This Discussion channel is currently closed.

UPDATE 12/04: The address look-up tool has been updated to reflect all assignment changes.

UPDATE 12/03: The board approved assignment changes for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years. The only change made today from Draft 2 is that students reassigned from Highcroft Drive Elementary to Turner Creek Elementary will have Baucom Elementary as their traditional calendar application school instead of Green Hope Elementary, as originally opposed. The address look-up tool will be updated to reflect this change tomorrow and then shared with all families in the district.

On Nov. 5, staff presented the Board of Education with Draft 2 of the student enrollment proposal.

The Draft 2 proposal was developed after staff and board members considered feedback and questions from parents gathered over several weeks, both online and at three Open House information sessions.

Here are the changes made from Draft 1 to Draft 2:

-Draft 2 Change: Students who were proposed to be reassigned from Highcroft Drive Elementary to Salem Elementary in Draft 1 are now proposed to attend Turner Creek Elementary.
Purpose: Provides these families with a more proximate school assignment and helps ensure Salem Elementary doesn’t get too crowded.

-Draft 2 Change: Students who were proposed to be reassigned from Brassfield Elementary to Wakefield Elementary are now proposed to remain at Brassfield. Staff plans to make a revised recommendation next year.
Purpose: Draft 1 split the River Run neighborhood. 

Draft 2 Change: Students who were proposed to be reassigned from Fuquay-Varina Middle to North Garner Middle in Draft 1 are now proposed to attend West Lake Middle.
Purpose: Provides these families with a more proximate school assignment.

-Draft 2 Change: A northern portion of the Highcroft Drive Elementary base that currently is undeveloped is proposed to be reassigned to Carpenter Elementary and Alston Ridge Middle.
Purpose: Will help prevent future overcrowding at Highcroft Drive Elementary.

-Draft 2 Change: Adding currently undeveloped land to the Fuquay-Varina High base.
Purpose: Will help ensure a healthy school population at Fuquay-Varina High. Draft 1 proposal would have reduced Fuquay-Varina High School to 69% capacity in 2023-24.

What’s next?

-Draft 2 marks the final recommendation from staff. Any changes to the proposal going forward would come from the direction of the school board.

-Parents can continue to use our online forum to share feedback and ask questions. Board members and staff will continue to monitor the forum as they work toward a final plan.

-Community members will be able to address the board directly during a public hearing on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.

-If necessary, the board will discuss any additional changes at a work session on the afternoon of Dec. 3. A final vote is expected at the regular board meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 3.

-Find the thread related to your proposed assignment below. There you can ask questions and provide feedback.

 

As a reminder: We welcome feedback and questions on this site, but please be respectful. We encourage you to remember that others love their school as much as you love yours. Questions and comments that focus on academics and logistics are helpful to us and to other parents. Personal attacks and, of course, vulgarity have no place in this discussion and will be deleted. We encourage you to find out more about any school at this page. Better yet, visit schools. The benefit of visiting a school greatly outweighs any information you can glean from a single letter grade or third-party web site. Thanks in advance for your feedback – critical or not – and other helpful contributions to this forum.

Proposal: Draft 2 continues to recommend that some students attending White Oak Elementary would be assigned to Salem Elementary; middle school students in the same area now attending Mills Park Middle would be assigned to Salem Middle.

Purpose: Reduces overcrowding at White Oak Elementary and Mills Park Middle, while better utilizing Salem Elementary and Salem Middle, which are under-enrolled.

78 Responses

Default_avatar
Concerned Parent about 1 month ago

There is legislation that allows the State Board of Education to grant waivers to elementary schools that say they don’t have the classroom space or teachers needed to meet the smaller class sizes.

A limited number of reasons are now allowed for a K-3 class size waiver. Reasons include emergencies, an unanticipated increase in school population and schools dealing with an influx of students because of the closure of a charter school.

I believe it is fair to request a waiver based on the unanticipated increase in school population, board members have already mentioned that the growth surpassed their projections, and White Oak Elementary is already overcrowded within its very first 3 years of existence.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article226985029.html

11 Votes
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at November 26, 2019 at 3:04pm EST

I agree with this comment, especially since analysis of the numbers of students and new construction assigned to attend the Salem schools suggests that moving PWO to the Salem system would only overcrowd the Salem schools. Thus, whether or not PWO is moved, the K-3 class size mandate cannot be met. Perhaps if the K-3 class size mandate is important to the state, the continued waivers of schools made within Wake County would indicate to them that more funding is required by WCPSS (due to extreme growth in our county) to meet their K-3 class size proposal. Certainly, it seems the task the WC School Board faces of adhering to the K-3 class size mandate is so steep in our area that it cannot be accomplished. We appreciate the school board's commitment in working hard to do what is best for our students. School board, please respond to this comment.

2 Votes
 
 
Default_avatar
Apex resident about 1 month ago

It is so disappointing to see no considerations were made for the families in PWO. One of the member did the due diligence to ask questions regarding some of the comments (trailer option, any other choice for traditional option, available classroom) but NOT an effort to find some solution to families who will be left with very rough time in the next years to come.

The proposed change to the middle school seems only a feeder pattern alignment but the families at PWO have not requested for such alignment . if the staff and board cannot help the families for White Oak ES why is there no consideration for atleast the middle school.

there are no options for our kids to even grandfather to their current school however their is concern shown during the session to not interrupt the transfer students in WOES enrolled from overflow of Mills Park ES. Why is their a different approach? Why is there no option for our kids to grandfather to the current assignments?

11 Votes
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon about 1 month ago

Can we please consider making White Oak elementary a Year Round school? When speaking with school board member Roxie Cash at one of the meetings, she suggested that this would be a good option to help with overcrowding. It has been done in the past to traditional schools, such as Highcroft elementary. Since you are forcing a year round school (Salem) on us anyway, we would prefer if you kept the pillars of stability and proximity and not uproot our children to another school which will be further away from us. Please strongly consider this. Otherwise, I repeat, it is simply UNFAIR to uproot an established community of students and families to make room for families that have not even moved here yet. There has to be a way to avoid doing this and making White Oak year round should be a considered option.

15 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Concerned Parent about 1 month ago

Matt,

Could you please comment on why the board has not considered the K-3 class size waiver? It looks that it needs to be received by the Department of Public Instruction prior to November 30th, so there is still time for the board to pursue this.

Uprooting already established kids and communities should be the last option the board should be looking into, please consider all the alternate solutions that we have provided in our previous posts regarding draft 1 in addition to the waiver.

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/fbs/accounting/forms/waiver-class-size.pdf

11 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur about 1 month ago

at this point it seems like their is no other consideration being suggested or requested by the board for a change to our calendar option, i would appreciate to get a clarification on why is a calendar change for us from traditional to year round is being approached differently than an application calendar change. If it is ok for that change to get grandfathering for the remainder of the years then why do we get a different treatment?

