To keep up with projected growth in some parts of the county and prevent the overcrowding of schools, we’re opening three new schools:
- Apex Friendship Elementary, 801 Humie Olive Road, Apex, opening in August 2022
- Barton Pond Elementary, 12004 Strickland Road, Raleigh, opening August 2022
- Herbert Akins Road Middle, 2255 Herbert Akins Road, Fuquay-Varina, opening July 2022
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.
Seth Russell over 1 year ago
It appears that my family is impacted by this proposal. With Leesville Road High about 11 minutes away by car (not during before/after school rush hour) and Millbrook High 18 minutes away by car (again not during before/after school rush hour) this will result in significantly more transportation time for my family.
One concern I have (and others in my neighborhood have) is that currently provided transportation (bussing) is a very long ride already. It seems that the current excessive transportation times will greatly increase due to the increased distance.
This makes before school/after school activities much more difficult to participate in. Additionally it reduces time students have to study as at least my children have a hard time doing home work in a car or on a bus.
What will be done to resolve the transportation time issue?
Corallie Tornow admin over 1 year ago
Hi Seth, The labor shortage that is affecting much of the country has impacted our transportation department. A shortage of bus drivers has led to longer wait times this school year. We are actively recruiting and hopeful the situation will improve over time. In your particular case, under this proposal your student would be eligible to request to stay at Leesville through 12th grade to remain at the more proximate school, though they would not be eligible for district transportation.
Seth Russell over 1 year ago
I have another concern. This is actually not Leesville Road/Millbrook High specific.
Stability rules are currently in place that state students can continue to attend their current high school until graduation.
How frequently do the stability rules change? If redistricting can happen yearly, could stability rules also change yearly? I would hate to have stability for 1 more year and then have no option to keep attending the same school.
Matt Dees admin over 1 year ago
Hi Seth, the stability rules once approved as part of the final plan would not change for students affected by the plan. If approved as proposed, your student would be able to stay at Leesville through 12th grade, without transportation service.
Ben Dalton over 1 year ago
Unlike many of the other proposed changes, this change appears to put many families much further away from their base high school. Millbrook HS is twice as far (in mileage) from my address as Leesville Road HS. Millbrook HS is also a 25 minute direct drive (and upwards of 35 minutes in the morning) from my address, while Leesville HS is only 13 minutes (up to 20 minutes in the morning), per Google estimates. These times do not even take into account bus travel times, which are frequently 2 to 3 times longer and greatly multiply the travel implications. It seems very plausible that an additional hour every day could be lost to transportation in my case.
Placing families so inordinately far from their base schools seems unfair and inequitable given the closer option. I urge you to reconsider this change.
Corallie Tornow admin over 1 year ago
Hi Ben, The crowding in the district is more to the West. In order to alleviate crowding, a lot of our assignments need to pull from the West to the East where we have available seats.
Natalie Henderson over 1 year ago
All of the new high schools are being built in the west. As I've mentioned WCPSS created this overcrowding at Leesville with the last assignment when they moved the Brier Creek neighborhood into Leesville. Green Hope is less than 4 miles from Panther Creek and is way under the capacity; they should have move some of the Panther Creek kids into Green Hope back then instead of moving Brier Creek over here. I know what's done is done, but shows the failure to plan on the part of WCPSS. The area signaled out for this move from Leesville to Millbrook is huge and is based on current enrollment and those numbers are not static.
Amanda Culp over 1 year ago
I too have concerns with this proposal. Ever since moving to the Hawthorne community, the WCPSS has constantly changed base schools to locations that are inconvenient and farther away from our current base schools. This has happened elementary, middle, and now high school . Additionally, these changes place our students in new schools, with students they have no familiarity with as the newly proposed schools are often across town and not with nearby neighborhoods with nearby friends. With highschool starting and releasing so early, what is the impact on these students that need to be bused to school from these far away locations? As other posts have indicated, Millbrook is more than double in distance from our neighborhood than it is to Leesville High. These added times to and from school take away time from family, school work, extra curricular activities, etc....all the while placing the student in a new foreign environment. Does not seem to keep the best interest of the students or their families in mind at all. Its a shame every new school year has been a battle.
Corallie Tornow admin over 1 year ago
Hi Amanda, Take a look at the response to Ben above. While we haven’t had reassignments in this area in the recent past, staff will look into the long-term history of this area.
Amanda Culp over 1 year ago
Hi Coralie, you stating there have not been reassignments in the past is not factual. Many of our younger neighbors were in fact NOT allowed to attend Sycamore Creek and were moved farther away to Baileywick without a choice. We were "grandfathered in" and allowed to stay but many did not make the cut. Additionally, our base middle school was abruptly changed from Pine Hollow to West Millbrook, where once again we had to fight our way back into our neighborhood school. NOW we are being forced away from our beloved Leesville High across town to Millbrook? You may want to do some fact checking before you make statements such as "...we haven't had reassignments in this area in the recent past..." because our family has been impacted and had to fight the WCPSS decisions in elementary, middle, and now high school and it is out of control. Or maybe but some terms on what your definition of "recent" is.
Matt Day over 1 year ago
We live in the Hawthorne neighborhood and this would be a very inconvenient change for us. Leesville High School is less than 10 minutes from our house (about 4 miles right down the street) and Millbrook High School is halfway across town (about 25-30 minutes and 11 miles, most of which is stop-and-go city driving with no easy direct way to get there). While I can respect the concept of wanting to align the IB programs at West Millbrook Middle and Millbrook High by lining up their attendance zones, I feel like that's a pretty thin pretense for making this change. And if you really want to pull at that string, I could just as easily argue that our neighborhood probably doesn't really belong in the West Millbrook Middle attendance zone either, since I heard in your presentation today that both Pine Hollow and Leesville Middle Schools (which are both significantly closer to us than West Millbrook) are both underutilized - but I realize that's getting off point. Also, if people really wanted to stick with the IB program they could apply to Millbrook as magnet students.
I understand and respect that Leesville High School is crowded and you want to relieve that crowding; but at the same time I see that you are also pulling students from Broughton to add to Leesville, and that nearby Sanderson is sitting there only 83% occupied and with only a minor/inconsequential percentage-wise proposed zone change. Why was our neighborhood/area singled out to change schools when there are other options (such as shifting more areas from Leesville to Sanderson, or not shifting the neighborhood from Broughton to Leesville) that would seem to make just as much sense as solutions to the overcrowding at Leesville (if not more sense).
To summarize, when I listened to the presentation today almost all the changes discussed stressed how proximity was a major concern in defining the boundaries. However, you seem to have missed the mark in this case and reassigned us to a school that is significantly further away and much less convenient for us. I would ask you to take a second look at whether this proposal is really the best one for solving the issue you are trying to solve. Thanks for your consideration.
Graham Boyd over 1 year ago
I would second these sentiments, not only should Hawthorne remain with the local High School which is Leesville Road, but the middle school assignment of West Millbrook should probably be looked at as well. (Again, that’s not the original topic, but in response to aligning programs).
Leigh St John over 1 year ago
Hello. Like the others, it seems we will be affected by this change. One of the reasons we chose our neighborhood was to be zoned to Leesville high school. Millbrook is more than twice the distance from our home. It would be terribly inconvenient for drop off and I am concerned about the amount of time spent on the bus. (My son already spends an hour on the bus home per day) Please reconsider this change as I do not find Millbrook to be an “underutilized” school by any means. I haven’t had to deal with something like this before and would be interested to learn what choices we have regarding attending a non-base school, in case the board moves forward with this proposal.
Melissa Barr over 1 year ago
Hello. Like the many others before me, we are unhappy with this proposal. We bought our home in the Hawthorne neighborhood in part because we knew the high school was easy to/from and this change more than doubles the time each way. Leesville High School Is 4.3 miles and 11 minutes, even with traffics, whereas Millbrook is 8.4 miles and a nearly 40 min drive during school start and finish times. For those that want to be in the IB program 6-12, they should be able to apply and get in; however, proximity should be the priority for the majority. Leesville has been a part of our community since 1987 and it has become the school that feels like a hometown. By moving our neighborhood to a school 40 min away, you are taking away family time, study time and the opportunity for many kids to participate in extracurricular activities.
