“Our hospitals report that births equal about one kindergarten class per day in Wake County, so that kind of growth is really phenomenal.”
– WCPSS Superintendent James Merrill on the fact that 22 babies are born in Wake County every day
The school construction bond was passed.
On August 22, 2014, Wake County hit a new milestone: one million residents. Fortunately, Wake County voters came out in support of a bond that would renovate six schools, make repairs to 79 other schools, and build 17 new schools. Three schools funded by a previous bond opened for the 2015-16 school year: Abbotts Creek Elementary, Scotts Ridge Elementary, and Apex Friendship High School. Learn more about the school construction bond and get a school-by-school update.
Opening more schools means students must be assigned to them.
Background: Student Assignment Policy 6200
On May 21, 2013, the School Board approved a new student assignment policy. There are four factors in the new policy that must be balanced by staff “to the extent reasonable” when making assignments.
- Student Achievement, aimed at providing an optimal opportunity for academic success for all students
- Stability, meaning that students will have the opportunity to stay at the same school with their siblings through the exit grades without experiencing involuntary changes in school assignment (This may not be guaranteed if the reassignment is necessary due to opening a new school.)
- Proximity, meaning that base assignments will be a reasonable distance of the student’s home
- Operational Efficiency, meaning that assignments will optimize the use of school facilities and transportation resources
GSIW is gratified that many of the elements in the assignment plan included several suggestions made in our April, 2012 Let’s Find a Better Way position paper. Many of these suggestions were based on the thousands of concerns and suggestions we received from community members. GSIW also weighed in after WCPSS staff presented an initial proposal for the 2013-14 assignment. GSIW members created a summary of our feedback. We simplified confusing language, raised some concerns and provided specific examples.
Among the positive elements of the current plan:
- Reestablishing address-based assignments that offer families the assurance of a guaranteed school assignment with an option for choice at all grade levels,
- Providing stability for grade spans so that once children start at a school, they stay at that school, unless a family opts to apply for another assignment
- The ability for families to enroll their children at their base school, thereby ending the requirement to travel to Cary to enroll at the central office
- The opportunity for students to “grandfather” at their current schools (with their current level of transportation) if they wish
- Priority for siblings of students already attending a school
- Options for choice: magnet, application, year-round and traditional calendar schools
Now, any student who enrolls in WCPSS or moves to a new address within Wake County will be assigned to a base school based on his or her home address.