Also why is the staff so determined to align the feeder pattern for the middle school. Why not just atleast give our families the middle school with traditional calendar as moving the small population is not going to make a change. The intent is very clear from the sessions so please don’t say the buildings are taking the toll and we are projecting to remove the cap as we all know that won’t happen in the near future.

Atleast we don’t have to deal with family balancing until the youngest kid finishes middle school. Not every family can work with year round atleast not mine.

13 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Sandy Chen about 1 month ago

We just bought the house because white oaks elementary is traditional school and my kids love the school very much. Did you consider the child's psychological feeling? If you want them from a familiar environment to another?

8 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Xin Xu about 1 month ago

During the Education Board meeting on Nov. 5th 2019, one of the member asked the question that how many trailers can be added to White Oak ES. The answer was that 4 trailers can be added but adding 4 trailers won't solve the issue. I wish that question and discussion during the board meeting went a little deeper. Could you please explain in details why adding 4 trailers won't solve the crowding issue? Thanks!

8 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Xin Xu about 1 month ago

In the draft 2, there is no application schools (ES, MS, or HS) listed for the Community of Preserve at White Oak. Is this a technical issue with the website or a decision on the draft 2? During the board meeting, the staff mentioned that Baucom ES is the overflow school for the Community of Preserve at White Oak, which was included in the draft 1.

9 Votes
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

The application schools are the same as in Draft 1. Here is that look-up. http://wwwgis2.wcpss.net/addressLookup/proposalFirstDraft/

1 Vote
 
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Checking on this

1 Vote
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at November 26, 2019 at 3:08pm EST

Hello! What has been the result of this investigation? Thank you, Matt.

Cosette

0 Votes
 
 
 
Default_avatar
Naz Khan about 1 month ago

Respected Board Members and staff.. its very dissaponitig to see that all the suggestions and helpful comments that could have helped in Draft 2 by PWO residents were not considered. Why are we being forced to a YR school? What are the students faults who are in middle of their school year and now are being forced to leave their comfort zone ... YR schools doesn't work for our families thats why we choose to move in a neighborhood where base schools were Traditional. If transportation is an issue please allow the students to stay (grandfather) without transportation. We have few rising 7th graders who are being forced to leave.. MS is based on 3 very important educational years.. and your draft is disturbing our kids educational environment..families will be split into 2 different calendars and cannot afford to live like this for many years to come. Please I request you on behalf of many concerned parents to consider making a change that will be a win win situation for us and the staff/board!

10 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Naz Khan about 1 month ago

Also please shed some light as why are salem schools underutilized and under enrolled?? Its because it doesn't work for Many Families!!!
Its not fair with anyone to be forced into a school or area that doesn't suit our family needs and requirements! Please put yourself in our shoes and understand how will you feel if you will be forced to leave a school in the middle of the school year and move to another school which is not traditional and in totally new area!! This is not an answer to the problem that board is facing.. please consider using grandfathering!!!

10 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Apex resident about 1 month ago

As many of the parents have shared concerns regarding the change of traditional to YR, if moving our community can resolve overcrowding of WOES can the staff and board find a solution to atleast assign us to a traditional option and not force us to YR school.

the data also suggests that staying at the current middle school can be easily achieved which will give the middle school kids stability or atleast assign us to a traditional option.

the community has seriously shown a concern with the YR option, we understand the board has the responsibility for the whole county but we are also a part of it and there should be some consideration to help meet our family needs.

12 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Praveen Alampally about 1 month ago

Hello Board Members, Its a little disappointing to know that grievances of Preserve at Whiteoak sub-division were not taken into consideration when Draft#2 was released. The new communities which are yet to be constructed or still in dirt are assigned to WhiteOak Elementary School. This is going to uproot a lot of our community kids from existing school and schedules to the new one. We moved to Apex as we wanted the school to be close for our kids, so they can avoid long journey.

11 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Concerned Parent about 1 month ago

Board is essentially taking away the traditional calendar option from us:

  • We cannot apply to transfer into White Oak Elementary
  • While we can apply to Baucom Elementary, there is limited seating, so this isn't really an option
  • While we can apply to Magnet schools, we fall into the low socioeconomic spectrum, so this isn't really an option

In my opinion when such a radical decision is made, the least the board can do is guarantee that students keep the same calendar.

Would it be fair to say that in order to fix the overcrowding issues, the board is kicking away kids from the Wake county public school system, forcing them to either go charter or private?

I'm not even sure this is legal.

9 Votes
 
Bootstrap_10162748048690037
Dharmesh Patel about 1 month ago

I am also one of the concerned and suffering parents due to school reassignment change for 2020-21. I have to say really disappointed after seeing draft 2. Like other we were moved to PWO one big reason WOES with tradition calendar. My older one is in 1st grade and she is very happy with her current school. Me and my wife both are working, and tradition calendar is suitable to our day to day schedule. This year by school reassignment proposed changes, we all are in shock. -- Reasons 1. You are forcing to move to YR calendar not tradition. 2. You also forcing to change school which is currently underutilized.

Which is NOT FAIR. These changes together are going to jeopardize our day to day life - routine. That definitely we even DID NOT CHOOSE IT!! First of all, Why would salemes school was not assigned as base school when PWO community was constructing? Then we all would have choice before moving to PWO. I understand wake county is overcrowding and need necessary changes to accommodate kids in school, but this is UNJUSTICE for kids who are already attending WOES. Why they should be they become victim? How you are going to justify that? One of the meeting Roxie Cash said YR calendar is better option to utilize school and accommodate more students. How about WOES to change YR calendar? It will solve two problems:

  1. PWO community kids can stay with current assigned schools. Which will give at least some relief to parent like me in PWO
  2. Future resident to wake county will have choice to accept YR calendar school before move which are going to less as like us most of parent prefer tradition calendar. Will give some relief for few year when most of schools will move to YR calendar.

That way all communities will contributing towards overcrowding issue in this area.

Hopeful that you will consider the suggestion in future board meeting with higher voice. We understand everyone need to some adjustment as part of overcrowding area but proposed solution should not break us!!

Hope you as parent will understand us too!!

13 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Vinita Narwal about 1 month ago

Hello board members, on behalf of all the families of preserve at white oak neighborhood I want to ask y’all one straight question. Why do you want our feedback on your actions if you don’t want to consider it? We have been trying really hard to make you understand that uprooting our kids which is not a huge number is not going to solve the problem of overcrowding of WOE and MPM. If you want to resolve it then stop assigning these schools to new constructions. Our kids have always been to a traditional calendar school year. They are not ready for this change. When we told them about the school change, they really got disturbed to know that. Dear board members, knowingly or unknowingly you are playing with our kids emotions and their future. You cannot force the kids to move out of their comfort zone. They are too young to understand this overcrowding problem. We can’t tell them that you have been forcefully removed from your school because they have to make room for other students. Please consider our kids too while making the final decision.

