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Parents, 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.

 

UPDATE 10/16: All public information sessions will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. They are Open House style, so you may arrive when you like and stay as long as you like. See below for dates and locations. Please plan to attend the session closest to you.

UPDATE 10/03: We have set the dates and locations for information sessions regarding Draft 1. These Open House-style sessions will focus on providing information about the changes in their respective geographic areas. Please plan on attending the session nearest to you. All events will take place in the evening. We will announce specific times soon, but we are sharing the dates now for your planning convenience. 

 

  • 10/24: Salem Elementary School, 6116 Old Jenks Road, Apex
  • 10/29: Fuquay-Varina High School (future home of Willow Spring High School), 1704 Old Honeycutt Road, Fuquay-Varina
  • 10/30: Wakefield High School, 2200 Wakefield Pines Drive, Raleigh

 

On Oct. 1, staff members presented Draft 1 of a new Student Enrollment Proposal to the Board of Education.

The proposal includes proposed school assignment changes for both the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.

This is the beginning of a community conversation that is scheduled to conclude with the school board adopting a final plan on Dec. 3.

Find out if you are proposed to be affected.

You are encouraged to visit www.wcpss.net/2020enrollmentproposal for more information about the proposal and to check for updates as the process moves forward.

 

Why is this being proposed?

To keep up with population growth and prevent the overcrowding of schools, we’re building two new schools: 

  • South Lakes Elementary, 1433 Old Honeycutt Road, Fuquay-Varina, opening in August 2020

  • Willow Spring High School, 1704 Old Honeycutt Road, Fuquay-Varina, opening in August 2021

The majority of proposed school assignment changes will be related to the opening of these two new schools in Fuquay-Varina.

Other components of the proposal are aimed at relieving overcrowded schools, better utilizing under-enrolled schools, and improving transportation efficiency. 

 

How can I ask questions and provide feedback?

The best way to provide feedback and ask questions about the proposal is to visit our online forum. This will ensure staff members, school board members and your fellow parents see your questions and feedback. Staff members will respond to questions in a timely fashion. Staff members and board members will also review and consider all feedback as they work toward a second draft of the proposal and, ultimately, the final approved plan. 

 

What is the process for arriving at a final plan?

We will respond to questions and review feedback online for the next several weeks. We also will host three Open House public information sessions where you can learn more about the proposal and ask questions of staff members. We will announce dates and locations soon.

Staff members will present Draft 2 to the school board for discussion on Nov. 5. A public hearing will be held on Nov. 19, providing the opportunity to speak before the full board. A final vote is expected on Dec. 3.

Proposal: Some students attending Banks Road Elementary would be assigned to Smith Magnet Elementary, while middle school students in this same area would be assigned from Holly Grove Middle to North Garner Middle.

Purpose: Reduces overcrowding at Holly Grove Middle and better utilizes both Smith Magnet Elementary and North Garner Middle.

Please share your questions and feedback about this proposal in the thread below.

113 Responses

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Anthony Liberatore 2 months ago

Based on the information here: https://www.wcpss.net/Page/40945 , would kids that you are proposing shifting from Banks Road to Smith Elementary (year-round to traditional) be eligible for the grandfathering rule? Specifically I am speaking about the section in the attached file.

4 Votes
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Matt Dees admin 2 months ago

Anthony, no those rules are related to students currently attending a calendar application school (i.e. they are based at a traditional school but choosing to attend a year-round school) who are proposed to be affected. We are removing some schools as calendar application choices. https://www.wcpss.net/Page/40942

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Cesar Reyes 2 months ago

Although I understand Adjustmemts are needed, it’s unbelievable how WCPSS contradicts its main mission: to have the best education quality and environment possible. Sending kids from a good school like BRES to NGMS is a tragedy. Like in many other institutions, including governmental, changes are not retroactive. This arbitrary proposal is not only affecting negatively student’s lifes and future, but also families. Allocation efficiency should not prevail to detrimental quality. Big fail WCPSS. This is comparable to moving a student from Harvard to Detroit Community College. Please give current students in Banks Road the option to stay, and students that are going to Middle school the option they had before this terrible announcement

13 Votes
 
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Sumaira Munshi 2 months ago

I was absolutely shocked to see my daughter who currently attends Banks Road would potentially have to go to Smith Elementary next year. We purchased our house specifically because it was assigned good schools and paid the price for our home being assigned to good schools. There is a huge difference in the performance of Banks Road Elementary and Smith Elementary so how would transferring her to a lower performing school be in her best interest?

Banks Road Elementary is a place where my child is excelling because she is familiar with the environment, faculty, and friends. Transferring her to a school that is in no way comparable would have a negative impact on her development and performance.

I thought as a resident of Fuquay-Varina, the opening of two new schools would have a positive impact on my child’s education. Never did I imagine that my child and the children of all of my neighbors in a neighborhood that was established just over 3 years ago would have to face sending our children to a below average performing school.

I hope you seriously reconsider this decision and allow currently enrolled students to stay at Banks to allow for continuity and to respect that the newly established neighborhoods charge a premium for being in good school zones.

12 Votes
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Cesar Reyes 2 months ago

Totally agree. The opening if new schools should be a positive change for EVERYONE, not just some. If you think Smith is bad, check North Garner for Middle. It’s horrible. My son is devastated with this change

7 Votes
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Sumaira Munshi 2 months ago

I did see that North Garner Middle School seems to be even worse. I feel awful for everyone impacted by this specific proposal. How can they justify rezoning kids to schools that are in no way comparable to the ones they are accustomed to? It's not just the scores on GreatSchool (which are awful by the way) but even the reputation of the schools from people I know confirm that neither Smith Elementary nor North Garner Middle are an adequate substitution for BRES students.

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Aerin Gunn 2 months ago

In the spring of 2016, my daughter was a first grade student at Middle Creek Elementary, and the enrollment policy at the time was ‘automatic grandfathering’: if you moved out of the base neighborhood your student would remain at your currently enrolled school as long as the parents provided transportation. Feeling confident that this policy would remain, we bought an empty lot in a brand new development very near to MCE and slated to build a house for occupancy later that summer. As you well know, between us buying our home in Spring ‘16 and it actually being ready for occupancy in late summer ‘16, WCPSS policy on the automatic grandfather changed.

Despite my request to transfer (ie; REMAIN at her school), and despite my appeal to the decision WCPSS made against my request, we were forced to enroll her into a new school: Banks Road Elementary. It was suggested to me at my appeal hearing that Banks was “underutilized” and “under-enrolled”. In 2017, she began as a second grade student at Banks Road, against our wishes as parents.

During her 2nd, 3rd, and (current) 4th grade years at Banks, my child blossomed and thrived. She has developed bonded friendships and excellent relationships with the staff and teachers, particularly her AIG teacher, who has recommended that she be accelerated in math or ELA for the 2020-21 school year as a fifth grader. My child’s education seems to be soaring, and we made plans for fifth grade at Banks Road as such. Just a few short weeks ago we were discussing how the move to Banks ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Imagine my family’s complete and total fury at receiving word that our neighborhood base school would be shifting to Smith Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year and beyond. The reason being cited is that Smith is an “underutilized” school. If this proposed reassignment goes through, this will be the THIRD school WCPSS has forced us to enroll in during her elementary school years. It will force her out of a school she is familiar with and happy in, to an unfamiliar school for her fifth and final elementary school year. I imagine there are plenty of other elementary students in this same boat since the targeted reassignment areas appear to be the newest housing developments. This is the antithesis of stability for young children and derails current educational trajectories, especially for later grade elementary students.

At what point do the students well-being and education take precedence over WCPSS’ desire to fill “underutilized” schools? At what point does what’s actually in the interest of the students outweigh poor planning on WCPSS’ part? Since Banks was assigned to my housing development from the beginning, it should remain so. WCPSS knew that Smith was “underutilized” in 2015 when our development was assigned to Banks Road. The landscape hasn’t changed insomuch as WCPSS failed to plan ahead to deal with the problems at Smith Elementary. Our young children will pay for the lack of foresight on WCPSS’ part. Is that congruent with WCPSS’ mission statement and core beliefs? I think not. This will be another huge upheaval in the lives of children, who crave stability and familiarity. As a parent, tax payer, and homeowner, I urge WCPSS to reconsider this proposed assignment, or at the very least, allow for an AUTOMATIC grandfather for students currently enrolled at Banks Road.

18 Votes
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Sumaira Munshi 2 months ago

This is heartbreaking. Not only for your daughter but you as a family as well. We also purchased a new home and made a lot of sacrifices in order to make it happen. The number one requirement for us was that the home be affiliated with good schools so of course that meant the homes we were looking at were more expensive.

With this proposal, the value of our 1 year old home will plummet. As you stated, if the newly built developments are being targeted by this proposal, then so many hardworking families will be cornered into extremely difficult financial situations.

It's great BRES turned out to be a blessing in disguise in your situation. Before anyone can say this proposal might do the same, I want to clarify that at least both Middle Creek and BRES were comparable. In no way is Smith Elementary or North Garner comparable to BRES.