Natalie Henderson over 1 year ago
3-4 years ago WCPSS moved Brier Creek neighborhood into LRHS and out of Panther Creek HS, now Panther Creek is underutilized and LRHS is busting at the seams; consider the planning you did on this going forward and do better. I could throw a rock from my house and hit the Durham County line yet you want to bus my kid to Millbrook which is twice as far away as Leesville and Sanderson (at 83% capacity-is that correct?) is even closer than Millbrook, though not by much. Additionally, this seems like you are shaking up the lives of a large area/a lot of people for a minimal change in the overcrowding that you created 4 years ago. It is not as though Millbrook is underutilized. How about a long range plan? How about a new NW Wake County High School? Instead of moving kids around every 4 years
Allyson Orr over 1 year ago
I live in Wood Valley and just wanted to comment that I am pleased that the plan has allowed our neighborhood to remain at Leesville High. The progression makes a lot of sense since our base middle school is also Leesville Middle and I hope we can maintain this assignment in future drafts of the plan.
Melissa Barr over 1 year ago
That’s great for Wood Valley but Hawthorne was singled out among the 1 mile radius to move across town.
Pete Marston over 1 year ago
I live in in Hunter Hills. This neighborhood is about as far north and west from Millbrook as one can get within Wake County. My family and neighbors are extemely concerned about this proposal. Our location is not only at least 2xs the distance and likely 3xs the commute time from Millbrook when compared to Leesville, it also requires congested traffic, freeway driving and ultimately a significant safety conern for new drivers. The extension of the Millbrook HS area keeps shifting further north and further west while there is a significant population of families inside 540 that are much closer to MIllbrook than our area. Please explain why the burden for busing from the farthest reaches of northern Wake County is a necessity vs the locations much closer to Millbrook? Why is the is best plan? Why is it appropriate to put our children at risk? Why is it a requirement that we travel up to 3xs longer for a commute when Leesville is much closer? Why are areas closer to Millbrook not considered (even if that means shifting other schools around). Your map of school zoning makes no sense to any of us. Perhaps planning for a new NW Raleigh High School is appropriate. A large tract of land (27 acres) was purchased by WCPSS in Feb 2020 which sits at the intersection of 540 and Creedmoor Rd (prior horse farm). What is the plan for that land? When can we expect a new HS to be built? We look forward to responses.
Kathryn Banks over 1 year ago
We live in Hawthorne neighborhood and are very upset with this proposal! We have lived here for 14+ years and have 2 children graduate from Leesville HS. Our 3rd, a current 8th grader at WMMS, has grown up attending events in that school eagerly anticipating the day he will walk the halls to now only be told he’s not scheduled to go there next year! It seems that our neighborhood is CONSTANTLY pulled to different schools further away whereas the neighborhood directly behind us off Sunnystone and Barton’s and across Norwood (Wood Valley) get to stay at the neighborhood schools closet to them.
I am very worried about the time it will take to travel to/from Millbrook HS. At this point my son has been on the bus for an hour at times coming from West Millbrook I can only imagine how long those travel times will increase as he moves further west. Also the safety concerns of putting young HS drivers on the road driving that far early in the morning or after school, potentially in rush hour traffic, if they have to stay for after school activities. Leesville HS is only 4 miles from my house and Millbrook is more than DOUBLE that at 13 miles. Travel times will easily double and could triple depending on the time of day. I understand that the purpose of this move is to help align the magnet programs for middle and high schools but in reality the number of kids that flow into the HS that will apply to and actually get into the IB magnet portion is pretty low as it it not incorporated into each child’s curriculum like in the middle school. Why would the county try fill seats at a magnet school and take away a potential opportunity for ones who would want to apply and actually utilize the IB magnet? I would ask that the board PLEASE leave Hawthorne at Leesville HS.
Mike Fulton over 1 year ago
Our family is happy with the elementary change just because Barton Pond is closer than Baileywick. For that same reason, we're unhappy being switched from Leesville Road HS to Millbrook. We live right behind the Hawthorne neighborhood, and the distance change has been noted by others, but our neighborhood was actually cut in half. We're in Bartons Creek Bluffs, and most of the houses are assigned to LRHS, and our street is now assigned to Millbrook. Please consider re-assigning us back to LRHS.
Kim Truesdale over 1 year ago
I'm in agreement with all my Hawthorne neighbors and echo their sentiments. The commute to Millbrook HS (on the bus) is just too far and long. (And I don't even want to think of how that would be exacerbated for those who want to participate in HS athletics). This change seems especially unnecessary when we have the option to attend a high school that is right down the road from us. We are asking that you please reconsider this decision. Keep Hawthorne assigned to Leesville HS.
kellie schachle over 1 year ago
We live in the Boulder Creek neighborhood and oppose the change from LRHS to Millbrook HS. This neighborhood has been an extremely strong supporter of LRHS for the 20 years that my family has lived here. The close proximity of the school to this neighborhood has contributed to a very real sense of community for the students and the school. The distance to Millbrook HS from the Boulder Creek neighborhood is a major obstacle for students and families to maintain the same level of involvement in their school. I believe community support of a school should be a top priority in any enrollment plan. For this reason, LRHS should remain the base high school for the Boulder Creek neighborhood as well as the other small neighborhoods in this vicinity.
Julie Forrest over 1 year ago
While my daughter is heading into her senior year at Leesville and will not be impacted, I ask you to please reconsider on behalf of my neighborhood, Boulder Creek, and surrounding community neighborhoods, like Hawthorne. It has been wonderful to participate in and support a school that is "just down the road." While Millbrook is wonderful school, our high school experience would have been much different if my daughter had been so much further away. It is already hard to make sure our high schoolers get enough rest with such an early start time, and the drive to Millbrook from the Boulder Creek neighborhood is twice as long it is to Leesville (without even factoring traffic). My daughter is new driver and I am so thankful that her school commute is less than 10 minutes and her friends from school live in neighboring communities so she is driving in a pretty small radius. That would look very different if she was at Millbrook instead of Leesville. For parents in these neighborhoods, it isn't just about school preference, it is about safety and community for our teenagers. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Nicole Lochansky over 1 year ago
I echo what the other parents are stating about this proposal. My family is a two minute drive from the Durham County line off of Old Creedmoor Rd. How is it closer for my kids to go to Millbrook than it is Leesville? We are seldom on the Spring Forest RD side of town. Our life is centered around the Leesville/Brier Creek community. My son has a job on the Leesville side of town. I appreciate that under the stability rules my rising Senior and Freshman can apply to transfer to stay Leesville- we should be able to have transportation as well. WCPSS should think of creative ways rather than moving kids around. What about changing high school hours with an AM/PM rotation (not all kids are in sports/band)? Promoting and embracing Virtual Academy for those students and teachers who thrive in that format? What about a moratorium on new developments? Are there plans to build a new school for those in NW Wake County? When will more details about the Public Forum be made available for 11.30.21?
Dana Tiller over 1 year ago
We live in the Boulder Creek neighborhood and our home is less than 6 miles from Leesville HS and 15 miles from Millbrook HS. Even though transportation will be offered the bus ride to our neighborhood will be much longer. Today from Pine Hollow the bus arrives at our neighborhood from school almost an hour after the final bell. Pine Hollow is less than 5 miles from our house. I can't even imagine what the length of the bus ride will be from a school that is 15 miles from Boulder Creek. At the beginning of the presentation of the proposal there were 4 goals stated for the plan. 1. Operational Efficiencies 2. Proximity 3. Stability 4. Student Achievement. My first comment is that these are out of order. Shouldn't the goals be student centered instead of operational? The plan to move the children in Boulder Creek and a few small neighborhoods from Leesville HS to Millbrook HS doesn't accomplish at least 2 of these goals (proximity and stability) and I would argue that it doesn't accomplish a third (operational efficiency) as busing students twice as far is not efficient. I would also question if it really accomplishes the 4th (student achievement) as students need stability to be able to achieve their best. I urge the school board to reconsider the proposed plan and leave the Boulder Creek Neighborhood based at Leesville HS.
Chris Youman over 1 year ago
Yet another disruptive, re-assignment plan is hatched within the disconnected confines of a bureaucracy that puts families and student welfare behind political expediency and useless metrics. It defies common sense. The board has been pulling these stunts on taxpaying families since at least the early 90s. It’s disheartening to see this is still going on. Why are you making students in my neighborhood change high schools mid-career to go further away and now be outside if their base community? Why is it that other communities nationwide with growth rates as high as Wake Co. do NOT do this? Shame on the board for taking the easy way and putting families last!
Heather Saunders over 1 year ago
I would also like to echo what others in my neighborhood, Boulder Creek, have shared here to hopefully increase the visibility of concern for this decision. It does not make sense to switch our neighborhood to a school that is twice the distance away as the current assignment, and I absolutely considered school assignments when choosing where to purchase my home. This reassignment seems like it would be inconvenient for students, for parents, and for the school system developing transportation routes.