11 Votes
 
Bootstrap_2500067700061147
Jayakhanna Pasimuthu about 1 month ago

So many queries were asked earlier and many of them are still unanswered. Don't understand they point of this forum when we don't get answers for our queries. Looks like the queries are cherry picked per convenience. Would be good if all the questions are answered. If this forum is not meant for it, please let us know where we can get our questions answered.

Having said that, I still have these questions.

1) Proximity. In another discussion, you clearly mentioned that draft 2 had changes to take care of proximity. Seems hypocritical that they same yardstick is not applied to Preserve at White Oak Creek community. The nearest schools to us is a) Olive Chapel Elementary School. It's already mentioned that it's capped. b) White Oak Elementary School. Parents suggested to cap it. No response on that yet. Why WOES can't be capped? c) Scott Ridge Elementary School. It's already mentioned that this too is capped. d) Turner Creek Elementary School. It was mentioned earlier that Turner Creek has a large area of expected growth.

So all this is conveniently bypassed and the assignment is done to SES.

Also if proximity is really what the board and staff care about, then they have to look at the maps and see that there are areas that are farther from Preserve at White Oak Creek that has been assigned to White Oak Elementary School. Could you please care to explain why that's the case.

2) Stability: Parents chose traditional calendar schools for their convenience. Now forcing all of them to year around calendar without providing any alternate application options is beyond me.

Also suggesting that we have good magnet schools without understanding the transportation problems doesn't make sense. Board and staff wants the kids to spend their time commuting for ~1.5 hours daily. Everyone knew about the magnet school options and still chose to move here so that we can send the kids to a nearer school. Didn't want to stress the kids with longer commutes.

13 Votes
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon about 1 month ago

Here are some suggestions that can allow the Preserve at White Oak community to stay at their current schools: 1) Remove overflow students going to White Oak elementary (from Mills Park elementary and anywhere else) and redirect them as overflow students to Salem Elementary school. I don’t understand why this was not considered before uprooting/rezoning base families at White Oak? 2) Can you please rezone the Estates at Yates pond new construction community on White oak church road? This is a new “dirt” community on a large landscape that does not have anyone living there yet and is only 10 minutes away from Salem schools. Doesn’t this seem like a much more fair and reasonable proposal rather than disrupting the lives of children and families already established in their current schools? 3) Cap White Oak Elementary and send overflow students to Salem schools. If transportation is an issue, our community is willing to give up our transportation/bussing privileges in order to help keep the pillars of stability and proximity so we can stay at our current schools. 4) If none of the above suggestions will work, let’s consider making White Oak elementary year round. Perhaps this may happen anyway in the near future if there is really lots of population growth up and coming. Please don’t remove our children from their schools to make room for those who have not even moved here yet. Please let’s try and find a solution together.

13 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Concerned Parent about 1 month ago

We know the board/administrators are very committed and dedicated to serve our communities and children and thats why we would like to understand why the families at PWO were left with no choices to decide on their kids education life.

Quoting board chair Jim Martin:

https://www.wral.com/wake-school-leaders-want-to-use-census-data-to-help-balance-student-diversity/18581495/

"I just want to overemphasize that we are not talking about shuffling kids around like pawns,"

"Some of that will involve changes in assignment, yes ... I don't think you’re going to see a lot of energy around classic definitions of forced reassignment. You still have to have logical assignment patterns."

Several questions are raised based on the previous statement:

What is the logical assignment pattern for our community?

If this is a data driven decision, how are the numbers/statistics improving WOES/MIlls Park overcrowding when moving a small kids population from our community to another school?

Why do future communities that have not been built take priority over kids already attending WOES/Mill Park? How is the data proving this is the best decision for the communities/school?

What is the future plan for school assignment and how do we prevent this form happening again not only to our affected community but to the Wake county families that have been living these constant school rezoning?

12 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur about 1 month ago

Hi Matt, can you share with us the projected enrollments for each school for next years in wake county; something similar to what was presented in the proposed draft for WOES/MPMS and Salem ES/MS. To make sure my request is clear, trying to see if there are other available traditional alternatives for us.

9 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Sri B about 1 month ago

Dear Board members and staff, I am very disappointed to see draft 2, Preserve at White Oak community concerns are not taken into consideration, Why cant we cap White Oak elementry? White oak elementry is in good proximity to our neighbourhood. why not add Trailers at White Oak elementry? Why not assign Salem schools to furture communities/ Dirt, rather than forcing already established communities like us. If transportation is an issue, our community is ready to give up school bus in order to help keep the pillars of stability and proximity. I agree we have magent school option, but do we really need to add stress to little kids by making them travel 1.5 hrs for school daily. We want our kids school to be close to home , which is one main reason for our family to choose Preserve at white oak community.

7 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Naren Meka about 1 month ago

After voicing our (Preserve at White Oak parents) concerns at the last meeting, it is disappointing to see no improvements made in this proposal to address the concerns. We would like to hear any suggestions/alternatives to improve access to traditional schools for current students at PWO. Future communities and growth affecting established neighborhoods and kids that are already in a school they like is not optimal. Please reconsider.

6 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Yegammai Lakshmanan about 1 month ago

Hi Matt, we (PWO)expected some positive change from all the issues that was discussed in forum as well as in person . Really disappointed. If proximity was the reason to change the Ashley woods from SES to Turner Creek, you can apply the same for us. You leave us with no option but forcing to Year Round. There is only one application school for traditional , no chance of getting in magnet schools either. We are a small community and zoning us will not help you to reduce the White Oak overcrowding/MPM overcrowding.Also in the previous discussion we said about new constructions near SES. Won’t permanent solutions help the board than temporarily assigning us. It’s not fair to move a established community and letting the future residents of new constructions to stay ,if overcrowding is issue. Pls think about solutions that are lasting. 1.capping WOES( when all schools in wake county are capped why not WOES and I heard you saying it will be done soon , why not now?) 2. We are ready to forgo transportation if that’s an issue and you can provide transport for overflow schools to new residents . 3. A limited number of reasons are now allowed for a K-3 class size waiver. Pls consider those options ( if overcrowding is reason) 4. If SES underutilized do the needful to change it to MAGNET/STEM school. Uprooting us is not the solution. Pls look for permanent solutions for SES too. Pls do respond to our requests/ questions. We have been writing hoping for positive outcome, even when there are no response to any of suggestions made in previous / this forum . Pls consider our heartfelt requests. All families are stressed because of this rezoning.