A booming and developing area should show signs of improvement and better schools, not send the children of responsible families to the worst possible school in the area. If that was the plan, the lower schools should be assigned from the inception of when new homes are built so buyers can make an informed decision.

Lastly, the reason that the schools are "underutilized" is because people from those neighborhoods are likely moving out because of the lack of performance from the schools! Sending our kids there to where the actual residents of those schools are finding alternate arrangements is completely ridiculous.

11 Votes
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Aerin Gunn 2 months ago

Very well said and I agree. It looks like we will be able to grandfather (guaranteed) our rising 5th graders, but of course that means we will have to confront the North Garner assignment the year after. I already didn’t love that the kids were being bussed to Holly Grove Middle. This isn’t an acceptable solution. And now I’m scared for the value of our home plummeting so we won’t be able to sell and move to a neighborhood with a better base middle. WCPSS is tying our hands. They should concentrate on investigating why NGMS and SES are “underutilized” and remedying that before they use our kids as fodder to push into undesirable schools. There’s a reason these schools are underenrolled and it’s not because there aren’t kids around them.

6 Votes
 
 
 
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Cesar Reyes 2 months ago

There is a clear reason why Smith and North Garner are not fully utilized, to be frank nobody wants yo have kids on such places unless they have to, so people assigned to them find other places for their kids. It’s very unfair to have our kids bearing that problem for the sake of trying to improve utilization rate at the expense of this nightmare. Absolutely arbitrary, unfair and nonsense. Would anyone from the WCPSS board change their kids from our good originally assigned school to these new bad ones?

6 Votes
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Cesar Reyes about 1 month ago

Hi Matt, I respect the complexity of the task you guys are taking. However I don’t feel (based on the answers you have posted here) you are acknowledging our problem, I suggest you start with that. I read all things you suggested abd have spent time doing research and trying to not being biased, but it’s clear that the schools our kids will go, have serious issues. I’m not talking about test scores, I am not too worried about that. I’m talking the environment my kids will be exposed to, so please don’t over simplify our concerns. I think a fair solution would be not to force us to move, but instead making it voluntary. If the schools are as good as yo are implying, don’t you think they will be desirable? The point is, let us have the choice. I have not seen an answer from you with substance, it’s all referring to go and read some info that we all know well. I hope the plan is in fact a draft at this point, so you take in consideration our deep concerns, and not just a formality or a lune in a checklist to pass the plan that is being imposed to us, with tremendous negative impact and disruption for the kids an families

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Cassandra Reclosado 2 months ago

I agree with many of the concerned parents who have commented on this forum.

We have recently purchased a home and will close this coming November. The number one must have for the purchase was good schools for our children to attend. We have overlooked many other potential homes in order to find schools that met our criteria, which included commute and area.

Imagine our shock and horror to learn that we are being potentially reassigned to an “underutilized” and under performing school for both Elementary and Middle Schools, Smith ES and North Garner. We are devastated knowing we could potentially be forced into this without any recourse.

My reaction is disbelief and I am undeniably upset. We purchased our home with great schools in mind. Unfortunately, we are now too far along in the process to stop the home purchase. I am not happy about this proposal. The schools we are being reassigned to are not comparable to the current schools, Banks Rd and Holly Grove MS. This is a travesty to the families who have purchased homes or moved to the area in order to let their children attend good schools, where our children can thrive.

This proposal would not have been as upsetting if the school reassignments were comparable to the current assigned schools. We have spent a lot of time and resources in finding the perfect home for our family with education as the top priority. This proposal is a disservice to the families who have made this area their home, destroying years of hard work and planning.

I hope WCPSS seriously reconsiders this proposed assignment.

12 Votes
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Chris Teodorski about 1 month ago

Great Schools uses more than just test scores and neither of these schools score well, even when other factors are taken into consideration. https://www.greatschools.org/gk/ratings-methodology/

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Catherine Junis 2 months ago

My previous neighborhood is assigned to Smith and the majority of the children there go to charter, private, or different magnet schools; a large reason that we moved was not only for the assigned schools but also the knowledge that they were truly neighborhood schools, our kids would grow up together in them. I do not feel that our children ( who were moved specifically into Fuquay - Varina for its schools but now must be removed because of two new schools specifically for FV?) should have to fill the gaps left by those utilizing the "school choice" that is so often spoken of. In this case, a similar issue will happen to what happened in my old neighborhood: Right now Banks Rd is a true "neighborhood school" due to its close proximity. Parents are able to provide a large amount of in person support and have worked hard to create a loving community through volunteering and joining the PTA. The distance/ difficulty of commute to the new proposed school will automatically cut down on the ability for the same level of involvement. That is if anyone actually goes to Smith at all! In our small neighborhood alone nearly half the parents of school-age children have already mentioned that they will move if this redistricting occurs. More still have decided to look into private, charter, and different magnet schools. These are people with options who always put their children first - none of us plan to stand by while being forced into a school that is no where close in ratings, rankings, and AG teaching abilities to the one we bought our homes to attend. The only thing WCPSS will accomplish with this proposal is removing a large amount of support from Banks Rd and Holly Grove Middle while negatively impacting the students it wants to support by stripping them of the community they are a part of, and increasing the time that they must spend being transported back and forth to a school that is nearly double the commute without traffic (and far more with based on traffic patterns). If Smith and North Garner are under utalized there are surely other ways to fix that (perhaps charter schools deserve another look) but this proposal is unacceptable in the eyes of us as Banks Road and Holly Grove Parents - I can't imagine ever giving so much of my time, money and heart to a school again only to know it will be changed at the blink of an eye with no real thought for the students who attend.

15 Votes
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Stephani Olnhausen 2 months ago

Catherine, so well said. I had not thought of that community aspect -- the reason we can be so involved with our children and their school is in a large part due to the neighborhood school aspect.

5 Votes
 
 
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Jessica Ventura 2 months ago

We also purchased our home for the ratings of the schools. It was one if not the first thing I looked into. Now we have to send out kids to a lower rated school!!?? That is not acceptable!! I know that Holly Grove Middle is far, but my daughter loves it there now. All of her friends are there and she loves the teachers and the curriculum works great for her. She has outstanding grades. She is in 7th grade and wants to finish there. Her heart would be broken if she had to move and being that it is so far, I am unable to drive her every day as I work downtown Raleigh. I do not see how this is for the best interest of the kids at all! Its bad enough she has to leave a lot of her friends when she goes to high school because they all get split up after middle school. This system is so broken!! The shifting of neighborhoods doesnt seem to have any rhyme or reason!! My daughters friend who lives down the road from Holly Grove Middle now goes to Apex and we dont even live near there, but that was our assigned school???? So now move them all again!!??? You are taking away the experiences we treasure as young kids with regards to the relationships and comfort they already have and then on top of that to a horrible rated school. You are not setting them up for success at all as both of these concerns have substantial correlations the outcome of their development.

9 Votes
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Miranda Liu 2 months ago

My son is not in school yet, but we also purchased our home after researching school districts and will be affected by this change. I suspect that Smith and N Garner schools are underutilized for a reason based on the scores. If our son would be attending Smith once he begins school, we would do everything in our power to enroll him in a charter school unless action is taken to improve funding and support for the school. If all wake county schools recieved the same support, I suspect this issue of low performing vs high performing would be at least partially remedied. Just moving kids from a high performing school to a low performing school does not address the underlying issue. As a child therapist, I can also speak to the issues with moving children from a school they are thriving at to a brand new school they are not familiar with. Time traveling to and from school also takes away from time they need for development and learning through play and socialization. These decisions are often made in a room looking at numbers and maps, without any thought as to how important the decisions are and how they will impact children. Children are not just numbers to be moved around. Changing the school districts will likely NOT impact underutilization of these schools bc as I've said, parents who have the ability, knowledge and means will enroll their children elsewhere.

14 Votes
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Shelaun Williams 2 months ago

I love your point about the impact of moving children from a school they are thriving at to a school they are not familiar. That is a huge concern of mine - my kids love Banks and are doing amazing there! I would hate to risk ruining their love and excitement of going to school. And they’ve been looking forward to the clubs and programs the PTA has available for 4th and 5th graders - I still haven’t had the heart to tell them that they may not be at Banks next year. Smith and Timber are not options for me - I’d have to look into private or charter schools. But just the fact that we’d potentially not be at Banks will devastate them and I don’t want to put that stress on them until I know for sure what is going to happen and what we (as a family) will do to still ensure they have great schools to attend.

6 Votes
 
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Stephani Olnhausen 2 months ago

Miranda - well said! Love this: "Children are not just numbers to be moved around. Changing the school districts will likely NOT impact underutilization of these schools bc as I've said, parents who have the ability, knowledge and means will enroll their children elsewhere."

7 Votes
 
 
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Sumaira Munshi 2 months ago

Agreed. I absolutely will not send my daughter to Smith or North Garner if this goes through, which I am sure the affected parents will fight against as hard as possible.

I will send her to a charter school or a private school as will most of my neighbors so these underutilized schools will remain underutilized. I will not allow my child to be used to try to balance out a school before any action is taken to remedy why these schools are way below average.

