrollment Proposal. You can watch the Board Work Session live starting at 3:30 p.m. It will be archived here for later viewing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GpABK3JnUc

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Amy Licata, Dr. 23 days ago

My husband and I have lived in the small Ashley Woods subdivision since 2000 and proudly continue to support our consistently zoned neighborhood schools, Highcroft Drive Elementary (HDE) and Mills Park Middle School (MPMS). Specifically, my two children (currently grade 3 - HDE and grade 6 - MPMS) began attending HDE in K. Like many of my Ashley Woods neighbors, my family has played a pivotal, positive role in HDE and MPMS since their inception. I have personally donated thousands of dollars to these schools and volunteered hundreds of hours through serving as a Room Parent for six different HDE teachers, as well as the HDE PTA. This year, I was once again chosen to be a Room Parent for HDE and will assume a new role as a Team Mom at MPMS.

The Ashley Woods parents have served as a strong, STABLE backbone to HDE and MPMS. If overcrowding is an issue, those students who are in new neighborhoods zoned to HDE and MPMS should be reassigned. While these new neighborhoods may be a closer proximity, they do not have the loyalty, history, STABILITY, or relationship to HDE and MPMS like Ashley Woods, nor have these neighborhoods devoted their intellectual, emotional, and financial efforts over the numerous years. Please consider letting these new neighborhoods the opportunity to make their marks on other schools.

To have the Ashley Woods children be uprooted from HDE and MPMS is illogical and a travesty.

I look forward to reading Draft 3 and the FINAL PLAN, where the Ashley Woods subdivision is appropriately assigned to our original long-standing neighborhood schools of HIGHCROFT DRIVE ELEMENTARY and MILLS PARK MIDDLE SCHOOL.

Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness and compassion for this situation.

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