Betsy Edwards over 1 year ago
We live in Boulder Creek and oppose this proposal. As others have mentioned the shift of students who live in Boulder Creek and surrounding neighborhoods from Leesville HS to Millbrook HS will have direct negative impact on students due to the increase travel time to an from school. If students are of driving age, this additional travel time raises risk for accidents and will add financial burden on families due to increased auto insurance premiums and fuel expense. For both student and non-student drivers, the additional time on the road reduces the opportunity for critical time spent with family and for completing school work requirements putting student stability and academic achievement at risk. I feel this change would also have an negative impact on WCPSS operating costs with higher fuel expense due to increase travel , an expense that is eventually passed on to Wake County tax payers. I ask that you please consider the negative impacts that will result from this proposed shift and vote not to proceed with this proposal. Thank you for your consideration.
Nicole Barnes over 1 year ago
Boulder Creek parent here with a Leesville 9th grader. I am grateful for the stability application, but agree fully with many of the sentiments expressed here. In reviewing other changes, the concept of proximity is listed as the reason, yet the Leesville to Millbrook proposal is the opposite of proximity. Why is it ok for proximity to be important for some, but not everyone? I suspect many will apply for stability to stay at LRHS, only to have to figure out how to do it without transportation. More carpoolers will lead to even more congestion in the area during drop off and pick up times, causing the kids to have to get up even earlier to make it to school on time. I heard there was a proposal to have high school start later? Is that under consideration? Also, as others have noted, our little slice of neighborhoods has gotten shifted around quite a lot in the last several years. Please revisit this proposed reassignment.
DW DW over 1 year ago
We're a Black Horse Run family -- want to echo the sentiments expressed so well above by my neighbors. Understanding the county is (and has been for the 15 years we've been here) undergoing growth, it seems the County could finally get better at planning for it. Dragging us all the way to Millbrook when Leesville is so close hardly seems the right solution. Bus shortage is already a problem that keeps my kids on the bus for well over an hour -- why double the distance and increase that time? Should I expect my kids be on a bus 3 hours a day to attend their base school? And the option is I can leave my kids at Leesville but I'm going to have to pick them up at 2:20? Ludicrous. I have a job and my kids would like a life beyond riding the bus.
Dawn Clark over 1 year ago
As a Boulder Creek family and past WCPSS School Counselor I am opposed to the proposed changes that would move Boulder Creek and Hawthorne Families out of the LRHS community. Although my 3 children are out of the School System I continue to counsel young adults and families whose children are specifically in the system and currently in High School. The increased anxiety on our young people is rampant due to Covid and other societal factors of late. The last thing our young people need is more uncertainty and change. Please consider making changes that are the LEAST disruptive to our young people. Having students and families move further away from their communities is never the answer. Always choose the path that leads to the least distress on our young people. This proposal does not align with what is best for children or families.
Natalie Taylor over 1 year ago
We live in Black Horse Run and the new proposal will impact families in our area in a number of ways. Specifically for our family, the lack of transportation would leave us without a way to get our daughter home from school. I will be applying for stability transfer as it would be too hard on her to switch schools halfway through high school. However, we rely on transportation as my husband and I both work full time (I am a WCPSS employee) and have no way to pick her up from school till 430-500. Due to COVID delaying the drivers ed program, she will not be able to drive herself next year. As well, it does not make sense for future high schoolers to travel twice the distance requiring longer bus rides when one of WCPSS arguments is a lack of bus drivers. The current early and late Leesville HS bus routes seem to be working to address a driver shortage. And in the event that an early and late bus schedule would be necessary at Millbrook, our kids would be waiting for the bus and then on the bus for hours. Why isn't Sanderson being considered since it is only at 83% capacity and closer to our neighborhoods? Why are students from Broughton being given precedence over current Leesville Rd HS students and not being transferred to Sanderson, a less crowded school and a school closer to the Broughton area?
Corallie Tornow admin over 1 year ago
Hi Natalie - Staff will review these suggestions as we prepare for the Draft 2 presentation.
Allen Hawkins over 1 year ago
I live in Boulder Creek, and prior in Black Horse Run! I oppose the proposal! I believe in Community Schools. Obviously, The Wake County School Board hasn’t kept up with demand for high schools in the whole county, but especially in the NW part of the county. It appears a high school would require 50+ acres. There are several large parcels from 50 and 540 westward toward Leesville. If they can’t buy or build more high schools closer than Millbrook, they should give vouchers for say $8000 a student, and let the Charter Schools build some more. This has been and will continue to be a problem with not being able to keep up with demand for over 30 years!
Melissa Berg over 1 year ago
I am so tired of Hawthorne constantly being plucked out and abused by re-zoning us to schools further away. 5 years ago, we fought tooth and nail when they pulled us from Sycamore Creek just right down the street and WCPSS did NOTHING and let it happen. That resulted in half the neighborhood with rising Kindergartners to go to magnets and charter schools, spitting all of us up and the rest of us had to suck it up and go to Baileywick because there was no other option. My kids' bus ride this year is an hour and 15 minutes in the afternoon. They don't get home until just after 5pm!! So, we are so excited and thankful for Barton Pond ES to open up for us and are happy about that being our new base elementary since it is extremely close.... but the slick change of Leesville HS to Millbrook HS is very concerning and dogging us in the same way they did 5 years ago with the Sycamore/Baileywick change. Our neighborhood poured time, money and resources into the building of Leesville HS and the proximity allows for parent participation as well as making after school activities accessible. Trying to now send our kids 20-30 minutes away by car (I can't IMAGINE the bus ride round trip) and as young drivers is absolutely terrifying and downright wrong. Give our families a break!! We bought this house for Sycamore ES and Leesville HS and now they are BOTH being taken away from us right before our kids had the opportunity to attend.
Maren Olsen over 1 year ago
I live in Black Horse Run and oppose this proposal. Many of the middle schoolers in our neighborhood attend Pine Hollow MS and continuing on to Leesville HS is a logical, geographic progression. Millbrook HS is over twice the distance as Leesville HS from our neighborhood. If this change moves forward, our family will be applying for a stability transfer.
Elisabeth Galanos over 1 year ago
I would like to advocate for the rejection of the proposed seat assignment change for the Hawthorne neighborhood (from Leesville HS to Millbrook HS). The neighborhoods immediately adjacent (Wood Valley, Barton’s Creek) have no change and remain with Leesville HS. That means the bus will drive thru Hawthorne every day to pick up kids for Leesville, driving right by our house, which is wasteful and inefficient of the bus route; it would also require another bus to drive an equally inefficient route to pick up our kids, who are then subjected to a much longer bus ride to Millbrook. This ill-advised proposed change also means additional hardships for after-school opportunities; my son plays multiple sports and will have after-school practice and late games, but we will have lost all carpooling options with the neighboring areas, which may mean lost wages for our family by taking the time to pick up our son or lost extra-curricular opportunities for our son because we need to work. If this proposed seat assignment change occurs, WCPSS will have forced us to exhaust all other options, to include withdrawing our son from WCPSS.
john hawkins over 1 year ago
I live in Boulder Creek subdivision and object to the potential redistricting of our neighborhood from Leesville HS to Millbrook HS. Many high school aged students drive themselves to and from school. By requiring them to commute in heavy traffic every day for 12+ miles vs 5+ miles the risk of accidents greatly multiply. Their is no easy way to get from Boulder Creek to Millbrook HS. The additional distance also reduces the likelihood of them having time for extra-curricular activities at the school. It makes it that much harder for parents to get involved in volunteer capacities as well. I know the school board is tasked with the responsibility of doing their best to ensure the safety and well-being of the students, I can't see this a positive change for the students or parents affected. I would ask that you re-consider this change.
Alice Fulmer over 1 year ago
Like many others on this forum, I live in Hawthorne and am very upset by this proposed change. This neighborhood has been a huge supporter of Leesville High School in the past, and even young families have been attending sports events and view it as their neighborhood school. It is ridiculous and dangerous to have teenagers go to Millbrook when it is over twice the distance away. Bus rides in Wake County are already too long, and new teenage drivers should not be driving that far in the dark before or after school. Such a distance will impact our students’ ability to participate in sports and after school activities, will diminish parental support, both in terms of volunteering and financial support through boosters, and will negatively impact the students’ achievements in and out of the classroom. The neighborhoods on either side of Hawthorne are currently slated to stay at Leesville, and it makes no sense that Hawthorne should be moved while they stay, especially when a bus would literally have to cut through Hawthorne to take one of the neighborhood’s students.
