On Tuesday, Oct. 17, the Wake County Board of Education began discussions about Draft 2 of the 2018-19 Student Enrollment Proposal.

 

Here are some of the main proposed changes outlined in Draft 2:

• Remove proposal to assign students from Davis Drive Middle, West Cary Middle and Dillard Drive Middle to East Cary Middle.

• Amend proposed grandfathering rules. Learn more.

• Change some proposed assignments related to the opening of Buckhorn Creek Elementary.

• Changes to the proposed Timber Drive Elementary base attendance area.

• A northeastern portion of the Willow Springs Elementary base attendance area is proposed to attend Banks Road Elementary.

• The Everwood subdivision is proposed to attend Bryan Road Elementary.

• Transfer students at Jeffreys Grove Elementary are proposed to remain at the school.

 

See if you are proposed to have a new school assignment in 2018-19.

 

Please submit feedback in the appropriate topic thread.

Under this proposal, some students currently in the base attendance area of Green Elementary would attend Brooks Elementary starting in 2018.

See if you are proposed to be affected.

Please leave feedback about this proposal below.

74 Responses

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Tara Muller 17 days ago

As a parent of three students at Brooks Elementary, I respectfully request you to consider an alternative plan or delay altogether the reassignment of such a large number of students. Brooks is already at 102% capacity in its new building...every nook and cranny is full! If you add so many new base students, the magnet numbers will have to decrease, which would be so unfortunate since our magnet program is extremely popular, successful, and cost-efficient as compared to other magnet programs. Given the uncertainty already surrounding the new class size legislation, it seems an unnecessary and drastic change to put upon a brand new school while the teachers are still unpacking. Brooks competes with private and charter schools for enrollment, and it will be tough to convince parents to stay in WCPSS if there is not even room for an art or science classroom. If you must increase the numbers, could you perhaps do so by finding one of the smaller neighborhoods nearby? Thank you all so much for your hard work to improve our schools. We love the wonderful neighborhood feel plus diversity of Brooks Elementary...just what a magnet school should be!

25 Votes
 
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Matt Cunningham 17 days ago

I am the parent of two Brooks students, and I share many of Ms. Muller's concerns, as noted above. I have attached a PDF of a letter with a more expansive discussion of my concerns and thoughts on alternatives that I am hopeful the school system will take into consideration in this continuing planning process.

35 Votes
 
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Michelle Gessner 15 days ago

I’m a parent of two current magnet Brooks students and one gradualted student. We of course are concerned about these proposed changes for several reasons including our already above capacity situation and the classroom size mandate that has proven quite challenging this past year. I can go into further detail about how serious this could negatively affect our school but I just can’t get past the common sense issue; of how pulling students from a below capacity school and placing them in one above capacity is helping either. I only see this giving our school extra burden and in no way helping Green. Would it not be better to put the effort into bringing Green up to capacity? I appreciate your time in addressing these concerns and hope a more viable solution can be found.

25 Votes
 
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Matt McClelland 15 days ago

This proposal makes no sense at all. To willfully overburden an already over capacity school with another 100 students taking it to 119% is ridiculous. The additional students and the removal of the sibling priority only serves to hurt families at Brooks. It also contradicts the County's own stated goals to comply with the new K-3 requirements for class size and overcrowding. The last bullet in the first section of this link (https://www.wcpss.net/site/Default.aspx?PageID=30654) states

"The changes are being proposed because to prevent school crowding and to meet state-mandated class-size reduction for grades K-3."

The contradiction in stated goals proves to me this was not given the necessary consideration or analysis.

20 Votes
 
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Erica Campion 15 days ago

I have 2 daughters at Brooks Elementary currently--in 3rd and 4th grade. With class size restrictions imposed this year in the K-3 grades, I have already seen significant degradation in the quality of education in 4th and 5th grades. My 4th grader has TWENTY NINE classmates with no assistant teacher. Educating 30 students at varying performance levels is an impossible task. By adding 100 additional students (and, presumably, no extra teachers), the academic environment at Brooks would suffer immeasurably. I am fully supportive of efforts to further diversify the student body at Brooks, however a more thoughtful plan that addresses class size at all grade levels is needed. I strongly encourage you to reconsider this initiative.

22 Votes
 
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Erin Hemminger 15 days ago

We are magnet parents and we truly believe in the Wake County Public School magnet program. We believe each magnet program throughout Wake County enhances and elevates learning in the classroom on a daily basis. This is why we chose magnet for our children’s education and why we feel it is important to give others the opportunity for their children as well.

During the magnet application period of 2016-2017, Group 2A Addendum was put into place by Wake County Public Schools which gives priority to children from low and middle SES areas. The current proposal to add 100 additional students to the Brooks base student population would force Brooks Elementary magnet to accept far fewer Group 2A magnet students. And as a result, this new proposal will significantly and negatively impact the desired intent of the Group 2A Addendum.

We believe that Group 2A Addendum is an excellent strategy for achieving the Board’s goal of broadening the positive impact associated with magnet programs to include more low to middle SES students. We support this initiative, but we believe that things take time to organically grow and develop and we believe that the new Group 2A addendum has not been given enough time to see the potential for meaningful change at Brooks Elementary school.

Adding 100 additional students to Brooks will immediately put Brooks into a significantly overcrowded situation. This overcrowding issue will be further exacerbated by the impact of the new maximum class size legislation. Both factors will combine to negatively impact the educational life of all Brooks students.

The Group 2A Addendum is a smart, and effective policy, and this proposal undermines this effort. Therefore, we believe that the current proposal is ill advised, and ask that the Board reconsider this proposal.