7 Votes
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Shelaun Williams 2 months ago

I agree!! My kids will not be used as pawns to fill under performing schools! They are not test subjects and this is not something we can re-do if it fails. If my children were to switch and their test scores drop, that’s something that can affect them for years to come - why would I want to risk that?!

7 Votes
 
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Stephani Olnhausen 2 months ago

Yes Sumaira! " I will not allow my child to be used to try to balance out a school before any action is taken to remedy why these schools are way below average." Perfect statement.

6 Votes
 
 
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Shelaun Williams 2 months ago

I am writing to express my concern over the proposed redistricting. There are many challenges that this would cause my family, and based on the other comments, I see that I am not alone.

As with many families, our home buying choice was based on the schools that the neighborhood was zoned for. Even though I still work at Fort Bragg, I moved to Wake County when my children turned 5 because I prefer the Wake County school system. I chose my home based on the schools zoned for that area. So far, I have not been disappointed nor have I regretted this decision. My children have thrived at Banks Road and truly feel the connection of this being their "second home." To uproot them for their final two years would be devastating to them. I do understand that the school board is challenged to adjust to the growth in the county and find ways to make it work for everyone - however as a parent, not knowing from year to year if we will have to change schools causes added stress when there are already enough things to be concerned about when it comes to parenting. And that brings me to the next point. As a working mom, I take my kids to a local daycare that opens at 6am for before-school care, and they have a van that takes my children to school. The same goes for after school. This daycare is in Fuquay-Varina and as you can imagine, they do not have a van that goes all the way to Smith ES. So changing schools would also force me to look for another method of childcare and to take it a step further, this school is in the opposite direction of the way I would need to go to work which further inconveniences our family. Again, we selected our home based on the schools because we needed to ensure that where we lived would work for our family - it was a strategic decision that was not made lightly. Therefore we made our CHOICE based on our family functions - now it seems as though my CHOICE is being unfairly taken away from us. Changing these assignments disrupts both the education my kids have benefitted from in every area of their life as well as our entire family dynamic.

Additionally, my children are in Track 1. The proposed school for my kids is a traditional calendar school, which does not work for us. The year-round option, Timber Drive, only has Track 4. So regardless of which school we end up going to, based on this proposal we would still have a huge change in the school calendar. Again, this negatively impacts my job as well as how our family functions. Our entire process for childcare would have to adjust based on the fact that we do not have the option to remain under the same calendar option that we have been on for the last 3 years - the option selected when I made the CHOICE to enroll my children at Banks Road and was given the CHOICE of which calendar option would best benefit our family.

I have lived within some very large school districts within multiple states, and I can truly say I have not witnessed the level of uncertainty that comes with being enrolled in a Wake County Public School. Has there been any consideration into looking at other systems to see how they may use out-of-the-box methods to resolve the issue of rapid growth? For example, what about increasing the choices available to families as opposed to taking them away? If Smith Elementary is under enrolled, how about making it an option for ALL families at Banks Road, along with other schools in the area? You may be surprised to find that families not under the proposed redistricting plan may be interested in switching. While I love Banks Road, I can imagine there may be some parents that would be interested in a change to the magnet school and would take you up on that offer. All of the base school assignments would remain the same, but Smith ES would be added as an option for all families currently in schools that are not facing enrollment challenges. In doing so, the families switching to Smith ES would be going because they choose to do so, not because they are forced. And those that prefer to remain at Banks would be able to do so. The same could be said for families at Holly Grove Middle and Fuquay Varina Middle School - offer North Garner Middle School as an option for ALL families because there may be families who would prefer the switch. Again, that increases choice and overall satisfaction for all those involved. Redistricting and forced moves cause frustration, stress, uncertainty, and anxiety for all families affected - I refuse to accept that a better way of addressing the growth challenges cannot be achieved. If our goal is truly to do what is best for our kids and families in Wake County, are we confident that this is being taken into consideration when these decisions are made? Or are we sticking to the option of "redistricting" because it's what's always been done and it is easier? Offering more choices to families (and maybe even adding incentives for families to choose under enrolled schools) is much better for all as opposed to forcing families to uproot their children and adjust their entire way of life. Adding these schools as a choice for all families has the potential to solve the problem by increasing enrollment at these schools, and will not strip families of the opportunity to make the decision that is best for their family.

14 Votes
 
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Stephani Olnhausen 2 months ago

I urge WCPSS to strongly reconsider their vote to move students from Banks Road to Smith ES. This will not only impact families, but the lives of students and their education.

My family spent significant time, effort and money in moving out of Durham County (due to schools that are of the same low caliber of Smith and N. Garner Middle) specifically to Wake County, specifically to a neighborhood that we knew Banks Road ES was the assigned school. We built our home in 2016 and have loved every minute of having our now 2nd grader enrolled in Banks Road ES. He has flourished academically, socially and personally because of the wonderful staff and environment at Banks Road. We have come across so many in the community (teachers, parents, social workers, nurses) who have told us how fortunate we are to be able to attend Banks Road, and in contrast not attend Smith due to the issues they have seen in this school.

Aside from the fact that we chose our home and planned our future based on the schools in which our children would attend, school ratings scores are very low for Smith ES, we have heard so many terrible stories of gangs and unequipped teachers and staff, unable to remedy the situation. I envision taking children in a perfectly rich and wholesome environment with an education full of potential (Banks Road), and throwing it in the garbage disposal (Smith ES).

Please reconsider this decision.

11 Votes
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Carolyn Payn 2 months ago

Like so many others on this thread including Miranda, Shelaun, Sumaira and others, our family spent countless hours researching our housing options, and after any months, decided to build our home in our new Community. The zoned schools were probably the largest factor impacting our decision to build in the location we did. I have two boys at Elementary level and I loved that Banks Road was just a few miles away and my kids could attend a highly rated school in their neighbourhood where they could thrive. I urge you to reconsider your proposed zoning and keep the zoning for Banks Road Elementary and Holly Springs Middle as they are. It will prevent so much anxiety and disruption for countless families. Thanking you in advance.

12 Votes
 
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Namitha Prakash 2 months ago

This decision of WCPSS will definitely not bring any positive impact on my kids. I was in an assumption that the new schools will be potential schools for our zone base school. I am so unhappy with the decision of the proposal...my boys attend Banks road elementary and Holly grove middle. The proposed elementary and middle school has the worst of the ratings. You should be diverting new admissions to these schools rather than troubling the kids who are already in these schools. Imagine the transition phase for all the kids. We bought a house only after considering the ratings of the school. It is very unfair that the kids are diverted to horrible schools from good schools. I strictly object this proposal.

9 Votes
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Audrea Caesar 2 months ago

I am expecting that children with special needs will remain at Banks Rd. It has taken 8 months to get our Autistic child adjusted at BRES. She has connected with her special education teacher and is showing progress. Moving her would be extremely detrimental to her academic, social, and emotional well being. I want to know specifically how WCPSS is addressing issues of Equity particularly for those with disabilities. This proposal does not demonstrate that WCPSS has a plan to address any of the challenges for “differently able” students. I would like someone WCPSS to contact me directly to address this concern.

7 Votes
 
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Lauren Collins 2 months ago

I echo all the same sentiments that have been written on this forum. If I thought that adding our testimony of how this would or is going to negatively affect our family would help stop this from happening I would gladly speak to that. However this has nothing to do with what is best for the students and everything to do with politics, money and test scores. They know precisely what they are doing. If someone buys a home in FV then their children should go to school in FV. There is zero need to draw the zoning maps outside of city jurisdiction. It should be that simple. They could accomplish what they need for Smith ES and North Garner MS without making this change. They wrote "Overall, we anticipate that no more than 1% of Wake County Public School Systems students will be affected by this proposal in 2020-21, but we wanted you to be aware that a plan will be presented for the situations described above." This statement is worded in such a way that they want us to feel like they are doing us a favor and that it's just a few simple changes. They also are trying to get this done as quickly and quietly as possible. Is that because the reality is no matter what the feedback is the decision has already been made? For the record I will not allow my children to be used as WCPSS personal guinea pigs, they will not be attending Smith ES or North Garner MS. Monika Johnson-Hostler, our District 2 elected official, is running for Congress. Her Facebook page is titled Monika Johnson-Hostler for Schools, not students. Anyone else pick up on that? Maybe our stories, comments and concerns would be better addressed through her social media accounts and emails.

I strictly object this proposal.

10 Votes
 
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Aerin Gunn 2 months ago

One of the major issues here, aside from the fact that WCPSS is trying to force us into failing schools which will directly impact the quality of our kid’s education AND negatively impact our property values, is that we are learning as participants in the public education system that WCPSS cannot be relied upon to be consistent. Between changing the enrollment policy in 2016 and the regularly shifting school assignments, we are losing faith in WCPSS’ willingness to do what is best for the actual students. Not knowing when WCPSS will arbitrarily decide to reassign students causes unnecessary anxiety for both students and parents and is not conducive to well adjusted, effectively educated kids. I agree with a previous poster: NOBODY needs this anxiety and uncertainty on top of every other concern we have as modern parents.

