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To keep up with projected growth in some parts of the county and prevent the overcrowding of schools, we’re opening three new schools:

Other parts of the proposal are aimed at relieving some overcrowded schools, increasing the base attendance areas at under-utilized schools, and improving transportation efficiency. 

Some students affected by this proposal will be able to submit a stability transfer and remain at their current school. Review the stability rules.

Enter your address to see if you're proposed to have a new school assignment in 2022-23.

Find the thread below that applies to you and share any questions and feedback. Staff and board members review questions and feedback as they prepare for the second draft of the proposal, which is scheduled to be presented to the board on Nov. 16. View timeline.

Under this proposal, some students currently assigned to Abbotts Creek Elementary School would be assigned to Durant Road Elementary School.  See if you are proposed to be affected

Some students affected by this proposal would be eligible to stay at their current school under our stability rules

Please share your feedback about this proposal below.

98 Responses

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Krista Potts about 1 month ago

I have two children who attend Abbotts Creek Elementary School (ACES). A kindergartener and 2nd grader. We are just now seeing some normalcy back in our lives which may be stripped from us if WCPSS makes a rash decision based on this proposal.

It makes absolutely no sense how these divisions are carving up neighborhoods and stripping the little bit of normalcy from our kid's routines/lives by going to a school continuously. Why is WCPSS even considering uprooting students who are already enrolled at Abbotts Creek ES if the proposed plan is not solving capacity issues? Operational Efficiency? - This proposal does not significantly decrease Abbotts Creek’s capacity issues. - Abbotts Creek ES will still be over 20% capacity, which is where is it currently operating at. - The proposal doesn’t decrease capacity by even 15%!

When it comes to proximity both Durant Road ES and Abbotts Creek ES are close to my home but the district is literally splitting up our neighborhood, Falls River, yet again for K-12 with this proposal. Please explain to me why are district decisions tearing communities apart? The district still plans to bus kids from other parts of the county to Abbotts Creek ES, yet they will not change those students to Durant Road ES. WHY?

Fiscally and logically, it makes no sense to bus kids from further away opposed to keeping students that are already assigned and in the same neighborhood in a consistent learning environment. How do I explain to my kids and our community that this decision is in our best interest?... Because it’s NOT.

Also when it comes to stability. My 2nd grader has an IEP. He/she started at ACES in pre-k 4 years ago. He/she loves his/her school, teachers and friends. He/she was so excited to move up to the 2nd floor this year (ACES families know this is a BIG deal for students). My 2nd grader likes school even though he/she struggles. He/she is a bright, smart and hardworking student who has finally gotten accustomed to the IEP team and learning environment. This district decision will rip that stability away. It will also mean our family will have to rely on the unreliable bus transportation since the extra .5 miles will change our current transportation option (walking/biking).

My family is a part of the ACES community and transitioning/changing my kids’ school unnecessarily does not seem acceptable. Clearly this proposed decision is purely based on numbers, since WCPSS has missed the mark on every single pillar that was mentioned at the start of the board meeting.

20 Votes
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Corallie Tornow admin about 1 month ago

Krista, staff made this recommendation to provide relief to a capped school. The decision to propose a reassignment to Durant Rd was because it is the most proximate to your address and has available seats.

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Krista Potts about 1 month ago

Corallie, please be more specific on your response. Who is staff? Are you referring to the Wake BOE staff members?

Also your response is very generic and basically confirms our assessment as parents. The 'staff' is simply trying to make numbers look good on paper vs actually addressing the real issues at hand. Yet again putting student achievement on the back burner.

Why is splitting up Falls River part of the proposed area? What is the real justification? Proximity is not the answer. Simply look on Google Maps. There are other neighborhoods that are the same distance if not closer to Durant Road ES than my physical address. Those neighborhoods do not have an easy walking solution to Abbotts Creek either. Also Wakefield ES is under capacity and neighborhoods that go to Abbotts Creek are not being reassigned to Wakefield ES? Yet Wakefield ES is closer to their home.

Is the board looking at long term vs short term solutions? Is the decision taking into account long term affects that covid will have on the area? It seems like this is just the start to rezoning every 2-3 years and no actual research was done by said staff.

Has the operational efficiency of Abbotts Creek ES been assessed? Why are the student achievement and stability pillars not taken into account with this proposed "solution"?

10 Votes
 
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Corallie Tornow admin about 1 month ago

Krista - We are providing some relief to a capped school. It is the job of the Office of Student Assignment, in conjunction with multiple departments, to develop a draft enrollment plan to propose to the Board of Education.

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Krista Potts about 1 month ago

Corallie,

I’m not sure why the draft proposals is even put out without data backing it.

I’m aware that the Office of Student Assignment presented their findings but from a public standpoint it appears that the board of education has not taken a hard look at the statistical data on how this proposal will truly address the capacity problems that they are trying to alleviate.

Addressing “some” capacity versus trying to find a long term solution doesn’t sit well with most of those who are impacted (note: I would not consider this area a high growth area).

Eliminating a minor amount of the capacity cannot not optimally improve operational efficiency. I don’t see a cost benefit within the draft either. I personally see a negative impact on student achievement and stability with very little improvement in operational efficiency.

Transparency on the vision should be clear. The board should not continuously rezone areas that have limited growth. Our neighborhood and existing students should not be impacted due to the board’s continuous lack of long term planning.

5 Votes
 
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Krista Potts about 1 month ago

Corallie,

Please provide an email of the POC that was mentioned in last night's Virtual Information Session regarding capped/underutilized schools. Many families are frustrated with how Staff diverted and did not address questions that were being asked. It doesn't help that all of this is hidden due to the virtual platform.

I'm speaking on behalf of our community, when I say we want our questions answered, we want transparency and a long term solution. We do not want to be reassigned every 2-3 years due to poor planning like the proposed draft. Please allow us a platform where we can ask questions and receive answers.

Regards,

Krista Potts

5 Votes
 
 
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Corallie Tornow admin about 1 month ago

Krista, As mentioned last night, if you have individual questions or want to talk to student assignment staff, here is how you can contact them: 1. Online form > https://www.wcpss.net/Page/33801 2. Email > Sandra Chapman – schapman2@wcps.net (Abbotts Creek Elementary) Dawn Baker – dbaker2@wcpss.net (Mills Park Elementary and Middle) April Hill – ahill1@wcpss.net (Timber Drive) Calvin Hooker – chooker@wcpss.net (all other schools)

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Jennifer Matthews 25 days ago

How come Sandra Chapman does not respond to my emails regarding questions to this proposed reassignment?

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Richard Potts about 1 month ago

I am writing to firmly express my deep concerns over this proposal. It makes absolutely no sense how these divisions are carving up neighborhoods and stripping the little bit of normalcy from our kid's routines/lives by going to a school continuously. Our 2nd grader has multiple IEPs and has finally gotten accustomed to his IEP team and learning environment. Our Kindergartener was and still is excited every day to finally attend ACES as her brother has since he was in Pre-K. We are happy to be a part of the Abbotts Creek Elementary School community and transitioning/changing our kids school unnecessarily is not an acceptable option and does NOT solve the problem(s) you are trying to resolve.

This proposal makes no sense fiscally & logically as it is NOT solving any problems as stated in the Board Meeting. We walk & ride bikes to ACES daily since it is feasible, environmentally friendly, healthy, and fun... Moving our family and others removes this option for us as a family for safety concerns, distance, and time. Bussing kids from further away opposed to keeping students that are already assigned and in the same neighborhood in a consistent learning environment is truly thinking of the kids FIRST.

Please OPPOSE this terrible proposal and think about the kids who are finally getting some normalcy in their lives… We greatly appreciate your understanding on this matter and how this can severely impact not only our family, but the families and friends that live so closely together in the same exact neighborhood. Please let me know what we have to do to further express our concerns over this matter and who else I need to reach out to.

17 Votes
 
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Bay Scroggins about 1 month ago

I am a parent of a student at Abbotts Creek Elementary School. 

This week, I learned my children will be drastically impacted by the proposed reassignment plan. As a parent, I plead with you to reject the proposal to re-assign a very small and arbitrary portion of the Falls River neighborhood from Abbotts Creek Elementary to Durant Road Elementary.  

My son is currently a first grader at Abbotts Creek and my daughter is a rising kindergartener. I realize the board is faced with making decisions for the best interest of the district as a whole: however, I strongly feel that reassigning students now after such a tumultuous two years, will be extremely detrimental to the mental and emotional health of our children. Now is simply not the time.

All of our children have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this major interruption will affect, not only their education, but also their emotional well-being. At some point, all the changes are simply too much. Familiar teachers and classes have become a refuge amid the chaos and fear of the pandemic. They've learned their schools are a place of stability in an uncertain world. Taking that away - showing these very young children that one of the very few constants, on which they've come to depend, is gone - risks serious emotional consequences and a negative impact on their attitude toward school for the long term. 

I don't feel the massive number of changes students have endured is being taken into account at this point.  When is it time to say maybe we should hold off or look at this again? Despite what was said in the presentation on Tuesday, the Falls River neighborhood is extremely tight-knit. Clearly that comment (and this plan) was made by someone who has no knowledge, whatsoever, of our neighborhood or its dynamics. The kids go to the same parks, the same pool, the same activities nearby. I'm not sure what obscure method staff used to divide our close-knit neighborhood and exclude a small, bizarrely shaped section from our neighborhood school. It was hurtful and offensive to hear in the presentation that, "We were able to find a geographic boundary where you can separate portions of the neighborhoods."  Finding that boundary may count as a victory for the district, on paper, but it certainly comes at a huge cost to our children and our neighborhood. This hodge-podge of boundary lines cuts right through our neighborhood. We are part of the Falls River neighborhood and the Falls River neighborhood is being split up arbitrarily with no regard to the cohesiveness of the community. I'd encourage you to pass through the neighborhood and take a close look at what the district would take away from these children and see the absurdity of these arbitrary divisions.

You might say even the smallest change would provide relief to Abbotts Creek overcrowding, but it won't make a meaningful difference. The school will still be at capacity and beyond. If you want the current proposal to go forward and to avoid such disruption to the community and damage to our students, it would be wise to strongly consider adding the current students and their siblings to the exceptions provided by the stability rules and letting them cycle through the school.  If the school is capped, then new students will be going elsewhere anyway (which their families would realize when they moved in - not the case for those of us who moved here before the school was capped and have been told we would be able to remain at Abbotts Creek).

Our current location allows us an easy walk to school. This is of utmost importance.  Walks are a time for families to bond, students to bond with friends and make connections. What is the point of making a school a "community school," as was emphasized at the meeting, if the children who can walk to school are told they can't attend the school, yet children who are much farther away will be bused to Abbotts Creek and most likely drive right by a school that is not full? Although Durant Road Elementary may appear to be a comparable distance, there is no access through our neighborhood trails and would require a walk across busy Durant Road at rush hour, which I am not comfortable with as an adult, and would certainly not allow for elementary school students, in any capacity. 

As many parents do, when selecting a neighborhood, I reviewed the schools around my community.  Abbotts Creek was my children's base school - our "neighborhood school."  I selected my location to live based on where my children would attend school. Considering the school is immediately next to our neighborhood and the community is connected via one major thoroughfare, it seemed it would not be impacted by a reassignment - certainly not one that would literally divide our close-knit neighborhood.

My son was enrolled in Abbotts Creek before the cap was implemented at the school. That provided my daughter automatic enrollment.  According to the map of the proposed changes, my children will be included in the reassignment plan's new line by simply a few houses. For this to happen with my son already enrolled in the school I was told both children would attend through fifth grade is beyond disappointing. I can only imagine, I am not alone with my concern.  With the new plan, my son will either be forced into a school that is year-round (a schedule that is not going to work for our family) or travel much farther away than Abbotts Creek to be part of a traditional school calendar. The traditional school option is what I foresee as a minimum of a 40-minute bus ride based on the map alone.  How do you take away a school within walking distance and reassign a 40 minute bus ride? Much was said during the school board meeting to support students going to school close to their homes; this takes away that option for us.  If there is space at the other schools, why not simply have all the students who arrived after the cap go to the other schools as their base school so as to not disrupt the current students at one school?  

Being the child of a 30-year North Carolina educator, I know first hand that all it takes is one bad experience to set a child on a negative path in school.  All too often, that bad experience never had to happen. A switch in schools, at this point, would, more than likely, cause that negative experience for numerous children. 

My son, who has asthma and anxiety, has a lot of trouble adjusting to change. In fact, it alters his entire personality. I realize some children are not drastically impacted by switching schools, but my son is one of those who will be. He has felt incredibly welcome in his school and feels such a part of the community as an ACES Gator at Abbotts Creek. We provide as much support as possible to his teachers to aid in his success. My son's anxiety can be so intense at times that he suffers migraines, at the age of 6, which impact him for multiple days.  As you know, change is not easy for anyone, but this change can truly make an excellent student, such as my son, who is working well above his grade level, spiral backwards. He will be split-up from friends and any familiarity that he has with his surroundings all because of where his home happens to be - within an arbitrary mid-neighborhood cut-off line. Not only will he be separated from his neighborhood friends by being forced into a different school, but forced into an entirely different schedule. 

This proposal fully defeats the entire purpose of choosing a close-knit neighborhood like Falls River, and honestly, for us, it may defeat the purpose of attending a WCPSS school. Although we have been beyond pleased with the excellent education our son has received through WCPSS (despite the COVID-related changes), if we are facing a long bus ride or an undesirable schedule, it may be best to seriously consider a charter or private school that will be more responsive to the emotional needs of their students and families at this time.  

I know you have the best interest of our children at heart, and I strongly encourage you to stop forcing damaging changes on our children right now and allow an option for students who currently attend Abbotts Creek, or any other capped school, and their siblings to stay where they are. They desperately need and deserve this little bit of stability. 

The last two years of school have been - to say the least - out of the ordinary and challenging - for even the best students. Please don't let numbers on paper and arbitrary boundaries take priority over the well-being of the children of Wake County.  