Heather Harris over 1 year ago
My family is also affected by this change as we live in Monticello (west side of Lovdal drive) which is off of Old Creedmoor Rd. Like others have already stated Millbrook high is a greater distance away from Leesville Rd High and would cause significant longer commutes. I also think it puts our kids at a greater risk of car accidents and participating in extracurricular activities because of the longer commute and the need to drive on the highway. Our family also goes to Pine Hollow middle, and it just seems like the logical move on to Leesville High. We bought our house for the main reason of the school district we would be moving in. It is not fair to pluck our kids and split these neighborhoods up and send some 30+ minutes away. They already have heavy school loads and having to get up earlier and ride the bus to and from school for God know how long just doesnt make sense. I can't see this a positive change for the students or parents affected. I would ask that you re-consider this change
Natalie Henderson over 1 year ago
Why is the information session going to be virtual? Our kids are in school, BOE meetings are in person. Please explain why
Corallie Tornow admin over 1 year ago
Natalie, in an effort to allow more parents to participate, we opted for a virtual option.
Natalie Henderson over 1 year ago
That's great, but you can and you should do both.
Christopher Fiander over 1 year ago
I agree with all the points that have been discussed already-added distance and time to travel, commuting concerns for high school aged drivers, the impact to time availability for extracurricular activities are all significant. While I understand the geographical line needs to be drawn somewhere, this proposal seems illogical. Our family lives in Hawthorne and has a street connected to Barton’s Creek and is immediately across from Wood Valley-those two neighborhoods are essentially interconnected, yet you have rezoned Hawthorne. Additionally, the neighborhoods like Hawthorne, Hunter Hills, and Black Horse Run (as examples) are not the most densely populated neighborhoods, so how much are you really shifting the population density burden. Consider that if you do, you are taking kids away from long time friends in adjacent neighborhoods because you rezoned these kids out. Transition to high school is exciting, but stressful and while kids can make new friends, learn to adapt to change, etc, that transition and social development is enhanced when they are transitioning to high school with friends they have already established relationships with. Please reconsider this proposal
Nicole Lochansky over 1 year ago
I've already posted my request to not approve this proposal above. However, I am curious, is the "H-xx3" listed on the WCPSS Facilities and Construction site, the new high school going to be built on the corner of 540/50 (corner of Beechnut/Old Creedmoor-Helping Horse farmland)? I see this school isn't slated to start construction until 2025. If this is the new school, could this project be pushed up to help alleviate the overcrowding issue? I understand this doesn't resolve the here and now issue. Has a hybrid schedule for high schools, especially those with overcrowding issues been considered? https://www.wcpss.net/Page/3925?pid=231
Corallie Tornow admin over 1 year ago
Nicole, staff is continuing to look at any future school sites to help alleviate crowding as much as possible.
Janice Mareno over 1 year ago
I am a Hawthorne resident and the youngest of my 5 children is due to start at Leesville High School in the Fall of 2023. She has been dragged to endless sporting events, awards/graduation ceremonies, and her favorite, prom pictures. As she watched her four older siblings matriculate out of Leesville High School she sat through team pancake breakfasts and pasta nights at our house, green out days and hundreds of trips to Leesville to pick her siblings up from after school events. With the proposed reassignment she will not be going to a familiar place, a place that has felt like home to her since she was 4 years old.
Moving our Hawthorne children to Millbrook High School will effect every aspect of their education, both curricular and extra-curricular, as will as their health and mental well being. The commute time alone, even by car, will leave our children less time to sleep and less time for homework especially if they want to participate in after school activities. I have lived in Hawthorne for over 20 years and while our adjacent neighborhoods (Barton's Creek & Wood Valley) continue to be districted to Leesville High School our neighborhood is continually chosen to be the only neighborhood north of Strickland and west of Victory Church Road, chosen for reassignment. Hawthorne parent's have supported Leesville High School in countless ways since it's inception in 1993 - We are Leesville PRIDE!
Denise Keiller over 1 year ago
We live in the Hawthorne subdivision and are affected by the proposal to move our small but established neighborhood from Leesville Road High School to Millbrook High. I agree with the points already discussed by others.
SAFETY. Studies show that shorter distances are safer for our kids. Moving them from the close proximity of Leesville to the very distant point of Millbrook through multiple major thoroughfares during rush hour risks our children's safety, especially as they navigate that drive as new and inexperienced drivers. COMMUNITY. Our ESTABLISHED COMMUNITY, intrinsically connected to Leesville, would lose so much in uprooting to Millbrook. The longer distance will adversely affect child and parent participation in the school. In addition, the West Millbrook Middle to Millbrook High continuity might make sense for someone with an IB path, but we and many in Hawthorne are currently at Pine Hollow Middle School; transitioning to Leesville Road High is a natural path for many in our neighborhood, maintaining a sense of community. ENERGY COST. The distance required in this change has prohibitive cost for families who moved to this area to be close to a school. Gas, wear and tear on cars for families with drivers, and for families driving for activities; the cost adds up quickly. Adding to that, we wouldn’t be able to lessen that burden by carpooling with our adjacent neighborhoods (Wood Valley, Barton’s Creek) because they remain districted for Leesville. Lastly it doesn’t make fiscal sense for the County to send two sets of buses through our neighborhood and immediate area; one Leesville bus for this area is more cost effective.
Please reconsider the proposed reassignment of Hawthorne. The children of this community will be better served staying where they are at Leesville Road High School.
Jen Thompson over 1 year ago
I am a Boulder Creek resident with two boys who could potentially attend Leesville in the future. I've read all the thoughts in the forum and agree wholeheartedly that Leesville is and should continue to be the community school for our neighborhood. I disagree with the proposal to make a change to a school significantly further away.
Natalie Henderson over 1 year ago
The reason for this change given under Other Proposed Attendance Changes is "Purpose: Provides 6-12 magnet theme consistency" As I have always understood magnet schools they are designed to be application schools to break up pockets of poverty. This plan putting Millbrook High School at 101% capacity does not seem to allow for anyone who wants to apply there to be able to do so.
Marsha Hughes over 1 year ago
I live in Black Horse Run and I Strongly oppose this reassignment proposal. Roughly half of our neighborhood goes to Pine Hollow because we are districted to Pleasant Union meaning to follow the year around schedule it is only normal for them to follow on and go to Pine Hollow which then feeds into Leesville. One of the main reasons WCPSS proposes this change is to continue the IB Middle School Years Programmes offered at West Millbrook Middle School, our children opt to go to Pine Hollow due to the continuation of the year around program, so we’d be separating them from their peers by sending them to Millbrook instead of Leesville. Also Transportation and school commute time are both significant factors that impact kids. It is know that Millbrook is farther from our homes. We’d be introducing new drivers to longer commutes that aren’t just back roads like our commute to Leesville is, thus increasing their chances exponentially of having an accident! Underclass men and those that do not drive would rely on busses that are already dealing with major delays due to understaffing so we would be looking at bus rides upwards of an hour plus (on a good day) since we’re some of the farthest points from the school. Longer commutes in turn cut into our children’s sleep time and sleep cycle which research shows can lead to depression, obesity, and less time to do extra curricular activities. This change is not one that should be quickly made or not thought out, please WCPSS I ask you reconsider!
Stephanie Ladd over 1 year ago
I am a Sussex Acres resident with two children who would attend Leesville in the future. I've read all the thoughts in the forum and agree wholeheartedly that Leesville is and should continue to be the community school for our neighborhood. I disagree with the proposal to make a change to a school significantly further away. I ask you to reconsider. If not, you force parents to endure additional hardships (transportation, relocating and looking at private school options). This is my voice asking you to do a better job reassigning students and to leave our community in the Leesville district.
Clint Condron over 1 year ago
My family lives in Papillon Park subdivision, and our oldest is scheduled to start at Leesville High School in the Fall of 2022 - we strongly oppose this reassignment to Millbrook High School.
I agree with all of the comments that have been raised on this forum so far, and I really hope that this proposal is reconsidered. My biggest concern is the increased commute distance and time for our kids, particularly the safety concerns of this added commute for young and inexperienced drivers. Our commute distance will double in distance from our house, and the route will require them to drive on much busier roads. The safety of our high school students should be considered as a critical factor for these all too frequent reassignments, which I’m surprised I haven’t heard addressed yet. I am also concerned about the increased commute time that this will add to already busy student schedules of after-school activities and hours of homework these kids receive.