9 Votes
 
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David Collins 2 months ago

Even if we ignore how WCPSS butchered the map and selectively chose to commandeer an island of Banks' district, while looking at the Map posted with the V1 proposed changes for Banks Road ES am I wrong in assuming the Red line (noted in image) is Ten-Ten?

If so, would the Cyprus Meadow community not stay in the Banks Road ES district? If the red line is not Ten-Ten, then what is it?

Either way, this selective re-distributing is nonsensical at best.

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Matt Dees admin 2 months ago

David, the red line in the map is the proposed 540 extension.

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David Collins 2 months ago

Thanks Matt, I was just about to reply to myself saying the same thing after looking at the FVMS reallocation map.

It does seem a bit odd that only a small portion of the Banks' district is now bound by the (future) 540.

One compromise would be to maintain the Ten-Ten division that the rest of the Banks' district adheres to.

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Lauren Collins 2 months ago

I am attaching the email I sent off this morning to all WCPSS Board members as well as local reporters. I would encourage everyone to share your stories with them directly as well.

5 Votes
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Carolyn Payn 2 months ago

Hi Lauren, thanks for your letter. McCullers Community across the road from Cypress Meadows is also included in the proposal.

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Natalie Goodman about 1 month ago

Did you get a response to your email, Lauren?

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Padma Laveti 2 months ago

My husband and myself always wanted our kid to be in better school and it is our highest priority. We relocated to this new community in 2017 from a different state because the assigned schools are great. My kid goes to BRES and she absolutely loves it. We are happy with the BRES and see our kid grow. My husband does not work in Raleigh area and commutes to GA every week. It is a heck of a travel for him but kids education is the highest priority. The notice of changing the assigned schools is devastating and absolutely oppose this proposal. Our decesion to relocate here was purely based on assinged schools. I want my kid to go the assinged schools ( be it elementary, middle, high) that was assinged in the year 2017 and would not accept any changes. WPSS should focus on kids education rather using kids as fillers for underutilized schools.

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Carolyn Payn 2 months ago

It seems Cypress Meadows and McCullers Walk on the other side of Ten-Ten are being affected by this proposal. Is there anyone else on this forum from McCullers?

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Cassandra Reclosado 2 months ago

I am at McCullers

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Sumaira Munshi 2 months ago

Hi Cassandra,

Would it be possible for you to spread the word in your community and have them post here to have their opinions considered as well? This will have an impact to the children in your community and property values as well. Thank you!

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Lindsay Zappala 2 months ago

My husband and I moved to Raleigh from Chicago with a mission: find a better place to live with far better homes at better prices and far better schools than what the city could offer. After arriving and settling into a temporary apartment complex, we started doing our research into the new home developments in the southern and western suburbs of Raleigh. Although we liked a new build community in Garner, we selected Cypress Meadow in Fuquay-Varina SPECIFICALLY for the schools. We paid more for our home to be here because we felt confident that our future children would have the opportunity to attend great schools with high ratings. Now after living here for a year, as we are in the midst of trying for kids of our own, we have learned that this neighborhood has the potential to be pulled into “underutilized” schools with low test scores, terrible ratings, and physical issues within the buildings.

First and foremost, magnet schools shouldn’t need to fill gaps. Typically they’re sought after and applications are processed for enrollment and this one is not, a HUGE red flag. Not only are the schools not remotely comparable in desirability or ratings, but the drive to Banks Road is easy, short, and hassle free allowing many of the parents in this neighborhood to volunteer and remain heavily involved. The drive to Smith leaves us two subpar options to get there: either sit on 401 or sit on Old Stage for a longer commute in both time and mileage, neither ideal for working parents who wish to be a part of their child’s education. With new schools opening in the same community we live in, our neighborhood should be able to remain where we are, not act as fillers for a less desirable school further away.

Please consider not only grandfathering the children already at Banks Road, but also keeping our entire neighborhood drawn to both Banks and Holly Grove. We deserve to remain in the great schools we all paid to be a part of and our neighborhood is not the answer to WCPSS problem.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Carolyn Payn 2 months ago

Thanks Sumaira and Cassandra, we are building at McCullers and will be closing on our home this month. I have posted my views earlier on in the thread and informed our neighbours and also Ryan Homes, asking them for their involvement. Please, anybody else in McCullers, spread the word so that both our communities, McCullers Walk and Cypress Meadow can stand together in solidarity on this.

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Aerin Gunn 2 months ago

What neighborhood does McCullers Walk come up as on Next Door? Cypress Meadows is Fanny Brown. I’m curious if the post would reach both developments?

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Carolyn Payn 2 months ago

Hi Aerin, on Next Door, McCullers Walk comes up as Fanny Brown as well. Thanks!

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Cassandra Reclosado 2 months ago

Hi Sumaira and Carolyn,

I will be closing next month at McCullers. I will also be bringing this up with Ryan Homes and also will be spreading the news.

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Sumaira Munshi 2 months ago

Carolyn and Cassandra,

Sorry you are dealing with this stress before even moving in! Really puts a damper on the whole new home ownership feeling. Not sure if McCullers has a neighborhood Facebook page but that would be a good way to ensure the community is aware of this proposal.

Involving Ryan homes is also a good idea since it impacts their sales prospects.

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Carolyn Payn 2 months ago

Great idea, thanks Sumaira. I have requested to join the McCullers Community Facebook group and will spread the word on there too.

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Catherine Junis 2 months ago

Who should I speak with about a oversight on address and town lines? After speaking with another wcpss representative it became clear they view my neighborhood as Raleigh when in reality we live in Fuquay-Varina (we have the sign and the tax stubs to prove it)? The address can be confusing but even though it lists Raleigh the RPD won't enter our neighborhood, it has to be the FVPD. I believe if we had Fuquay-Varina listed after our addresses instead of Raleigh the redistricting would not be a issue.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi Catherine, please keep in mind that we are a countywide school district, not a municipal district. It is not uncommon at all for students to attend school in a different municipality than where they live.

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Sumaira Munshi 2 months ago

As Catherine has stated, my mailing address also states Raleigh as my city but I am a resident of Fuquay-Varina (pay Fuquay-Varina taxes, utilities, etc.). In fact all members of the Cypress Meadow neighborhood have Raleigh as their mailing address but are actual residents of Fuquay-Varina. I hope this is a misunderstanding and resolves this nightmare.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi Sumaira, as noted to Catherine above, please keep in mind that we are a countywide school district, not a municipal district. It is not uncommon at all for students to attend school in a different municipality than where they live.

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Ashley Fabela 2 months ago

We just moved to our neighborhood February 2019. My kids were all in the same Charter school in Durham when we chose to move to wake county so my children could have a good education and transportation. This was supposed to be the last time I would need to move my kids schools as we are a military family and have been moved repetitively for the past 10 years. I wasnt happy with my older son and my daughter getting bussed 25 minutes away to a new middle school but knew it was good for their education. My daughter was miserable at this school but my older son loves Holly Grove middle school. My daughter is now in High School.amd not affected by the redistricting but both my boys will be. My older son will be uprooted his last year of middle school and this redistricting will force him to leave Holly Grove and go to North Garner! He is an AIG student and made it into the TIP program. I dont believe it will be in his best interest to be forced into a below par level school for his final year in Middle School. Its hard enough as a kid to attend middle school without being moved around like little pawns to fill schools needs year to year. My youngest son attends Banks Road Elementary. This is a school that has been working so well for him and he has performed so well, I would hate to see him move to such a poorly rated school like Smith and lose his progress just because of the redistricting plans. This whole thing is causing so much stress on my family and so many more in my neighborhood that I worry what it means for the children. It will create much unneeded anxiety for the kids having to bounce around schools constantly. I decided to settle my family in this neighborhood thinking I was done moving my children from school to school. Please dont redistrict rhis way. There has to be another way.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Charles Junis 2 months ago

The proposal explicitly states that the "majority of proposed school assignment changes will be related to the opening of the two new schools in Fuquay-Varina, one in 2020 and one in 2021." We live in the Cypress Meadow subdivision in Fuquay-Varina. Our children and their neighborhood friends are currently proposed to be moved further away to schools in Garner, very close to Raleigh. This is counterintuitive since the new schools are being opening in Fuquay-Varina. The proposal goes on to state that "other components of the proposal are aimed at relieving some overcrowded schools, better utilizing under-enrolled schools, and improving transportation efficiency." I am aware of students being moved from Willow Springs to Banks so any overcrowding concerns may have been unintentionally created and can easily be resolved without forcibly removing a community that has literally and figuratively bought into attending and supporting Banks and Holly Grove. To address better utilizing under-enrolled schools, perhaps the WCPSS should take additional steps to improve those schools instead of continually shifting the district maps because parents are actively chosing alternatives to avoid those schools. The other major component is improving transportation. Door to door, our home is 1.9 miles to Banks. That distance would more than double to Smith and the travel time may triple or quadruple due to traffic flow to and from the Raleigh area. This would significantly reduce community parents' ability and willingness to volunteer at the school.

