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.

26 Responses

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Krista Potts 19 days 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.

11 Votes
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Corallie Tornow admin at October 13, 2021 at 12:34pm EDT

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 at October 13, 2021 at 9:37pm EDT

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"?

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Corallie Tornow admin at October 19, 2021 at 9:17am EDT

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 at October 22, 2021 at 6:22pm EDT

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.

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Richard Potts 18 days 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.

10 Votes
 
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Bay Scroggins 18 days 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.  

11 Votes
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Heidi Jordan at October 13, 2021 at 12:49pm EDT

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

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Bay Scroggins at October 13, 2021 at 1:01pm EDT

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

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Steven Bronstein 17 days 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?

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Tara Cronlund 17 days 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.

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Megan Winzeler 17 days 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.

12 Votes
 
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Chris Winzeler 17 days 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.

11 Votes
 
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Kate Stem at October 14, 2021 at 10:30am EDT

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.

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Natasha Hanselman at October 14, 2021 at 2:56pm EDT

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.

9 Votes
 
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Chad Rinna at October 15, 2021 at 12:25pm EDT

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

8 Votes
 
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M Ohlson at October 15, 2021 at 2:19pm EDT

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.

7 Votes
 
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Jessica Seltzer at October 18, 2021 at 11:40am EDT

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.

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Sarah Tucker at October 18, 2021 at 12:17pm EDT

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.

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Steven Strickland at October 18, 2021 at 12:55pm EDT

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.

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Brenda Jones at October 19, 2021 at 3:07pm EDT

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.

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Heather Godwin at October 20, 2021 at 4:36pm EDT

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.

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Jackie Karlic at October 21, 2021 at 8:09am EDT

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.

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Bekgah Morehead at October 21, 2021 at 11:17pm EDT

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. 

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Corallie Tornow admin at October 25, 2021 at 2:26pm EDT

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.

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Jaimie Francis at October 22, 2021 at 4:10pm EDT

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.

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