This should be an exciting time for rising freshmen at Leesville High, where middle schoolers look forward to things returning to normal after so many COVID disruptions that affected us all. Now, as my kids continue on with their friends at Pine Hollow, they’ll be anxious, disappointed, and sad as they move on to a new High School next year which is different from ~95% of their peers. We should be doing more to minimize change for these kids who have been affected by this pandemic over the past couple of years, not introducing more.
I strongly plead with the committee to reconsider this proposed reassignment impacting Papillon Park subdivision.
Michelle Smith over 1 year ago
I live in Hawthorne neighborhood and this proposal is very upsetting! It makes no sense to change from Leesville to Millbrook High School. As mentioned by other Hawthorne residents, our neighborhood is constantly being singled out for re-zoning of schools. I live off N. Hawthorne Way and it makes no sense to have other families on the same street (a few houses away) zoned to a different school. I agree with all the comments in this forum and ask you to please reconsider!!
Chris Harvey over 1 year ago
We live in Boulder Creek and strongly oppose this reassignment too. I agree with all the comments here and really hope the proposal is reconsidered. The distance from our home on the edge of Wake County to Millbrook would greatly impact my current middle schooler's athletic activities as his practice starts at 4PM currently not to mention getting younger kids home around the same time.
To be specific, I have 3 children spread across Elementary, Middle and High School in 2023. This shift affects all 3 but we won't be eligible for stability rules due to where they are in their schools. With all these shifts, then my middle and elementary schoolers would be split between the new Barton elementary and the much further away Millbrook MS.
Please reconsider this rezoning!
Lauren Booth over 1 year ago
Boulder Creek resident, parent and former Leesville High School alum opposing the proposed neighborhood reassignment to Millbrook. We moved into this neighborhood to be in the Leesville school district for our 2 boys. Additionally, I have concerns about our children’s safety and amount of time it would take them to arrive to school (bus or driving). Imagine our neighborhood’s 16-18 year olds driving 30+ mins each day to and from school (even longer via bus), in an area that we already know with high traffic activity. This takes away quality time with family and extracurricular activities/sports. This will also make it much more difficult for our working parents to make it in time too see their kids sports/extracurriculars. Please reconsider this reassignment for the Boulder Creek neighborhood, as we have always been big supporters of the LRHS community right down the road. Thank you.
Jenny Gidley over 1 year ago
I have concerns with this proposal. This is more than doubling the distance from our home in Sussex Acres to high school. Sussex Acres has been a base school for LRHS since it opened in 1993. This community has supported it and our kids have grown up knowing they too will get to go tot his community school. The Norwood road community of several smaller neighborhoods has been constantly changed base schools to locations that are inconvenient and farther away from our current base schools. It started with SCES changes about 5 years ago, then our Middle school (from LRMS to WMMS) and now our high school. Each change has resulted in schools further from our neighborhood increasing travel time, risk to the students for accidents, longer bus times and increased bus costs due to longer distance. These added times to and from school take away time from family, school work, extra curricular activities, etc....all the while placing the student in a new foreign environment. Does not seem to keep the best interest of the students or their families in mind at all.
I also see that some Broughton High students are proposed to move into Leesville. This is counter to the plan to alleviate crowding at LHS. Please consider keeping BHS students either where they are or to an under enrolled school (such as Sanderson) instead of moving them to LHS. Then use those seats to keep the community down Norwood Road in the Leesville High district. Consider your 4 pillars and keep Stability and Proximity with our assignments.
Melissa Buxengard over 1 year ago
Please consider leaving the students who are slated to go to LRHS there. We live in the Boulder Creek subdivision and LRHS has always been our base. Our children attend Pine Hollow Middle School and the majority of those kids go on to LRHS. It doesn't make sense to separate friends and families at this point. We are also much closer to LRHS than to Millbrook. Please grandfather all siblings for upcoming years as well as long as one student is at LRHS. As part of this, please consider busing and parking spots for students that are attending LRHS for those grandfathered. It doesn't make sense to allow these students to go the school but to take away a parking spot or transportation. Driving into LRHS in the am is a nightmare already - why would we want more parents carpooling kids in? If students don't have a parking spot they are not going to find one in neighboring communities on the streets.
Gene Gillman over 1 year ago
We are residents of the Hunter Hills Community. We are located 6 miles from Leesville Rd HS and 14 miles from Millbrook HS. Both schools are early bell schools and our current LRHS morning bus stop is 6:15am. Given the extra distance to Millbrook we expect our morning bus will be approximately 5:30am to 5:45am. We consider the early bus pickup time plus an additional 10 hours per week on the bus to be an unreasonable hardship on our family.
The reason noted by WCPS for the reassignment from Leesville to Millbrook was access to the 6-12 IB program at West Millbrook/Millbrook. My student is a rising 9th grader from Pine Hollow MS and access to a 6-12 IB program does not apply to our family.
I noticed that in the current assignment plan some current Broughton HS students are being reassigned to Leesville Rd HS. Has WCPS considered transferring current Broughton students to Sanderson, a school with less utilization than Leesville and closer to the current Broughton base assignment area?
Monica Foley over 1 year ago
We are a Sussex Acres family and, like so many others, we are distressed by this move. Leesville High School is less than 10 minutes from our home and Millbrook HS is more than 20 minutes. I totally agree with the families who have commented here. Why are you moving students from Broughton into LRHS and then pushing us out?
Jane Smith over 1 year ago
My oldest is a rising senior, so I will likely use the stability rule for her. However, I have 2 younger children...one rising 9th and rising 7th grader. Siblings are accepted under the stability rule as well, but does anyone know for how long? We are a 10 minute drive to Leesville and a 23 minute drive to Millbrook. Since Millbrook is in the opposite direction from where I work, I would have to use the buses. I can only imaging how long that bus ride would be. I don't think moving us out of LHS for overcrowding reasons is valid since kids from other neighborhoods are being moved in. I don't see how it helps families who know have to double (or more) their drives or bus routes. I'm not comfortable sending my kids to the bus stop at 5:30am to get to school by 7:25am. And on the other end, school gets out at 2:18, is that another 2 hour ride home? So my kids would be on the bus for possibly 4 hours per day? That's ridiculous when LHS is minutes away. Who is coming up with these ideas? I don't think they are thinking through all of the impact.
Amanda Howell over 1 year ago
I live in the Hunter Hills neighborhood at the northern most part of the county. Millbrook High School is twice as far away from us in mileage as Leesville High and at least 3 times farther in time when traffic is accounted for. This is a hardship for both parents and students. It takes at least 30 minutes with traffic just to drive to Millbrook, vs 10 minutes to Leesville and when looking at a bus route that means that students will be on the bus for at least an hour and most likely much longer when trying to get so far out from Millbrook AND pick up an entire bus load of kids. You are also looking at student drivers and asking them to get on the highway first thing in the morning in order to get to school.
When all of the other reasons given for moving kids from one High School to another is proximity it doesn’t make sense to then tell Leesville families that they need to now go to a school that is much much farther away from them. If Leesville’s capacity is an issue then why is it being proposed that students currently assigned to Broughton now come to Leesville? Also why is there a large chunk of students in downtown being bused away from their most proximate schools (Enloe and Broughton) to Leesville? Furthermore, why is there a big chunk of students near the intersection of 50 and 70 that are being kept at Leesville when Sanderson is closer? Why not move that entire chunk to Sanderson? Finally there is a new High School at Davis and Little that is planned to complete in August of 2025. At that point a large chunk of the Leesville population that is west of brier creek could be moved to that school for proximity. Why make families near Leesville be uprooted to go to a school much farther away when in just three school years a large chunk of Leesville will likely be going to the new High School and Leesville will have to get redistricted again and likely the same families being pushed away now will be told to come back? It makes more sense to just hold out as is and wait for the new High School to be completed. If new neighborhoods being built are a cause for concern then highlight those areas and plan for those new neighborhoods that don’t even have residents yet to go to Millbrook or other schools, rather than making existing families move back and forth from one school to another. High School is a hard enough transition period for students without making them change to a different school where they will likely lose most, if not all, of their friends and have to start over. This type of disruption in students lives is extremely difficult and causes grades to drop and incidences of disobedience both at school and at home to rise.
Corallie Tornow admin over 1 year ago
Amanda - 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.