8 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Ankita Chaturvedi about 1 month ago

It is really disappointing to see that the requests of Preserve at White Oak residents were completely ignored in the second draft as well. This move to a new school would adversely affect the kids and it is being done for who; people who have not even moved in their new communities. Our kids are well settled in their present school with a traditional calendar. My kid does not perform well in a YR school with frequent track-outs. Thats why we chose to put most of our savings in our home which was zoned to traditional schools. So did many more of our neighbors. Please, dont take this option of making the best choice for our kid, away from us. Kids may be stats and numbers for the board, but, our whole world is centred around them. Please, reconsider this rezoning and let us keep the current enrollments in respective schools. To enable this, we are even ready to give up transport.

6 Votes
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon about 1 month ago

Here is another suggestion: rezone the new construction community (which is still just “dirt” with no one living there yet) Castleberry Trails to Salem schools. Please consider every possible alternate other than uprooting the lives of our children. Please keep the pillars of stability and allow our children to stay at their current schools.

5 Votes
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon about 1 month ago

I see that you rezoned the northern part of Highcroft Drive in Draft 2. Please consider doing the same for us and rezone a “dirt” community instead of our small established community.

6 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Jie Hou about 1 month ago

It seems we are in a rare situation of having to move from traditional to year round without any other option. I really hope the board members can seriously consider about our situation and at least give us another option for traditional calendar. This is really not just numbers, this is about our kids. Thank you very much!

5 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Jie Hou about 1 month ago

Preserve at White Oak currently only have 17 kids in Mills Park Middle. I'm really disappointed by seeing no change in draft 2, but I still hope you can at least consider letting our kids stay in Mills Park Middle since it's just small number. Thank you!

5 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur about 1 month ago

The proposal of reassigned for WOES is based on class size reduction but there is no such legislative requirement that the Middle School feeder pattern should be aligned with elementary school.

The reassignment a small population of Middle school kids from PWO is NOT necessary and does not help achieve any goals the board has. Can the staff/board consider NOT to reassign our base from Mills Park MS.

As we have said multiple times and are only asking to have a traditional calendar. If Baucom ES is the alternate option can we have that as our Base instead of Salem ES? to not stress Baucom ES immediately some flexible grandfathering for WOES can be allowed for grades that have available seats. this will give the families a traditional option and can also release overcrowding from WOES.

We hope our opinion matter and some suggestions from the families are taken into consideration.

8 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Manasi Pa about 1 month ago

Respected Board Members,

Here is a list of subdivisions that are dirt, that are currently assigned to White Oak Elementary.

Please consider assigning these areas to Salem ES / MS as there are no committed families living here and will cause least disruption and anxiety to school committed families.

  1. Point at Lake Castleberry - 47 lots
  2. Castleberry Trails - 22 lots
  3. Mercer Estates - 16 lots
  4. Ellsworth - 36 lots
  5. Estates at Yates Pond - 43 lots

This would be in addition to the almost 900 lots that are assigned to Salem (Westford).

And while at this, please leave the Preserve at White Oak subdivision assigned to White Oak ES/ Mills Park MS.

Kindly request staff to evaluate these options and check the numbers there in.

Thanks and regards!

10 Votes
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon about 1 month ago

Matt, can you please tell us where the public hearing will be held on November 19th? Thanks!

0 Votes
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 25 days ago

The public hearing will be held as part of the regular board meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and the public hearing is expected to begin around 6 p.m. You can sign up starting at noon on Tuesday. The sign up form will be posted here. https://www.wcpss.net//site/Default.aspx?PageID=3727

0 Votes
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 24 days ago

Thank you Matt for that information!

0 Votes
 
 
 
Default_avatar
Priya Lingam about 1 month ago

We understand the purpose of rezoning. We like to go with traditional calendar and the assigned school is not traditional. We need confirmation that we get into traditional calendar with bus facility to our community. This is the bare minimum request for any kid want to go to school and their parents. Either confirm our seats not gonna get rejected in near by traditional elementary or provide traditional option in SE for us.

We get most of the replies say magnet options available and most of the magnets are accumulated in Raleigh areas. How do you even justify an elementary school kid to travel 2 hrs per day or hop in bus by 5:30 am. How the members even suggesting magnet school when no much option available in Apex or no future proposal of magnets around Apex.

You may have reasons to do the rezone, but provide people with all the options and you can do rezone. We don't want our kids to suffer, since we made a decision to buy a house in Apex and have no clue about rezoning. Introduce some indicator "Rezone possibility" so parents don't put their small kid in trouble with their decision.

With the rezone, you didn't measure the hassle the family going through like not sure about get in traditional school, not sure about bus and the guilty feeling that our kids have to suffer because of our decisions. At least you have to make sure we are getting the alternate option which may come closer to our selection/previous comfort zone.

The board member mentioned, we have to own 1.5 million dollar home to pay tax for one kid school expense, not sure how it is relevant? tax system is everyone from all spectrum pays and all spectrum get benefited, if I am not mistaken. We are more concerned about our little ones than who's tax, we are benefited or who get befitted from our tax. We would like to function as a society.

7 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Sandy Chen 29 days ago

We are really disappointed by seeing no change in draft 2 were made for the PWO families. We just bought the house That's not FAIR that we are forced to go Salem can't stay currently WOS. That is not FAIR for our kids have to leave their comfort zone.

3 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Sarah Laub 29 days ago

Dear Board Members,

I understand how difficult, stressful, and the amount of time it is for you to be asked to try and take an entire county and have "even" numbers within each school that is currently available. I also know that this counties growth is expanding by record numbers. I don't take your job lightly and the task that you face each school year as more people move to Wake County. I think you for taking everyone's opinion, concerns, and stresses as your try and decide the best fit. It is no task that I would want to bare. However, I am very disappointed that you did not consider our community and I am begging when I ask you to consider the families in the community at the Preserves at White Oak. I know I speak for everyone when I say that we all made the conscious choice to move into a community for a specific school. Whether that school has great academics, the calendar year that they need for work and life, or if it is for their special ed program. Speaking for my family, we moved from Fuquay to attend White Oak Elementary and chose to move to a neighborhood very close to the school, so our son could attend this specific program. Prior to moving, we had to plan accordingly so that transportation would be provided within a three mile distance within our house and the school. Now that our son has been at WOE, he has grown so much and has his older brother right across the hall from him when he needs a familiar face. Moving our base school to Salem would separate them and could potentially cause regression as he often sees his brother in the afternoons for emotional support. Aside from the benefits we have noticed with our children, we specifically chose a neighborhood for a specific school, as I had said a little earlier. However, now that we have settled in to the house, neighborhood, and our school, we have changed around many things to allow for this to work. We have taken our children out of an amazing daycare to one that is a mile away from White Oak Elementary so drops off will be easier and we can get to work on time. We have changed around our schedule at work to accommodate drop offs as well as for time off during holidays and the summer time off. Having to change to a year round school could potentially cause issues with work for our family as well as other families involved. We have made plans with our current teachers for next year on how to help both of our children succeed, but also help with transitions for our son whom is in the special ed preschool. All of this planing was started well before we even began the school year. We are working so hard as a family and a community with the teachers and principals at White Oak to help our son succeed and integrate in to a "developmentally age appropriate" kindergarten classroom and we have a plan that we all agree will help this. Moving him around and separating him from his emotional support will really derail all of our hard work. I really ask that you reconsider the move from White Oak to Salem. Please, think of how you would feel as parents in this situation and put yourself in our shoes. I know you are trying to do what you feel is best for Wake, but please think about our community, the families within it, and the stress it will cause the parents and our children. Please keep us at White Oak Elementary, it would mean the world to us. I really appreciate the time you are taking to read all of our comments! Thank you!

