'); } -->
Nearly 1,500 students – mostly in northern Wake – could be reassigned next year as the county’s school system fills three new schools.
The proposed new assignment plan, which was to be presented to the school board Tuesday, drops this year’s choice plan and returns to an approach that ties every address to a specific school. Away from the new schools, most neighborhoods return to their base assignments from 2011.
The opening of a fourth new school – Abbotts Creek Elementary in North Raleigh – is recommended for a delay to the 2014-15 school year. Families in the Falls River community had complained that the school would be housed indefinitely at a Spring Forest Road modular campus because the school district had no construction date for the permanent campus.
Here’s a look at the areas reassigned to the new schools:
Richland Creek Elementary: The Wake Forest school opened this year under the choice plan. The plan calls for it to draw students along the Franklin County line previously assigned to Jones Dairy Elementary, as well as families along U.S. 1 who had been assigned to North Forest Pines Elementary.
Rolesville Middle: The school on Burlington Mills Road would have a contiguous attendance area stretching from the Franklin County line to Wake Tech’s North Raleigh campus. It would pull neighborhoods from East Millbrook, East Wake, Heritage, Wake-Forest Rolesville, Wakefield, Wendell and Zebulon middle schools’ old attendance areas.
Rolesville High: The school, which opens next year, would have an attendance area similar to Rolesville Middle, extending a few miles farther out from the campus. Most neighborhoods had been assigned to Heritage and Wake-Forest Rolesville, but a few went to Knightdale, Millbrook and Wakefield.
In addition to the reassignments, 34 schools around the county face enrollment caps to control overcrowding. In 12 of the schools, such as Lacy Elementary, hard caps are proposed that could keep newcomers who move next to the schools from attending.
The plan says Wake will try to honor requests from families of rising sixth- and ninth-graders next year who want the feeder pattern from the choice plan. A total of 1,050 students facing reassignment would be grandfathered at their current school with bus service. But they’d lose transportation if they turned down an assignment to one of the new schools.
Allison Backhouse, a critic of the Democratic board majority, said the stability promise was hollow because many of the families would have to provide their own transportation. “It’s not stability when you don’t have a bus,” she said.
Strict limits planned
The plan calls for the district to tackle overcrowding by setting strict enrollment limits at Brooks, Conn, Lacy, Underwood and Wiley elementary schools and Heritage Middle.
New students who move into the attendance areas for those schools would be sent to other schools that have space.
Other components of the plan include:
• Reassigning some neighborhood students from Fox Road Elementary to River Bend Elementary to free up space for its new magnet school program.
• Giving families assigned to elementary school at Hilburn Academy – which this year added middle school grades – a base assignment to Leesville Road Middle. That would allow families to opt out of the unusual model and avoid overcrowding issues.
The school board is set to vote on the proposal Dec. 11 after several public hearings. The hearing dates will likely be announced this week.