In conclusion, I request that Draft Two and the final districting decision return our community, Cypress Meadow in Fuquay-Varina, to the current base schools of Banks, Holly Grove, and Middle Creek schools.

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Erika Kido 2 months ago

Most of the points have been presented above, but I want to join the concerned parents to express my disappointment and anger toward the proposal to reassign our kids from Banks Rd. to Smith. 1) as parents, we have worked hard to find a safe and healthy environment for our kids. We purchased a house far from our work sites just to make sure we are in a good school zone. We continue to work hard to pay the house, which value will fall due to this rezoning. 2) this proposal shows that Wake country sees our kids as guinea pigs or just disposable objects that can be moved around when it is convenient. No regards to the children's wellbeing. Many of the kids have established relationships with school staff and friends to grow together and invested in them. And have hopes to join one or the other school activity when they reach that age. 3) many parents in this neighborhood have invested a great amount of time and effort to make the school better for our kids, (thank you for those who really work hard.)

To "better utilize underutilized schools" are not an acceptable reason for causing kids a trauma to be switched from one school to the other. On top, the switch is from a good school to a well known "underachieving school". What message are you sending to our kids? That you "don't care"? This is not an acceptable reason to cause hard-working families to suffer a great loss in property value, emotional wellbeing, and more. Banks Rd is not in full capacity as I understand. Why are you causing children to suffer the consequences of some irrational adult thinking? Our kids as same as all the kids in Wake county deserves better planning and serious consideration of their emotional wellbeing. Many kids have to change schools when the families need to move and that is a great trauma for many already. Now, you are creating that toxic environment for kids with no good reason. Out kids are not disposable objects, they have feelings and emotions that are much more precious than concerns for "underutilized resoruces". If Wake county wants to make a change, it needs to start working on making better the underachieving schools first, so no one will be concerned on which school they will be assigned. And kids and families that are already established in one school, should not be moved around every time the county desires to do so.

The county needs to get data and learn how children who are forced to move to a not good school from a good school are affected emotionally and possibly with physical consequences. Emotional health is not a joke. This is just not an acceptable movement.

9 Votes
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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Zhinia Harden 2 months ago

I moved here earlier this year and it took months to find a home that was going to be a good fit for our family. My husband is in the Army and is stationed at Bragg. It was important our kids be close to where we live since my husband is not always available. This is also why year-round was a positive for us. Not only is this decision moving my children to a school further away from us, it concerns me to know the district is willing to take a risk on their learning growth. Then you have our property values which will go down. We are in Fuquay-Varina and that’s where we should stay. Last year only 42 students came to the district. This is not adding up. And if students keep being moved, families will NOT stay in Wake County Schools.

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Sumaira Munshi 2 months ago

Exactly right. I could take a hit financially and move if this proposal goes through but how can it be guaranteed that WCPSS wont’t redistrict the new place I go to? The community we live in is brand new and not cheap!

This will only deter young, educated families from moving into Wake County and finding more stable options, whether it’s within NC or out of state. I have never witnessed this state of flux anywhere else.

The caliber of individuals that move to Wake County will definitely change if this continues and then more schools in WCPSS will be “underutilized”. The rapid growth will deter professionals from moving here rather than encourage them because the county cannot guarantee the future of the next generation.

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Lauren Collins 2 months ago

The News & Observer and Herlad-Sun are holding a community forum in Raleigh on Monday night to discuss the growth and school impacts in our area. I have registered to attend and thought others may want to as well.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe7k9_IyM8rsWlZOCPU-oy43i0cqmejkQPd-vmGxajKYL_vtA/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1

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Jun Hu 2 months ago

Really upset for these assignments!!! How can you make decision only based on some schools Underutilized. If the base school has a cap, the normally way is enrolling a base school and assignment to another school. We understand that some schools need more students, but when you make the change on a base school, could you please think about that the students already had made relationships in the school, then they forced to move to another school only because the other schools need more students??? Also, most parents bought a house base on the great assigned schools, the value of those houses based on the school district and the taxes go to the local school. Then you have our property values which will go down. We are in Fuquay-Varina and that’s where we should stay. And if students keep being moved, families will NOT stay in Wake County Schools.

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Catherine Junis 2 months ago

Hi Ms. Junis,

Thank you for contacting the Town of Fuquay-Varina with your question. I'm happy to answer it! The Town of Fuquay-Varina (actually all towns) unfortunately doesn't have control over the boundaries between towns when it comes to addresses. These boundaries are determined by the post office that is closest to your home. For example, there are no lots in Harnett County that are "officially" part of the Town of Fuquay-Varina but actually have a Fuquay-Varina address simply because the Fuquay-Varina post office is closest to them and therefore delivers their mail. This is the same situation with Cypress Meadows and a few other subdivisions in our jurisdiction. I know it does create some initial confusion, but the school system is actually well aware of this situation and shouldn't give you much trouble over it. If you require a letter confirming your address to give to the school system in an effort to ease confusion, I would be more than happy to provide one, just let me know.

I hope this answers your concerns, please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Allyssa

Above is a clairification email I received. I am attaching the aforementioned letter

Attachments: 20191004131957733.pdf
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Jared Reid 2 months ago

The school district’s rationale to reassign kids from Banks Road Elementary (BRES), which is not over-crowded to a school that has symptoms of mismanagement resulting in its low (68%) capacity, is vitally flawed.

There are other elementary schools in the district that are overcrowded and can be reassigned to Smith until the new school is built in Fuquay-Varina. Just last year BRES officials informed parents the school has capacity to take on future growth, which is why Willow Springs kids were redirected to BRES within the last couple years. It is important to tax payers that they have confidence in the district leaders ability to plan more than two years ahead. Families want confidence that they can live and work in a community that supports them.

Separately, if the district believes reassigning kids from BRES to Smith will improve Smith’s poor reputation for education, that would be a huge miscalculation. To fix Smith’s capacity, which has been a issue for multiple years, WCPSS must fix the school education program and quality first.

Bottom Line: fix the problem, not the symptoms. Plan further out than just 2 years.

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Zohair Naim 2 months ago

The proposed redistricting from Banks Road to Smith Magnet is an appalling idea, which needs to be rejected plain and simple. Dozens of tax paying homeowners who put in their hard earned money in homes PRECISELY for the schools are now utterly at a loss because of this proposed action. Can the powers that be please explain why is it that new schools are planned in Fuquay-Varina but somehow as a resident of Fuquay-Varina my child needs to SUFFER at Smith magnet? I’m sorry, if a redistricting move needs to be made, it needs to be at a similar or higher performing school, not a school that has such pitiful rankings and reviews.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Amanda Jones 2 months ago

Many of the issues have been stated already, but I wanted to ensure my opinion was heard as well. We will in Cypress Meadows community and bought a home here to live in the town of Fuquay-Varina. When we chose this town we looked at the Fuquay-Varina community as a whole. Our son attends a Fuquay school (Banks Rd. Elementary). He participates in the town of Fuquay sports program; we eat and shop in the town. We pay our trash and water, utilities to the town of Fuquay. We have been building friendships and support systems in this town since we moved here 3 years ago. He plays with friends in town and we go to the local festivals and fire station for open house, etc. THIS IS OUR community. Your proposal is moving all of that into Garner. We did not choose to live in Garner, nor do we participate in Garner activities. That is not our community. I urge reconsideration for separating this established neighborhood from the town we all chose to live in and rip us from the schools we chose for our children. The negative impact here is bigger than just changing a school. You are separating us from our community supports. What child would want to attend a school with unfamiliar peers who talk about the soccer game they didn’t attend because they live in another town? Another concern is the school considered for reassignment. Smith Magnet is not an equal to Banks Rd. Elementary. This school is being avoided by parents currently. Wake County could look into other ways to help increase enrollment in Smith magnet and consider changes within the school itself. This internal look could change the minds of the people who live in Garner and they would actually go to the nearby school instead of making other arrangements.
The negative impact here is bigger than just changing a school. Further repercussions go deeper into the real estate market. Our homes are in Fuquay, we have paid more for less, than other neighborhoods in Garner in order to be a part of the town of Fuquay-Varina. Our home values could be affected if our community is no longer considered to be a part of the good schools offered in Fuquay. I'd be happy to reach out to the town of Fuquay to provide proof our residence is within the city limits.

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Aerin Gunn 2 months ago

Well said!

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Catherine Junis 2 months ago

https://www.change.org/p/wcpss-keep-cypress-meadow-at-banks-road-elementary-holly-grove-middle?recruiter=77954308&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_abi&utm_term=psf_combo_share_initial&recruited_by_id=825cf710-894b-11e3-a1b2-3dbc6abcb063&share_bandit_exp=abi-18274908-en-US&share_bandit_var=v1&utm_content=fht-18274908-en-us%3Av8

In 3 hours our neighborhoods petition to stay at our current school surpassed it's original goal of 100 signers. We hope that wcpss will take into account how invested our community is in staying at the schools and the community we have worked so hard to support

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Audrea Caesar about 1 month ago

Can we include McCullers Walk in this petition?