21 Votes
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Heidi Jordan about 1 month ago

Sorry if this is obvious but where did you find the plan that shows the neighborhood area that would be affected. Thanks.

1 Vote
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Bay Scroggins about 1 month ago

The link is below. You have to scroll to page 31 and 32. You can not decipher the streets from the map, you must put your street address in the form connected to this topic. It is really difficult to figure out.

https://assistive.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/Attachment.aspx?S=920&AID=279678&MID=9757

5 Votes
 
 
 
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Steven Bronstein about 1 month ago

I would just like to know how the Board of Education thinks they can do whatever they want giving parents no say whatsoever in regards to the welfare of their children. This is complete madness. How does such a thing happen? The Board of Education should be ashamed of themselves for doing such a thing with no regard at all with the desires of the parents or their ideas. If the school is capped, why do our children who are already attending the school need to be taken out? How does that make sense? Why not at the very minimum not enroll the new students at Abbotts Creek and enroll them at a different school ? At least they would start fresh instead of plucked out already of a stable situation for our kids?

18 Votes
 
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Tara Cronlund about 1 month ago

I am also a parent of two Abbott’s Creek Students. I don’t feel I need to restate everything that has already been said, as I agree with it all.

I just wanted provide feedback that I, along with many many other parents in the neighborhood agree with what has been stated above.

It just doesn’t make any sense to remove a section of our neighborhood that is so close Abbott’s Creek.

I am sure there are other options to address the capacity issues at our school. Please don’t let the only option you consider be one that removes established children from their neighborhood school.

19 Votes
 
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Megan Winzeler about 1 month ago

I’m a parent of a 1st grader and also serve in a leadership role on the board of the Abbotts Creek PTA. I strongly oppose this proposal because it is extremely disruptive to the learning process and social development of many children.

The proposal does not make a significant impact on reducing overcrowding at Abbotts Creek, but it does uproot students and their families from one of the only sources of stability we have had during the pandemic. The past few years, our children have faced a difficult and tumultuous start to elementary school and this plan makes it worse. Removing my son, and many other students, from Abbotts Creek would remove any sense of continuity and comfort these kids have had in their education. Our first year of elementary school was all virtual, and we’re just now getting comfortable with the “new normal” of returning to school. Changing schools next year, against our will, would be the third major change for these kids within a short time period. Now is not the time to deprive WCPSS students of their comfort zones.

It is unacceptable to reassign current students to different schools. These arbitrary borders and numbers do little to make a difference in your goals and objectives, yet have a detrimental effect on real lives and friendships. Not only does this plan separate my son from the familiarity of his friends, teachers, and staff, but he would also be separated from his cousin who lives right down the street.

Our family has always been a strong supporter of WCPSS, serving in leadership roles in the PTA and other parent volunteer initiatives, and have logged countless hours of community service for the school. However, the recklessness of the proposed reassignment makes us lose faith in the system and we are beginning to consider other options.

I urge you to consider alternative solutions that do not uproot students and families from their education communities. Thank you for your consideration.

20 Votes
 
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Chris Winzeler about 1 month ago

I am strongly objecting to the proposal that would move a group of students in the Falls River neighborhood from their neighboring Abbotts Creek Elementary school to Durant Road. I absolutely agree with all of the points each concerned parent has made in the earlier comments. The fact that the proposal takes a small sub-set of our neighborhood and moves it to a different elementary school after everything that has uprooted and changed our lives over the next two years is unfortunate and troublesome. I understand the fact that Abbotts Creek is over capacity at this time and has been labeled as a capped school. However, I do not think uprooting children who are currently students there is the best option. This severely impacts families across our area of the neighborhood. These children have had to deal with more than enough change over the last 18 months and lack of stability in their education because of different factors that making this type of drastic change at this point in their lives would truly be upsetting. The families in this neighborhood love Abbotts Creek and love the sense of community that come with it.
We urge you to re-consider this proposal and reach out to myself directly if you wish to discuss this matter and our concerns in more detail.

19 Votes
 
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Kate Stem about 1 month ago

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback. To say the news of redistricting was disheartening, is an understatement. I’ll refrain from repeating the very valid points that are mentioned above, as I wholeheartedly agree with these families and their thoughts and concerns. I would like to provide some insight into our Falls River and Abbotts Creek community.

This has been a crazy year and half to say the least. But our Falls River community found a way to rally and support one another. When the pandemic first hit, we supported each other by dropping cards on front porches, leaving sidewalk chalk message, and even playing bingo on the sidewalk from our safe distance. As we learned more about the novel coronavirus and knew it was safe to play outside, we gathered at our Falls River playgrounds and in backyards and along the greenway. To see the smile on those children’s faces was wonderful. We took turns watching each other’s kids play so parents could have a break from the craziness of those first few months. Previous teachers in the neighborhood gathered at our community parks to have story time for your younger children since the libraries were not able to do that during the pandemic.

Falls River has numerous community events throughout the year. Instead of canceling these events, our community found a way to make it work, safely. Halloween still happened, a bit different, but we still made it work, safely. The kids were able to dress up and show off their costumes. Santa still came, and while the kids couldn’t sit on his lap, he road down the street. We all got to wave and smile and laugh. Movie nights could still go on in our parks, sitting at a safe distance but still being able to gather. This is a community that didn’t give up on its kids and families.

This summer, my rising 1st grader was thrilled to recognize friends from school at the neighborhood pool. Some of these friends are in his class this year! Others we meet at the neighborhood park after school. Strong friendships were formed, and he really has begun to feel the sense of community at school and what it means to be an Abbotts Creek Gator. After a year of being virtual, and just now settling into school, and really beginning to feel like he belongs, I just can’t imagine why the Board wants to rip this apart. Over that past year and half, this pandemic has caused myself, and other families, to look at their young children one too many times and say, “no, we can’t”. To look at my child one more time, with upsetting news about why he won’t see his friends at school, or that his friends are in school this summer and not able to play because of the shift from a traditional calendar to a year-round calendar is just cruel. These children and families have been through so much! The Falls River and Abbotts Creek community have really rallied to support these young children and we just can’t do this to them. They need consistency and a familiar atmosphere. They need the board and the county to be as supportive as their neighborhood and school communities have been.

Please, please!, reconsider other options of reassignment for the Abbotts Creek and Falls River community. These children need consistency and need the adults to do what's "right" and not what looks good on paper. This year is just not the year for another drastic change. Thank you.

17 Votes
 
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Natasha Hanselman about 1 month ago

I overwhelmingly agree with all the other previously stated posts on the forum. I am not going to reiterate the points already made, but I think it is worth restating that our children have been thru so much with COVID and have built strong friendships in their neighborhoods. Separating them would be the worst decision the board could make. Senselessly ripping children out of the school system they have grown accustomed to is a bad decision.

After watching the board meeting on October 5, 2021, I was frustrated hearing about the four pillars that the board considered as the most important criteria to consider when making decisions about student population (operational efficiency, proximity, stability, and student achievement) and that they were clearly not applied when the board proposed the reassignment changes to Abbotts Creek.

Several times during the board meeting the board members referenced the pillar of proximity. It seemed very important to the board that the new schools that were being established pulled students from a proximate location. One board member even referred to not making “medusa like” geographic boarders and re-drawing the lines for one district (this can be found at the 1:13 mark). Currently, the geographic lines drawn to the Falls River neighborhood are exactly that; “medusa like” geographic boarders. The proximate location pillar seems to refer to a school geographically drawing from a radius around it; to make it easy for the families to attend by foot, bike, bus, or car. Right now, the Falls River and surrounding neighborhoods behind Abbotts Creek Elementary are proximate locations to Abbotts Creek Elementary School. Looking at the map that was presented (this can be found at the 29 minute mark), it appears that about 1/3 of the student population that is attending Abbotts Creek Elementary School are actually proximate to Durant Middle School; not ACES. If proximate location is an important pillar that the board considers when making school assignments, why wouldn’t all the area behind Durant Elementary School be proximate to Durant Elementary School? Abbotts Creek Elementary School is not a proximate school for them. Making “medusa like” geographic boards and sending children to a “non-proximate school” goes against the board’s standards; why are they considering it an option for ACES students when they have so clearly stated that this wasn’t going to happen for the other schools?

In the board meeting, at about the 26 minute mark, it was referenced that the Fuquay-Varina High School was drawing from a neighborhood that had been split apart and that the new geographic lines were drawn to “bring a split neighborhood together; there was a split neighborhood at the time.” If this was an important element to consider, breaking up a neighborhood and bringing it back together, why does the same not apply to the reassignment at ACES? Why are they applying the exact opposite logic? For the Fuquay-Varina High School they are redrawing lines so the students in the same neighborhood can stay together, but for ACES, they are drawing lines to split the neighborhood up. This is not consistent, and the same rules should be considered for each scenario; keeping children who live in the same neighborhood at the same school.

Stability and Student Achievement are two other pillars that the board stated were important in making this decision. I believe these two pillars are tightly entwined together. If students have a stable learning environment, it is believable that they will achieve academic success. My son has not actually had stability in his learning environment since starting school, however, the one constant, that he is an ACES student with classmates in his neighborhood, has provided this stability. COVID has intervened and disrupted all his formal education thus far in his life. If stability and student achievement are really two pillars the board considers, wouldn’t it be detrimental to yet again, change the learning environment for these ACES students? The last pillar, Operational Efficiency, I believe refers to schools being filled to their capacity. Has the board considered a process where future new families to the ACES school system would be a good option to consider sending to an uncapped school? Has the board considered expanding ACES? If it is currently over capacity in an area where no new homes are being built, or have been built for the past 20 years, it appears that the county did not plan accordingly to accommodate all the students in the area. ACES needs to be expanded. This could be accomplished by adding on an addition OR taking over the community building next door. ACES could be split into lower and upper elementary across the two buildings. This would allow a traditional calendar and would allow for more kids to be accepted into ACES. Simply removing a small amount of children from ACES this year does not solve the capacity problems. This leads one to believe that future reassignments are coming and the board will continue to split up our neighborhood.

I strongly urge the board to OPPOSE this reassignment and consider all the options the parents in this forum have presented.

19 Votes
 
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Chad Rinna about 1 month ago

As a parent of two students of Abbott’s Creek Elementary affected by this zoning change, I completely agree with the comments and concerns above…. As these passionate concerns resonate throughout our Falls River community. There has not been one single person with positive feedback about this change, including parents and students outside of the affected area who are disheartened and frustrated they will be damaging friendships and their own stability.

Logistically, I challenge the logic. By proximity - via the use of the Greenway - our neighborhood is literally the closest to the student entrance. I watch many of my neighbors and their children ride their bikes to and school each morning/ afternoon through the Greenway safely… never having to cross a major road.

Additionally, on top of the disruption of our children’s relationships with peers & faculty, we are being forced to adopt a completely different schedule and routine - one which my family absolutely does not want and will struggle to support.

I cannot believe there, at the very least, isn’t a long term plan for this - which would provide grandfathering laws for current students, allowing the families to plan. We just purchased this home in July, with THE MAJOR factor being our children were to be enrolled in ACE.

In summary, our community feels violated and we going to fight this act as hard as we possibly can to do what is right and best for children and one another’s families.

Thank you & best wishes to the FR ACE community.

Chad

13 Votes
 
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M Ohlson about 1 month ago

On March 16, 2019 children woke up to a different world - schools closed for a pandemic our littlest ones could not begin to understand. All they knew was that their world suddenly plunged into chaos. Over the past 2 years, children have watched their parents lose jobs, some have lost family members. They lost time with grandparents and time with friends; they’ve all lost their sense of security.

Once these kids got back into class, that feeling of security started coming back. Yes there may be virtual learning, masks, new safety rules, but at the core, it is the same familiar school community they desperately need. It provides one constant during a scary and confusing time.

None of us can control a pandemic, but taking these children, who have finally started to regain a sense of stability at school, and ripping that away from them through reassignment, that you can control.

These kids can’t take any more.

To split up a neighborhood- not even down the middle - but by taking a small and strangely-shaped chunk of homes, singling them out to remove them from their community school, the friends they know, the kids they see at the park, at neighborhood events .. separating them - sending them not just to a different school, but one that operates on a whole different calendar - it’s simply too much to put on them right now.

These children are the ones who can walk to Abbotts Creek - one of the major advantages of a neighborhood school, and the reason many of us chose to attend our *neighborhood school rather than a magnet school much farther away or a year round school (which we’re now being essentially forced into, should we remain in the WCPSS system). It’s also the reason many of us chose this portion of our neighborhood to live.

One of my children has a higher risk of COVID complications. We’ve had to keep our family pretty isolated, and that has been difficult on the kids. School provides comfort and familiarity. The anxiety my child feels at even the possibility of having to switch schools at this point is overwhelming. Honestly, thinking WCPSS would move these children at this time is overwhelming for all of us.

Abbotts Creek is already capped. Families who moved in after the cap already go to other schools. The numbers show this plan won’t ease overcrowding by any significant amount (Abbotts Creek will still remain at 120% capacity), and assuming that families will just automatically switch to their newly assigned base or calendar option school simply isn’t realistic. We chose to attend Abbotts creek, our *neighborhood school for a reason. Without that option, there is no reason not to seek out a charter school.

As another parent posted, and I’m sure many of us noticed, it was specifically mentioned during the work session that lines were redrawn in the area of Fuquay-Varina High School in order to unify a neighborhood that was previously split apart, indicating that splitting neighborhoods is not ideal and not something WCPSS wants to do. Yet, this proposal separates a small part of Falls River from the rest of the neighborhood. Is this expected to be reassessed during another reassignment in a few years when children will be asked to move again or is keeping a neighborhood together somehow not important for our children?

I ask staff and the board to please consider, at the very least, allowing current students and their siblings to complete their elementary school years at Abbotts Creek. For the past 2 years we have all done everything we can to ensure our children’s physical health amid a global pandemic over which we have no control. Now I beg you to consider their mental and emotional health. Don’t take away the little bit of stability and security their school has managed to provide and put them through yet another scary, confusing, and pointless change.