22 Votes
 
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Heather Warwick 15 days ago

I am the parent of two current Brooks students and one who graduated Brooks and is in middle school. I am concerned about the proposed changes to the base population at Brooks. Under the proposal, this change as cited under “Operational Efficiency.” However, Board Policy 4150 states “Factors for consideration [for operational efficiency] include 1. Minimizing under-enrolled schools; 2. Minimizing overcrowded schools; and 3. Maximizing transportation inefficiencies.” The policy also states that “Base school assignments will be within a reasonable distance of the student’s home.” This proposal meets none of these factors. 1) 100 students, an almost 20% increase of our current population, should not be shifted into a school that is over capacity. My child’s fifth grade class has over 30 students with no TA and every classroom of our brand new school is already in use. I am admittedly unaware of how you make your projections of future crowding but with all of the young families moving into the North Hills neighborhood, I cannot imagine that the Brooks population of the current base will actually decrease in the next few years. If so, needed adjustments could be made at that time. 2) This proposal not a good option for these affected students, who live OVER 6 MILES away from Brooks. Such distance to the school prohibits parent involvement, lessens connections between the kids and their school peers and hinders academic performance by forcing students to spend much of their non-school day on a bus. If students need to be shifted to the Brooks elementary school base, there are better-fit neighborhoods to meet these same needs. For example, the Navaho Drive community, currently bussed to Baileywick, over 5 miles from their homes, would better meet the board’s priorities. Further, additional nodes around Stoneybrook, a community with deep ties to our school, would be a better fit.

3) There are high performing schools that actually are underenrolled. According to your report, Root Elementary is under its renovated capacity by about 100 students (and has been for the past few years). If you truly want to minimize under-enrolled schools, there are other schools whose base could be adjusted without overcrowding another school.

Please reconsider your proposal. I celebrate diversity in Brooks and support every student at our school. However, this plan fails to meet the board’s stated criteria for considering such shifts. Thank you!

25 Votes
 
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Hiroko Reams 14 days ago

I am a parent of 2 Brooks students and am in agreement with all of the above responses. My biggest concern is the proposed increase in student population at an already at/above capacity school and the negative impact it will have on the already overcrowded 4th and 5th grade classes. I do not understand how reassigning 100 children from a school that has space for them to a school that does not is in the best interest of any child. I ask the Board to please reconsider its proposal.

21 Votes
 
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Erin de Freitas at November 06, 2017 at 11:03pm EST

We are a magnet family with twin kindergarteners at Brooks. We also have 2 preschool aged children. We understand that this plan may prohibit our younger kids from attending Brooks with their siblings. Splitting the children into different schools will not be feasible for us. We would be forced to return to our base, which is overcrowded as well. We agree with the other commenters, adding 100 more students to our overcapacity school is a bad idea. On a personal note, our family is multiracial. But we can't stay at Brooks if our children will be split apart. We are very concerned about uprooting our older children after just 1-2 years. We spent a great deal of time researching and touring our magnet options. If we had known about this possibility we would have done something else. Our kindergarteners love Brooks, they are settling in, making friends, becoming part of the school community. They would be heartbroken if they can't come back.
Dorian and Erin de Freitas

12 Votes
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Matt Dees admin at November 07, 2017 at 10:24am EST

Hi Erin. The current proposal would have no effect on entering grade siblings of magnet students receiving guaranteed placement. Just so long as you apply during the magnet application period.

6 Votes
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Erin de Freitas at November 08, 2017 at 9:29am EST

Hi Matt, thank you for the response. Unfortunately this assurance doesn't ease our anxiety. If Brooks becomes overcrowded at 120% capacity, and with continued growth in the area, who's to say a cap won't be introduced in future years (19/20, 20/21)? Our preschoolers won't be old enough to enter kindergarten until 2020. As another poster commented, Root is under capacity. Why move such a large number of students to Brooks (102/106%) when better options are available?

11 Votes
 
 
 
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James Goldschmidt at November 07, 2017 at 12:58pm EST

I echo the concerns already expressed in this discussion. The proposed reassignment of 100 children to Brooks, which is already at capacity, will be detrimental to all students. The apparent outcomes from this decision would be: overcrowding of Brooks, a reduction in the amount of magnet school applicants accepted and a further reduction in the enrollment of Green Elementary. Each one of these potentials would only hurt the ability to provide a quality education to all students.

I have two children attending Brooks. Their experience is significantly different than mine growing up. I attended a private school in Greensboro. Parents dropped their kids off in the morning and picked them up in the afternoon. There was no engagement or sense of community. What makes Brooks great is the community and how engaged the parents are. Parents volunteer to the point where they get turned away, we have a strong PTA that is well supported, and there is a strong sense of community and support.

Another thing that makes Brooks great are the teachers and administration. Their commitment and dedication to providing the best education for our children is amazing to me. I encourage the school board to make a decision that supports our great teachers and administration as well and does not burden them with inadequate facilities and oversized classes.

Multiple alternatives to the current proposal have been provided. I ask that you consider each one of these in your decision making process. In the end, I hope the decision that is made is based on what is best for the education of all children involved and not one to improve the appearance of one schools test scores.

Thank you.

James Goldschmidt

23 Votes
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Helen Wallace at November 15, 2017 at 10:00am EST

Thank you and very well stated. "I hope the decision that is made is based on what is best for the EDUCATION of all children involved and NOT one to improve the APPEARANCE of one schools test scores" Flood terminology immediately comes to mind here: Peak flood level, flow or velocity - The maximum flood level, flow or velocity occurring during a flood event. The thought process of adding 100 students from an under capacity school to a school that is already above capacity makes absolutely zero sense.

2 Votes
 
 
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Ben Williams at November 07, 2017 at 3:46pm EST

I am a parent of two students enrolled at Brooks Elementary School. I give thanks for the Wake County School Board and for its herculean efforts to try and balance school enrollment. With all of the constraints placed on the school system by our state legislature and county comissioners as well as the continued growth of Wake County daily, I imagine this work of balancing school enrollment is very difficult. There are many conflicting demands and priorities to work through. I’m grateful that the board puts forth proposals and solicits feedback.

To be clear, I think working to balance out student performance and socioeconomic status across all of the schools in the system in an important objective and should be pursued. It is in part why my wife and I have chosen to enroll our students in public schools. We believe all public schools should reflect the rich diversity of our community. I do not and will not object to the school board pursing this goal.

Let me also be clear that I’m in full support of doing anything and everything to strengthen Green Elementary School. I serve as a community leader in midtown Raleigh. I work with families who have children enrolled at Green. I believe Green should receive the necessary support it needs to thrive.

My concerns are practical in nature. Brooks is already over enrolled. Adding 100 students will further exacerbate this situation. It is hard to imagine how this will not put students and staff in potential danger as it relates to building and fire codes. Of further concern is what impact adding 100 students might have to the museums magnet portion of the school curriculum. From listening to PTA members and staff trying to imagine what would have to happen at Brooks to accommodate 100 extra students, it sounds like art, music, physical education, and science classes could adversely impacted.