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Natalie Goodman about 1 month ago

In 2012, my husband and I moved to North Carolina from the Washington, DC suburbs. We envisioned a life we could never have in DC, and we quickly achieved that within a few years. We have great jobs, two children, and were able to build our own home in the Cypress Meadow neighborhood of Fuquay Varina. We built our home knowing that Wake county is known for redistricting on a regular basis, but we never imagined that we would be in this current situation.

Our daughter is in first grade, and during kindergarten, children were transferred from Willow Springs Elementary because Banks Road had underutilized space. Even this year, we know that Banks is not at capacity. Banks and the children who attend the school are going through a significant amount of change, as the principal was let go last week, and the assistant principal was moved to another school just a few months ago. Moving them to another school that is severely underperforming, and has one of the worst reputations in the county, is a terrible idea.

Elementary school-aged children are in their formative years, and this is not the time to be putting them through so much change. As some people have previously mentioned, their children have already been through this before, and it's unfair to see them go through it again. WCPSS needs to figure out why parents are choosing to not send their children to Smith Elementary and solve that problem, as opposed to pulling kids out of a Fuquay school and shipping them up to Garner in an attempt to rectify the situation.

In addition to the instability that it would inflict on the children, it would also cause more challenges for commuting parents, as Smith is closer to downtown Raleigh, and traffic is much worse heading into the city versus heading into Fuquay Varina in the morning. People bought homes intending to send their children to Banks, or a comparable school. Moving the children from Banks to Smith is not an acceptable resolution to fix a problem that belongs to WCPSS.

And who's to say that we won't be in this exact same situation when Crooked Creek Elementary opens in a few years? For the parents with young elementary students or preschoolers who aren't in elementary yet, it seems as though a redistricting when that school opens is a very real possibility, especially since it's in relatively close proximity to the Cypress Meadow neighborhood.

I urge WCPSS to reconsider this proposal. In the reasoning for this redistricting, "utilizing Smith Elementary and North Garner Middle" isn't a justifiable reason. WCPSS needs to figure out how to utilize the school how it is currently zoned, and if they can't figure it out on their own, they need to bring in new leaders who can.

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Kate Davis about 1 month ago

As someone who grew up in the WCPSS going to great schools, I can not imagine doing the horrible disservice of sending my own children to one of the lowest rated schools in the district. My husband and I carefully selected Cypress Meadows neighborhood in Fuquay Varina for the highly rated Banks Road ES and Holly Grove MS base assigned schools. We will move out of this neighborhood before ever sending our children to Smith ES. Our children are being used by WCPSS to fill a far away, under utilized school because the parents who live close to that school don't want to send their kids there. Now, we are being punished for that. It is impossible to be an active, supportive participant in your child's school when it is 20-30 minutes away with traffic. Banks Rd is 5 minutes away from our house, a true neighborhood school as it should be. If this redistricting goes through, my kids will be going to private school or we will move.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Kerry McGathen about 1 month ago

I am extremely disappointed in the WCPSS! I've never experienced such a thing where the county moves children from a great school with an excellent history to a school that is not only one of the worst in the county but even those who live in that area choose not to send their own children there. My child not matter what, will NOT be attending either of these schools as I will look for other options and move my schedule around her's so that she can have the best education possible, since no one at the WCPSS cares about that. Shame on you for enforcing and putting folks in this position. Our school is NOT capped and shouldn't impact those who are currently attending and excelling at these schools. If I wanted my children to attend either of these schools I could have saved a couple hundred grand and moved to that district. Not only are you impacting our children but the value of our homes. Appalling!

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Zhinia Harden about 1 month ago

In the last week I have stayed up late thinking about what the affects will be for my family.

My husband is in the military, because of his schedule I am often left alone with the children and need help since I work too. It took months to find someone willing to help sit my children and take them to school since I work at 3am. Now I have to ask myself, what will I do since the only person available to watch my children at that hour lives across the street from Banks Road and is not able to commute my son to a Garner school?!

As a concerned parent who is also African-American, I don't understand how the district plans to replace the minority students they're moving from Banks Road. Banks Road is not very diverse and taking a chunk of the minority students I fear would create a diversity gap there, a bigger gap than what they have now. Cypress Meadow has several families of color who attend Banks Road and Holly Grove.

I love Wake County and want my children to stay in the public school system, but my family is having the hardest time trying to understand how any of this would be a positive shift for our family. Please think about our children.

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Catherine Junis about 1 month ago

The more I think about this the more concerned I am. My daughter is truly thriving at Banks both academically and socially but this was a long road. We spent the better portion of the previous year (her kindergarten year) addressing various anxieties that were manifesting into physical symptoms. If she were to miss the same amount of class time in second grade it would truly set her behind. I know my daughter is a not alone in this type of issue (though perhaps a more extreme case) - but I echo the other parents on this board noting that our children cannot just simply be moved without consequences. Unfortunately I fear the consequences will be more than an inconvenience of time and travel for the parents, they will affect the children we are all trying to protect. There are plenty of proposed neighborhoods that are not yet started or are in very early stages - I would ask for the board to consider districting these homes instead as it creates a far less disruptive environment.

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Christina Ola about 1 month ago

I couldn’t agree more with the points already made by the parents on this forum.

It is absolutely absurd that wake county would propose such plan to achieve their so called goal of balancing schools. If this truly is their goal, then reassign to comparable schools.

I don’t think this was well thought out. How could a school system whose mission is to provide quality education make such decision that will significantly impact children’s’ education negatively.

We all have worked hard to provide the best for our children including quality education. Like most parents here, we searched hard and made sacrifices before deciding to build in this area. A major factor was the school assignment.

I ask wake county school system to consider other alternatives and come up with a better solution. Think of the negative implications of this proposal.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Lauren Collins about 1 month ago

It is hard to put into words the amount of fear, anger, anxiety, frustration, worry and utter disbelief I have over WCPSS's proposed rezoning.

Should this get approved the consequences this would have on my family are staggering. Logistically as a one car family our only viable option would be to home school unless we were allowed to remain at Banks Road Elem.

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Jessica Chiu about 1 month ago

I like a few others on this thread just moved into the McCuller's Walk community, and am actually new to wake county but I was excited to move to the area due to the quality of the schools. I am VERY disappointed to find that a redistricting will pull kids from quality schools and reassign them to poor quality schools. I understand the issue is complex and that there is a need to address overpopulating schools and underutilized schools, and to pull kids from quality schools and more them against their will doesn't seem to be the answer. I'm frustrated at the lack of options here and that the opening of two schools in FV is presenting such a problem for families in this area. We chose this area for the quality of schools and shouldn't be re-assigned to lower quality schools. Please consider other options. Those schools aren't being utilized because so many of those families are opting out. Improve the schools and then consider how reallocating students will work. It seems like we are prioritizing the needs of a school over the needs of the students and their families.

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Carolyn Payn about 1 month ago

Thanks Jessi, well said.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Catherine Junis about 1 month ago

Do we know how many completed/ established neighborhoods are being moved to make room for proposed ones? It seems in the students best interests to redistrict the "dirt" neighborhoods than the ones with children already settled - especially since Banks and Holly Grove at not at capacity

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Catherine Junis about 1 month ago

With this meeting style of open house will parents still get to voice our concerns? It seems more like a meeting to make us more comfortable with a for sure change rather than to get our input prior to the second draft of the plan being released?

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Many have expressed concerns about overall test scores at certain schools. I'd encourage you to read this when you have a moment. Thank you. https://wcpss.granicusideas.com/discussions/proposed-school-assignment-changes-for-2020-21-and-2021-22/topics/a-word-about-school-ratings

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Veronica Goodwin about 1 month ago

It has taken me a few weeks since hearing the news of the proposed redistricting of Banks Road Elementary to Smith Elementary and Holly Grove Middle to North Garner Middle to process my frustration, stress and worry with the situation and to verbalize my concerns. My family relocated to North Carolina from Pennsylvania in March 2017. At the time, our son was 4 and had already had an established IEP and was receiving special education services in the state of PA for almost a year. Prior to moving and buying a home we did extensive research on the area, the schools and provided services. Anyone who has a child with special needs knows that consistency and routine are critical elements. Due to the infrastructure of Wake County Schools, my son attended Oak Grove Elementary for special education preschool services, Swift Creek Elementary for Cross Categorical Kindergarten (CCK) and then Banks Road Elementary for regular education Kindergarten and now currently first grade. My child is THRIVING at Banks Road! He has grown leaps and bounds since starting there and just the idea or suggestion of having to move him to a fourth school in 3 years makes me sick to my stomach. All children, not just those with special needs, require a stable consistent learning environment. Moving children like pawns on a chess board from one school to another to simply help WCPSS "utilize under enrolled schools" would be an atrocity. The Cypress Meadow community is a close knit group of families who truly care about one another and consistently support one another. Many of us, myself included, have no family in the area and therefore have established close connections and friendships. We have created a strong and united Village that includes heavy community and parent involvement at the schools, carpooling, child care and more. Any neighbor I've spoken with have had nothing but positive things to say about Banks and Holly Grove. My child isn't the only one thriving, all of the children in this community are so I strongly urge you to please reconsider the proposed redistricting of our established community. I'm fearful that if this proposal goes through, the children of our neighborhood will all end up at many different schools throughout the county causing many parents added stress and burden in regard to child care and transportation needs. Another major concern I have with the proposed redistricting is the location and proximity of our neighborhood to these proposed schools. Smith Elementary specifically is not only further mileage wise than Banks but the traffic going in that direction would likely double or even triple the commute time. This is a serious issue for all families, especially working parents. The proposed move from a year round calendar base school like Banks to a traditional calendar at Smith is another valid concern. The year round track options is something I was unfamiliar with prior to moving to this state but have found to be a truly beneficial option for many families, especially my own. Year round school alleviates a huge financial burden on families who require child care during school breaks by breaking up the cost throughout the year. Children also are more likely to retain information over shorter breaks. A proposed change from Banks to Smith isn't even a comparable alternative based on location and calendar options alone. In closing, I adamantly request WCPSS to reconsider keeping the Cypress Meadow community in Fuquay-Varina to their originally assigned schools of Banks Road and Holly Grove. Please allow our children to continue to thrive and grow at the schools they love!