13 Votes
 
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Jessica Seltzer about 1 month ago

So many of my fellow ACES parents have detailed so many problems with this reassignment plan, that it is absolutely clear that the school board must reconsider. From the hypocrisy of splitting one neighborhood while reuniting another, to the direct contradiction of the board's stated priorities, to the cruelty of adding a major unnecessary transition for our students, the school board is just plain wrong. I have a second grader who has experienced near constant transition in school. Kindergarten was cut short due to covid, then first grade was virtual, and second grade still has so many restrictions. ACES teachers and staff have been such a strong support system through all of it, and our family is devastated by the possibility of losing our spot there. Next year my younger child will start kindergarten. She already knows many names and faces of ACES staff, teachers, and students. ACES is not just a school to us - ACES is an integral part of our community, our neighborhood, our family. I understand that Wake County is enormous and school assignments are complicated; however, I trust that the school board will find a better way to resolve the crowding issues. Tearing apart communities and depriving students of educational stability are not acceptable options. The problems caused by this reassignment plan are far greater than those resolved. Until a workable resolution is found, at least let current ACES families stay at ACES indefinitely. Keep our Gators together.

11 Votes
 
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Sarah Tucker about 1 month ago

I am the parent of 2 ACES students and we have been at ACES for 6 years now. I am writing to beg the school board not to single out part of our Falls River community to be redistricted. Abbott’s Creek is a neighborhood school for those in our neighborhood- many of the families that you are proposing be reassigned actually walk to ACES using the Greenway trail. But you choose to reassign these students rather than the students who live a 25-30 minute bus ride away? It makes no sense. Your reassignment plan doesn’t even seem like it will improve the overcrowding at ACES. The only thing I see this proposal doing is hurting children.

Our children have had a very hard 2 years. Their 2019-2020 school year was abruptly cut short; their 2020-2021 school year was a mix of uncertainty on if/when they would be able to go to school. And now that children are finally finding a sense of normalcy, you are proposing to isolate a portion of our neighborhood and pull those children out of the school that they know and love. Our children deserve to have a sense of security and comfort- and ACES provides that for them. Covid has taken a huge mental health toll on our children, please don’t do this to them.

Durant Elementary is a year round school. The disruption and schedule change from switching to a traditional calendar school to a year round school will not be easy. My son will be in middle school next year at a traditional calendar school, I do not want my daughter at a year round school. Having 2 different calendars will make it very difficult as a single working mom, not to mention how that would significantly impact our family time together.

If ACES is overcrowded, it’s because you as the school board have allowed it to happen by adding more area into the school zone. ACES was a brand new school 7 years ago, it shouldn’t be overcrowded already. Please don’t punish kids by taking away their neighborhood school.

12 Votes
 
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Steven Strickland about 1 month ago

To say that I disagree with the timing and overall plan to relocate current students from Abbotts Creek to any other school is an understatement. I currently have a 3rd grader and a Kindergartener at ACES. They love the school, the teachers and the programs that they have for the children. As I stated I have a 3rd grader at ACES. With COVID the las time they had a normal school year (no disruption to the school year, no virtual classes and no masks) was when they were in Kindergarten. Let that sink in. Probably the most impressionable time in their educational career and it has been anything but normal. Now in the infinite wisdom of the school board they feel that it would be prudent to rip young students from their community schools. This removes any chance of a stable school year for the remainder of their elementary school career. It is obvious that the school board has no real overall care of the mental stability for the children. I also have a student that has an IEP. We have such a good improvement in their abilities this year from the educators at ACES. I would imagine that other WCPS has quality staff; however it does not make sense to remove a student from these services and the staff that know and work with them every week. Again I believe you will find countless studies that will show that stability is a key factor in the education and development of young children. Finally with so much going on in the community and the world today where your children go to school should not be added to this list. Parents make great investments to ensure that they place their children good schools and the areas they want them to be. The last thing parent need to do is also worry that the school board will undermine that and those investments. I’m not even going to touch on the mental aspect of removing children from their friends and trying to explain that to them. I don’t feel that should be part of this conversation; however we cannot overlook the health and mental stability of removing them from an environment that they love and nurtures their development. Not now. There has been already too much happening outside the school to affect their lives. I am willing to do whatever it takes to fight this plan and stand with my other parents who feel the same.

12 Votes
 
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Brenda Jones about 1 month ago

I would like to express my concern for the students of Abbotts Creek Elementary - specifically those who live in the Falls River Neighborhood. The children who live in this tight-knit community do not deserve being reassigned to a new school after the last two years of disruption from the pandemic. I agree with the families who have posted on this forum.

The lines on this map don’t make sense. They block out a chunk of the community without taking into account the relationships children have developed among their peers. These kids only recently gained stability with being back in school and now another change is upon them. Now seems like the worst time to try and fix a problem that hasn’t been fixed in many schools for several years, and won’t be fixed with this change either.

It is unfortunate that such a new school is capped and it is understandable that the district would want to fix that. However, most of the students that are impacted by this potential change attended the school before the cap and should be granted stability exceptions. Parents on this forum have also expressed the desire to work with the district and welcome other options as long as their children can remain at their school. I hope those are listened to and a solution can be offered that doesn’t require these children to travel farther to school.

These children spend their summers together, play after school, and see each other at school. Their new base school not only has a different calendar, but a different school day schedule. That means no summers at the pool together and no after school playdates with their neighbors. Neighborhood friendships will suffer and these children will suffer unnecessarily.

It has been stated in the proposal that lines within the community are hard to distinguish. This is not the case as there are many identifiers (signs) where the surrounding communities meet. What is difficult is the ability to read the district’s proposed map easily without pinpointing each address, which makes an already frustrating situation even more so.

These children who are directly impacted live within the closest proximity to the school and can walk rather than rely on district buses. Currently, these students have only a few minutes of a walk. That won’t be the case under the new proposal.

In the presentation, a Fuquay-Varina community was being brought back together after being split up. If splitting a community is so undesirable, why is breaking up another community even an option?

According to the data, the overcrowding at the school will not be alleviated by more than a few percentage points. The idea to simply reassign students is not helping the problem and hasn’t been successful for many years. Students are subjected to rotating schools too often when most research shows changing schools is terrible for children. I know numerous families who have moved out of the county or out of the WCPSS system to protect their children from the constant moves.

I would ask for those reading this forum to notice there are no positive comments to this reassignment proposal. It is also a forum that is difficult to sign up for, navigate and follow.

Most parents who have commented on this reassignment proposal have lost faith in WCPSS and many are already seeking out other options for their children. That is a sad prospect considering they have a neighborhood school that they will not be able to attend without drastic changes to family’s schedules and lives.

Thank you for your consideration.

7 Votes
 
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Heather Godwin about 1 month ago

I am a parent of 3 WCPSS students, one that is at Abbotts Creek ES. Although, we are not directly effected by the proposed reassignment, we have friends in our neighborhood that are effected. I would ask you to reconsider moving these neighborhood children. These are children that play together daily, families in community that have been a lifeline for each other, especially in the last year and a half. The Board has thrown out the word "stability" in this reassignment plan, but I feel like these changes are anything but stable for this children. We have pushed and pulled our children in so many directions this past year and a half, to the effect we may not see for years, please don't take away the last bit of stability they have by taking them out of there neighborhood school. Before Abbotts Creek opened, our neighborhood was divided by children attending different schools or tracks. Since Abbotts Creek opened, my children have neighborhood friends they go to school with them and they gather at neighborhood parks and play after school. They want to be outside biking, playing, running around with friends that they do life with, go to school with, have a sense of community with. Please reconsider dividing our neighborhood and disrupting, yet again, our children's stability.

I do understand overcrowding is an issue, but there has to be another way than to disrupt our children's stability. Assign new students coming to the school, maybe. We have space for those that are there, please let them stay. Please don't take anything else from these children.

9 Votes
 
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Jackie Karlic about 1 month ago

I am not going to reiterate what was said in the above comments as I do agree with the comments above. I have a 2nd grader and 4th grader at ACES. Since my Daugther is a rising 5th grader she will get to stay next year if this happens, and supposedly her brother can stay for one year as well, but in the end I also want my son to finish out at ACES and not have to switch schools when entering 3rd or 4th grade. Both of my kids started at ACES in pre-k. There are not many who started in pre-k and continued on/are still at ACES. I would hate that he may need to switch schools after being their since the age of 4. There has to be another way to deal with the capped issue and let current falls river ACES students finish out their time at ACES! My Daugther may end up in year round for middle school and that will be an adjustment for sure, but I don’t necessarily want that for my son. I don’t really want that for either of my kids to be honest, but hate the idea that since pre-k he has been doing traditional so that is all he knows (all we know as a family) and then come 3rd or 4th (if he stays the extra year with his sister) that he would need to make that big change. It is one thing for that change to happen for my Daugther going into MS because leaving ACES and going to MS is a big change within itself already, but for my son it’s a change that does not seem needed if the school board can just find another way to keep the portion of Falls River affected by this with their current friends/classmates by staying at ACES for those who are already students their.

6 Votes
 
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Bekgah Morehead about 1 month ago

I agree with the opinions offered by others in this thread. Additionally, I'd like to address the carve-out in question. 

(1) In 2016-2017, WCPSS set a precedent by revising a draft to maintain consistent assignment in the Bartons Creek Bluffs subdivision rather than splitting the subdivision between two elementary schools. The carve-out shown within the draft enrollment proposal is a contradiction to the precedent previously set; since this draft shows splitting the neighborhood within some of the first streets developed as part of the Fall River subdivision back in 1996. 

(2) The proposal is set to reduce overcrowding from 130% to 120%, guaranteeing future needs to reassign more students. I urge the staff and BOE to revisit the proposal with a long-term lens to develop a proposal that may alleviate the overcrowding at ACES without the need for a secondary carve-out next year.  Why does this arbitrary segment seem like a reasonable proposal when there is an entire section of the Abbotts Creek district south of 540 that could be re-assigned instead. If a "geographic boundary" is what the staff used to create the proposal, interstate 540 seems much more tangible than a portion of wood-line weaving through the midst of a neighborhood. 

(3) Additionally, a later discussion topic of the proposal is set to provide families in a northern section of the Abbotts Creek district with an optional reassignment (slide 71) while the southern carve-out portion of the plan (slide 31) is a non-optional reassignment to Durant Road. Why aren't these southern carve out families being offered an option, or better yet, expand the option to more families? 

Overall, it seems there are several other options to explore before forcing some of the students in closest proximity to ACES to relocate. Please consider any of the suggestions mentioned by parents on this thread before proceeding with this reassignment. 

8 Votes
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Corallie Tornow admin about 1 month ago

Bekgah - Proximity is just one of the four pillars that staff considered when making proposed changes. Student Achievement, Operational Efficiency and Stability are the other three. If you would like a more detailed description of the pillars, please reference slide 113 in the Draft 1 proposal.

1 Vote
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Natasha Hanselman about 1 month ago

Corallie- I noticed that Bekgah’s questions weren’t answered. There was just a mention of the pillar of proximity being one of the four pillars. Have you considered my response above? It addressed the four pillars and how the board has missed the mark on applying each one. I am eager to hear a response.

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Jaimie Francis about 1 month ago

As a parent who has previously had to fight reassignment from ACES I am disappointed to hear that WCPSS is again trying to reassign a small portion of current ACES students. I looked at the map and I just don't understand why this section of the ACES community was selected. It just seems like someone threw darts at the map. It is unfair to the children and families in this area to be reassigned when their friends and neighbors get to stay. I understand capping the school for any future students and exploring other options for the future, but pulling kids out part of the way through their elementary career is really hard on families. Kids need stability and parents need neighbors who have kids in school together. I know trailers are not the best solution, but if trailers can be used at Durant, could we add some at ACES too just to keep the current kids? Surely there are other options that can be explored. As stated in posts above there are so many more reasons for keeping kids where they are then moving them. Please remember that these are not just numbers on a page but sweet children and families who just want the best for them.

8 Votes
 
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Karen McGugan about 1 month ago

I am the parent of an ACES kindergartner who would be affected by the proposed reassignment. For many of the same reasons as the posters above, I am writing to express my strong objection to the proposal and my concern around the impact it would have on my child and our family. Like all children, my child has experienced an unprecedented lack of stability over the past two years, during an extremely formative period of his development. We moved to Falls River from out of state in the summer of 2019, and my son started at a local preschool. His time at this preschool was continuously disrupted due to COVID-19, as we had to keep him home for several long stretches. During this period, my son also lost three great-grandparents and a grandparent. Then, only a few months ago, he navigated the transition from preschool to ACES. It is not surprising that, after all of this, he worries intensely and often and is prone to anxiety around transitions. To my immense relief, however, he is thriving in kindergarten. He absolutely loves his teachers and new friends, is doing well academically, and even wants to play pretend “Abbotts Creek” when we are at home. Even in the short time that we have been there, ACES has become a key source of stability and consistency for him and for our family. I cannot imagine trying to explain to him that he will have to leave at the end of the year. I understand the need to mitigate overcrowding in schools. I deeply believe, however, that—for kids like my son, whose entire experience since beginning school as a three-year-old has involved one disruption after another—now is not the time to implement a proposal like this one. I am begging you to consider allowing kids who are already enrolled at ACES an exemption from the reassignment. Children who are just beginning their educational journey badly need to associate school with safety and consistency—qualities that have been in short supply recently. Please help us as parents to make that possible.

7 Votes
 
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Rachel hoyle about 1 month ago

I have two kids at ACES that could be potentially affected by this proposal. Before this gets much further I beg you to check out the large group of children living in the Falls River neighborhood who access the Greenway Trail and safely ride their bikes to and from school each day. We all know children focus much better during the school day with a little exercise in the morning and the Falls River neighborhood is the closest to ACES from these trails. It only makes sense for the wellness of the child, the environment, and the tax dollars spent on the amazing Greenway to let this continue to be our path to school each day.