6 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Concerned Parent 26 days ago

Just to represent the perils to which kids will be exposed if the board decides to move forward with this proposal.

Source: NCDOT Total Crash Frequency by Intersection 2014 - 2018

Intersections from Preserve at White Oak to White Oak Elementary

Route 1

  • Wimberly Rd and Green Level West Rd: 0 crashes
  • Green Level West Rd and White Oak Church Rd: 0 crashes

Total = 0

Route 2

  • Jenks Rd and Green Level Church Rd: 9 crashes
  • Green Level Church Rd and Green Level West Rd: 7 crashes
  • Green Level West Rd and White Oak Church Rd: 0 crashes

Total = 16

Intersections from Preserve at White Oak to Salem Elementary

  • Jenks Rd and Green Level Church Rd: 9 crashes
  • Jenks Rd and NC 55: 34 crashes
  • Old Jenks Rd and Holt Rd: 16 crashes

Total = 59

I hope you consider the impact of going from a 0 to a 59 crashes route!!!

Please keep this data in mind and do not expose kids to unnecessary danger without exploring all the alternatives we have presented since draft 1 was released. We are going to remember we presented the risk and the board decided to ignore it.

4 Votes
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at November 26, 2019 at 3:27pm EST

I agree! Board Members, please explain why you feel it is okay to endanger children. What benefits of this decision are being prioritized over our children's safety? We are asking for an answer on this public forum, thank you.

1 Vote
 
 
Default_avatar
Konstantin Reverdatto 25 days ago

Matt, can you please answer a question on grandfathering? We have a rising 5th grader at WOES, so as I understand it - he will be able to continue attending WOES under the grandfathering provision for 5th graders. His sibling, who's currently in 2nd grade at WOES will also be able to grandfather for 1 year, according to the sibling provision: "Siblings of eligible grandfather students may grandfather for one year only, and then they will be assigned back to the base school for their address ." The question is concerning the 3rd sibling, who will be entering Kindergarten next year. Nothing in the sibling provision specifies a requirement to be currently attending the school and we assumed that he will be able to grandfather in as well and attend Kindergarten at WOES. Is that a correct assumption? How does the process work since the grandfather applications occur before kindergarten registration?

0 Votes
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 25 days ago

Konstantin, yes, your rising kindergartener would be able to attend for one year as well. Your best bet is to go ahead and pre-enroll your rising kindergartener. https://secure.infosnap.com/family/Login?ReturnUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fsecure.infosnap.com%2Ffamily%2Fdirectaction&AutoLogOut=False

However, if you aren't able to do that before the grandfathering period, you would be able to submit a transfer request for your kindergartener during the request for transfer period Feb. 21-March 6. This request would be approved for the 2020-21 school year. Here's more info about that. https://www.wcpss.net/Page/33766

0 Votes
 
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 24 days ago

I would like to emphasize to student assignment staff and respected school board members that rezoning our community the Preserve at White Oak is not the solution to overcrowding issues at White Oak elementary. There is going to be continued new construction in our area and you are going to find that you will have to cap White Oak elementary and possibly also make it a year round school at some point to accommodate the masses of people moving here. Rezoning our community is only going to cause disruption to our families and anxiety and confusion to our children. Why not consider rezoning the 5 dirt communities we have suggested and redirect overflow students to Salem Elementary as solutions for now instead of uprooting our families? Please listen to our suggestions and understand how much we want to stay at our current schools. We are counting on you to see the larger picture here and realize that rezoning our community is NOT the answer to overcrowding at White Oak elementary!

2 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Sara Curwen 22 days ago

There appear to be so many conflicts around the draft proposal in regards to rezoning our students to Salem ES/MS that I can't help but be concerned that this proposal has not been thoroughly thought out. Some of the conflicting information as I see it:

  1. As part of Draft 2, the students who were proposed to be reassigned from Highcroft Drive Elementary are now proposed to go to Turner Creek. The reason for the change in the proposal is shocking. Per the explanation, the change was made as it "helps ensure Salem Elementary doesn’t get too crowded". The whole reason behind the rezoning is that Salem is supposedly under-utilized. But, now, you are also concerned that Salem Elementary will get too crowded?!? Talk about contradicting stories. Not moving the students from the Preserve at White Oak will certainly help keep Salem Elementary from getting too crowded. And, should we ultimately get reassigned to Salem ES, do we we run the risk of getting reassigned again if Salem ES does get "overcrowded"? Being reassigned every 2-3 years is not acceptable and, from the public meetings and responses, it sure sounds like the school board thinks it is.

  2. Salem Elementary is stated to be under-utilized and yet they have an entire grade level in a modular unit.

  3. Keeping feeder patterns are supposedly an important factor when determining the assignment plans, but that doesn't really seem to be the case here. If the current assignment plan is put in place, our children will be zoned to attend Salem ES, followed by Salem MS and then Green Level High School. Meanwhile, the majority of the other students attending Salem ES and Salem MS will attend a completely different high school. Once again, they will be forced to leave all their friends behind when moving on to high school. By moving forward with this plan, you are intentionally putting our children at a social disadvantage at a very critical point in their growth years.

As a parent residing in the Preserve at White Oak, I get the feeling that the focus is on the "low hanging fruit" and NOT on finding a viable, long-term, low-impact solution. During one of the public meetings for Draft 1, I was told that our community is the "perfect size" to meet the immediate needs of the rezoning effort....other possible communities/areas are too dense with student population to reassign to Salem. This tells me you are simply playing a numbers game, looking to get through another year at which point you'll roll the dice again to see who gets to be reassigned the following year. Where does it end? Our children are not just numbers on a spreadsheet and should not be treated as such. I ask that you please make sure to completely vet all scenarios and options (think outside the box) before moving forward with this proposal. Keep our student's best interests, both educationally and mentally, in mind.