I have to believe there are alternative solutions to address the school board’s objectives. I hope the school board will take these concerns into consideration and explore other viable options. In the end, I believe both schools and their students will be better served by pursuing a different plan.

Thank you again, for sharing the draft proposal with the public. Thanks for being open to feedback. Please know that I share your overall goals and objectives and truly join you in seeking to make Wake County Schools the best it can be.

Blessings,

Ben Wiliams

21 Votes
 
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Dana Joyner at November 07, 2017 at 4:11pm EST

Hello, I am the parent of a first grader (and soon to be kindergartner) at Brooks ES. While I do support the strengthening of Green ES, adding 100 students to Brooks, a school that is already over capacity, is not the answer. Like others, I am concerned about the impact on the magnet program. I ask that you reconsider this plan and look to the other alternatives that have been laid out. Thanks in advance for your time & consideration, Dana Joyner

17 Votes
 
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Carrie Cronin at November 07, 2017 at 4:33pm EST

I agree with the points raised in this discussion. I am a parent of 3 current Magnet program students at Brooks. I am concerned about the negative impacts the current proposal will have on student population and Brooks administrators without building new classroom spaces. I am at a loss to see how moving students from one under capacity school to a school that is at capacity can actually help both schools.

The result is overcrowding and puts the extra burden on our existing teachers and administration to figure out how to fit 100 more students. Meanwhile new class size legislation will be reducing class sizes across Wake County, which means we need to find more classroom spaces in addition to the 100 more students. It would be wonderful to get number of students per teacher ratios improved, but not at the expense of taking away other programs.

The idea of possibly taking away specials or MIT classes from Brooks students to accommodate the number of students will backfire. Every child deserves to have a well-rounded education by re-enforcing the skills they learn in the classroom through other methods from science to art to music to physical activity. Children need exposure to different ways to connect to the materials they are learning in the classroom.

Our teachers and staff work so hard to make Brooks a wonderful place to learn, when you take away some of their tools to teach, it is at the detriment of our kids. Please reconsider the proposal and follow your Board Policy 4150 to meet your operational efficiency goals.

Thank you for your consideration, Carrie Cronin

17 Votes
 
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Brantley Springett at November 07, 2017 at 4:39pm EST

I add my voice to those above and thank the Board for the opportunity to express my concerns. As the parent of a first grader and a preschooler I am highly concerned about the same issues already noted. The addition of 100 new students harms the current Brooks community as well as the newly assigned students who will be entering an overcrowded school far from home. As Ms. Warwick noted, this reassignment is counter to the Board's stated goals. It is further counter to the Board's recently implemented 2A Magnet Addendum, which has not been given a proper opportunity to work. The implementation of the new maximum classroom size legislation coupled with 100 additional students guarantees that the fourth and fifth grade classes at Brooks would be in excess of 30 children next year- an environment that does not foster academic success for any child.. This proposal will detract from our award winning magnet program as less magnet seats will be available and could ultimately lead to the dissolution of our magnet status all together.

My family made a conscious decision to move to the North Hills neighborhood in no small part because Brooks would be our neighborhood base school. I cherish the walks to our beautiful new school building with my child. The teachers and administration at Brooks are unparalleled and I echo Mr. Goldschmidt in his request that the Board continue to support these excellent educators.

I urge the Board to consider the myriad of alternative solutions that have been presented.

Thank you!

Brantley Springett

19 Votes
 
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Candace Sperati at November 07, 2017 at 5:32pm EST

I have a 3rd grader at Brooks Elementary. We moved into the neighborhood specifically for Brooks Elementary. We chose for our child to attend a diverse public school that has a proven record when it comes to education. The parents, teachers and administration work hard to make Brooks what it is. I hope that in reviewing this proposal and all the comments from the parents of our students above that resources are at the top of that review. If we do not have the resources to support the proposal, then the school is not being set up for success. All children should have that basic right, a right to be successful. Let’s stop shifting them around and find good solid solutions where resources are available.

12 Votes
 
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Betsy Cordle at November 07, 2017 at 8:36pm EST

As a parent of a 2nd grade magnet student at Brooks,I am very concerned about the proposal to add 100 students from Green to Brooks. As I look at the numbers of students in the upper grades, I am very concerned about such an increase in numbers to a school that is already at capacity. I have the same concerns as many of the parents above. There have been several thoughtful options presented that make sense for the students and community. I urge the board to consider these alternatives to achieve the goals it has set forth. Thank you, Betsy Cordle

15 Votes
 
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Dina Silverman at November 07, 2017 at 10:36pm EST

As a parent of two Brooks students (4th and 1st graders), I respectfully disagree with the proposal to shift 100 students from Green Elementary to Brooks Elementary.

I fully appreciate and support WCPSS desire to achieve equity and diversity in its schools. I think it’s important that our schools are diverse and I choose to send my kids to a public school for that reason. We are in the base population and love the idea of having our kids at a neighborhood school.

I hope I’m correct in my interpretation of the data and the rationale for why this proposal is being put forth - it seems that this is a solution to the issue of Green Elementary having low achievement scores relative to where WCPSS would like it to be. The assumption being made here is that by shifting this group of students to a higher achieving school, it will increase Green’s achievement scores while maintaining Brooks high achievement record.

If my interpretation is correct, I believe the solution proposed by the Board is not an optimal way to improve achievement scores at Green.

Mrs Locklear and the Brooks administration have worked tirelessly for many years to achieve the results that are reflected in the academic achievement figures. It’s a long and slow process that requires relentless effort and determination on the part of every staff member at Brooks, as well as high engagement from the parent community. Green, in its new capacity / facility has only been open for 1 year. I believe it will take time, resources, and similar level of determination / effort on the part of the Green administration as we have seen at Brooks, to get those achievement figures where they need to be. Hiring the right teachers, training them and fostering the type of environment at Green that Mrs Locklear has done for Brooks should be the solution / emphasis in order to get ALL of the kids at Green (not just these 100) what they need and deserve while not negatively impacting the Brooks students.