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Shelly Castorina about 1 month ago

To say the current proposal is anything less than devastating news to our family, would be an understatement. We strongly urge WCPSS to reconsider. Like most families in our Cypress Meadow Community in Fuquay Varina, we chose this neighborhood mostly due to the high-caliber school that Banks Road Elementary is. We have two children; one who currently attends BRES and one slated to begin in 2021. Our first-grade daughter is thriving at BRES, both socially and academically, and she has built such meaningful relationships that we would hate to take from her. The strong sense of community, built by having the neighborhood children attend BRES, has positively carried over into our home life as we spend many evenings watching the children play & parents connecting with a common bond that is BRES.

The newly proposed changes will shift us from our current year-round schedule at BRES to Smith Elementary, which is traditional. This is not a good fit for our family, as this schedule option was another weighing factor in our decision to purchase a home in Cypress Meadow. Our only year-round option, based on the new proposal, is Timber Drive (which appears we must apply for?) who only operates on Track 4. The disruption this would create in our schedules is not one that I take lightly, and I do not feel confident that Timber Drive could accommodate all of the students uprooted from BRES. On top of all of this, a move to either school would double our commute distance, and surely double (if not triple) the time it takes to get to/from school as both options have us driving toward/away from downtown Raleigh during some the busiest commuting times of the day.

You want to better utilize, but you aren’t fixing the problems. If we are to be moved it should be to a comparable performing school. The Wake County representative keeps posting the same article over and over again stating that the test scores are based on socioeconomic status. Is our neighborhood being moved to that school to boost the scores? My biggest concern with this is that my daughter is going to fall through the cracks because she’s a well-behaved and intelligent girl. At her current school she is being pulled for enrichment opportunities in math. My fear is that this won’t be the case at Smith because of the level of lower performing students. As a former WCPSS kindergarten teacher, I know that the emphasis was always to get the lower performing students to meet the standards and raise their test scores. We were always being asked about what strategies and progress monitoring were we using to show their growth. Very little emphasis was ever put on how we were going to provide enrichment activities for the higher performing students. I do not want my daughter to miss out on the challenging and rigorous instruction because the teachers are working hard to help the struggling students. I plan to tour the school next week and I will be looking for examples of how the teachers are providing level 4 opportunities for the children and providing challenging and rigorous instruction.

There are many concerns about the change that go beyond just test scores. Is there a PTA? What is parental involvement like at the school? How big are the class sizes? Are there instructional support teachers in the classrooms? What specials will they attend? What clubs does the school provide for the students? Do they attend field trips? All of these things are reasons we love BRES, as they provide so much outside of school that fosters such a great community among all of us. Like many others in this thread have stated we strongly urge WCPSS to reconsider the current proposal and allow the students in the Cypress Meadow Community to continue their education at BRES.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

A reminder that tonight's Open House is focused on the proposed assignment changes to Salem Elementary and Middle. Changes related to Banks Road Elementary, Smith Elementary, Holly Grove Middle and North Garner Middle and other proposed assignment changes related to the two new schools in Fuquay-Varina will be the focus of Tuesday's meeting at Fuquay-Varina High, 1704 Old Honeycutt Road, Fuquay-Varina, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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Aerin Gunn about 1 month ago

Mr. Dees, I'd like to know why our neighborhood's socioeconomic status mysteriously changed over the weekend from "high" to "low". Can you explain this clearly and succinctly? This area is growing at a fevered pace, and the homes that are being built, I assure you, would not be getting mortgages if the residents occupying them were of low socioeconomic status. I cannot find a new build within ten miles that is under a $300k base price. What is WCPSS using to determine this? I certainly hope it isn't ten-year-old census data.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago
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Catherine Junis about 1 month ago

I know other parents have commented on a forced calendar change and I have gotten some mixed inform - will Banks Rd parents be eligible to apply for grandfather status? Smith is traditional calendar and timber drive is modified and not traditional year round. Additionally if we do have to apply for timber as a calendar option, how many of us can expect to be accepted. Banks Rd is a new Neighborhood with the majority of the students attending the year round base options on purpose - while I am disappointed in the added travel time to the potential schools it really is the calendar that poses a larger problem. Most of us specifically picked our neighborhood because of the year round schedules. Addi

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Catherine Junis about 1 month ago

Additionally (sorry that got cut off) the parents who currently attend Smith that I know are under the impression they are switching to a fully year round calender - if that is still true when would that happen?

Our banks Rd kids have already gone through a lot of change - since my daughter started in August of 2018 they lost a VP, a art teacher, 2 front office staff and a principal - this doesn't even mention all of the teacher turnover. A new VP was hired last spring, art teacher over the summer, and a new principal will be hired at the end of March (the front office is still up in the air apparently)...so I would rather not add multiple calender changes in a matter of years to the list of upheavals.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Sorry about the weird formatting above... Tried to fix. Hope it make sense. Here's link to grandfathering rules. https://www.wcpss.net/Page/40945

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

I will double check, but I'm almost positive Smith will remain traditional calendar.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

These are the proposed grandfathering rules that would apply to the change from Banks Road to Smith: -Elementary and Middle Students Students rising to 5th grade or 8th grade who are affected by this proposal would be eligible to grandfather and stay at their current school. -Their siblings would be eligible to grandfather for one year. -After one year, siblings would be assigned to their new base school. -Grandfathered students do not receive district transportation.

The other proposal involves a small number of students currently attending a calendar option school that is being removed as a calendar option for their address. Those families were contacted directly.

The number of calendar application students accepted by a school depends on seat availability. Right now it's very hard to predict how many seats might be available to calendar option students.

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Natalie Goodman about 1 month ago

I would like to know why our neighborhood socioecnomic status was considered "high" last week, but is listed as "low" now that the magnet school application is open. What factors go into evaluating areas and determining their socioeconomic status? I find it unbelievable that we were high last week (which would have made our priority higher for magnet school applications), but are suddenly low now that the magnet applications have opened. Someone needs to explain this in a crystal clear manner.

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Catherine Junis about 1 month ago

I would also like to know the answer to this.

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Matt Dees admin about 1 month ago

Hi Catherine, here is some info we shared with Natalie yesterday. Let me know if you need further. For the 2020-21 magnet application process, the Office of Student Assignment has begun using Census Block data for the purpose of classifying neighborhoods and schools county-wide. Census Blocks rely on data that is more transparent, encompasses more detailed information about residents and is used by other branches of Wake County government. WCPSS previously used internal catchment areas that relied on self-reported data from the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch annual application process. Census Blocks do tend to be larger geographic areas than our previously used catchment areas which has caused some school and neighborhood designations to change from last year’s classifications. Please see the link below that further explains what residential data is used for the Census Block designations. http://www.wakegov.com/planning/maps/socialequity/Pages/Economic-Health.aspx

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Aerin Gunn about 1 month ago

I just replied to Matt Dees directly with this question.

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Prakash Belur about 1 month ago

Moving students from one school to another may be easiest option for school board to fill underutilized schools. But, did the school board even tried to find out why enrollments are low in certain schools? Before looking into rezoning, what other actions were taken to improve the utilization? Did the school board even tried to improve the program offerings in those schools to attract more students?

Every child deserves better school and better environment. Though our workplace is far away, we sacrifice on our commute and choose the neighborhood where better public schools are assigned. This is the only way we know that our kids can go to better school. Unfortunately, not many school options are available to us. Even the Magnet school selection criteria is ridiculous and though the kids are in AIG, they won’t be considered in Magnet school.

I understand that school board is trying to better utilize available resources and in turn taxpayer’s money is properly utilized. As a tax payer, I don’t mind if certain schools are not fully utilized due to parents not willing to send their kids there.

This rezoning will negatively affect our kids and as a parent, I oppose this move. Request the school board to reconsider this rezoning move and instead, find alternative way to improve underutilized school.