5 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur 21 days ago

Totally agree with Sara. If the staff is also concerned to overcrowd Salem ES then how is this proposal going to provide a long term solution. With the increasing growth and occupancy of the new developments assigned to Salem base we may not have any available seats for our kids by the beginning of the next school year specifically for kids in 1st grade and above.

Matt, can you please provide data that shows how many available seats are in Salem ES for grade 1-5 for 2010-2021 that the staff evaluated under this proposal. what is the staff proposing if any grade (1-5) that kids from our community are going to does not have a seat?? where will those students go?

4 Votes
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at November 26, 2019 at 3:31pm EST

Matt, I agree with Parvinder. We are kindly asking for a reply on this public forum. Please reply to our reasonable request.

0 Votes
 
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur 21 days ago

have one more question for the board members, if most of the schools are overcrowded or capped due to the new class size reduction legislative law and no new school being opened to accommodate the growth and support the new requirements, then WHY is the board not considering the K-3 class size waiver. If we act now we can get some more time to find long term solution. We have a very valid reason to be excused from this class size reduction law.

if we are so determined to remove the enrollment cap from the schools then why not ask for the available option until we can figure out a better long term plan and what we need to reduce overcrowding. WHY are we playing the puzzle games and shuffling kids from one school to another to make it work and encourage unplanned laws that seem to be very good on paper but are actually negatively impacting student academics. The class size reduction is to improve student performance and NOT for negative impacts. PLEASE consider the waiver; this is in the best interest of all with all the valid reasons. we really have a situation and the staff members should be given more time to find a better solution than reassigning students every year to meet the law.

5 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur 20 days ago

hi Matt, is this forum already closed and we are expected to wait for final draft to see if any of our suggestions are even read or considered.

can you atleast answer the question regarding available seats in Salem for 1-5 grades before this forum officially closes and we still have a chance to present our thoughts at the public hearing.

2 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 20 days ago

Parvinder, this forum will remain open until the final draft is approved, which is scheduled for Dec. 5. This allows board members and staff to continue to review feedback. As for your question, we would not reassign students to a school and then make them go somewhere else. Every child assigned to Salem as their base school will have a seat.

0 Votes
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur 20 days ago

Thanks for the response Matt but my question is still not answered. I get it that you won't make us go anywhere else, but my question is more specific to how many seats are there in each grade. for example does grade-2 have 20 available seats in Salem to accommodate kids from PWO?

2 Votes
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at November 26, 2019 at 3:33pm EST

Matt, Thank you for looking into this. We anticipate your reply. Please let us know when an answer is available. Thank you so much for your dedication to our students.

0 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 17 days ago

Salem has a capacity of 832 and there were 721 students enrolled there as of late September. There will be plenty of seats for any students reassigned.

0 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 14 days ago

You're right. I should have checked for more up-to-date figures.

0 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 17 days ago

I was citing the figures I had at the ready, the ones we posted earlier on the enrollment website. Again, we can assure that Salem would have adequate seats for any students reassigned there.

0 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 20 days ago

I'll try to find out.

1 Vote
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur 18 days ago

any update Matt??

1 Vote
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur 17 days ago

So the salem capacity of 832 and with current enrollment 721 is for grades K-4?? or this is the total enrollment which then does not match with what Tara has posted. I'm sorry to say but it appears that the staff does not have the right numbers and is really disturbing. Or we are not being provided with the real information with in not very transparent process. how can we trust the proposal and our representatives when we are seeing inconsistencies in numbers.

can you please clarify the discrepancy in the enrollments.

1 Vote
 
 
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 20 days ago

We are not able to sign up to speak at the public hearing yet. Is there a delay on the website?

0 Votes
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 20 days ago
0 Votes
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 18 days ago

Hi Matt, can you please look into rezoning the 5 dirt communities that my neighbor Manasi Pa has mentioned on this forum instead of our community the Preserve at White Oak. This is only fair. Our children should not have to be uprooted from their current schools to make room for new construction families that have not yet moved here. Also, please find out what needs to take place in order to redirect overflow and transfer students out of White Oak and into Salem Elementary to allow our base students to keep their current assignments. Many thanks for looking into this for us! I look forward to your response.

1 Vote
 
 
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 20 days ago

Delay totally my fault. Sorry. That's the direct link.

0 Votes
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 20 days ago

Ok thank you!

0 Votes
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 17 days ago

Matt, I just spoke on the phone

0 Votes
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 17 days ago

The Salem Elementary data manager also told me that Salem Elementary is also currently the overflow school for Olive Chapel Elementary and has approximately 120 students from there now.

1 Vote
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 17 days ago

Matt, I just spoke on the phone with the data manager at Salem Elementary and she said they currently have at least 760 students enrolled there at the moment. If their capacity is 832, that does not leave much space available for all the children in our community at the Preserve at White Oak plus all the 1,000 residential units currently under construction. Why would the OSA want to send us to another school which will be facing overcrowding issues again in the near future? You can easily keep our children at their current schools and avoid distressing families by utilizing and listening to all of the suggestions made by our community. Remove overflow/transfer students from White Oak elementary, rezone the 5 dirt communities we have mentioned, and consider possibly capping WOE. I look forward to your response.

2 Votes
 
 
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin 17 days ago

Tara, these are points board members can consider as they move toward a final plan. We can assure you that Salem Elementary would have adequate seats for any students who get reassigned there.

0 Votes
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 17 days ago

Thank you Matt for your response. I also spoke to the data manager at Mills Park elementary today and she told me they currently have 35 (not 25 as we were previously told) students overflowing into White Oak elementary. This seems like a big number and should be taken into serious consideration. It is not fair to rezone base students while our school continues receiving overflow students from another school. These overflow students need to be redirected to Salem Elementary instead of us. That way, the risk for Salem Elementary getting overcrowded would be less since these overflow can eventually attend their base school (Mills Park elementary) once spaces free up there; instead of rezoning our community there. Moving forward, our community would greatly appreciate if yourself and other members of student assignment could please give the school board members accurate numbers instead of numbers from a few months ago. Thanks very much!

1 Vote
 
Bootstrap_10156650865550905
Tara McMahon 17 days ago

A big concern is that the current enrollment at Salem Elementary seems to be increasing at a very fast rate already. Please keep this in mind!

2 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at November 26, 2019 at 3:41pm EST

In addition, we would like to add that it was our understanding that the purpose of Draft 1 was to work out kinks, such as numbers that did not ultimately check out. It is concerning for us parents to now face changes made towards the final draft "blindly", without any ability to have a voice about changes that will already be final at the time they are revealed to us.