I don’t believe that just shifting this group of 100 kids to Brooks will significantly impact Green or its students or its achievement scores. However, shifting this group of kids will have a severe negative impact on Brooks students, in the following 3 ways:

  1. Our school is at full capacity in terms of # of students and will be way over capacity with this addition. As a %age of total population, 100 kids is a lot to absorb at one time. Recent requirements for smaller class sizes in K-2 has resulted in 4th and 5th grade classes having 30+ kids in them. These classrooms and teachers cannot get any bigger without a detriment on the quality of education ALL kids will receive.

  2. Our school building is fully utilized with no additional space/classrooms. This means that the art, music, and science classrooms will have to be converted to accommodate so many new kids and it’s unclear what will happen to those classes. Where and how will they be taught? Will they still be taught? Or will those teachers have to be let go in order to hire more classroom teachers to accommodate 100 more students? Brooks will not be Brooks without its MIT program.

  3. Our Museums Magnet program enables kids to get a set of unique experiences. I’m concerned that the addition of 100 base students will put the magnet program at risk both from a funding and a capacity perspective. And it would also undermine a key element that gives Brooks its identity.

I urge you to reconsider this proposal, or at least delay this decision for 1 year in order to have more time to brainstorm solutions that are in the best interest of all children, both at Brooks and Green and our community overall.

Sincerely, Dina Silverman

17 Votes
 
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Jeff Bradley at November 07, 2017 at 10:53pm EST

Thank you for all your work to strengthen our schools. I have three students at Brooks Elementary. I write to ask that you please consider changing the reassignment proposal that adds significant numbers of base students (100) to Brooks Elementary. Brooks is currently at full capacity. The steps that would be taken to add these students will have a negative impact on Brooks. Perhaps a less drastic change would be to spread those 100 students across other schools to limit the burden and impact to an already full Brooks. Changes this dramatic often have unintended consequences which collectively don’t improve anything overall. I ask that focus be placed on preserving the strong Magnet status of Brooks while taking steps to improve other schools in need rather than shift students around. Some shifting seems reasonable, but the current proposal is too drastic and full of unnecessary risks.

Thank you for your consideration and hard work.

Jeff Bradley

14 Votes
 
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Whitney Wagoner at November 08, 2017 at 10:23am EST

Hi! I attended the Board meeting last night, and I would like to echo the responses above. As a parent of a current 1st grader, and a preschooler who will attend Brooks in 2019, I thank the Board for listening to all of our concerns, for being responsive to all of our emails, and for considering other solutions. As stated above, Brooks is at capacity, and adding additional students would be a strain to ALL of the students, including those from Green, as well as all of our wonderful Brooks staff.

I want the best for ALL students, as well as our educators, they deserve it.

Let's all work together to support Green. Uprooting students to make achievement numbers look better on a spreadsheet is not the solution.

16 Votes
 
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Whitney Wagoner at November 08, 2017 at 10:49am EST

To add to my comment above, I would like to say thank you to everyone who spoke last night!

10 Votes
 
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Daniel Hill at November 08, 2017 at 2:25pm EST

I am the parent of two Brooks students and live a few blocks from the school. I would like to echo the comments above, and also the points made last night at the Board meeting. Brooks is a great school, but I fear these proposed changes will transform it into another overcrowded, mediocre school. Mostly, I am struggling to understand how increasing enrollment from 102% capacity to 118% capacity will help either the existing Brooks students or the 100 students you plan to move. As it was pointed out last night, you are not helping these struggling children....you are simply moving them from Point A to Point B. Furthermore, what does this plan do for Green? That school is NOT at capacity, and the lesson for them here is: Don’t look for ways to improve performance or help struggling kids. Just wait long enough and the problem will be moved to another campus. Imagine if we applied this thinking to all facets of life?? Please reconsider your plan - keep Brooks the great school that it is, and give Green the resources they need to help all of their students. Thank you.

14 Votes
 
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Holly Calabro at November 10, 2017 at 10:02am EST

I echo the sentiments of those who have so eloquently responded against the proposal to move 100 Green students to Brooks MMES. As the parent of a third grader and to a "graduate" of Brooks, I beg you not to compromise the learning environment that the teachers and staff have worked so very hard to provide with already limited resources. Every year our public schools, teachers, and staff are threatened with over-crowding, less funding, and even loss of jobs; there has to be a way to solve issues --such as underperforming schools -- without creating just as important issues at other schools. Please consider the results of your decisions. It is time that we make education a priority and do the best we can to support our children and teachers. Over-crowding leads to so many negative results and isn't a way to provide a quality education. I implore you to please reconsider this proposal.

11 Votes
 
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Matt Cunningham at November 10, 2017 at 10:16am EST

To follow up on my comments and concerns posted earlier this week, I am hopeful that WCPSS is taking our proposals/options into consideration, and I am hopeful WCPSS can respond/update as to the following specific questions:

  • As WCPSS looks at capacity concerns, is it looking at capacity in light of the impact of the legislature's restrictive K-3 class size on Brooks' particular school facilities (i.e., our actual current layout)?

  • Have smaller catchment areas been considered, or are smaller catchment areas being considered, in light of the capacity issues incumbent with a transfer of such a number of students?

  • Can WCPSS provide an update on the positive impact of the Group 2A magnet priorities (as instituted last year) on increasing SES diversity at Brooks and other Group 2A schools from last year to this year?

  • Is it feasible and has WCPSS considered adjusting magnet priorities to give magnet priority to applicants from low SES catchment areas assigned to Green Elementary as a means of balancing achievement levels via voluntary transfer/assignment of students within the magnet program?

Thanks for your consideration and any feedback that can be provided on the questions above.

12 Votes
 
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Brent Aspinwall at November 10, 2017 at 8:32pm EST

I'm a parent of a 1st grader at Brooks. I disagree with this plan. I think overcrowding any school has predictable and unforeseen consequences. Provide Green with the resources it needs to expand without diluting the quality of education of Brooks.

11 Votes
 
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Kiesha Hall at November 10, 2017 at 9:21pm EST

I am a parent of one Brooks student and one that graduated last year. I appreciate the board's objective of creating equity throughout all of Wake County Schools. However, I feel that moving 100 students from a school that is under capacity to a school that is already at capacity is not the best way to achieve this objective. I agree with the ideas above and hope that you will reconsider this proposal.

12 Votes
 
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Jeremy Croom at November 10, 2017 at 11:57pm EST

I am a parent of 2 Brooks magnet students and in 2 years a 3rd magnet student and want to echo the above comments. Adding these 100 students will negatively impact those students, Brooks students and Brooks teachers. Please focus the efforts on improving Green Elementary in lieu of moving students and thinking the issues will just go away.