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Catherine Junis about 1 month ago

I'm confused, if a main goal of this redistricting is socioeconomic diversity shouldn't the classification change have happened sooner than this? Should we expect draft 2 to look entirely different because of these changes? Additionally what was the rationale for changing now with incredibly outdated data (5 years ago in a area wcpss itself deems as the fastest growing) is not an accurate picture - surely waiting for the new census in a few months would make more sense than implementing this particular change now?

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Natalie Goodman about 1 month ago

Can someone explain this to me in a way that makes sense? This is the response I received from Wade Martin, Assistant Superintendent, School Choice, Plannning & Assignment:

You are correct that the general census is completed every 10 years. However, the data points that are used in the calculations for Census Blocks used by Wake County government is updated annually. It is my understanding that the final calculations for each Census Block are based on 5 year averages once that data is updated annually.

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Caryn Johnson about 1 month ago

After speaking with the WCPSS representative at the forum at Fuquay-Varina High School tonight he suggested posting on here again about the need for this plan to allow kids who start at FVMS to be allowed to stay the full three years, meaning our rising 6th grader who could attend because of her grandfathered rising 8th grader would be allowed to stay all three years. He made it very clear that this is a reasonable request that he would support. It is not reasonable, or good for any student, to move them for the 8th grade year (WCPSS seems to get that), it is not reasonable or good for the sibling student to move after 6th grade and it is not reasonable (and against WCPSS goals/guidelines) to have siblings at two different middle schools. Allowing the rising 6th grader to stay all three years fixes all of that.

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Nancy Adams about 1 month ago

I absolutely agree with all of this. This will be out situation exactly. We have a rising 8th grader at FVMS and a rising 6th grader. Making our 8th grader move is not an option. Having our 6th grader start at FVMS and then have to move to West Lake MS is not really an option either. We are probably going to end up with two different kids, at two different middle schools, on two different calendars. This is not a great option, but the least of all evils, I guess. Please consider allowing the rising 6th graders to stay at FMVS for 7th and 8th grade. I will be more than fine in not having transportation to accomplish this option.

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Shelly Castorina about 1 month ago

in an effort to get one last comment in before the 2nd proposal is drafted, I feel it necessary to convey how defeated I am feeling after leaving tonight's meeting. I feel as though our points were not heard by those representing us, instead I felt as though they were debated. In a last stitch effort I urge WCPSS to not look at the number of responses/comments on this thread and misinterpret it as a lack of care/concern. I feel that is needed to be taken under consideration a direct comparison of the number of students that are affected by the BRES to Smith proposal and these comments AND NOT the number of comments on this thread VS. that of another proposal. The feeling of those leaving tonight's meeting is that WCPSS already has their mind made up and that is a very unnerving/helpless feeling. We feel that the northern line of the proposed rezoning should be north of Ten-Ten Road. Since we heard all evening that upcoming developments/incoming neighborhoods are not considered since they are "just dirt" however you are using the I-540 projections as your jurisdiction lines. I-540 is a road that isn't expected to be completed until 2023.

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David Collins about 1 month ago

TLDR: Use Caddy Road as the Boarder for Draft 2 (see attached image)

Matt, In the Topic you linked, called “A Word About School Ratings,” you wrote:

"It may make you wonder - how can a building full of teachers, students, parents and staff - be distilled down to one score? It can’t. … Check out all the data that is available on schools - not just one score or letter grade. We’ve put together a fact sheet for each of our schools to make this easier for you: www.wcpss.net/progressreports. Bring this sheet with you on school visits and talk to the principal about what your child and family needs.”

I took your advice and read through the WCPSS produced Progress Report. You were right on one point; a SINGLE score cannot sum up the performance of a school. With out WCPSS’ more detailed report I would not have known that in comparison to Banks Rd ES, Smith ES has:

66% of Banks’ Reading Proficient rate 74% of Banks’ Science Proficient rate 60% of Banks’ Reaching Reading Goals rate 35% of Banks’ National Board-Certified Teacher rate 726% of Banks’ Student suspension rate!!!

You read that right, over 7 TIMES the suspension rate of Banks…

The only area in which Banks under performs Smith is in the School Leadership category… and you just fired Principle Purvis. Whom, by the way, was only left in leadership for so long because WCPSS ignored consistent Parent & Teacher complaints for so long.

The comparison between Holly Grove MS and North Garner MS is much the same. So please stop acting like we’re basing our information off a single number listed on third-party websites.

So now that we can all agree that Smith is in fact a lesser school and that we all have the right as parents to be more than concerned about the impact this environment will have on our children, let us address WCPSS’ purposed reasoning for the re-zoning.

Since our re-zoning is NOT due to the two new schools then the only other reason given by WCPSS is: “Other components of the proposal are aimed at relieving overcrowded schools, better utilizing under-enrolled schools, and improving transportation efficiency.”

Let’s break this down to 3 parts:

Overcrowded: Notably, Banks Road ES is NOT listed as Overcrowded or Capped on your WPCSS website. In fact, in years past, Banks ES has been listed as “under-utilized.” And from personal experience, my now 1st & 3rd graders in track 3 has been in classes with less than 16 students for the past 2 years.

Transportation: Most of the purposed re-zoning is physically closer to Banks Road. For those that live in Cyprus Meadow or McCullers Walk, it takes 1.5 times longer to drive to Smith ES. Not to mention that they would now be fighting rush hour traffic and buses would be forced onto 401 or must go significantly out of their way to travel up Old Stage Road, which would make the travel time even more drastically longer.

Utilizing Under-enrolled schools: This seems to be the crux of it all. Smith ES is a Magnet school, which means that its utilization is limited only by the number of students applying to attend, it is NOT bound by its base area. Rather than addressing Smith’s poor enrollment rate, WCPSS is forcing well performing students into a hostile situation to artificially triage a failing school. But, most informed parents will simply opt to take advantage of the many Charter, Private, or Home-school options available. The only new students Smith will receive from this change will be those who are unfortunately un-informed or unable to take advantage of those options due to socioeconomic and/or language barriers. Which will have the exact opposite of WPCSS’ intended results.

Even if we were to accept WCPSS’ reasoning and determined a re-zoning was necessary, why is the Impacted area segmented so far south, all the way to the proposed 540 when the rest of the zone is not? If you look at other schools in this proposal, several of the changes cross 540 (existing or purposed) and other freeways/highways. So it’s not like there is a precedent for doing so. Attached is a more sensible re-zoning that would provide some stability for the students located in Cyprus Meadow & McCuller’s Walk by using Caddy Rd as the new border.

Which leads us to believe that WCPSS is specifically targeting the McCuller’s Walk & Cyprus Meadow communities. In fact, surgically targeting communities is what WCPSS is often doing. Spend just a few minutes looking at WCPSS’ districting map (https://www.zipdatamaps.com/schools/north-carolina/county/map-of-wake-county-nc-elementary-school-attendance-zones) and it’s self-evident. For example, look how Cyprus Meadow & McCuller’s Walk are being shipped into Smith ES, while Green Spring Valley Mobile Home Community (located near Smith), is being sent all the way to Ballentine ES (Image attached).

It is asinine re-zoning decisions like this that is causing Wake county citizens to leave the WCPSS public school system in droves and preventing new students from enrolling. “The Wake County school system’s share of all the students in the county dropped to 78% this year. This past school year, the school district accounted for only 42 of the 2,081 new students in Wake County.” - https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232761337.html

If this re-zoning goes through as-is, WCPSS will lose several more students. Many parents in our neighborhoods will elect to no longer participate in the instability, selective re-zoning, and politically driven decisions WCPSS has made with no regard of our children’s education. I implore you to find a better solution in Draft 2.

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Zohair Naim about 1 month ago

David has summarized parents’ concerns quite well above and I hope staff and the board READ them before making a decision.
I just wanted to add that after attending last nights session I was very disappointed. It didn’t feel like any of our points were being considered genuinely, and it looks like a decision has already been made. Just like the PR cut and paste job we got above to ‘not just look at a single ranking’ I felt I couldn’t even get the point across to perhaps have the reassignment stop cleanly at 10-10 road instead of the current messed up situation with a random ‘nook‘ affecting the ALREADY established Cypress Meadows community children.

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Carlo Clave about 1 month ago

Nothing much more to add that hasn't already been said by the rest of the concerned parents in my community. The prospect of moving our kids from BRES and HGMS has been downright stressful. I will share this one sentiment that has been weighing heavily in my heart though. As a military family, we usually do not get a whole lot of options on where we get to send our children to school whenever Uncle Sam orders us to move. When our last PCS led us to NC two years ago, we made a very calculated decision to pick our current neighborhood based on the quality of the schools and proximity to the city at the expense of a 1-hour commute to the military base that I am assigned to. In the last 2 years, I thought my kids have finally met their respective circles of friends that they could grow up with. That they finally had a sense of ownership over the schools they are now attending. Just being able to watch our kids thrive in the educational environments that BRES and HGMS have been able to provide has truly been a blessing, and we've been extremely glad that we've made that choice. That ability to choose is now being taken away from us. Our children are not playing cards that get lost in the shuffle. They deserve to stay in BRES and HGMS.

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