Amanda Howell over 1 year ago
Please don’t give me condescending canned responses about the “pillars.” My family has been impacted twice already by changes and every single time student achievement, proximity and stability were at the bottom of the ring and the ONLY pillar that was considered was “Operational Efficiency” - ie school population. If ANY of the other pillars were considered important then we wouldn’t be going through this year after year. And no giving the oldest children the option to stay if parents drive them is not considering stability. It is a token nod to stability that actually tells parents wake county doesn’t care but if the parents care and are ABLE to adjust their schedules and such to get their kids to school and pick them up then fine they can let them stay till graduation. Student Achievement in reality is based highly on stability. I’ve seen this first hand after one of your changes caused my daughter to change elementary schools and she went from above grade level work to below grade level work and had to go to therapy to get over the depression of losing ALL her friends. It took 2 years to get her back where she was before and then you tried to do it AGAIN a year after that. Then we get stability for just a few more years and now you want to change her high school which will cause her to lose ALL friends again and to be in an unfamiliar part of town. This is not for student achievement as stability affects student achievement more than anything else and pine hollow is our middle school so the whole “magnet program” excuse falls flat. Also if parents are part of that magnet program they could APPLY to go there because it’s a MAGNET program. This is also clearly not for stability because then you wouldn’t be trying to turn these kids lives upside down and remove them from all their friends. Which is what happens when you take such a small area of students from one school to another. As everyone has mentioned this is also not for proximity because Millbrook is twice as far away. It’s also blatantly bad for student safety as it would have young inexperienced drivers having to get up earlier to drive twice as far and on a major highway. Thanks for that btw. So the ONLY pillar this is about for WCPSS is “Operational Efficiency.” That’s all it ever is. So yeah don’t direct me to look at the pillars because they don’t actually matter to you at all. If they did there would be a lot more consideration given to the three that are actually about the students welfare. Again, with the opening of the one west of brier creek soon you’re just going to do this to everyone again in a few years as you play musical chairs/schools with our kids. If WCPSS was smart about this they could make everybody happy AND achieve their operational efficiency they care so much about by having the lower level schools feed to ONE higher level school and if you go to that lower level school you automatically have a spot at the higher level school no matter where you live. You would know your approximate student populations in advance and kids would stay with their friends unless parents decided to apply to a different school. Only new people to the area and those starting elementary school would need the base attendance thing.
Dawn Williams over 1 year ago
As someone mentioned in an earlier post, I can basically throw a rock at the Durham County Line, yet you propose to send my student to Millbrook HS. My daughter is currently at Pine Hollow Middle and a majority of the students feed into Leesville. I just had my son graduate from Leesville High this past June and now since he is out of the public school system, my daughter has to move to Millbrook? Yet, other students her age in our neighborhood get the pleasure of going to Leesville since they have an older sibling already attending that school. Where is the community school atmosphere here? We bought our house based on the zoned school of Leesville, my son graduated there, we know Leesville, we know the administration there and overall are pleased with that school. Let's not even mention the fact that Millbrook is further away and opposite my drive to work and once my daughter starts driving to school, she will have to travel further and therefore increase her chance of having an accident. I'm just not comfortable with that. She is already on an hour bus ride daily from Pine Hollow, I can only imagine what her ride time will be from Millbrook. Seems like our neighborhood is always getting yanked around with your proposals. Who comes up with these assignments? Leesville is our neighborhood community school. This simple fact needs to be considered. Please reevaluate the families you are looking to affect with this.
Katie King over 1 year ago
My family lives in the Saddleridge neighborhood across from BHR. Echoing what our nearby neighbors have said, our family is really disappointed with this proposal to move our kids to a much further away high school. I know firsthand what it was like as a student making the commute to Millbrook from our area, as I grew up in Wood Valley and drove to Millbrook as a high schooler (many years ago!). Leesville High opened my junior year, and I was in the first graduating class. It was so exciting when the new school opened and so much more convenient. Finally, we were able to have friends who lived nearby, and it made participating in activities so much easier. As a new driver, the shorter commute was so much safer (and this was before all the traffic and growth over the last 25+ years). Imagine now, my own family lives less than 2 miles from where I grew up—and Wood Valley remains at Leesville, and those of us across Norwood are getting moved back to Millbrook. What a sad turn of events when I got to experience the benefit of a nearby Leesville school (25+ years ago) living in this same area and my own kid would be sent back to Millbrook. WCPSS, please reconsider.
Kristin Dudley over 1 year ago
I am another Hawthorne resident who opposes this plan to move our base high school from Leesville to Millbrook. While I am very thankful that my youngest is a freshman so we can apply for a stability change, it makes me sad and distressed that the other kids in our neighborhood, namely those currently in middle school, do not have that option. It unnecessarily divides our neighborhood. These kids hang out together at neighborhood functions, swim on the swim team together, and older kids looked forward to younger ones joining them in high school and now they are slated to go to another school across town. If my daughter wasn't allowed to stay at LRHS, I can confidently say she'd choose to do online school rather than travel so far away to attend school with strangers. That would've left her missing out high school sports and the comradery she has been able to experience this year at our local community school which is Leesville. Moving kids to a school so far away greatly impacts their ability to participate in school functions and for parents to feel a part of the school. As has been stated, the driving distance all the way to Millbrook is simply dangerous, especially for new drivers. My son is a senior at Leesville and watching him drive off to school for the first time was terrifying. I cannot imagine how much more worried I would have been had it been all the way to Millbrook. Each year our small neighborhood of Hawthorne only adds a handful more students to LRHS (while some graduate as well, evening it out), moving us across town is not fixing any overcrowding problem but is causing major distress to our children and families. Please allow Hawthorne to stay at Leesville.
Schroeder Sarah over 1 year ago
Leesville Rd High-3 miles - no highways for teenage drivers pretty straight shot - no dangerous intersections or speed limit over 45 miles an hour.
Millbrook High School: 9 miles -Very dangerous intersection of 540/Creedmoor Rd Accident data- 5/7/21 30 cars involved in massive accidents at the above intersection 8/30/21 3 car collision same intersection 7/5/21 accident, this is just a few and with schools only beginning In person this September. Happy to pull the 5 year data. If you have not driven this interchange I challenge you to do so. It’s 3 lights with hills in each direction where drivers many times see the Second traffic light opposed to the first due to their line of vision. Also the kids will turn off of Norwood Road onto old Creedmoor Road to Beechnut Road where they will have to take a right hand turn and immediately get in the left hand turn lane to gain access to 540 eastbound. This is two lanes and the first lane they’re flying down the hill to enter 540 going westbound and traffic in the left-hand lane is backed up to the hill on Creedmoor Road. All in all very dangerous to send a 16 year old in these driving conditions. Add darkness in the morning or evening and it’s even more dangerous to navigate and we haven’t even touched on a 70mph hwy with folks driving 78-79 mph hour on 540. Would you want your kids to drive this 5 days a week? Factor in having to get up even earlier due to the longer commute, teens are generally sleep deprived this only worsens the situation. As a parent it’s our worse nightmare with our kids driving in dangerous intersections/ Hwys- kids are stressed enough, why would you add more stress. Hawthorne was an original neighborhood that built Leeesville from the ground up, we are a small community that volunteers many volunteer hours- why are you letting the newer larger neighborhoods push us out? And put our kids in such a dangerous driving situation morning and nights- you will also add additional stress to the parents that drive their kids to school prior to work, you will be adding an additional 45 minutes on to their commute where majority of our parents work in RTP- Please reconsider, we do not want any of our kids to be a statistic due to changing our school across town opposed to our neighborhood school that we love and support. Once a loonie always a loonie. Thank you for your time in this very important matter of our children’s lives and schooling.
Laura Gajowski over 1 year ago
Like so many of my neighbors have voiced so well, I am strongly against the plan to send our kids from Leesville High to Millbrook High. I am also a resident of Hawthorne and my son is currently scheduled to attend Leesville High in the Fall of 2022. I wholeheartedly agree with ALL THE MANY REASONS it is illogical and unsafe to rezone our kids away from Leesville High. Please reject this proposal.
Kristen Cudd over 1 year ago
Our family lives in Black Horse Run and we oppose the rezoning to Millbrook HS for the following 4 reasons:
MITIGATING THE RISK OF TEEN DEATHS ON WAKE COUNTY ROADS
The current distance from our neighborhood to Leesville High School is five miles. The distance to Millbrook High School is eleven miles. Our primary concern with the proposed change centers around the fact that our base school will now be more than twice as far away presenting a significant and serious safety risk to our students.