10 Votes
 
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Becky Cunningham at November 12, 2017 at 4:32pm EST

Board Members: According to our Principal, the K-3 Classroom Size Mandate that takes effect next school year will necessitate 4 additional classrooms to accommodate our CURRENT student population. How many additional classrooms would we need to accommodate 100 more students? Without knowing anything about the makeup of the population you are proposing be added to our base, it is possible that we would need as many as 6 more on top of that 4! HOW is it possible that you will have built this amazing new facility for us (not without sacrifice, that year in the trailers was not fun!), to only allow us to enjoy it for one year before causing us to outgrow our building?!?! Should this new student population skew older, consider the ramifications to the 4th & 5th Grade classes! We already have 29-34 students per class in these grades. I have a current 5th Grader who has trouble with focus. 34 kids in his classroom is not making for an ideal learning environment. I can't imagine a student like him in a class with even more students!
Please, I implore you, please take our current students into consideration and do not add this many students to our base. There has to be a different way to meet your objectives. Many of my fellow parents have made wonderful suggestions. We have a great school, with Administrators, Teachers & Staff who work their tails off to make it that way. Please help us keep it that way.

12 Votes
 
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Carolyn Meiners at November 12, 2017 at 6:40pm EST

I have two students at Brooks Elementary and I tespectfully ask that the board reconsider the plan to add a new neighborhood to the Brooks Elementary base population. Brooks has just been rebuilt and is already at full capacity 102% to be precise. Our school cannot accommodate new students next year; there are 31 students in My child's fifth grade class already. That is far too many.

To all our Board Members, please do not make this big change - local schools need time to adjust adequately to the new class size legislation. Further, consider these effects on Brooks' current base if you add to our already above capacity numbers:

  • Combining grade levels into one classroom with two teachers to accommodate Green Road and to create a good mix of kids at Brooks who qualify for free lunch, does not help anyone. Do not consider equalizing the number of free lunch students at Brooks to the detriment of my childrens' education.
  • Increased base numbers means decreased magnet numbers - we could loose our magnet coordinator position and our accolades as an excellent magnet school.
  • North Hills property values depend DIRECTLY on the excellent reputation our school has now- please don't mess with my nest egg(real estate) to equalize free lunch numbers.
  • Some of the new families that have moved to the neighborhood surrounding Brooks Elementary may be assigned to a different school defeating the purpose of neighborhood schools.
  • Possibly eliminating sibling priority for current Brooks students so siblings may not be guaranteed a spot- that's outrageous! Adding 100 students to an over capacity school will hurt in so many ways and will not benefit anyone in the short or long term.
5 Votes
 
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Marian Larson at November 12, 2017 at 9:02pm EST

I know and respect many of the wonderful Brooks parents who have already commented, and I agree with all that has been said. I have one child who spent all six years at Brooks, and two more currently at the school. I do not believe adding 100 new students to our school is going to benefit anyone - not the ones being transferred, not the current student body, not the faculty/staff, and not the families. If anything, the quality of our programming and our teachers will likely decrease, simply because all will be spread too thin. I do not envy Wake County for having to continuously work on this never-ending problem of reassignment, but I do not think overcrowding an already at-capacity school is the right step. Please reconsider this change and take into account the many suggestions mentioned by my fellow Brooks parents. Thank you.

11 Votes
 
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Tara Muller at November 13, 2017 at 3:16pm EST

In follow up to my earlier comment, I repeat my offer to work with the Board and its staff to research the viability of the three options Matt Cunningham presented above. Any of those options would fulfill the Board's goals to increase diversity, achieve system-wide equity, and avoid over-crowding. Please let us know if you are considering our ideas and whether we can help with any research or with any more brainstorming of ways to create a win-win for next year. Also, if school administration permits us, we also are happy to give you a tour of Brooks' facilities so that you can see the practical space limitations we describe. Thank you!

11 Votes
 
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Shawn McKee at November 14, 2017 at 12:16pm EST

Wouldn't improving Green's desirability as a magnet school be a better way to help improve scores? I liked what I saw on the tour of Green but it clearly does not have the financial resources that other magnet schools in the area have (like Brooks). For us, it was just one more traditional calendar choice on an already long list. If Green was still year round, it would have been our number one magnet choice.

5 Votes
 
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Alston Hayes at November 14, 2017 at 8:15pm EST

I agree with the Brooks parents above!

6 Votes
 
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Lina Lemons at November 14, 2017 at 8:17pm EST

I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan, and ask the Board of Education to consider alternatives that do not overcrowd our school. I agree with the comments above.

6 Votes
 
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Daniel Amburn at November 14, 2017 at 8:26pm EST

I agree with almost every other comment above with regard to overcrowding. This isn’t Spinal Tap, the amps don’t go to “11”.

5 Votes
 
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Mary Catherine Collins at November 14, 2017 at 8:35pm EST

I too am a parent at Brooks. We have three children, two currently enrolled and one graduate. I agree with the parents above and also respectfully ask that the Board thoughtfully reconsider the current re-assignment plan.

6 Votes
 
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Meghann Porter at November 14, 2017 at 8:36pm EST

I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan, and ask the Board of Education to consider alternatives that do not overcrowd our school.

6 Votes
 
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Leslie RandPickett at November 14, 2017 at 8:37pm EST

Dear Board Members, I know you all have a very challenging job leading such a large and complicated system, and truly appreciate your service to our community. I am the parent to a current 4th grader, but will have children in both 5th grade. and kindergarten at Brooks next year. We are a magnet family and I hope to be part of the Brooks community for quite a few years to come. I also have a nephew in Kindergarten at Green, hence I have a vested interest in BOTH of these schools being high quality. I'm concerned that the strategy is not focused on increasing achievement at Green.

It seems illogical to add such a large quantity of students to a school that is already above capacity, and I can't imagine it could do anything but harm a group of children into an overcrowded school. In addition, this plan seems like a heavy burden to bear for the reassigned students and the existing Brooks students.

As another poster commented, we are just settling in to our new school after a year of long commutes and challenging facilities. But we all made the best of it, knowing there was a much needed new school at the end of the year. We are already fully utilizing this beautiful space, and 100 additional students seems like too much to accommodate.