10 Votes
 
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Jaclyn Henderson about 1 month ago

We need to explore other solutions. Paul Trantham has built up a community at Abbotts Creek that we all feel part of and want to remain a part of. Because of her, and the teachers and staff at Abbotts Creek, my kids are EXCITED about school each day. With all the changes these past couple of years due to COVID, uprooting these kids is not a solution. I know my kids are already behind in school academically and their teachers and school are meeting them where they're at and working with them. Uprooting them to an unfamiliar school, teachers, staff ,etc is taking away everything that's been familiar and stable to them during these already challenging times. Not to mention, we already are short staffed with bussing, so how does this help with that? The plan doesn't even forecast a significant reduction in utilization (130% vs 120%) so why would it be worth moving all of these kids?

7 Votes
 
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Jennifer Matthews about 1 month ago

I wholeheartedly agree with all of the comments mentioned above from my friends and neighbors, I OPPOSE this decision.

However, we need to be proactive and progressive in thinking of solutions to overcrowding at all WCPSS not just Aces. Raleigh has grown exponentially in population in the last 20 years. Why haven’t more schools been built? Why do we allow schools to get capped too late when it’s already overcrowded? Why do we have so many options of schools i.e. traditional, multitrack, charter, and magnet?

Why not make Aces a multitrack and Durant a traditional? Or both multitrack? Since Raleigh is overpopulated, make every school multitrack.

By making these decisions of school reassignments, many parents opt for charter schools and or private.

Our kids have missed so much school the last two years and with limited stability. Please consider a multitrack option, or keep current students at Aces to finish their current assignment at the same school.

9 Votes
 
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Tim Henderson about 1 month ago

I too agree with most of the concerns expressed above. I urge the the WCPSS to reconsider the timing and the proposed plan. The proposed plan does not appear to adequately solve the challenges facing ACES. I have two children that attend ACES. They have gone through a lot the past two years and need more stability and consistency in the education not another quickly develops plan that does not fully solve the problem.

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Julia Bradshaw about 1 month ago

I ask the Board to please throw out this re-assignment proposal. I have a first grader and rising kindergartener that are part of the ACES community. It is a wonderful school that we are able to bike to on Greenway trails. Our children, the parents, and the teachers and staff of our schools have been through enough change and upheaval these past few years without completely changing both their base elementary school AND their calendar. This is an unacceptable and unnecessary change for children and families that have been through enough. We are a community. We are all Gators.

8 Votes
 
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Jessica Cummings about 1 month ago

I am here to echo what has already been said (so I won’t be repeating it all though we agree!). Our neighborhood backs up to Abbott’s Creek itself. We ride our bikes to the school as a family regularly. We are part of the ACES family and community. I will have a K and 3rd grader next year and my rising 3rd grader has yet to have ONE normal school year due to Covid. We are tired and there have been so many changes for our little ones in these past few years. We are seeking some stability in life and changing schools is not something that we are looking to do.

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Justin Church about 1 month ago

I believe this would be a terrible decision for my 2 children at ACES. We withheld my daughter for 1 year due to Covid because we wanted her first year of school at ACES to be as normal as possible. Our second child is at ACES. He has finally blossomed, has good friends, and loves his teachers. In fact, their happiness is why I donated 2000 to the Apex fun run recently to help the school. The primary residence of my family was based on the fact that we wanted them to go to ACES. I am very disappointed in this proposal as it will have negative effects on my family and other families. I do not approve of this change, and frankly the whole redistribution proposal appears to be “hush hush” until you find out about it. This is an absolute NO from our family….if it becomes a yes from WCPSS then moving our primary residence or sending them to private school may be our only option.

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Phil Boucher about 1 month ago

I feel that reassigning these young students after the last two years of constantly shifting educational experiences is a horrible idea. Many students were forced out of schools and torn from friends. They then had to try and adapt with constantly changing virtual teaching, teachers, and platforms and are now finally experiencing some educational stability again. Now, this “Board of Education” wants to force another change? This obviously politically motivated bandaid fix is not in the best interest of the children of this community or the community as a whole. Now is simply not the time for this change and I would argue that any child in Abbott’s needs to stay there until completion.

Lastly, this board needs to be more transparent in their plans that will impact all students, in all schools, not just Abbott’s. Many parents here have middle and high school children that I’m assuming will be impacted by your purposed changes eventually. If you want to be a positive force that builds communities, stop purposing ideas that divide thriving ones.

6 Votes
 
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Christine Boucher about 1 month ago

I am writing to voice my strong opposition to the proposed reassignment plan. I stand along with my fellow gators and neighbors in their concerns voiced ​here on this forum.

WCPSS, the board, the teachers, staff, and parents have a responsibility to work together to find a solution that protects our children and their education. We know that disruption to students' education can have long term impacts on their relationship with education and stability. Our children have already struggled through the instability that COVID and virtual learning brought. Adding a changing of school on top of that can have even longer lasting affects on a child’s social emotional well being, declines in social skills as well as emotional skills, and a increase in behavior problems. Effects on cognitive scores and emotional problems will affect test scores. These can be particularly challenging for children and young people, and can affect their sense of belonging to a school. It also disrupts friendships as well as relationships with school staff and the wider community. This impacts a child's confidence, self-esteem and educational achievement.

The close proximity of the Falls River neighborhood to Abbotts Creek Elementary School allows an increasing number of students to walk and bike safely without crossing major streets. As we know, Durant road is not pedestrian friendly and accidents happen often (and even student deaths have happened on it). The ability to walk or bike to school promotes student health and emotional wellbeing. Friendships are developed amongst walkers and bikers strengthening community and supporting social wellbeing. Walking/biking in greenery afterschool allows children to decompress from the demands of the school day and is time shared with parents providing opportunities for conversation about the good and bad of the school day. Studies have shown that students who bike or walk to school rather than travel by car or bus perform measurably better on tasks demanding concentration during their school day leading to better performance in school.

Abbotts Creek Elementary School is a high ranking elementary ranking 19th in statewide performance among 115 ranked elementary schools in WCPSS. During the 2018-2019 school year ACES math proficiency is top 20% and reading proficiency is top 30%. Whereas in the same year Durant Elementary School placed in the bottom 50% of all North Carolina schools where their math proficiency is top 50% and reading proficiency is bottom 50%. In addition, ACES has an outstanding educational program that has received recognition at both the state and federal levels. The teachers and staff have worked together to build a school that allows students to feel safe, builds their confidence, and gives them opportunities to learn outside the core subjects. ACES is a capped school because it is an exceptional school not because of the neighborhoods feeding in to it. Moving our children from ACES to Durant Elementary School is a quick fix stealing our children's educational opportunities. It will not fix the "problem" of ACES being a capped school. ACES will continue to see high enrollment because of it's reputation. Instead of penalizing students because of ACES reputation and successes do not look at it being capped as a problem but as a success. ACES has done it right. Use it as a model to learn from and improve other WCPSS elementary schools. The goal should be to lift all WCPSS schools to the height of ACES rather than trying to make ACES equivalent to the current standings of WCPSS schools.

As an educator who has worked in private schools and public schools, affluent districts as well as Title 1 schools I can tell you that moving any children away from their community has an affect on the child and the family. Please WCPSS, it is time to stop looking at numbers and to look at the child. Protect the child's well being and support their education. I encourage you to in the short term use at grandfather laws while you look at the research, review the statistics, and take time to make a proper long term plan that benefits WCPSS and its students for the better.

8 Votes
 
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Rachel Church about 1 month ago

I am a parent of 2 ACES students who will be affected by this redistricting and I am strongly opposed to it. I agree with all the points made by my neighbors. When I was looking for a house to buy 3 years ago, my number one criteria was to move into a house that would allow my children to go to a great elementary school. I never would have bought this house if it had been districted for Durant Rd, a school that simply does not compare to ACES. With so many young children in this neighborhood, I venture to guess that many, many others feel the same way and the only reason you haven’t received more comments is because you are not being transparent about how many houses and families in this neighborhood your plans will affect. The last several years have been very stressful and hard on our children with COVID and virtual school. My son in particular has a hard time with change and has really struggled with all of this. He and the rest of our children are finally getting back a small sense of normalcy and that has a lot to do with the wonderful teachers at ACES. Please do not take that away from them now because of the cap. There are better solutions that would not force children who are thriving at ACES to be uprooted and moved to a school that just isn’t the same quality as Abbott’s Creek Elementary School.

8 Votes
 
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John Hodgson about 1 month ago

WCPSS -

I agree with my community members and strongly oppose this proposal.

Why is it that proposals affecting students at ACES are split into different discussions and the forum is cumbersome to use? Outside of this forum, how have the proposals been communicated to parents of potentially affected students and community members? In the proposal, there is only a two week window for affected parents to request their children to stay at ACES but it seems the majority are unaware of this proposal. Given the current circumstances of most parents balancing working from home and caring for their young, it seems WCPSS should work on a parent awareness communication plan while looking at alternative solutions that are less impactful to current students and parents of ACES.

We moved to this community with the plans of having our children attend ACES as it is a good school within walking/biking distance of our home. We want our children to have the same experiences we did at their age: the ability to attend a good diversified school that is close enough to walk or bike to. While education is received from our institutes of learning, it is also received from the social interactions and responsibilities associated with walking or biking to school with friends. Our children won’t have these opportunities if the rezoning takes effect.

We have witnessed the effects of Covid regulations on our children, their friends, and our fellow parents over the last twenty months. Why contribute to the detrimental effects of the pandemic by uprooting our children once they are returning to normalcy?

I ask WCPSS to find alternative solutions to the ACES assignment changes. I attended year round schools as a youth so do not understand why this is not an option. If the ACES reassignment continues, it is detrimental to our family, community, and our property. Why would we stay in Falls River?

Cheers, John

7 Votes
 
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Crystal Watson about 1 month ago

We have 5 children in the Wake County Public School System. Our oldest graduated from Abbott's Creek ES last year. Our second oldest is currently a 5th grader at Abbott's Creek ES. Our middle child is currently a 3rd grader at Abbott's Creek ES. Our youngest (twins) are currently 1st graders at Abbott's Creek ES. We've been at Abbott's Creek ES since it opened in 2015 as this is our 7th straight year at the same elementary school. Two of those years we had all 5 of our children there at Abbott's Creek ES at the same time.

To say that Abbott's Creek ES is now a part of our family is an understatement. It should also go without saying that we completely oppose this draft. We stand by all the previous comments pertaining to Falls River and Abbott's Creek ES .... it pains us to see how the Board wants to tear up the Falls River Community for no productive reason. Please reconsider this reassignment plan .... and please keep our Gators and community together!

4 Votes
 
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Phil Boucher about 1 month ago

It was frustrating to watch how staff diverted and did not address questions that were being asked, then continue to ask for questions. It doesn't help us trust that you are really listening to our concerns. It felt like a lot of lip service.

Shuffling children from a Nationally Awarded School to a Title 1 school with 17 trailers is mind blowing to me and something I believe no one on this board would happily do for their families.

People moved here and spent more money to be part of a school like Abbott’s. This short term “fix” doesn’t address some of the real problems. So consider: 1. Helping raise Durant to the educational level of Abbott’s. 2. Figuring out how to get rid of 17 trailers used at Durant and make a plan to upgrade it. 3. Looking at how you can expand Abbotts by moving the public community center to a location not connected to an elementary campus. Utilize that space better relieves the capacity issue. 4. Don’t disrupt a community already attached to its school.

I truly believe the issue at hand isn’t about capacity, the real goal is to move Abbots to a multi-track school because our representative Roxie Cash believes they are a better solution to alleviate segregation and don’t take money from building programs that could be redirected to renovations of older building. She states it in an interview.

Durant is an older campus. Fix that location first and help it become a National recognized school and this becomes less of an issue. That way both schools and the community win.

5 Votes
 
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Chantelle Smalley 26 days ago

First, I agree with every single one of the community members that oppose this reassignment and their reasoning. My family and I moved to the Falls River area from out of state earlier this year because we wanted our daughter to attend Abbott's Creek. Aside from my child specifically being impacted by this proposal, as a whole I do not understand the logic behind it. So many families move to the area where they want their children to get their education. Many of us live in the Falls River area because of the reputation ACES has. While this is my daughter's first year at Abbott's Creek, this is the most normalcy she and so many other children have had since the pandemic started. Adding to the distress that this pandemic has already caused for our children is unjust. This plan isn't going to get rid of the overcapacity problem. This is a quick fix for the district at the cost of our children who have already been through so much. The quality of Durant is not comparable school to Abbott's Creek either. There has to be better solutions that don't require uprooting our Falls River children from Abbott's Creek. I urge you to reconsider this plan and not disrupt our community. Now is not the time to make a change. At minimum, allow current students stay to completion of fifth grade.

4 Votes
 
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Andrew Hanselman 26 days ago

I agree with all of the above comments. I strongly oppose this reassignment without further research and investigation into the proper way to handle this situation. It seems as though this decision is being made hastily and without much transparency from the school board. At least consider deferring this decision for another year, in order to gather adequate data, evaluate all possible solutions, meet with members of the community, and then make a well-educated decision. So many of our friends, work colleagues, etc in other parts of Wake County have opted for private education, charter schooling, etc due to these types of decisions. My wife and I have been proud to live in a neighborhood where our local public school is a stable option that helps make our community stronger. Making a decision like this, without truly working out all of the details, will certainly cause divide in the neighborhood. This is not ideal during our current time, while we, as parents, are trying to navigate our children's mental health and education amidst a covid pandemic.

4 Votes
 
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Kate Cockman 25 days ago

I am here to echo the sentiments of my neighbors and fellow ACES parents above. I have a second grader and a fourth grader at ACES this year. My older son hasn't had a "normal" school year since first grade and that's not something my younger son has ever experienced. We are asking that the Board take into consideration the mental health of our kids, who I don't need to remind you have already lived through a pandemic for a large chunk of their short lives. There's no need to senselessly throw another change their way...especially when it doesn't even seem that you've thought your plan all the way through since it doesn't really address the over-enrollment issue. Moving our neighborhood kids from the school that our community has worked so hard to develop and nurture (along with Mrs. Trantham and the school staff, of course) solves nothing and disrupts the lives of our kids unnecessarily. Take some time to consider other options and allow our kids to maintain the stability they deserve.