2 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at November 26, 2019 at 3:36pm EST

Matt,

On this public forum, as part of having a collaborative relationship with the board, we would appreciate more transparency than "the final plan will have a solution". Please provide more insight into the considerations that are taking place as we approach the final draft. We anticipate the Boards response.

2 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur 17 days ago

Sorry Matt, but we should not be the ones providing the correct numbers. It is the responsibility of the staff to have accurate data. This process should be transparent and accurate. We do not have all the data that was used to propose this change to our kids so how can we trust that there are no other errors? If this plan gets approved it is our kids who will pay the price. As a parent I’m really concerned and not even sure what the future holds. I will request the board members to please ask for updated numbers, projected enrollments and all alternate options before making their decisions.

3 Votes
 
 
 
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at November 26, 2019 at 2:55pm EST

Dear Members of the School Board:

I respectfully request answer to my previous post to the draft 1 proposal. While other comments were responded to, mine was never acknowledged, despite being posted for nearly a month, and many likes from fellow parents. Due to caring for my brand-new newborn at home, I have been unable attend the meetings to address to this matter in person, though my husband has gone in representation of our family and I have watched live coverage of the meetings from home. I share a sentiment of many parents in the Preserve at White Oak Community, in that we do not feel our concerns are being heard by the school board. This is validated by lack of answers to our concerns at the public forums, lack of change in draft 2 to address our concerns in draft 1, and is moreover validated by the lack of school board response to my written concerns as follows. I kindly request response to all concerns mentioned my comment below, so that we may constructively reach viable solutions for our students and the Wake County Community.

As regards the recent school zone change proposal

First, thank you for your time, efforts and dedication to our community in your service on the board. The Preserve at White Oak Community appreciates your efforts, and wishes to brainstorm with you in order to make the best decision within our budget for our students and community.

We would like to introduce you to our community at PWO: we are a neighborhood of highly educated, involved parents of young children, whom we proudly have enrolled/expect to enroll in the Wake County Public School System. Many of us neighbors were previously friends, and moved together to this neighborhood, from surrounding areas in the triangle, for the schools PWO is zoned for and near. Some of us made these moves in response to previous rezoning actions here in Wake County, so that we could avoid disrupting our children’s education. We are a diverse community from different parts of the world and backgrounds, and embrace the idea that our children thrive in this diversity, and we are united by our belief in investing in our children’s academics and success. We are sure this is a belief that the school board also shares.

Our neighborhood recently learned that our small community has been selected to be rezoned in the zoning proposal for 2020. In understanding our neighborhood’s values as above, you can imagine that the rezone issue has since been on the forefront of our minds. Unfortunately, we have many concerns that the rezone is not in the best interest of our community, children, or WCPSS.

We understand rezoning school districts is a complex, multifaceted decision, at the center of which should be the optimization of student achievement. In analyzing the test scores of WOES and MPM vs Salem ES and MS, the test scores of the Salem School are significantly lower. As a parent, this is concerning. While past educational theories had postulated that integrating low-scoring children with high-scoring children could possibly boost the low-scoring children’s scores, recent studies have shown that instead this integration does not boost performance of the low-scoring children. Instead, research has shown that an important factor associated with student achievement is community/support involvement.

Concerningly, the proposed rezone disrupts the community to which our children belong, including the parks, recreation and community resources west of 1600, 540 and 55, to which the infrastructure that our tax money supports connects us to. We are so governmentally isolated from the Salem School environment, that the school district in which our neighborhood votes and pay taxes appears to be separate from the district in which the Salem schools reside (8 vs 9). We find this to be taxation without representation, and wonder how we would have voice and contribution towards the school environment that are students are assigned to, due to the distinct districts. In addition, the physical infrastructure in Apex does not accessibly connect our subdivision to the schools on the eastern end of Apex--to get there, one must cross 3 major roads/highways and use single-lane roads that are traffic-ridden. One is not able to access these resources without getting in a car and sitting in heavy traffic, which as you know, does not enable the working parent to effectively involve ourselves with resources on this side of town. We would thus be hindered from parental involvement at the school and its surrounding community, and children would not be connected with their classmates outside of school. Moreover, this school zone change would put our assigned ES/MS on a year-round school year, whereas our high school would remain on a traditional school year. This further isolates our ability to be involved with our kids, as vacations and schedules for children of different ages would not coincide for family activities and vacations outside of school. We know that we have the ability to apply to a school with a different calendar year structure, however we also understand that the acceptance of applications to the non-base school will be more of the exception rather than the rule, and will not be possible for the majority of students. Thus, it is important that our assigned base schools for all grade levels share a calendar system. Research supports that isolation of our children’s assigned school from the ability to have optimal parental involvement and the community in which they reside would put their achievement at risk, and we feel this should be of central concern to the board.

In contrast, letting our children remain at WOES or a proximate school would allow our children to remain in the supportive community our tax dollars have so well connected us to, west of 1600, 540, and 55. Numerous parks and entertainment centers are within a <5min commute, and this is where students from schools on this side of town and their parents engage together outside of school hours in athletics and social activities. Our tax money is even paying for a greenway to be built immediately next to our neighborhood, which would connect our neighborhood to WOES by a 2 mile foot/bicycle commute. My husband and I were planning to pick up/drop off our children from school in this way. This foot/bicycle commute is environmentally friendly, reduces the traffic burden, improves student health through exercise and continues to support community involvement outside of the home--all positive actions that our tax dollars are spent to support and that should be of central concern for a school board to protect.

If not student achievement, another primary motivation for a rezone is often school board budget. However, concerningly, the proposed rezone would introduce infrastructure and logistical concerns that would hinder the function of Apex, and prove expensive to resolve. The commute from our neighborhood to Salem ES and MS involves travel over bridge on single-lane road, Jenks. The additional children commuting for school across this road, not built for such heavy traffic, would cause significant traffic delays. In addition to negative effects of the added exhaust on the environment, and accessibility concerns for emergency vehicles to our section of town with the added congestion, this would increase bus routes exponentially, which would be expensive to the school board (while also being disruptive to our childrens’ schedules and well-being). While Jenks Road could be expanded, the required expansion of bridges would be expensive, which would also render this rezone not the most effective use of tax dollars. As parents, we would be interested to see the proposed bus routes of this rezone, and would like the board to help us understand how commuting traffic over a one-lane road, rendering the need to expand bridges and extend bus routes, would be an effective use of tax dollars.