Thank you for allowing parents to share their perspectives. I hope you all will sincerely consider our appeals.

Best regards, Leslie Rand-Pickett

7 Votes
 
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Christine Pape at November 14, 2017 at 8:43pm EST

I agree with the comments above. Brooks is an amazing school but adding more students before the new K-3 plan goes into affect will hurt the teachers and students. We need to wait. Wake County need to be focused on the education they are providing these children not stuffing as many in. When I was a child Wake county schools were amazing and now people are moving out of the county because of overcrowding and lack of support for the schools and teachers. Please Wake County think of the future of you school system and the students currently in you schools.

6 Votes
 
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Hilary Wilkinson at November 14, 2017 at 8:44pm EST

I have a daughter in 6th grade that graduated from Brooks and a son currently in 2nd. We are a magnet family. I agree with comments above that voice a concern with this proposal. With the changes in K-3 class sizes we need to make sure we can sustain the numbers we have while still offering quality education to our 4th and 5th graders who are preparing for a rigorous middle school setting. Our magnet program is what makes our school unique and it is already challenging for families who want to come under magnet status to be accepted. Please consider alternatives to this plan and give us time to adjust to our new school after being displaced last year. This plan could affect the quality program that WCPSS has built at Brooks.

5 Votes
 
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Emily Goins at November 14, 2017 at 9:03pm EST

As a parent of 2 magnet students at Brooks, I echo the above comments in my dissent of the proposed assignment plan. I don't see how a plan that puts a new school significantly over capacity can have anything but a negative impact on the students: current Brooks students as well as the Green Road students you are seemingly trying to help. I feel there are much better ways to serve all the students in our district and I implore you to look into many of the fantastic ideas offered up in the many comments above. Thank you for all your hard work.

6 Votes
 
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Mendy Owenby at November 14, 2017 at 9:03pm EST

I also as the Board to reconsider this proposal of adding 100 students to Brooks. With the unknowns of the K-3 mandate, it doesn't seem wise to make a difficult transition that much harder on the school with the additional headcount. As other have astutely noted before there are several viable options to address issues that are plaguing Green Road. As I magnet parent with one child in 1st and hopefully a potential child in 2 more years, I am particularly concerned about what overcrowding may mean for our family. I specifically chose Brooks as it was a smaller school than the others I toured. If the plan was to accommodate much more headcount then why wasn't planned for in a NEW school? Please reconsider.

6 Votes
 
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David Rodgers at November 14, 2017 at 9:21pm EST

I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan, and ask the Board of Education to consider alternatives that do not overcrowd our school

5 Votes
 
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David Kilbride at November 14, 2017 at 9:27pm EST

I am the father of a Brooks 2nd grader. I agree with my fellow Brooks parents. Assigning 100 students to an already at-capacity school is not a wise solution. Looking for another school that is not too far away is a good idea, but Brooks is not that school. I suggest Root elementary, which is not at full capacity. Thank you, David Kilbride Teacher, Raleigh Charter High School

6 Votes
 
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Blair Jackson at November 14, 2017 at 9:30pm EST

I absolutely echo the above concerns from parents regarding the Brooks proposal.

5 Votes
 
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Elizabeth Gaylord at November 14, 2017 at 9:31pm EST

I have a child at Brooks and I oppose the proposed change of expanding Brooks. I agree with the above comments and ask that you consider other options to support students at Green Road Elementary.

5 Votes
 
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David LeBouef at November 14, 2017 at 9:36pm EST

The approach to increase student enrollment without an additional support makes little sense. I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan, and ask the Board of Education to consider alternatives that do not overcrowd our school.

4 Votes
 
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Cynthia Michaelson at November 14, 2017 at 9:49pm EST

I am a parent to a second grader and rising Kindergartener. I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan, and ask the Board of Education to consider alternatives that do not overcrowd our school. I agree with the previous comments provided by my fellow colleagues and feel that there are many well thought out proposed options that will best support our children, teachers and faculty at Brooks without overcrowding.

6 Votes
 
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Jason Pedone at November 14, 2017 at 10:14pm EST

I disagree with this proposal. It is not practical to reassign the proposed volume of new students to a school which was simply not designed to hold the resulting capacity. This proposal would unfairly impact existing Brooks students as well as the reassigned Green students. I’m certain there are less impactful solutions that can be crafted before rushing into what appears to be a suboptimal one. While I do appreciate the unplanned impact of the legislative actions by the state I’m disappointed as both a parent and a tax payer that WCPSS did not have the foresight to build both Green and Brooks to accommodate potential student population growth.

6 Votes
 
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Angie Patterson at November 14, 2017 at 10:41pm EST

I agree with the concerns stated above.

5 Votes
 
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Lusmiledy Valenzuela at November 14, 2017 at 11:41pm EST

I disagree with the Brooks base expansion plan, and ask the Board of Education to consider alternatives that do not overcrowd our school and agree with all parents above.

5 Votes
 
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Arianne Bradley at November 14, 2017 at 11:55pm EST

Dear Board Members, Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback. I am a parent of 3 current Brooks students and 1 Brooks graduate. I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan and agree with the previous comments and proposed alternative solutions. Brooks is at capacity and can not accommodate 100 additional students without serious negative impact on our students, teachers/faculty and families. Please consider alternatives that do not overcrowd Brooks and set us on a path to failure.

7 Votes
 
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Ann Zaleta at November 15, 2017 at 5:43am EST

Dear Board Members, I would appreciate you reevaluating the necessity to transfer extra students into Brooks Elementary School. As a mother of a first grader I see this having a detrimental trickle down effect throughout the remaining years for my child. His class room is at capacity with only one teachers assistant between 4 class rooms. This is a burden for the teacher and students that struggle are not able to get the specific attention they require on a daily basis. Please reconsider adding additional student to Brooks for the upcoming 2018 year and beyond. Thank you,

6 Votes
 
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Raynor Smith at November 15, 2017 at 7:11am EST

I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan, and ask the Board of Education to consider alternatives that do not overcrowd our school. I agree with the Brooks parents above.

5 Votes
 
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Molly Edwards at November 15, 2017 at 7:56am EST

I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan, and ask the Board of Education to consider please alternatives that do not overcrowd our school. I agree with the Brooks parents above.

