Q: Can Holly Grove ES remain a calendar option for 12 Oaks families?
A: No. Holly Grove ES is very crowded and has a number of students assigned to overflow schools. While the opening of Oakview ES will provide some crowding relief, the greater relief will come with the opening of E45. Additionally, the high growth in the area will quickly fill the school again and it is very likely that the enrollment cap will remain in place.
Q: Why not just cap Cedar Fork ES?
A: We are investigating establishing an enrollment cap at Cedar Fork ES. The current crowding is at 125%, still much higher than we would like for it to be.
Q: Do you have any information about how many of the students reassigned from Holly Springs ES to Oakview will be applying to return to Holly Springs ES?
A: No. Choices parents make for grandfathering are not yet known. Holly Springs ES is significantly over capacity. Available calendar option seats will be reduced to help reduce the crowding at the school.
Q: How will students be assigned their track at Pine Hollow MS?
A: All track assignments are made by the school administration. There are guidelines that are followed by all schools for assigning students to tracks. These guidelines take into consideration students’ current track assignment.
Q: Will there be before and after care at Pleasant Grove ES?
A: This has not yet been determined. Once the principal is named, decisions of this nature will be made.
Q: Why isn’t Hawthorne neighborhood assigned to Sycamore Creek ES?
A: The current crowding at Sycamore Creek ES prohibits increasing the base attendance area of the school at this time.
Q: Why was Pleasant Grove ES not converted to a year-round school and Brier Creek ES to a traditional?
A: This was a board decision after hearing from both staff and Brier Creek parents. Pleasant Grove was intended to relieve crowding at Brier Creek, Stough and Leesville elementary schools. Students from those schools would have been reassigned regardless of whether Brier Creek ES and Pleasant Grove ES swapped calendars.
Q: Wasn’t Pleasant Grove ES originally intended to relieve crowding just at Brier Creek ES?
A: No. There is no original plan for Pleasant Grove ES that has been abandoned, as has been suggested. The community meeting last year at Brier Creek ES was not about the planned assignment area for Brier Creek ES, but rather an opportunity for feedback about Pleasant Grove ES opening as multi-track year round and Brier Creek ES becoming traditional. There was no assignment plan that was part of that discussion, other than informing Brier Creek ES families that some of them would likely be assigned to the new school building, no matter what the calendar.
Q: Why not move Brier Creek neighborhoods to Pleasant Grove ES?
A: Students from Brier Creek are having their base changed to Pleasant Grove ES.
Q: Why not move ALL of Brier Creek ES to Pleasant Grove ES?
A: That would be more disruptive than the current proposal. First, it’s likely we would have to move even more students from those two schools to fill Brier Creek ES. Second, it would send many students to different calendars. Brier Creek ES students would move from a year-round to a traditional school. Then Leesville Road ES and Stough ES students would move from their traditional schools to Brier Creek ES, a year-round school.
Q: I live much closer to Leesville Road ES than to Pleasant Grove ES, and one of the student assignment pillars is proximity. How do you explain that?
A: We are listening to parent feedback regarding proximity. It is important to remember that the four pillars – student achievement, stability, proximity and operational efficiency – work in balance. In order to achieve one goal, sometimes a decision must be made to make a concession in another goal. It is not operationally efficient to open a new school that is half empty. Due to Pleasant Grove’s location near RDU Airport and Umstead Park, students proposed to be base assigned there will have a greater travel distance. (Read the full policy here: http://webarchive.wcpss.net/policy-files/series/policies/6200-bp.html)
Q: Why was Pleasant Grove’s site chosen given how close it is to RDU, Umstead Park and the Durham County line?
A: Several potential sites for Pleasant Grove ES were considered and investigated but did not meet the program requirements; most available sites were just too small, had watershed, utility and/or traffic egress issues.
Q: Why not put some of Morrisville ES and Cary ES to Pleasant Grove ES?
A: Staff looked at that option and did not recommend it for two reasons. The first is that a new elementary school, Hortons Creek Elementary, is scheduled to be built in that area in 2017. (Learn more about the school here: http://www.wcpss.net/Page/3925?pid=168) The second is that several elementary schools in the area, including Carpenter and Alston Ridge, still have some capacity.
Q: How do you explain the overcrowding figure of 149% at Leesville Road ES?
A: The "planned" capacity utilization includes the school building and the 5 temporary classrooms the building’s core spaces can support. The 149% percentage reflects the additional 12 units over and above this total.
Q: Will new schools offer all the same opportunities and programs that existing schools do? Will Pine Hollow MS offer sports?