3 Votes
 
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Anna Stauff 25 days ago

I don’t have a child at ACES but do have one at Wakefield Middle who could be impacted with the second year of this plan. Our neighborhood has worked very hard to be active members of the ACES community and many, if not most, of my neighbors use the greenway to walk and/or bike to school when the weather permits. It is illogical to reassign children who can walk/bike safely to the school to a different one that involves a new calendar, crossing a major road and interferes with stability. ACES would also lose many of its PTA members who are active and on the board. Surely there are other neighborhoods that it would make more sense to pull from than the one that had a greenway trail specifically built to connect it to the school.

I had a child I opted to send to Durant and we did like our time there. He is now loving and thriving at Wakefield Middle and my concern is that this change doesn’t just impact elementary but also impacts middle and high school assignments. My son is thriving and on student council, in drama club and very involved as a whole. We are very concerned that this proposal would require a stability transfer to remain for 8th grade and then force him to attend millbrook which is a lot further from our house. It also would pull him away from friends and relationships he’s finally forming after being remote for almost two years.

Please reconsider this and pull from another area if you must. Our kids need stability and our Falls River kids need to be kept together at the same schools for this to happen. If the solution is to consider making Wakefield and ACES year round and Durant ES/MS traditional that needs to be explored as well. That would be preferred to the alternative that’s been presented to us so far.

4 Votes
 
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Kristin Be 25 days ago

My child is not at ACES but I stand with my friends and neighbors who are opposing the re assignment proposal . This is one of the reasons we chose private school. This is also the reason my parents chose private school for me growing in in wake county. The voices of those affected should be truly listened to and taken into consideration before rushing a change like this. I don’t supposed this reassignment for many reasons. We may not attend ACES but this affects all families in falls river. Please reconsider this decision

3 Votes
 
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Caitlin Duncan 25 days ago

I strongly oppose this plan. I'm honestly shocked that this is being proposed after the extremely difficult two years that our children have endured during the pandemic! My daughter started Kindergarten virtually at Abbotts Creek and is finally thriving since being back in the classroom. To suggest that she will once again be uprooted to a new school with new faces to "fix" your numbers is outrageous. This plan shows a disregard for the mental health and stability of our children. As others have suggested, I also agree that this isn't solving the true issue at hand. If this is truly to solve an issue of overcrowding then this is not the answer. Please delay this proposal until you are able to provide a more detailed outline of how this will solve the issues for coming years. Falls River wants to work with you to develop a plan that is not made at the expense of our children who have already suffered enough.

5 Votes
 
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Nicole Szuba 25 days ago

This proposal is just cruel and lazy. My son goes to Abbott’s Creek, he is not affected by the proposal, but it’s such terrible, cruel garbage- so I am speaking up and taking action with my Falls River neighbors. There are 2 of the Board’s pillars that absolutely crumble under this plan-

STABILITY- As so many parents mentioned before, this is an unprecedented time which has really hit children hard. The mental health of our children has been challenged for 2 years. It’s so inappropriate to even think of taking any sense of normalcy they might be starting to feel again and crush it. Irresponsible.

This affects more than just the children you want to slide across the street on your map. The children who stay at ACES are losing their friends that live in Falls River. (That’s like 90% of my son’s current friends!) Elementary school is a crucial time for social development, you absolutely need to take that into account.

PROXIMITY- Again, as so many parents have pointed out, a big part of this neighborhood - that you want to needlessly move across a busy 4 lane road - bikes or walks to school. The school was built to accommodate families in this neighborhood.

It’s understood that the school is currently capped and technically over capacity, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting the students, teachers and staff so that you would need to disrupt an entire neighborhood’s life. The test scores are great! The students are happy! The staff is happy! It’s beyond me why you would want to break up a high functioning school in such a drastic way. Capacity will ebb & flow naturally. If ACES is capped, less families will choose to move in and over time the numbers will come down.

It’s also understood that Durant Rd is under capacity, but does that take into account the 20 year old trailers that were supposed to be temporary (and are an awful way to learn coming from someone who did have to take classes in a trailer growing up)? Remove the trailers & then where are the numbers at?

If the Board really wants to help Durant Rd achieve success & capacity, maybe invest in it? Help the new principal hire for the understaffed positions with incentives? Improve the curriculum with more specials?

Uprooting an entire neighborhood to fill seats is lazy & cheap. It does not take into consideration the well being of the children which is supposed to be your job. Please start over.

5 Votes
 
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ES Barnes 25 days ago

While I am not directly affected by this reassignment, I have a child at Abbotts Creek and love the community we have built. It would be devastating for these children to have to go through yet another change after the past 18 months of uncertainty and change with COVID. Evidenced-based research shows that children who experience 3 or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs, not school acronym) have poorer mental and physical health outcomes. At least 21% of children in NC have at least one adverse childhood experience and this was data collected prior to COVID. Living through a global pandemic counts as an adverse childhood experience, thus all of our children now have one adverse childhood experience. Stability and community are essential to the mental, emotional and physical well-being our our children. Disrupting them yet again after 18 months of disruption and uncertainty would be detrimental to their development and social and mental health. What our children need right now is consistency, stability, and a supportive community, which they have at Abbotts Creek Elementary. This decision not only affects the Falls River Community and Abbotts Creek, but it puts these children, their siblings, and others in surrounding neighborhoods positioned for continued disruption as they progress through elementary school into middle school. Please reconsider for the health, safety, and well-being of our children and allow Falls River and Abbotts Creek community to stay together.

5 Votes
 
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Saba Ginsburg 25 days ago

I am in strong opposition to this proposal. It’s not only a contradiction to 2 of the pillars (proximity and stability) but fails to provide adequate data for the other 2 (student achievement and operational efficiency).

We live in the Falls River neighborhood and have 2 children that attend ACES. I won’t repeat all the valid points made in above comments. Where is the data this proposal was based on. Why was this neighborhood chosen to be carved up given it’s the closest to the school. Understanding that is only 1 of the 4 pillars however, data and rationale should be transparently provided for all pillars. Families who are currently enrolled at ACES and have put their hearts and time in building a tight knit community should be prioritized in being able to stay, not the opposite. And finally, this neighborhood in particular has been carved up before. It was a concern when we first moved here. At aces my 2 children have thrived and we’ve connected with other families in a way that would have been impossible before. Taking our neighborhood back to the way it was 10 years ago with forced reassignment is not the answer.

5 Votes
 
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Molly House 25 days ago

I echo many of the sentiments shared from the parents above. It’s seems like this proposal is a short term optical illusion to show effort towards relieving ACES overcrowding without actually effectively alleviating the problem. I believe this change needs to be delayed and the population of all 3 local elementary schools (ACES, Brassfield, & Wakefield) have a long term plan to maintain a consistent and steadfast student population that meets all BOE pillars of evaluation. I am afraid because of the size of Falls River the children will continually be reassigned to serve BOE agendas rather than to serve the best interest of the student and their education.

6 Votes
 
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Becca Obrien 25 days ago

This is my first year with a child at ACES. We moved from Virginia a few years ago. Falls River is a community and for some a family. In Virginia, there is no such thing as capped schools. Where you live is where you go to school. You can also sign up for school the day school starts. There is ALWAYS room for students. They add portables to school properties to make it work for the families. There is no applying to go to school, just registration. Why is it basically a lottery to go your base school here? I’m learning that wake county doesn’t have the same heart as other places do. As a school teacher, why would I want my child on a different track than my job? Why would I want my child to be moved around when we live in the neighborhood? Stop with the capped schools, stop making these children move their lives around because of the nonsense of a school board, stop messing with the kids livelihoods of enjoying their neighbors in school together. There are other ways to solve whatever problem wake county has and this isn’t it. This is exactly why a lot of parents move their kids to charter schools or private schools because the county doesn’t actually care About the families.

5 Votes
 
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Katherine Jackson 25 days ago

I strongly oppose this proposal and am asking the BOE to consider how this will affect our kids. I am a parent of a 1st and 3rd grader and rising kindergartner next fall. Our kids must be considered when putting a plan like this in place. We have fought for stability over the last 2 years and are finally starting to see some normalcy. Our neighborhood (Falls River) is a strong community that works together every day to see our kids thrive. Moms depend on one another, kids playing in cul de sacs and riding bikes. We even had moms put together a run club before virtual school last year. Sending our kids to a different school with various tracks will significantly impact that sense of community. Please consider how you can achieve your long-term goal with our kids’ stability in mind.

7 Votes
 
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Daiane Braginsky 25 days ago

As a parent of Aces Kindergarten I strongly opposed to the reassignment of my child and the splitting up of our Falls River neighborhood. Per board meeting just this month it was discussed that this major move would not alleviate the school on long term. That being said most likely the 2nd part of Falls River will also be taken off Aces, while kids who lives much further from our school are attending.

Most of our neighborhood kids either bike or walk to the school. The school is a neighborhood school dividing our neighborhood is an awful decision. I strongly recommend the board take a better look in alternative solutions our kids have been through so much already.

From my understanding we are to move/reassign 80 kids from Aces to open space for 60 kids that currently in overflown school and due to bus transportation is creating quite a costly trip. That is such a small number of students to make an awful lot of disturbance on everybody lives.

As a parent I request the board to take a better look and think of our kids education and well being after all we already have being through. Grandfather in those enrolled and their siblings and make changes to the upcoming students who had not yet achieved relationships with other kids and staff.

Thanks

4 Votes
 
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Aimee Dudley 25 days ago

As I wouldn’t be able to state my distaste and vehement rejection of this proposed plan any clearer than those who have commented before, I won’t. Just know that our household is against this measure and answer two questions: Is the ACES community being used to band-aid poor hiring and management at lesser performing schools? What are you doing to actually help the students that are producing these test scores besides attempting to justify more funding? Using other children to bring up the average might look better on paper but it in no way serves those children.

4 Votes
 
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Kristi White 25 days ago

As an ACES parent and a Wakefield MS parent I also strongly oppose reassigning Falls River out of ACES and thus out of the Wakefield upper schools. I’m very concerned that this does not seem well thought through. This seems like a quick fix to help over enrollment at ACES and under enrollment at DRES. What about the bigger picture…what effect will this have on the middle schools and high schools our entire neighborhood will now feed into? Do they have the space to accept us? What negative impact will pulling an entire neighborhood from the Wakefield schools have on those school communities?

I will say, it is my opinion that DRES and DRMS are good schools. We started at DRES and wanted to stay but lost our seat when ACES opened. I know teachers at DRES and families who’ve gone to school there and thrived. But what is needed most now as we rebound from the upheaval COVID left us with, is stability, familiarity, love and compassion. With this in mind I’m asking you to please put the ACES reassignment on hold until there is a more well thought out plan for this school and the upper schools that will be affected.

2 Votes
 
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David Bradshaw 25 days ago

Something is working very well at Abbotts Creek Elementary School (ACES). Educationally as well as with the community of children, teachers, & parents. The current children lucky enough to be enrolled at ACES are on a good track for life.

Knowing this is the goal of our WCPSS for all students at all schools, I completely understand that the districts must be managed over time.

I’m unable to connect, however, how these two observations resulted in the abrupt, harsh (through the eyes of a child) measure to unseat the previous plan and physically separate some children from their known, safe, and effective environment – especially after the past two once-in-a-century years of disruptive setbacks.

That said, I strongly OPPOSE the proposal, and urge the board to collaboratively explore alternatives openly and with a reasonable amount of time to work out a win-win solution.

Overcoming hardships is one of the key lessons of life, and things like losing a parent or even a global pandemic are natural hardships that must be overcome as a child develops. Moving a child midway through an education is an engineered hardship. Just as easily, this unnatural hardship could be engineered away with enough drive to solve in a win-win manner.

The currently enrolled families literally built their lives around ACES and the follow-on Middle & High Schools – knowing ahead of time that yes, the school is capped, but if you moved in before a certain date, that you would be able to attend. This is firm footing upon which to build a life for the educational years of our children. Decisions were made (irreversible in some cases) to lay down roots in this particular community and invest time and money in the community and school system events. Children and parents alike have forged bonds and share a bright vision of the future for our children, having adapted to the school system plan that was formerly in place.

In our neighborhood, it's all one big community, and no split makes sense. The children, teachers, and parents are not ‘just numbers’ to each other as we play together at our parks after school, and help shepherd our friends’ children home via bike when a parent is stuck at work and the bus is cancelled. We were able to ride to school and pick up materials on lunch break during virtual academy last year. These could have been hardships for our children, but instead, the ACES/Falls/Bedford COMMUNITY allowed for an overall positive experience, and educational and social progression.

Now, with a very short timeline, and what appears to be intentional under-playing of the notification of change to limit pushback, we see what appears to be a bleaker future for our children and a contrived splitting of a gem of a community in the Bedford/Falls River joint development.

Could the school board please: - Allow the students and families that were assigned and are currently attending this ACES community to continue as-is under the current plan? - Clarify their phased (strategic) plan to address the current assignment challenges, as well the forecasted school age population growth over the next 5-10 years for our North Raleigh/Wakefield area? o Knowing WCPSS is in the top 20 largest in the US, perhaps sub-dividing into regions would allow closer ties to the communities sprinkled around each school, and that deeper relationship could yield win-win policy suggestions. - Provide discretion to the school administration that could apply discretionary solutions in this challenging, unplanned situation, to reasonably help keep the current families enrolled at ACES? - Present the analysis including the weighted decision criteria that led to any/all of Falls River, the closest neighborhood, being carved up and sent farther afield?

Perhaps, if the above were presented with a reasonable notice of change and time for review, the community could understand the immediate and future changes, and come together with WCPSS to arrive at a fully supported plan.