5 Votes
 
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Matt Joyner at November 15, 2017 at 8:54am EST

I am the parent of a first grader (and soon to be kindergartner) at Brooks ES. While I do support the strengthening of Green ES, adding 100 students to Brooks, a school that is already over capacity, is not the answer. Like others, I am concerned about the impact on the magnet program. I ask that you reconsider this plan and look to the other alternatives that have been laid out. Thanks in advance for your time & consideration.

5 Votes
 
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Helen Wallace at November 15, 2017 at 10:53am EST

First, WCPSS thank you for your hard work and dedication to the grueling task at hand. However, there MUST be a better solution for our children, for all children, than what has been proposed here. Mother Nature herself and the devastation from the effects of her flooding immediately come to my mind: "Peak flood level, flow or velocity - The maximum flood level, flow or velocity occurring during a flood event." The thought process of adding 100 students from an under capacity school to a school that is already above capacity at 102% respectfully makes zero sense. Please find a smarter, more sensible and ultimately better solution for current Brooks Elementary students as well as students of Green Elementary. Our children and our teachers deserve a better solution. Why intentionally break the levee? Lastly, physical education, art, science, music, etc. are all equally important to a students overall growth to become a well-rounded human being.

5 Votes
 
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James Rushing at November 15, 2017 at 11:18am EST

I am a parent of a 4th grader at Brooks and my other son recently graduated. I find it alarming that Brooks isn't even through one semester in it's new building and there is already a proposal to render it overcrowded. Sounds like poor planning. I strongly object to poor planning and to overcrowding Brooks. The cement is barely dry. If this plan goes through, who will admit that they mismanaged the new building project and failed to account for growth? Someone should.

5 Votes
 
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Shannon Montague at November 15, 2017 at 11:26am EST

I am a parent of a 3rd grader at Brooks. I thank you for your service to our school system and appreciate you listening to my concerns of adding more children to Brooks, which is already at 102% capacity. With fourth and fifth grade classes of 30 or more students, Brooks students will be unable to receive an education that they deserve. It is too much for teachers to meet the needs of that many children. By adding 100 more students, this problem will become worse and that is unacceptable. This is also not fair to the students you are proposing to move into Brooks- there is simply not enough room for more children. Please reconsider this plan.

6 Votes
 
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Stephanie Slifer at November 15, 2017 at 11:34am EST

Dear Board Members, thank you for taking the time to listen to the parents of students who will be directly affected by this plan. Currently, my two children are magnet students enrolled in the 4th grade at Brooks Elementary School. Our family has loved our time at Brooks and we actively made the choice to support public education for many reasons, diversity and inclusion being one of those reasons. I have read all of the above comments and agree with many of the points made. I particularly agree with Matt Cunningham's proposed solution no. 1. This solution would allow for increased SES diversity, while still maintaining the strong magnet program at Brooks and keeping classroom sizes reasonable. Knowing that my children will be in a grade that will not have classroom sizes legislated, I am very concerned with the impact that adding an additional 100 students will most assuredly have. Our 4th and 5th grade classrooms are already full - I can't imagine adding additional students into those physical spaces, not to mention the additional stress on teachers and resources to manage classrooms with 30 plus students. Please reconsider the plan as it is currently written.

5 Votes
 
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Kristen D at November 15, 2017 at 11:42am EST

As a Brooks base parent, I agree WCPSS should NOT move 100 Green students to the new Brooks campus. It would be detrimental to Brooks students to significantly overcrowd the new school they waited so long to enjoy, especially considering the impact on their MIT classrooms and traffic build up in the neighborhood (which is a complaint of neighbors already as it is). This proposal wouldn't fix the test scores for individual students at Green either - it just moves them and dilutes the scores to make it appear "better." The Green students do not need to spend a significant portion of their day being bused or driven back and forth either. That useless time would be better spent working with them before/after school to improve their performance in lacking areas. With overcrowded classrooms base and magnet Brooks student scores will drop since teachers can't show as much individual attention the more students there are. Definitely not an acceptable proposal for either school.

4 Votes
 
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Dickens Sanchez at November 15, 2017 at 12:01pm EST

I absolutely agree! I have three children at Brooks. I would like to see other options!

5 Votes
 
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Sonja Bower at November 15, 2017 at 12:21pm EST

As a parent of two Brooks students I respectfully disagree with the proposal to shift 100 students from Green Elementary to Brooks Elementary. I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan and agree with the previous comments and proposed alternative solutions. Brooks is at capacity and can not accommodate 100 additional students without serious negative impact on our students, teachers/faculty and families. Please consider alternatives!

4 Votes
 
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Karen Kranbuehl at November 15, 2017 at 12:31pm EST

I am a Brooks parent and agree with the postings above, in which many Brooks families have stated the reasons why the proposal is untenable and provided alternative plans for addressing the needs that the proposal is supposed to address.

One point that I’d like to add is about the school community. When we moved into our neighborhood (Brooks base) in 2005 most of the children in the neighborhood did not attend Brooks. Most of them were in private schools, even though that was financially difficult. This has changed in recent years.

It has taken many years for Brooks to get to the point where it is now. Adding 100 students to the school will cause families to consider abandoning Brooks again, and jeaopardize the strong community leadership and resources that currently support the teachers, administration, and the school in general.

Please consider the negative, unintended consequences of adding 100 students to an already crowded school.

Every school should be a good school.

Thank you for the work that you do.

5 Votes
 
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Jeffrey Slifer at November 15, 2017 at 1:56pm EST

I am a parent of two Brooks 4th graders and agree with the comments of other Brooks parents. To quote Kristen D:

I respectfully disagree with the proposal to shift 100 students from Green Elementary to Brooks Elementary. I object to the current Brooks base expansion plan and agree with the previous comments and proposed alternative solutions. Brooks is at capacity and can not accommodate 100 additional students without serious negative impact on our students, teachers/faculty and families.