Extracurricular programs and sports will be offered based on student and family interest. We are confident that the principals (once appointed) and staff that is hired will build positive culture and strong school communities.
Q: What exactly is grandfathering?
A: It is an informal term for students who get assigned to a different school and then make a transfer request to remain at their current school. All grandfathering transfer requests that meet the guidelines are approved. NOTE: Transportation is not provided to any transfer student, which includes grandfathered students. If your assignment changes from an existing school to an existing school, all grades can apply to grandfather during the transfer application period in February. If your assignment changes to a new school, only 4th, 5th, 8th, 11th and 12th can grandfather. See explanation below for that below.
Q: Why can’t all students be eligible to grandfather?
A: The current policy states that only 4th and 5th graders may grandfather if they are reassigned to a new school. This goes back to the operational efficiency pillar. We need to fill the new school to relieve crowding at other schools in the area. Allowing everyone to grandfather back would impede that goal. Students in grades 1-3 students will wind up spending as much or more time at the new school as they did in their former school. Allowing 4th and 5th graders to grandfather aligns with the stability pillar, i.e. students who already have spent the majority of their elementary school years at the school can finish there. NOTE: Younger siblings of 4th and 5th graders also are eligible to grandfather and continue at the school through the exit grade. This also aligns with the stability pillar.
Q: What will Leesville Road ES’s enrollment be next year if the move to Pleasant Grove ES is made?
A: That is hard to answer right now because it’s impossible to predict how many students will grandfather or seek some other school, such as a calendar option or magnet. There is always movement year to year, which makes it difficult to provide an estimate. Bottom line: We are confident that the overcrowding will be reduced but can’t say right now by exactly how much.
Q: How long has Leesville Road ES been operating over capacity?
A: Leesville Road ES exceeded the school’s planned capacity in 2003 when the number of temporary mobile classrooms increased from three to nine.
Q: What is the current lunch schedule at Leesville Road ES?
A: Lunch starts at 10:50 a.m. and ends at 2:15 p.m.
Q: Please define “core spaces.”
A: Core spaces would include the cafeteria, media center, parking, parent carpool line, playgrounds, student support offices, art, music, multi-purpose rooms, computer/science and bathrooms inside the main building.
Q: How does having many trailers - 17 in Leesville Road ES’s case - negatively impact learning?
A: Growth has increased more rapidly than Wake County has been able to build new schools, and one result is that some schools have a number of modular classrooms. We have successfully used mobile classrooms for decades, but realize there are impacts. When it comes to instruction, our primary concern would be time. As students travel to different parts of the campus for daily activities, students outside the main building have further to travel. More time walking is less time learning. Our new school construction seeks to provide more permanent accommodations for improved security, safety and management of students. Allowing a student to go to the restroom across the hall in a building is different from allowing a student to travel from the mobile classroom, for just one example.
Q: Was there ever any consideration to add a building behind Leesville Road ES where the modulars are?
A: There was for the high school and to a limited extent the middle school, and that was done several years ago. That has not been a consideration for the elementary school due to limited core facilities. There has also been logistical concerns about where to house students while temporary classrooms are removed and construction is underway.
Q: If crowding is reduced, what happens to the modular units?
A: They are vacated and "mothballed" to realize maintenance/operating cost savings. Units are evaluated to determine if they should be surplus (sold or demolished) or can be utilized at another campus. Eventually, the extra units will be removed.
Q: What is the “diversity policy”?
A: We do not have a diversity policy per se. One of the four factors we consider when making proposed assignment changes is student achievement. Here is what that policy states in full:
Student populations at each school will provide an optimal opportunity for academic success for all students. Factors for consideration include:
Providing an opportunity for families to select calendar, magnet, and application schools to support an individual student's educational needs;
Minimizing high concentrations of low-performing students at each school;
Minimizing high concentrations of students from low income families at each school.
The full board policy on the four pillars of student assignment decisions can be found here. http://webarchive.wcpss.net/policy-files/series/policies/6200-bp.html
Q: How are students attending a school as a transfer affected by this proposal?
They are not. Transfers are handled through a separate process. The enrollment proposal deals with base assignment and calendar options only.
Q: How is Leesville Road MS a viable calendar option if it is overcrowded?
A: It is true that there will be a limited number of calendar option seats available at Leesville Road MS due to overcrowding. However, seat availability varies by grade level and can change based on many factors.
Q: Why not move students from the eastern part of the Leesville Road ES assignment area to Baileywick ES?
A: That wouldn’t help fill the new school, Pleasant Grove ES.
Q: What is the number of students moving from downtown node to Sycamore Creek?