3 Votes
 
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Lisa Webster 24 days ago

I am STRONGLY OPPOSED to the redistricting plans for Falls River and Abbott’s Creek Elementary School. I know from my own family and neighboring families how disruptive the last two years have been for our children. If the school is truly capped (which seems to be in question), there must be a way to make needed changes without disrupting an entire community that is right next door to the school AND has strong neighborhood ties to one another. This sort of community bonding and schooling is so important to a child's success, both academically and socially. To disrupt this neighborhood is so unfair to children who have already been challenged by the disruption caused by COVID. Just think about what this means to these kids who are still wearing masks and can't even see their teachers' faces!! These changes would be difficult for the children in all of the schools involved, especially so soon after they are just barely in stable situations after last year. At the very least, for everyone’s sakes, please wait until the 2023-24 school year before making these disruptive changes so soon after finally getting our kids back to school. Little children are resilient, but there is a limit.

Thank you in advance to the school board for working with us to solve these difficult issues! I know you can find a way to do the right thing for our kids.

2 Votes
 
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Claire Graham 24 days ago

I’m very disappointed in the rezoning efforts at ACES. Our students have gone through enough change and hardship in the last two years. They have formed bonds with this school and they require some stability. WCPSS speaks a lot about grace and flexibility and stability for the students but seems to throw that ideology out the window when it comes to carving out and redistricting our students away from the school that is their “home” for 7 hours a day. One of the most pivotal things that this semester has taught us is that bussing is a huge problem in Wake County. When you don’t have enough bus drivers to move students around in a reasonable time period, now you’re going to take students and pass them farther down the road? And bus other neighborhoods children’s over to Abbott‘s Creek? I understand your argument about Durant Rd., Elementary but not all families can accommodate a year-round schedule. So in a two teacher family like mine, where both parents work on a traditional calendar, our children need to go to a traditional calendar school. My children are going to have to go to schools farther away, with completely unknown faculty staff and students. I attended the virtual meeting and did not hear very many parents questions and concerns being addressed at all. The appearance is that WCPSS has made a decision and is not interested in any feedback or follow up from the people being affected by your choice. The community requires your transparency. If your decision to rezone is to alleviate a population situation, why are you carving out this neighborhood and bringing in other students from other locations?

2 Votes
 
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Stephen Godwin 24 days ago

I am writing in opposition to the proposal regarding reassigning kids from Abbotts Creek ES. I won't recap everything that has already been said as the points here are clear. The proposal to divide up Falls River doesn't make any practical sense. I understand that the board's objectives are not child focused, which is why the proposed solutions don't make sense to those of us who truly want what's best for our kids and our neighbor's kids. In fact, very little of what the board does focuses on the best for the children. Following the board's numerous poor decisions in response to Covid is to make another poor decision to carve out sections of a neighborhood that is highly supportive of ACES. ACES is a good school with some good people and one of the big reasons is because of parent and family support. That support is, in large part, because of the true community nature of the school and those in Falls River. These kids have been through a lot over the past 20 months or so and you are proposing to further disrupt their education with 'solutions' that only appear to check some boxes for the board and is not a real fix for the current issues and those on the horizon. I cannot and will not support the board's current proposed bad decision in order to try to 'solve' the board's previous bad decisions. Sending kids further away to a school that is unfamiliar to them and their family will only lead to a lower likelihood that the family will be active in supporting the school. The type of disruption proposed makes one wonder if that's the board's intent. Now is the time to change the proposal and show this community and this community school that you are supportive of a family supported local school.

3 Votes
 
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Amanda Fultineer 24 days ago

Like others in this amazing community have already voiced, I am writing in strong opposition to this proposal. The board states that one of it's 4 pillars is stability. Our 3rd grader, Kindergartner and the other children in this community are starting to have stability in their lives for the first time in almost 2 years. It is unbelievable that after all these poor children have been through with COVID, taking them out of their community and putting them in different schools is even being considered. Not only is this proposal concerning for the mental health and well being of our children, it is further placing strain on our lives as a family with 2 full time, working parents. We rely on our neighborhood community to help with carpool pick up and transitions from the bus when we are not able to. Year round school does not fit our family so our choice will be to attend Fox Road. I know that board will state this is only 4 miles down the road. However, at low traffic hours, this takes an additional 10 minutes. During the early morning and afternoon dismissal times, my guess is that it is closer to 15-20 minutes. That's 30-40 minutes extra our children will be spending on a school bus a day. With the current busing issues, who knows what that will look like. My children are already getting to school after the bell rings and missing part of their morning meetings several times a week due to busing issues. More concerning than the length of time on the bus and possible tardiness is their safety. They will be taking a bus that crosses over Capital Blvd, which is plagued with accidents, twice daily during the busiest times of day. Please consider what is best for the safety and well being of our children and keep our community together!

2 Votes
 
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Jay Morehead 24 days ago

I would like to echo these comments, switching my child from ACES to Durant is not going to help my child’s education.

My first question is, has this decision already been made in all reality and these comments are just a waste or is there a real likelihood to reverse course here? Even 50/50 chance?

This re-districting feels intentionally “hidden” on the original announcement email as a minor change; after realizing our family is impacted we have done some research and it has been even more frustrating.

Is the rest of the Falls River/Bedford ACES zone going to be carved out next year as well to continue on the path of overcrowding?

Why aren’t the zones that are furthest away the ones ear marked for a change?

Is the re districting an effort to get more families to transition to private schools?

ACES is doing well, so if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

1 Vote
 
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earl seltzer 24 days ago

I think we are all kidding ourselves if we don't acknowledge that change is inevitable given the intense growth in this region. We elect officials to the school board to make responsible decisions that reflect the best interest of the communities that they represent.

That said, there are a few points that are of concern:

1) timing: children who were/are in elementary school during the pandemic are uniquely impacted and honestly demand academic and social stability. We are dealing with a comparatively small window in time where our children were taken out of school (in our case, kindergarten) abruptly, put in virtual learning (first grade) with a difficult option to resume in person or not, and THEN presented with a choice to be back in the classroom (2nd grade). Our kids have relied upon their relationship, virtual in many cases, with their classmates and teachers at ACES, so why is it necessary to consider this change now which will introduce an unnecessary, and I would argue traumatic, change to their learning experience by changing schools?

With strictly limited social engagements during the past 20 months, school (even virtual) was a singular social lifeline for our children so why break this up during formative years during/after what we hope to be a situation that never happens again?

Change may be inevitable, but the timing should be evaluated.

2) Focus on Falls River as main community impacted. Agreed that there are a lot of individuals who are deeply engaged with ACES and in fact, this is a reason why we were attracted to the area. Is there available data on the community representation at ACES from Falls River vs other communities?

3) Based on certain rankings, ACES appears to have a better reputation and ranking than Durant Road Elementary. This is nothing against the school itself, but I think it would be appropriate to understand the School Board opinion on this disparity given the proximity of the two schools. And also understand what the School Board would propose to alleviate parent concerns related to this apparent disparity.

2 Votes
 
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Christy Nethercutt 23 days ago

I am here to loudly voice my opposition to the proposed reassignment plan for Abbott's Creek Elementary. While I do not need to restate all of the logically compelling arguments already presented, I want to add a few thoughts...

Our daughter is a 2nd grader at Abbott's Creek, and although we are not currently part of the re-assigned zone (we live in the Wood Spring neighborhood), this entire proposal deeply impacts our family. We have fought hard to be active, involved, and supportive members of our school community. We have invested time, money, and effort in creating relationships with our fellow school community members. When the pandemic shut everything down, our ACES community found ways to connect and create the "village" that is so desperately needed to raise children in this chaotic era. The Falls River neighborhood children are an embedded part of the ACES FAMILY. This reassignment feels like a major and contentious divorce, and I am certain children will suffer the consequences of this proposed action.

Because of covid, many of our community members have been separated from family members (as travel is still difficult if not impossible for many of us). Our children have not been able to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, and so forth. The most important platform of social-stability our children have been able to stand upon has been the consistency of their neighborhood (and, therefore, school) relationships. The thought of trying to explain to my 2nd grader that, despite all of the trauma, isolation, and loss over these past two pandemic years, she now will return to ACES next year with even MORE change and loss, is something I cannot even begin to comprehend.

If we look at this objectively, many of these kids have never experienced normalcy in their academic lives. I know for my 2nd grader, she had half of a year of kindergarten, a full year of virtual learning, and now a year of in-person learning that involves social distancing and masks. How can we, as the adults, now force our kids into yet ANOTHER year of unfamiliar, confusing, and illogical change? The consequences of this proposal will have a serious and detrimental impact on the social-emotional health of our kids. Furthermore, this reassignment will cause irreparable division among our (currently united) community members.

We are a community of families. We are a community of support. We are a community of connection. PLEASE, DO NOT TAKE THIS AWAY FROM US.

As you can see from the impassioned pleas from this platform, our community will come together to HELP THE BOARD FIND A SOLUTION! COME TALK TO US. WALK THE TRAILS THAT CONNECT OUR HOMES TO OUR BELOVED SCHOOL. Please, come see us and meet with us to truly understand how we absolutely need to fight to keep our neighborhood school together. Our families are here to work WITH you to solve the problem in a way that does not devastate our children and community.

1 Vote
 
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Joshua Gentry 23 days ago

I want to post here and every other available forum to express how against the reassignment of students, who live in Falls River, from Abbotts Creek to Durant or Fox Road.

My son is in kindergarten at Abbotts Creek. Abbotts Creek and going to kindergarten has been really important to him developmentally and emotionally. COVID has impacted him and other children with stress, isolation from other kids, and reduced interactions. We had to pull him out of preschool when COVID hit and he lost his interactions with friends and his social growth was really slowed. He is really starting to develop since going to kindergarten with friends and relationships. Do not uproot him and put more chaos in his life.

We live on a street that is half Bedford and half Falls River. A number of his friends live in both neighborhoods and the neighborhoods are practically indistinguishable from each other. It is a community. A community that this proposal threatens to chop up in to bits.

Abbotts Creek is accessible to our house through a greenway trail system without even having to drive on a main road. It is the closest school to us and has allowed us to have more investment with the school due to it's proximity. We as parents have been developing relationships with the school through the PTA, interacting with his teachers, and other families that go to this school. When redistricting happens constantly it seems pointless to spend time working with the schools to develop and improve them when you will just be uprooted willy nilly next year.

I plan to attend the school board meeting on November 30th and any other forum available to us to protest this decision.

1 Vote
 
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Ashley Aptt 23 days ago

I am a parent of one current and one rising ACES student, and I strongly oppose any changes that would remove current students (and their families) from ACES.

The proposal to reassign Falls River students out of ACES is illogical and will have a negative impact on the students and this community.

Many other parents have already commented and provided compelling reasons as to why this proposal should be rejected. So at this point, I'd like to know if the board could please explain how the relocation will have a positive impact on the lives of the students who are affected by this? Because the cases against this proposal are abundantly clear:

  • It removes a source of stability in the children's lives, which is a fundamental pillar in a child's success.
  • It tears apart a wonderful community-based school & neighborhood -- one that the residents of Falls River have worked hard to create because we know the importance of having a strong community when raising children.
  • The children are being relocated from an award-winning school with an outstanding principal and staff to a Title-1 school that has rundown trailers, more violence, and lower academic achievements. Parents of Falls River value a strong education and many families never would have moved here if we were assigned to DRES.
  • It removes the ability for Falls River children to safely walk or bike to school. Students have been killed crossing Durant Road -- It is a dangerous 5 lane road!

This is clearly a hasty decision that has not been well thought out. There are a number of other ways for the board to address the capacity issue without removing the current students.

At a minimum, please grandfather in the current ACES students (and their rising siblings) and work with the Falls River community to come up with a better long-term solution for future residents who move here. Don't move forward with the hasty decision to uproot current ACES students from their school and tear apart a wonderful community.

2 Votes
 
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Danielle Smith 22 days ago

I am writing to STRONGLY OPPOSE the changes proposed to reassign elementary students in the Falls River Community from Abbott’s Creek to Durant Road/Fox Road. In addition to standing with my fellow community members on their comments in this discussion, I’d like to offer a few additional points/personal experiences. In addition, I ask that board that you DO NOT move forward with the 22/23 planned changes to move Falls River without the proper analysis of the numbers (see the many posts above), a discussion around the proximity of our neighborhood to our school (connected by greenways, with many walkers/bikers), and a necessary response to our community’s questions and concerns, which were brushed off in the last School Board Meeting. A decision, made my arbitrary lines and spreadsheets, and without the input of our children’s well being, seems inhuman.

1) There is an influx of scientific academic articles citing the impacts that COVID-19 has had on our children – specifically stating the need for stability, community, and support. While these are articulated as pillars in your plans, the current proposal to move our children is in complete opposition to this. As policymakers, and elected officials, you owe it to your constituents to clearly explain and back up exactly how your strategic plan of moving Falls River students out of their school home, breaking up communities who have been enrolled in Abbott’s Creek elementary since this beginning, is aligned with your stated pillars. The empty buzz words, with conflicting proposed plans, are not sufficient for your community of parents and students. 2) I have two children enrolled in Abbott’s Creek Elementary – a 3rd grader and a kindergartener. For my third grader, he has not had a “normal” school year since Kindergarten. During COVID, and the unpredictable school closings and policies, the ONLY thing that enabled him to remain stable and on track academically was our ability to collaborate with other Abbott’s Creek parents for learning pods, social activities, and physical play. This includes Falls River as well as Bedford parents. Some of the activities included creating our own morning run club, relying on each other to assist with virtual learning in various parent homes, etc. By splitting up a community (again, not just Falls River but the fellow students my son has grown to know at Abbotts Creek) creates a completely unnecessary mental stress on him – which, I have no doubt, will severely affect his academic and social growth. My kindergartener, who entered this “new normal” this year, is thriving at ACES. This is because of two key facts; 1) the leadership (Principal Trantham) and teachers have a commitment to individual student learning that I have not seen at any other WCPSS elementary school. Moving him, after just ONE year at his older brother’s school, our neighborhood school, will no doubt have lasting impacts on him. 2) The one thing he is most excited about every day is seeing the older kids he knows from the neighborhood. He’s comforted that kids he plays with at our parks, pool, and other shared spaces are there to say hi in the hallway, or help him if he needs it. This is a true student community – one that is at risk of being taken away by this proposal. 3) I’d like to express the extreme distrust that the BOE continues to draw from your constituents. This proposal for our school – which has been hidden from clear communication and outreach to parents – is a disgrace. Parents in our community, specifically those of lower SES and who may have two-parents working households, are STILL not aware of these changes due to the “hush hush” nature of the proposal, and the way in which it was presented (e.g., not even highlighted or called out) in any of your email communications. In addition, our community has heard comments from BOE leaders that “we don’t want to move other neighborhoods because we know the parents would push back” or “we’ll just do it quietly, over a few years, so we don’t get full pushback”. How is that approach for the best interest of our students, as you proudly boast? How can you say you want to create community schools when you are, in fact, not evenly open to engaging with OUR community in Falls River to take the time to properly analyze the exact numbers, the exact distances, and the needs of our individual children?