Statistics on teenage vehicle fatalities in our state paint a startling and terrifying picture for any parent seeking to mitigate this very serious risk. Specifically,
North Carolina is the 3rd deadliest state in the nation for teen drivers In 2020, teen driver deaths in NC increased by 12% in just 11 months despite fewer cars being on the road due to the pandemic Teens aged 16-20 make up about 7% of the state population but account for 14% of all crashes and 9% of fatal crashes Wake County has one of the highest number of young driver deaths among all counties in NC Traffic accidents and deaths by teen drivers have documented peaks around the time of day when school begins and when it ends (Sources: 2018 Highway Safety Plan, Spectrum News 1, Teen Driving Solutions School, WCNC Charlotte)
WCPSS has a clear responsibility to mitigate the significant risk our teen drivers face on North Carolina roads. The proposal to move our base high school is counter to what should be a top priority: student safety.
STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL BEING
It is well documented that the pandemic has led to widespread adverse mental health implications for students of all ages. Isolation, stress, uncertainty, and sadness have been major contributing factors to increases in depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Most alarmaing of all, suicide rates among teen students have seen shocking increases on campuses across our country.
Requiring our students to go to a school twice as far away from home will contribute negatively to their mental health and well being in myriad ways.
Students will spend less time at home receiving the support and belonging they need from their families due to increased commute time, whether by car or bus. Students seeking to participate in extracurricular activities that take place before and after school will be disadvantaged by the distance and miss out on these important opportunities to build connections, bond with other students, and pursue interests that are outside of standard academic offerings. Students riding buses that will pick them up before the sun rises and drop them off as it is setting will be away from those they need most for excessively long time spans, increasing isolation and separation from family. Long bus ride commutes will make bus-riding students more vulnerable to being the victim of mental and physical abuse from other students, a phenomenon that already exists on bus rides from our neighborhood to the current closer base schools.
WCPSS needs to place student mental health and wellbeing over their desire to balance population sizes across campuses. Students should be assigned to a base school that is located closer to their home than other campuses.
HARDSHIP TO FAMILIES WITH STUDENTS AT MULTIPLE CAMPUSES
Many of the families who live in our neighborhood are made up of children that span grade levels across the elementary, middle, and high school campuses. These families will face a significant hardship having their children spread out even further from campus to campus.
A trip that would have cost working parents 20 minutes of their work day to pick up a sick child or gather their children for medical or mental health services will now take them more than twice as long. If traffic conditions are not favorable, as is far more likely near the Millbrook HS campus than the Leesville HS campus, it will take considerably longer.
STABILITY TRANSFERS DO NOT PROVIDE TRUE STABILITY
WCPSS has promised students who currently attend Leesville HS that they will be allowed to stay at Leesville HS through a stability transfer. First of all, families are required to submit applications with guaranteed acceptance only if they are able to submit the request within a strictly defined time period.
What happens to families that do not have the access to the required information they need to even know about this loophole or miss the deadline due to extenuating circumstances, which are exceedingly common during the time of COVID?
Further, the onus for transporting those students to Leesville HS will fall entirely on the families or the students themselves as WCPSS transportation will no longer be provided. From our perspective, this is not an offer of stability at all and will only hurt those students that it is designed to protect and leave out countless others through no fault of their own.
Amanda Culp over 1 year ago
Well said Kristen. Like many others sentiments that have been expressed, you do a wonderful job showing that all 4 pillars that are to be considered for this move are in fact impacted. It is not just proximity at all, operational efficiency and student achievement are just as much impacted as the proximity argument. Thank you for your thoughtful response!
Amanda Culp over 1 year ago
Well said Kristen. An excellent way to show that all four pillars considered for the move are in fact impacted. It is NOT just proximity!
Sarah Naylor over 1 year ago
I live in Sussex Acres, next to Hawthorne, and I am extremely upset by this proposed change. Leesville High School is our "neighborhood" and our community. We support the school, attend events, and identify as future Leesville families. Millbrook High School is twice as far as Leesville, but it's not only the distance that bothers me. It's the traffic and busy roads that families - and new student drivers - will be navigating. We purchased our home knowing that Leesville was our neighborhood high school, and never imagined a change would be made to a high school that is so far away and in such a busy, high traffic area. We have been waiting for a school that we could be close to so that we can contribute our time and resources, and be active and involved. I also want to reiterate what many of the families on this thread have already mentioned, that we are already zoned for Baileywick Elementary and West Millbrook Middle, which are much farther than other more local alternatives. We have been looking forward to finally being close to our school for high school and able to maintain a community feel. I understand that school assignments are a rubic's cube and very complex, but there must be a better solution than this. Our neighborhood has gotten the short end of the stick too many times when it comes to school assignments and school assignment changes, and this latest proposal is frustrating. Your proposal would negatively impact our family's quality of life for the high school of my children and many other families on this thread and beyond, and I hope beyond hope that you can find a different alternative. Our children deserve a spot at their neighborhood school.
Christopher Fiander over 1 year ago
I am adding a post to highlight additional data supporting the safety concerns. Several have addressed teenage driver concerns, and I would endorse that same concern as would CDC statistics. CDC shows that teenage drivers are at 3x increased risk per mile driven for serious car accidents. Hawthorne is 5 miles closer to LRHS than Millbrook, therefore reducing this risk by a factor of 15(should Hawthorne remain in LRHS). Add to this that CDC shows new drivers (16-17 year olds) have an additional 1.5 x/mile likelihood of significant accidents, and the risk factor goes up nor newly licensed drivers. Teens in CDC studies show a self-reported propensity of texting/distracted driving at a rate of 39% as of 2019. I think we can all confidently agree that number has not decreased. Looking at NC DOT data, it is not surprising to find peak times of accidents are at morning times when school commutes would occur as well as increasing in the later afternoon towards "rush hour." I understand that proximity is only 1 of 4 pillars considered and all are weighted equally, but I don't think that factors this data in. The board is also discounting the impact of proximity on the other 3 pillars.
Add to this the already made points that Hawthorne residents have already been asked to travel greater distances for elementary and middle schools. The board's justification that Hawthorne is based in W Millbrook does not equate with how our families spend their time. Our kids are friends with people in close proximity to them both in our own neighborhood and adjacent neighborhoods that are slated for LRHS. Between the safety concern and the fact that this neighborhood has already accommodated for distance in middle and elementary should not exclude them from LRHS. There are 175 homes in our neighborhood and not a high volume of high school students at any given time, so there is no way moving our family's students will significantly shift the population numbers at LRHS. Lastly, the WCPSS is justifying this specific move from LRHS to Millbrook as a means to support the magnet program. People are free to apply to magnet programs and have that choice. We should not have that choice made for us when LRHS has been our base school from the beginning. I appreciate the question and answer session last evening. However, I continue to be strongly opposed to this plan.
Kevin OBrien over 1 year ago
We believe that the reassignment of addresses (or at least ours in the Papillon Park) from Leesville Road High to Millbrook is a horrible idea. First, Millbrook is nowhere near our house and basically double, yes double, the distance between our house and Leesville. It appears that many others have had this issue. We understand the proposal for many is to help kids get closer to their base school, this has the completely opposite effect on us. But in our family’s opinion, it also impacts student and family social development. Many in this area (and younger schools) are part of the community along Leesville. Many in this area participate in sports, attend church, and other social activities with people assigned to the what is actually the neighborhood school—Leesville. This change would be plucking kids away from the people with whom they have grown up and who are in their family social circles and plopping them in a school in a completely different part of town with kids they don’t know. The impact in that regard is almost akin to a family moving to a different part of town (or a different town). Yet, again, we believe the biggest and most nonsensical and unfair impact is the distance and travel time. We believe it is simply unfair to have a “base” “neighborhood” school so far from our house. In short, this will cause a lot of upheaval for kids who have had more than enough of that in the last two years. Kids need as much consistency and normalcy that we can give them these days. Emotions and psyches are very fragile these days. This type of upheaval could break kids. We sincerely hope the Board will see the fallacy in this draft plan and leave our neighborhood in its current assignment— Leesville Road High.
Brook Nowak over 1 year ago
We live on cliff edge trail off victory church rd, behind Boulder creek and before Hunter Hills literally 1 minute from the Durham line. 5.5 miles from LRHS ( 12 min drive). WCPSS has consistently let down this area with constant rezoning throughout elementary school( zoned out of Sycamore creek/ pleasant union to BaileywickES and now proposing reassignment to a school that is double the time and across town to Millbrook. The safety risk of new drivers having to drive in rush hour traffic on the highway at least 30 minutes away instead of driving uncongested back roads 5 miles to school is just unimaginable as a parent. I am so disappointed as this is not improving proximity nor efficiency. I cannot imagine hardships for parents driving across town to an area we rarely go instead of staying within the Leesville community neighborhoods that act as our village with carpool and neighborhood friendships. This area is a relatively small population with little impact especially if you are proposing bringing in Broughton students from further away off Umstead. As a Leesville alumni that grew up in this area I am so sad that my son could potentially not experience the same sense of community that I experienced and his safety could be jeopardized. I urge you WCPSS to reconsider this proposal. This is pushing more enrollment into charter and private schools.