A: There are no downtown Raleigh areas assigned to Sycamore Creek ES as base. There was a small calendar option area but it has been changed in this enrollment plan. There are no students from this calendar option area attending Sycamore Creek ES.
Q: Why can’t Umstead Ridge be assigned to Leesville Road Middle and High? Umstead Ridge is currently assigned to Stough MS, Daniels MS, and Broughton HS.
A: In Draft 2, Umstead Ridge is assigned to Pleasant Grove ES, Daniels and Broughton. They have Brier Creek ES and Pine Hollow as their calendar options. Leesville MS will remain crowded for a few more years while the grandfathering phases out. As the Panther Creek HS change to Leesville progresses, any available seats at Leesville HS will be utilized. Additionally, Umstead Ridge is surrounded by other neighborhoods with the same assignment. It would not be possible to give one neighborhood in the same area a unique assignment.
Q: If Leesville Road ES is so overcrowded, why was the cap lifted?
A: We have been able to reduce the crowding by managing non-base students, e.g., not allowing transfers into the school. The current crowding is at 149% utilization. Pleasant Grove ES was built in part to alleviate this crowding and the use of mobile units at Leesville Road ES.
Q: How many students are proposed to be reassigned?
A: Approximate numbers will be released with Draft 3 on Oct. 20.
Q: What will the ratio of high needs to non-high needs students be at Leesville Road ES?
A: Our goal is for it to be the same or lower than it currently is. It is not possible to give an exact ratio at this time as parent choice becomes a significant factor.
Q: Can we expect to get reassigned again in the near future?
A: No. The purpose of a multi-year assignment plan is to ensure that the same neighborhoods are not impacted repeatedly at the same level.
Q: If you are currently attending your calendar option, and your base is changing to a new school, can you grandfather to your calendar option?
A: The grandfathering rules would apply. http://www.wcpss.net/Page/13617
Q: Leesville Road MS is crowded. So is it really a viable calendar option for Mills Park MS?
A: It is unknown at this time. There will be Leesville families who want to attend Pine Hollow and Pine Hollow families who want to attend Leesville. Parent choices will determine the number of available seats.
Q: How many students from Leesville Road ES satellite areas are being reassigned?
A: Approximate numbers will be released with Draft 3 on Oct. 20.
Q: How many students are calendaring from Sycamore Creek ES to Leesville Road ES? Approximate numbers will be released with Draft 3 on Oct. 20.
Q: How many students are at Brier Creek ES today, at Leesville Road ES today & at Stough ES today? How many of those students will be reassigned to Pleasant Grove ES? I'd like to understand of the 780 capacity at Pleasant Grove ES, how many come from Brier Creek ES, how many come from Leesville Road ES, and how many come from Stough?
A: Brier Creek ES is currently 123 students over their planned capacity. Leesville Road ES is 238 students over their planned capacity. Stough ES is currently right at their planned capacity. Approximate numbers of students affected will be released with Draft 3.
Q: Why not make Pleasant Grove ES a magnet?
A: The projected student population at Pleasant Grove does not meet district criteria for becoming a magnet school.
Q: Is the Leesville Road ES base attendance area growing? If so, how fast?
A: The attendance area for Leesville ES shows flat growth, consistent membership.
Q: What about moving the high-needs cells to Pleasant Grove ES?
A: Pleasant Grove ES will have high needs neighborhoods in their attendance area.
Q: Will Leesville Road ES teachers be forced out if crowding is reduced?
A: As Leesville Road ES reduces in student population, the staff allotments will be adjusted. All staff have transfer options and some will request assignment to Pleasant Grove ES. No staff will lose their job due to the opening of a new school.
Q: Is there any way for grandfathered students to retain bus service?
A: Grandfathered students are not eligible for school bus transportation. Families choosing the grandfathering option should make sure they are able to transport their student to and from school on a daily basis. Our bus system operates most efficiently when we are able to provide service to families that live within defined boundaries and attend the same school. Grandfathered students are more dispersed making it inefficient to provide school bus transportation. With increasing numbers of students and schools to serve (five additional schools in August 2016) providing bus service to families who choose grandfathering is not possible.
Q: Won’t a longer bus ride be more dangerous?
A: WCPSS safely transports more than 76,000 student bus riders to and from school each day. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports school buses are the safest mode of transportation for getting children back and forth from school. http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/staticfiles/tsm/PDF/schoolbus_safety2.pdf
Q: Can you share the likely main bus routes from Leesville Road ES to Pleasant Grove ES?
A: Bus routes are based on the location of families that choose bus service after school assignment has been finalized.