At the top of school board concerns, along with student achievement and budget, we would also hope student safety is a primary consideration. If rezoned, our children would have to commute over three busy roads---1600, 540 and 55. This is a clear risk to our childrens’ safety---the road is one of the most dangerous places to be. In contrast, two closer school options, WOES and Olive Chapel Elementary School, do not require putting our children at risk in such traffic. As above, maintaining our children at WOES would even allow our children to commute without being on a road at all. As parents, we feel it should be a primary concern of the board to keep our children safe, and thus this rezone is again concerning.

We understand that school capacity is of utmost concern to the board, the board must admit that the school that our small neighborhood is assigned to will neither resolve nor tax the overflow problem at any school, should we be grandfathered as an established community to our current schools of WOE and MPM, or other more proximate schools such as Olive Chapel ES. At the same time, we believe there is a more long-term solution for the school utilization problem in the Wake County community as a whole: we would like to propose that school zones be assigned by proximity. Inevitable overflow students that are currently being sent to schools that have a proximate community themselves, could instead be sent to underfilled schools, such as Salem ES/MS. In this way, we would utilize the resources of the currently underfilled school and work towards meeting the lower student-teacher quota that has been mandated in the state of NC for the upcoming school year. Inevitable overflow students from each school could be then more of the exception than the waterfalling overflow population that results from having overflow students fill schools that have a large proximate community themselves. We know this would require the population of designated “capped” schools to be changed, however we feel this change should be able to be made in the context of a rezone in order to best address current and future concerns our school system faces. School zone assignments made by proximity would simultaneously maintain communities, for the academic achievement of students, and protect taxpayer budget from paying for long busing commutes and the construction costs resulting from overtaxing our road infrastructure---all undoubtedly goals of the school board and tax-payers, alike.

We are taxpayers who made the conscious decision to not live just miles down the road in low-tax Chatham County, where we could afford a better standard of living and have shorter work commute times to Durham, due to the value we place on Wake County’s excellent education system. Wake County’s excellent education system is in large part thanks to your efforts, and we are keenly aware that we are paying you for it. We do not find that this rezone is allotting us with the resources that we have paid for with our tax money: the assurance of a safe environment that fosters our children’s academic success. Please address our concerns by providing our children with school assignments that are not separated by dangerous highways from our homes, and that are within the community in which children are connected outside of school hours, which has been shown to be best for their success. If our concerns are not addressed, it should be apparent to the board that a group of neighbors that just moved to a neighborhood for the school assignments will again promptly move to seek new school assignment, or remove our high-performing students from the public school system altogether. We appreciate your attention to our concerns so that we will not be forced to abandon our local public school system here in Wake County. We will continue to be available during reconsideration of this rezone proposal to help work towards the best decision for student safety and success, while utilizing our funds appropriately.

3 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at November 26, 2019 at 4:00pm EST

I have additional direct questions for the school board:

We are often told that a proximal school, such as Olive Chapel, is not an option for our children to attend, "because it is capped". Are proposed rezonings not opportunity both for caps to be removed and replaced, and bases to be adjusted for all schools, including capped schools, as populations grow and shift?

For example, in looking at plans for future schools to be built, Apex Friendship Elementary is opening in a couple years. I can only assume this will mean that some of Olive Chapel Elementary's base will be shifted to attend the new school, and then our community could be sent to Olive Chapel, our most proximal school? In light of this being planned for the future, could our students be maintained at WOES until Apex Friendship Elementary School is opened, at which point they can be shifted to attend Olive Chapel? This would involve 1 school change rather than 2 for our students, and seems to align with school openings set as part of the county's more long-term plan.

I appreciate your consideration and response in working toward a solution for our students.

Thank you,

Cosette Burian, MMS, PA-C

3 Votes
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin at December 02, 2019 at 8:49am EST

Regarding your question about Draft 1, not sure where you got the idea that Draft 1 was just to "work out the kinks." We did make a number of changes based on parent feedback reflected in Draft 2. Board members will continue to consider parent feedback as they consider any potential additional changes in the final plan.

0 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Matt Dees admin at December 02, 2019 at 8:46am EST

Hi Cosette. So sorry for the delay. Apex Friendship Elementary is being built to provide relief to Scotts Ridge and Olive Chapel elementary schools (both capped). Due to the severe crowding in the area, we will not be adding to the Olive Chapel base when we open Apex Friendship Elementary.

0 Votes
 
 
Default_avatar
Parvinder Kaur at December 03, 2019 at 12:56pm EST

I would like to take one more opportunity to summarize our concerns with the reassignment and request the staff and board to consider our thoughts/inputs while making the final proposal. Keeping in mind the high growth in the specific area we are located in and the fact that most of the proximate schools in this part of the school system are either CAPPED or OVERCROWDED or on the verge of being Capped we request to take one step back and NOT approve the reassignment of existing neighborhoods from MILLS PARK MS and WOES at this time.

Considering the fast pace, the new development is moving Salem ES/MS most likely be overcrowded or potentially capped by the time the proposal get into effect. Although Salem ES may have some seats, but the school does not have the capacity to add one full grade level. For example, if we move 16+ first graders from WOES to Salem ES will the school be able to take them in keeping in mind that we cannot have the K-1 in trailers. We request the board to look at the details as this change is not a projection but real numbers that are available in addition to the new enrollments from the new developments in the existing Salem base.

If the addition of modular units is already being evaluated for WOES, then we request the board to wait and see the results before we create a new situation. In the mean time we can have Salem as an overflow which will not immediately stress the Salem schools but also provide relief to WOES. Having additional teachers for the k-3 grades can be adopted to ensure we meet the class size mandate for all the existing students, only allow new enrollments with the class size for rising kindergartners or other crowded grade levels. Overflow the new students to Salem which will be less in number and more fair process to all base assignments. Transportation is already being provided in satellite areas on this side to Salem and should not be an issue to the WOES base area.

The goal to remove enrollment caps can only be achieved by building new schools as most of the schools in our area are reaching the max capacity or are Capped already. Just focusing on WOES and Mills Park is not the solution. It is also a fact that this proposal is not going to remove any trailers or enrolment cap and neither will it reduce overcrowding.

As the data suggests Mills Park MS has the capacity and no real need for a reassignment of ~28 students in 2020-2021, we request to not reassign the middle school. Please don’t make our lives miserable by enforcing a change to ES and MS just for aligning the feeder pattern.

If the change is necessary, then we request to be assigned to a traditional base for ES and NOT change our base from Mills Park MS. Allow for grandfathering the current students until the exit grades. We have high expectations from the board and hope they will not rush into making a change that is really short-term band-aid instead they will look for the long term benefits and impacts of this proposal.

Thank you!!

1 Vote
Default_avatar
Cosette Burian at December 03, 2019 at 1:31pm EST

Agreed on all points, Parvinder! Board, please note that the above comment well-represents our community/town of Apex concerns as a whole.

Cosette Burian and PWO Community

0 Votes