Lucas Buxengard over 1 year ago
I have a student in Leesville HS for a couple more years and another on the way next year. I’m tired of the rezoning and it’s a plan that would very negatively impact our family and work life (especially for our kids who have made friends in the Leesville Rd HS track). I’m also trying to understand how Boulder Creek (my neighborhood) and Hawthorne is in consideration for rezone, yet Chestnut Oaks which is between us, is not considered for rezone. Regardless, my vote is “no” please don’t rezone to disrupt all these people lives.
Amanda Howell over 1 year ago
Please don’t give us condescending canned responses about the “pillars.” My family has been impacted twice already by changes and every single time student achievement, proximity and stability were at the bottom of the rung and the ONLY pillar that was considered was “Operational Efficiency” - ie school population. If ANY of the other pillars were considered important then we wouldn’t be going through this year after year. And no giving the oldest children the option to stay if parents drive them is not considering stability. It is a token nod to stability that actually tells parents wake county doesn’t care but if the parents care and are ABLE to adjust their schedules and such to get their kids to school and pick them up then fine they can let them stay till graduation. Student Achievement in reality is based highly on stability. I’ve seen this first hand after one of your changes caused my daughter to change elementary schools and she went from above grade level work to below grade level work and had to go to therapy to get over the depression of losing ALL her friends. It took 2 years to get her back where she was before and then you tried to do it AGAIN a year after that. Then we get stability for just a few more years and now you want to change her high school which will cause her to lose ALL friends again and to be in an unfamiliar part of town. This is not for student achievement as stability affects student achievement more than anything else and pine hollow is our middle school so the whole “magnet program” excuse falls flat. Also if parents are part of that magnet program they could APPLY to go there because it’s a MAGNET program. This is also clearly not for stability because then you wouldn’t be trying to turn these kids lives upside down and remove them from all their friends. Which is what happens when you take such a small area of students from one school to another. As everyone has mentioned this is also not for proximity because Millbrook is twice as far away. It’s also blatantly bad for student safety as it would have young inexperienced drivers having to get up earlier to drive twice as far and on a major highway. Thanks for that btw. So the ONLY pillar this is about for WCPSS is “Operational Efficiency.” That’s all it ever is. So yeah don’t direct me to look at the pillars because they don’t actually matter to you at all. If they did there would be a lot more consideration given to the three that are actually about the students welfare. Again, with the opening of the one west of brier creek soon you’re just going to do this to everyone again in a few years as you play musical chairs/schools with our kids. If WCPSS was smart about this they could make everybody happy AND achieve their operational efficiency they care so much about by having the lower level schools feed to ONE higher level school and if you go to that lower level school you automatically have a spot at the higher level school no matter where you live. You would know your approximate student populations in advance and kids would stay with their friends unless parents decided to apply to a different school. Only new people to the area and those starting elementary school would need the base attendance thing.
Phyllis Soltz over 1 year ago
I live in the Olde Creedmoor subdivision and strongly oppose your reassignment plan to move our neighborhood as well as all of the neighborhoods around Norwood Road and Old Creedmoor Road (alignment of addresses assigned to West Millbrook Middle School) to Millbrook High School. Families purchased homes in these neighborhoods because of the schools. These neighborhoods have deep roots in the Leesville community, most of which have been assigned to Leesville Road High School since the neighborhood or the school was built. Reassigning these neighborhoods goes against your four pillars of Student Achievement, Stability, Proximity and Operational Efficiency. STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Moving these neighborhoods to Millbrook HS will more than double the distance these neighborhoods currently travel to Leesville HS. The extra travel time will take time away from academics and student involvement in clubs and sports, hindering their achievement. Students taking the bus will be severely impacted. STABILITY Some of the neighborhoods you are proposing to move have been rooted in the Leesville community for over 20 years. As stated in the presentation, this area does not have a large amount of new residential growth coming in the next several years so there is no real reason to move these neighborhoods to Millbrook. Most of these neighborhoods are being reassigned to Barton Pond Elementary because you need to fill this school. Instead of having kids go from Barton Pond to West Millbrook Middle to Millbrook High School I recommend instead to keep these kids on a consistent feeder pattern of Barton Pond, Leesville Middle and Leesville HS. This will keep kids with their peers from elementary through high school. PROXIMITY One of the factors being considered is allowing students living within the immediate vicinity of a school, defined by the assignment plan, to attend that school. So why would the draft plan take neighborhoods away from the school in their immediate vicinity? That is what this plan is proposing when moving kids from Leesville to Millbrook. As previously mentioned, the before/ after school commute will be more than double what it currently is. High school students already have limited time and are overwhelmed with school work and after school activities. By doubling their commute time, you are taking time away from them succeeding academically. You are also putting new drivers in a high stress and high traffic situation by doubling their commute and putting them on roads that they are unfamiliar with and are busier than if they were to continue at Leesville. Families plan their lives based on where they live. If they should need to pick their child up from school or drop them off late, this is now at least a 40-minute trip. What if these parents need to go to the office and they work in RTP? This is creating hardships on families. OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY The factors considered for Operational Efficiency include: Minimizing under-enrolled schools: Our elementary school is being reassigned to Barton Pond to fill a new school. Barton Pond is a feeder to Leesville Middle School, an underutilized school that provides a more proximate school for these neighborhoods instead of West Millbrook Middle School. The anticipated capacity for Leesville Road Middle School is 68% in 2022/23 and 65% 2024/25. Since these neighborhoods are being assigned to Barton Pond Elementary, and are currently at Leesville High School, why not assign them to Leesville Middle instead of creating a magnet alignment and reassigning the high school? Minimizing over-crowded schools: If Leesville’s capacity is an issue, then why is it being proposed that students currently assigned to Broughton now come to Leesville? Why would you propose to move neighborhoods out of Leesville that have been there for 20 years and move neighborhoods to Leesville that have been at Broughton for years? Doesn’t this go against the Stability pillar? The neighborhoods that are being proposed to move from Leesville to Millbrook are not the most densely populated neighborhoods, so how much of an affect will this really have? Maximizing transportation efficiencies: I would like to understand how moving all of these neighborhoods between Old Creedmoor Rd and Norwood maximizes transportation efficiencies? The amount of time and the costs associated with doubling the commute for these neighborhoods will increase. This will cause a huge impact on transportation costs with the increase in the cost of gas, and the bus driver shortage will severely affect kids getting to school on time. How does reassigning these neighborhoods from Leesville to Millbrook benefit the four pillars? If anything, this proposal does just the opposite. The reason given for moving these neighborhoods was 6-12 magnet alignment. How many kids from these neighborhoods actually apply to Millbrook High School’s IB program? Most, if not all of the kids from these neighborhoods choose to go to Leesville High School. After 20 plus years of these neighborhoods being involved in the Leesville community why would you move them from this school? Please make the logical decision and keep these neighborhoods assigned to Leesville High School.
Amanda Culp over 1 year ago
I am incredibly disheartened to see that these neighborhoods off of Norwood are still in the Draft 2 proposal to be moved from LRHS to Millbrook. Of all the proposals made, this particular proposal has garnished the most attention based on responses received in your online forum. In over 77 responses, impacted families have time and time again shown that each and every one of the four pillars that are considered in these decisions are negatively impacted. EACH ONE OF THEM. I can tell you the Hawthorne community will be present en masse for the November 30 meeting and I encourage all other neighborhoods impacted by this change to do the same. This proposal is wrong on so many levels and we HAVE to stand up for our children so they can continue the happy, fruitful, and achievements they have grown accustomed to.
Jeff Ammons over 1 year ago
My family has lived in Boulder Creek neighborhood over 20 years and have had several children graduate from Leesville High. It is sad to hear that our rising 9th grader cannot follow in the steps of older siblings and go to the school they have looked forward to for so long. Aside from doubling the drive time issue; if you read all the comments what you feel is the sense of community that Leesville High school has in the area and specifically in the old established neighborhoods that have been part of the Leesville community for years. The Leesville High community is special and a great testimony and example for Wake County Schools to follow. Our families have long standing relationships with teacher, staff and coaches at Leesville that can not be replicated with a redistricting. I ask that you consider redistricting the newer communities that do not have this history and community ties that develop over many years.