Please consider doing the right thing for our children, and either push back the decision until proper analysis and community feedback can be taken into account, or grandfathering in ALL students currently enrolled in ACES to give them the best chance for success in one of the most important developmental times in their lives, after the hardest 18 months of uncertainty they’ve had to endure.

3 Votes
 
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Derek Ommert 20 days ago

Wake County School Board of Education, the answer is clear and obvious, simply ‘oppose’ the proposed assignment changes from Abbotts Creek Elementary to Durant Road Elementary.

The BoE has provided no supporting data on the benefit of this disruption to the students and families affected by these changes. The BoE provided no real answers of substance during the initial virtual information session and yet continued to inquire for additional questions from the community. Answers to the lines of demark within the Falls River neighborhood for the proposed adjustment have yet to be sufficiently provided, rather more of a ‘just because’ response. Our interpretation of the affected areas was based on what the board representative indicated was “a distinct line of trees separating” two densely populated areas. In fact, he was referring to the City of Raleigh Greenway, which is heavily utilized by the students and parents of Abbott’s Creek Elementary to walk or ride bikes to the school safely without the need to cross a major road or intersection.

Our family has been blessed to be a part of the ACES family. Our oldest son’s class holds a special place in the school’s inception being the first to graduate 5th grade after attending since Kindergarten, during the first year ACES opened. We currently have 3 students enrolled at Abbotts Creek. These changes will absolutely negatively impact their educational growth directly in the middle of very pivotable years for young students. In addition to negatively impacting their educational growth this change would also be detrimental to our children’s emotional and mental health on the heels of a global pandemic that caused great disruption to their daily lives. Now is not the time to make a change that will only minimally address the overcrowding concerns.

One of the district’s stated Objectives is: Community Engagement. The BoE defines this as fostering shared responsibility for student success by building trust, collaboration and engagement among staff, families and community partners. The Board has clearly not been successful in collaborating with or engaging the ACES staff, it’s family or the community. Wake County BoE Core Belief #4: The BoE…will promote and support a culture of continuous improvement, risk-taking, and innovation that results in a high-performing organization focused on student achievement.
Q: How do you perceive young students, who are all at impressionable ages both from an educational and social stance, who have already experienced disruption unlike any we’ve ever experienced previously, are going to continuously “improve” or “achieve” by being uprooted from the educators who know them and from their community peers and friends who support them?

Wake County BoE Objective #3: Well-supported, highly effective, and dedicated principals, teachers, and staff are essential to success for all students. Q: How is shifting these students from an elementary school that ranks better than 92.4% of elementary schools in NC and is also ranked 19th out of 115 elementary schools in Wake County where these students are clearly supported by a group of exceptional principals, teachers and staff to a new set of educators of a Title 1 school that ranks 70th out of the 115 elementary schools and being torn from their peers at the community based school going to promote educational growth?

Like many of the previous posts, the answer is not to uproot students, who have attended their neighborhood Abbotts Creek Elementary school, some for years, just to backfill a large percentage of the school’s population with students from adjoining areas. The BoE needs to work towards enhancing the educational facilities and experiences of those students currently enrolled at Durant Road Elementary and many other schools. They need to calculate a capped mark well before it’s achieved and design and build schools to accommodate for the planned and expected growth.

Global pandemic aside, the disruption these students and families will undergo, not could be but rather will be detrimental to their academic growth. Think about the future of these students. Allow the current students and their siblings finish their years at Abbotts Creek Elementary.

1 Vote
 
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Connie Elzey 20 days ago

Families presently assimilated at ACES should be grandfathered into this school district. Families and especially children need stability now more than ever. Be true educators and allow stability for these families and elementary children during these unprecedented times.

2 Votes
 
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Jennifer Paschaloudis 20 days ago

As a parent of a rising kindergartner for the 2022-2023 school year, I am very concerned about the decision to eliminate part of Falls River from the current base school of Abbotts Creek. I have lived in Falls River since 2002, and I have seen many changes in the community over the years. One of the best additions was the opening of Abbotts Creek Elementary and the surrounding Green Hills County Park. The idea came about with ideas from a citizens group made up of nearby residents who had input into what would become of the closed North Wake Landfill. Some of these very citizens lived in Falls River. Falls River is one of the closest neighborhoods in proximity and is directly adjacent to the property.

The addition of Abbots Creek has fostered a real sense of community among the families of Falls River. I see this particularly on my street. It is extremely disappointing to see that at least half the neighborhood and eventually the entire neighborhood be reassigned. The only other school in close proximity to Falls River is a year round school (Durant Road), which is not a good fit for our family. The traditional calendar overflow school (Fox Road) is not a neighborhood school, which is also poor planning. As a matter of fact, I can name 2 other traditional elementary schools in closer proximity to our neighborhood.

I am sure there are other alternatives to the overcrowding than to disrupt the many families that can literally walk and bike the Abbotts Creek path to school from their back yards and down the street.

Parents want a quality school close to home and the kids want stability in their school with their peers.

Please, keep Falls River at Abbotts Creek!

2 Votes
 
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Paul Duncan 19 days ago

I honestly don't know how a lot of families were able to get through the last year with school aged children. For people who couldn't miss work, otherwise no pay check, to find a solution that doesn't cost more than the money they are bringing in, just for their kids to get to school I'm sure was incredibly difficult. We are lucky enough to have a community that we can rely on with families teaming together to create their own pods so parents can work. This proposal to split up our neighborhood would have just been icing on the cake in the year of a pandemic, but is even more disheartening now that those bonds have become even tighter. To move kids around that are in 1st and 3rd grade seems ludicrous to me. To shove this plan through as quickly and callously as is happening shows that this has zero to do with the students. Much more thought needs to be put into this to find a solution that does not split up a traditional school and support structures in place. If a change needs to occur, it can happen on a future basis without impacting the students and families engrained into Abbott's Creek already.

The school was built here for a reason to provide options for a large community. That was a good decision and it has shown. Don't go sabotaging good work done.

1 Vote
 
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Sharon Adams 19 days ago

I appreciate the opportunity to voice my concern over the proposed changes regarding the reassignment of students from ACES. I strongly oppose the current proposed changes to alleviate the over capacity at Abbots. It does not make sense to me to transfer students from ACES to Durant Rd. by carving out a section of a neighborhood. (Falls River). It seems to me that it is just becoming a “numbers game” instead of considering the emotional stability of the children . These proposals are apparently based on the 4 pillars: operational efficiency, proximity, stability and school achievement. How does the board justify carving out part of Falls River subdivision as a stable, efficient way to solve the overcrowding problem? As a side note, as a Falls River resident since 2001, I remember when Durant Road E.S. was a bustling 4 track school with trailers to handle the overcrowding. How did we go from this to a 1 track , underutilized school? Maybe the board should have addressed some issues before it came to this!

1 Vote
 
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Karen Scaife 19 days ago

I apologize if this has been answered previously. My daughter is a 3rd grader at Abbott’s Creek. We live in a split street where our next door neighbor is the last house in Falls River and we are the first in Bedford. Are we able to guarantee that the changes will only be for Falls and therefore will not affect us? I am not willing to have my daughter uprooted from her routine and from a school she is comfortable in.

1 Vote
 
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Jason Smith 19 days ago

As an ACES parent, I am strongly opposed to the reassignment plan.

Many of us in the Falls River, Bedford, and adjoining communities feel a real connection to Abbotts Creek and that is something the BOE should be trying to emulate across Wake County, not to break. The BOE should be actively encouraging walkable and bikeable schools, not more car dependency. The BOE should be trying to foster a sense of community with schools, rather than treating students and schools as interchangeable cogs, dividing neighborhoods and social ties in the process of playing a numbers game.

Abbotts Creek is one of the few bright spots among North Raleigh’s public schools. Please don’t ruin it.

1 Vote
 
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Lauren Kane 19 days ago

At a time when mental health is so important, why would the WCPSS board want to put undue stress on students or parents? The past 2 years of COVID have caused tremendous challenges on students, parents, and teachers. Students and schools have been agile for the past 2 years for the sake of safety, but to uproot families from the stability they now know, is not supporting a healthy community.

In the case of Abbott's Creek proposed changes, it seems like its more of a school performance balancing act, than actually addressing the capacity. Does the ACES administration actually feel they have a capacity issue?

I'd suggest using ACES as a model to learn from, rather than breaking apart a good example.

1 Vote
 
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Whitney Booger 19 days ago

I have 2 children currently enrolled in Abbotts Creek Elementary School. We have been part of Aces since it opened with our older son. I strongly object the proposal that would move my child and many other Falls River neighborhood children out of Abbotts Creek!!! I wholeheartedly agree with all of the families that have commented before me their thoughts and concerns with this outrageous move.

Our children have had no stability with school in the last 2 years. My second grader has never had a normal year. Her kindergarten year was cut short due to the pandemic. Her first grade year was a huge mix of uncertainty with virtual learning... in school... back to virtual and so forth. Covid has taken a huge mental health toll on all of our children. When will we stop basing everything on numbers and start thinking of the wellbeing of our children. My second grader spent the first month of school throwing up everyday because of the anxiety she has developed due to covid and all the uncertainty she has had to face. We had to see a therapist and I know for a fact many other children are dealing with the same issues. She is finally finding some normalcy, and now you plan on ripping that away from her because of numbers. Our children deserve to have a sense of security and comfort. What is the point of making community schools when you take kids from a community and uproot them to a different school away from all that they have known. Away from the friends they have made and putting them on a completely different calendar schedule( A schedule that will not work for our family of 4 children ranging from High School all the way to elementary). How is that community? I urge you to reconsider this proposal and not punish our children with this.

1 Vote
 
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Lindsey Hines 19 days ago

What a disappointing proposition and now proposal: my kids (5th, 3rd, and K) could be going to a different school next year simply to make some numbers on a spreadsheet fit better.

We specifically sold our home in 2020, and purchased another home 1/4 of a mile away, to remain in the Abbotts Creek School system and within our trusted group of friends and community. People literally make LIFE CHOICES based on the school system that their address is aligned to. Mrs. Trantham's leadership has helped this school become a shining star, and it makes sense that people would want to join it. We could name every teacher, and every staff member, who has had a meaningful impact on our child's development over the last few years and it's incredibly sad to think they would be uprooted so that the 'puzzle pieces' would fit on someone's arbitrary map. I can't imagine all of the kinks that your team has had to work on, work out, and work through over the past 18 months; know that you could quickly gain some time back to focus on more important, meaningful objectives by hard-stopping this proposal. I and many others were thrust into being a quasi-homeroom teacher during the pandemic; then it was wondering should we leave WCPSS altogether, because of the unsteadiness and instability on return to school dates; even now, we wonder if we will get an email stating no buses available, school is closed, and yet through that there has been a constant: when my kids are in school, in person, they will see their friends; their neighbors, teammates, and trusted faces of the teachers and staff they've come to know. They even know what some of these people look like--without a mask :) --because they had opportunities to visit their 5th grade brother in his early years at ACES. When our kids aren't at school, they are on bike rides with their classmates, playing at the parks, and carpooling to and from gymnastics, football practice, birthday parties, church events, to name a few: they can do this because they are living their elementary lives on the same schedule. The kids that go to ACES, should go to ACES--call it grandfathering if you must--or simply 'do the right thing,' which seems so rare these days. Please do not make a decision that affects these kids, and families, so deeply, when it likely barely makes a dent in the larger problem you're setting out to solve. Something forward looking, where people can prepare and plan for, may be in the cards for people who have yet to enter WCPSS, but please do not disrupt the kids who are still learning how to live in a 'new normal,' which we all know is nowhere close to normal.

2 Votes
 
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Max Houseworth 18 days ago

I echo most of the comments here to oppose proposed changes to the ACES district that would effect Falls River. My 2 children are not currently slated to move to Durant but many of their friends in the neighborhood are. Also, I believe that if the proposal is adopted then the future expansion of the Durant district into the rest of Falls River is unfortunately inevitable.

I grew up in Raleigh and in the WCPSS. I went to 3 different elementary schools and my middle and high school were 25 minutes away from my home - and further than 3 other options. While that is not the case in this scenario, I do believe that relocating students to compensate for poorly designed and executed plans is both unfair and harmful.

I hope that WCPSS will reconsider this proposal and heed the valuable insight, comments, and input above from my neighbors.

1 Vote
 
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Kathryn Gentry 18 days ago

I have a student at Abbott’s Creek Elementary and I live in Falls River. I am opposed to this new proposal. I agree with everything that has already been stated in all of the previous comments. Our children have been through so much recently. They need consistency- not more changes. Stability is everything to children. We should do everything in our power to maintain it. I hope WCPSS will reconsider this reassignment for the sake of the children in our neighborhood and our community.