2 Votes
 
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GABRIELLE GARDNER at November 15, 2017 at 6:49pm EST

I know my post will go against the grain, but I agree with the school boards’ proposal to add an additional 100 students from Green elementary. Based on the schools’ report card these kids could potentially benefit from the teaching methods Brooks uses, which has great teachers and a friendly staff who cares about their children’s educational success. I did some math (it’s an example) not sure if my math is going to be the way the school board carries out their plans. Say they do add 100 new students and they split the students evenly among the grades, elementary schools have 6 grades, if it splits that's 17(16.66) children per grade. Brooks has 5 classrooms each for Kindergarten - 3rd grade and 4 classrooms each for 4th and 5th grade so that averages about 3 (3.2) new students for k-3 and 4 for 4th and 5th grade. NC schools report cards 2015-2016 k-8 school snapshot puts 22 kids in Kindergarten, 19 in grade 1, 22 in grade 2, 21 in grade 3, 16 in grade 4 and 20 in grade 5 at Brooks. We also don’t know if they plan on adding more teachers or assistance to help with that growth. I wasn’t able to view the proposal; the link has a 404 error and the WCPSS site doesn’t elaborate.

I’m not looking forward to more cars in the carpool line or organization of carpool once more families are added but if it benefits those children we should give it a shot, hopefully they will be bused since it’s a nearby school area. More buses and less cars would help with the congestion that disturb those who live there. Also, the ethnic makeup for Brooks is (Based on information from www.Greatschools.com) 68% White, 18% Hispanic, 10% Black, 3% two or more races and 1% Asian. I researched and applied to other schools but wasn’t chosen and they were a lot more diverse than Brooks and with their overcrowding they seem to be adjusting quite well. Combs for example has an ethnic makeup of 47% White, 21 % Black, 15% Hispanic, 12% Asian and 5% two or more races. I don’t know size wise how much bigger or smaller each campus is, Wake County Tax records puts Brooks (586 students) at 20.64 Acreage and Combs elementary (925 students) at 15.64 Acreage. Granted Combs has 8 classrooms for Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grade, 6 classrooms for 4 and 5th grade and 7 classrooms for 2nd grade. If it comes down to it and the school needed more help and I am available, I will gladly volunteer (money and or time) to help in any way possible for the success of the children.

0 Votes
 
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Cyndi Harris at November 15, 2017 at 8:17pm EST

As a parent of two children at Brooks, I also respectfully disagree with the new proposal to add students from Green Elementary to Brooks. I know this is a difficult job for the school board, but I truly hope you will take a minute to read each comment and know how strongly most of the Brooks community feels regarding this issue. Thank you for your time and consideration in looking into other options to benefit Green while allowing us at Brooks time to settle into our new school and routine at this time.

4 Votes
 
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Noni Garrett at November 16, 2017 at 10:44am EST

I agree with the parents above. I object to the current base expansion plan, and ask the Board of Education to consider alternatives that do not overcrowd our school.

1 Vote
 
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Christy Zellman at November 16, 2017 at 10:52am EST

I completely agree with all the prior comments stating that adding students from Green is certainly not the best plan! As a parent of one child already at Brooks and an incoming Kindergartner in 2018, our family, as these others will be impacted. I just can't grasp why this proposal is even on the table as it's been proven that Brooks is ALREADY at capacity. This won't be what's best for the children currently there NOR the children you are proposing moving. More crowding, less effective use of resources and what will only be less quality of education. Please consider what's best for ALL children and not just what looks like it would be good on paper. Thank you for doing what is most beneficial for the children!

2 Votes
 
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Alyssa Light at November 16, 2017 at 1:09pm EST

I am against the proposed plan to increase Brooks Elementary School’s student body to over capacity. We have a 4th grade student at Brooks ES and have lived in the North Hills area for 14 years with Brooks ES as our base elementary school.

Our daughter is in Brooks ES 4/5 combo class due to over crowding in lower grades and a lack of funding and availability for a new 4th Grade Teacher. We feel very lucky she is in this combo class, as her peers are in 4th grade classrooms with 30 plus students. Our teachers, administration and staff work exceptionally hard to teach and lead our little ones everyday. Increasing class sizes should be the last option for any school district. Increasing class sizes and pushing a school over its maximum is the root cause of teacher dissatisfaction, as well as, a loss of connectivity with the teacher/student relationships. Every child has the right to the attention and support they need, in an overcrowded classroom this cannot be attained. In addition, research has shown that failure to meet the ideal needs of each pupil produces negative feelings towards their own work. This is a trickle down effect that will take its toll on our entire school as a whole. As our elected school board officials and as parents to a student at Brooks ES, it is our job to ensure our children and teachers are in a environment to succeed and not to fail. This is imperative and should not be given the opportunity to be compromised.

Brooks is at full capacity and cannot accommodate that many students next year, especially with the new class size law. Please do not make this big change without more consideration.

1 Vote
 
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Rebecca Spanbauer at November 16, 2017 at 2:18pm EST

First, I want to thank the Board and administration for your service to our wonderful school system. You have a difficult job trying to accommodate all students in such a rapidly growing system.

I agree with the above concerns registered by other Brooks families. I have a student at Brooks (and will have 2 more children there in the years to come). Brooks is at full capacity and cannot accommodate 100 more students next year from a separate base school, especially with the new class size law. Perhaps this change can be made more slowly or after the local schools have had time to adjust to the class size legislation.

1 Vote
 
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Scott Mayhew at November 16, 2017 at 4:11pm EST

I echo the comments from all Brooks parents opposed to the proposed plan of adding 100 students from Green. I have a 2nd grader at Brooks, with a rising kindergartener and a 3 year old on the way. My family believes in the public school system and diversity, but what we don't believe in is overcrowding our schools, which the proposed plan will do to Brooks. Many of the children that attend Brooks have other education opportunities, whether it be other magnet or private options. In my opinion, implementation of the proposed plan will have negative consequences for Brooks as some parents will simply not accept an overcrowding situation. Many of these parents that might seek other educational opportunities for their kids are the ones who typically spend time and effort in the classroom and volunteer to help the school be successful. These are the parents that make Brooks a tremendous public school and help raise the educational success of socio-economically challenged students. Please don't run them off by implementing a plan that is short-sighted.

Finally, and most importantly, please don't punish the students of Brooks by creating an overcrowding situation in which stress on the school is elevated and their dedicated art classroom, music classroom, etc. are taken away to make room for additional students. Engaging in a shell game by moving students around to make Green look better is not the answer, and is not the reason the Board was elected to their positions. The Board should consider it a challenge to find policies that work to improve Green rather than overcrowding a high achieving school such as Brooks. Please consider implementing the alternative options put forth by others in this discussion.

Thank you for all you do!

1 Vote