1 Vote
 
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Kerrie Houseworth 18 days ago

I am writing to strongly oppose this reassignment proposal. My family specifically moved to Falls River with the idea that our kids would be going to Abbotts Creek. They are in third grade and kindergarten. We have loved being at Aces. The thought that they will would need to move schools or have their friends move schools is unthinkable. Abbotts has create the stability these students have needed when we are in a world that is very unstable. We have asked our kids to do more and endure more than most adults. Now that we are back to a bit of normalcy you want to uproot them? The stress and anxiety this would cause is cruel. It is clear that you do not have the best interest of the children in mind with this proposal. This proposal is not well thought out and does not seem to effectively alleviate the problem or provide a long term solution. Again, I am strongly opposed. I urge you to reconsider this proposal.

3 Votes
 
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Pat Harrison 17 days ago

I oppose moving Falls River children to Durant Rd ES for the following reasons: Discrepancy of NC Elem School Ratings: ACES 112/ Durant Rd ES 610 Disruption of normalcy for the students following a fearful period of inconsistencies and unknowns which impacted their academic, social, emotional and mental health. Research is needed to consider other alternatives. School Board not allowing enough time for consideration on the critical decision before voting. Parents need to be heard and their input considered in a timely manner. It concerns me that the SB may not be taking all these issues into account. All children deserve peace of mind knowing they will start and finish in the same school and never have to worry about starting over and over again.

1 Vote
 
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Anita Braxton 17 days ago

I am writing to strongly oppose this reassignment proposal. I have a student at Abbott's Creek Elementary that has been attending since Pre-K and is now in 4th Grade. Stripping out a section of the Falls River Community and reassigning those students will be highly detrimental to our ACES students. The geographical "division" that was used as part of the reasoning for choosing our neighborhood is not a division of our neighborhood community - it is the actual Abbott's Creek that travels through our neighborhood. It doesn't divide our neighborhood - it brings it together. Our children from all over the neighborhood play and go to school together. Many, many families homes in the affected area are literally connected to ACES via the Greenway that is behind their homes - they walk to ACES daily. For many of our children, ACES is the only school they have every known and for many that have moved to the neighborhood since it was opened as well. It is indeed our neighborhood school. I strongly urge the Board to revisit this decision. I strongly urge the Board to review the other neighborhoods that are completely separated from Abbott's Creek Elementary, but remain assigned to the school as other options for reassignment. This reassignment proposal will split up our neighborhood unnecessarily. Though my child will be grandfathered into ACES for his final year in elementary school, I still oppose this proposal for all our fellow families who have built such strong ties to their ACES family-and that is what is means to us - it is a family. Please do not rip the Falls River children out of their school home. I strongly urge the Board to reconsider other proposal that will more effectively solve the capacity issues today and in the long term. Thank you.

1 Vote
 
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Michelle Kisielewicz 17 days ago

I am giving voice to support the children and parents that will be greatly affected by this change. As a parent, it is extremely difficult to explain such a disruptive change to a child in the middle of their education. Students are just now getting comfortable with teachers and classmates, and to disrupt this social and learning process is inconsiderate and thoughtless to say the least. I agree with the statements above. Let the students who are already in attendance stay where they are so as not to cause anymore mental harm or social disruption.

1 Vote
 
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Pegeen Turner 17 days ago

Both of my children attended Durant Elementary, but the quality of the administration and, unfortunately, the school, has declined since we left. I am not in favor of a required move to a lower quality school for my neighbors or splitting the neighborhood into different schools. Our neighborhood is adjacent to the school. Why would that option not be the first choice for schools for our entire neighborhood? It does not make sense for our children or our tax dollars. I vote in every election, especially local elections. I would appreciate it if you would reconsider your proposal to split the neighborhood and keep the neighborhood children at Abbotts Creek.

1 Vote
 
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Allen Braginsky 17 days ago

I am here to add my voice to the opposition to moving our kids out of ACES and forcing them to start all over in Durant Elementary. We moved here over a year ago to Falls River and were initially put on a waiting list but by the grace of God, we got her accepted to Abbotts Creek. We fell in love with this neighborhood the moment we came here and feel so blessed to have gotten our daughter into such an amazing 'neighborhood' school. She is always coming home with stories of what happened in school and I am always delighted to hear of all the new things she is learning. The moment we walked our kindergartener to her first day of school, we felt so welcomed by her teacher as well as all staff members we passed along to way to find her class, it's a feeling that just has to be experienced. I can't imagine having our daughter attend any other school or my son not being able to experience all the wonderful things that ACES offers, a couple of years from now.

After the past 2 years of living through a pandemic, the last thing I want to tell my daughter is that she can no longer attend ACES, a school that she looks forward to each and every day, because of a change made out of our control. It hasn't been easy with all the changes like the mask requirements, but I am just so happy that she gets to go to school and learn and explore alongside other kids in our neighborhood. I sincerely hope that the school board reconsiders breaking apart our neighborhood and taking away one of the view pieces of stability in our kid's lives. Thank you.

1 Vote
 
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Meredith Smith 15 days ago

We have one child at ACES, and while the current proposal does not change our school assignment we stand with our neighbors in Falls River and oppose the recommended changes.

There is a real benefit to having true neighborhood schools. Please do not take that away.

Overcrowding, underutilization and other issues do need to be addressed but they need long term, strategic solutions. Not just cutting out certain segments of a neighborhood.

1 Vote
 
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Caitlin Duncan 15 days ago

These are some of the families from Falls River walking together to school this morning. Families who have had to lean on each other during this pandemic. Families who are now comforted by knowing that their kids are walking into a school where they know the friendly faces who greet them, and feel loved and safe. These are the families who will be inevitably separated if this proposal is approved. Please don't do that to our community.

https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/parents-and-students-walk-in-protest-of-school-districts-re-assignment-plan/

1 Vote
 
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Dima AL Kontar 15 days ago

It is really not fair to relocate children from their schools. Our kids take time to get accustomed to the school and learn familiarity with the staff and students. Such a decision will highly affect the emotional and psychological stability of our kiddos. We had enough adjusting to pandemic issues. No one can bear this extra stress. Please reconsider such a decision.

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Garrett Cummings at November 21, 2021 at 11:29am EST

This redistricting plan MUST be opposed. From a strategic and moral standpoint, the school board is trying to temporarily fix the issue of overcrowding at the expense of students. Forcing out students who are just getting readjusted to 'normalcy' with their teachers and classes after two years of tumultuous learning is cruel and short-sided. Our students who are thriving at ACES need stability, not being ripped from their counselors, teachers, and staff.

Working-class families in the Falls River neighborhood also need the stability of the traditional calendar school like ACES. It is apparent that Board gerrymandered the redistricting plan to spare wealthier neighborhoods and 'ship out' students with two working parents who might not notice. From a personal standpoint, moving my children to a year-round school creates an incredible burden on my family, both logistically and economically, as my wife and I are both teachers on a traditional calendar.

This is not an equitable or stable solution for children who can walk or ride their bikes to Abbott's Creek Elementary. The school bears the name of the creek that runs THROUGH Falls River and they should be considered the primary tenants of the school!

2 Votes
 
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Charlotte Klingler at November 22, 2021 at 4:48pm EST

We have a toddler that will soon enough go to elementary school, we live in falls river. Her assigned school is Wakefield. We purchase our home for multiple reasons, one be the school being so close. We oppose!

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Janneth Zombas at November 28, 2021 at 1:21pm EST

As a parent of elementary school students attending Abbotts Creek ES, I strongly oppose the reassignment of students to another school.

As our children are just starting to feel some normalcy and stability with the Covid pandemic, removing them out of their familiar environment at Abbotts Creek will prove to be emotionally taxing. Our first concern should be the well-being of our children.

Please reconsider and not reassign Falls River students out of Abbotts Creek.

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Cammy Sollie at November 28, 2021 at 8:27pm EST

As a parent of 2 students at Abbotts Creek Elementary and a teacher (formerly of Wake County), I strongly oppose this reassignment plan. This is not the time to shift any students given the state of the world the last 2 years. Our students are just getting back to "normal" and really need the stability of their school, their teachers and their friends.

While I know that the BoE has hard decisions to make, it seems as if many of these reassignments are quick fixes instead of long term solutions. At the last board meeting it was discussed that 2 schools in our area, Wake Forest Elementary and Wildwood Forest (our base school before Abbotts was opened), will both become magnet schools next year. This could very well draw students in our neighborhood away from Abbotts and into these magnet schools, thus alleviating some of the over-crowding that is happening in our school. Why not wait a year to see if making these a magnet helps with our overcrowding before rushing to move current students out? I also have heard from numerous sources that there are discussions of making ACES a year round school. Since the BoE will not even discuss transitions to year round calendar in January, shouldn't the decision about our neighborhood be pushed if there is a possibility of our school being a part of that discussion?

Furthermore, if the "issue" at Abbotts Creek is overcrowding, how does your proposal help? With both draft 1 and 2, you will move out 80 CURRENT students and replace them with 60+ capped out students. The "overcrowding" then would only be lessened by 15-20 students. Additionally, capped out students have lived in this neighborhood less than 2 years, while many of the students you will remove have lived here 5+ years. Many of us moved into this neighborhood for this school. Isn't it our responsibility as a community and a school board to build more schools as successful as Abbotts Creek instead of tearing apart a neighborhood and a school who are thriving to assist another school that isn't?

The fact that the time between draft 1 being published and the date you will vote is only 63 days is absurd. You cannot make a decision that will affect numerous families (not just at our school, but in ALL of Wake county) that quickly. When people rush decisions like this, mistakes are made. These mistakes end up needing to be fixed which in this case will result in shifting students again in a few years.

Falls River is the closest neighborhood to Abbotts Creek. The Abbotts Creek Greenway trail runs through our neighborhood and many families rely on this as their route to school via bike and / or walking. Why would our neighborhood even be considered for this move? We are a strong community and we have helped each other through these last few years. Neighbors have worked together to create learning pods, recess groups, carpools and so much more. Our kids have made friendships that matter and they love to see their friends in their school. Many of our students have found stability at school in the midst of a global pandemic. Their teachers are people they trust, their friends are people they rely on and our neighbors all look out for each other.

I urge you to consider giving communities another year to work TOGETHER with their school board representative to come up with long term solutions. As you all are elected officials, I would think the opportunity to work with your constituents on solutions would be one you would welcome. I know that decisions need to be made and some things need to change, but am asking that you allow us to be a part of the decision making process.

Thank you for your time and your re-consideration of this reassignment proposal.

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Mike Sollie at November 28, 2021 at 9:22pm EST

Just like so many other parents/families who have posted to this forum, I strongly oppose this reassignment proposal. From the beginning, there was a lack of transparency and lack of information presented to the community. While there are some decision-makers that may disagree with this statement, the fact is after numerous discussions with individuals within the WCPSS and school board personnel, it was very evident that people were not on the same page leading to misinformation being provided.

It's very concerning that this proposal is trying to be pushed through so quickly without giving consideration to several other alternatives. Ideas and solutions have been presented and at some point along the chain of command they're not even being heard. This proposal can potentially lead to adverse situations to many students, now and in the future. A major decision such as this should absolutely warrant consideration longer than 2 months.

I'm quite confident I speak for all parents when I say this, but as a parent, the decisions we make revolve around our children. Our #1 goal is to give them the opportunity to have better/more opportunities than we had. Personally speaking, when my wife and I spent months and months scouring Wake county when we were in the process of looking for a home, we focused on neighborhoods where Abbotts Creek Elementary School was our home-base school. We achieved that goal when a house in Falls River came on the market. We thanked God it worked out for us even though the seller had 3 more offers after ours and for more money than we were offering. The stars lined up and we won the home, which meant our children would attend ACES throughout their elementary school years. Now, when we have 2 children enrolled at a school they absolutely love and are flourishing at, someone decided to tell us where our kids are going to go to school. Again, as a parent and provider, I have a major problem with that. I realize that situations like the one we're in do arise and it's naïve to think they don't, but all the children possibly affected by this proposal deserve more than 2 months of the school boards time and head of student assignments time.

For the record, I strongly oppose this proposal and especially the "swift manner" in which it is trying to be implemented.

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Courtney Owens at November 29, 2021 at 1:47pm EST

I am here to echo the sentiments of my amazing neighbors and fellow ACES parents above. I STRONGLY OPPOSE the proposed changes. I am actually shocked that this is EVEN being considered at all. These children have endured so much over the last few years, living in a pandemic and everything they know to be NORMAL. I have two second graders at ACES this year. ONE of which had to miss her entire first year of kindergarten because she had CANCER, her next year VIRTUAL and this year, the minute we get a little normalcy back, its going to be stripped from us????!!!! I know I am only one person, but I am petrified of what this would do to my kids. TOO MUCH CHANGE, and for what, it literally makes no sense to split these kids up, NONE. Then on top of that, the school option we are given is a year round option, thus making parents, once again, scramble to find child care, or arrangements with their employers. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!

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Leon Kislowski at November 30, 2021 at 9:47am EST

Our family supports our neighbors and community and strongly opposes the reassignment proposal for Abbots Creek. We have two children in the Wake County school system, one of which attended Abbots Creek upon its opening and who has since moved on to Wakefield High School, and the other a current 3rd grade student at Abbots Creek who would be deeply affected by this proposal in years to come. Both of our children have grown and prospered in the Abbots Creek community and environment while developing lasting relationships with classmates and teachers. As our fellow neighbors and community members have so eloquently and passionately laid out in this forum, we urge the Board to reject this proposal and seek alternative solutions that will not disrupt an already thriving environment whereby our children have reached unparalleled success in development, both academically and socially. In simplest terms, why fix something that is not broken but rather is thriving and allowing our children to realize and create the best versions of themselves. With all that has gone on in the past two years this proposal seems inherently wrong and we urge you to reconsider. This community stands strong and will continue to voice our opposition as evidenced by recent community meetings, walks to school, media coverage, etc. Our children are our first priority and their welfare should remain so going forward.

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