"I feel so sorry and it's heartbreaking," Subba Reddy Madireddy watched as the Wake County School Board unanimously passed a new reassignment plan for the 2024-2025 school year.
The plan impacts about 1500 students district-wide.
But Madireddy is most concerned with the impact on his community.
Under this new plan, some students from Alston Ridge and Parkside Elementary will be moved to Pleasant Grove Elementary School in Morrisville
Something he opposed
" If they put families first they wouldn't have taken this decision."
This plan also calls for students to leave Pleasant Grove Elementary to attend York, Brier Creek, and Leesville Elementary.
But perhaps the most significant change: Pleasant Grove will now move from a traditional calendar to a multi-track year-round school
"This will impact single parents, parents who are both working and immigrant parents if they want to travel internationally," he continued.
District leaders said the plan works to relieve capped and overcrowded schools, address historical assignment areas, and increase transportation efficiency.
This plan also brings some students closer to their neighborhood school. Students attending Leesville Elementary, Middle, and High School will attend schools closer to their homes.
For example, some students attending Leesville Elementary will move to Joyner, Underwood, Hunter, and Powell Elementary Schools.
Board member Cheryl Caulfield commended the efforts to get students closer to schools in their neighborhood
"The number one complaint was families wanted to be closer to their schools and come together. In the plan that you provided to us, you did go very far to try and do that as much as possible and it's not gonna be perfect for everyone," said Caulfield.
The reassignment plan also addresses filling the new Woods Creek Elementary School in Holly Springs which is expected to open next year.
In this case, students from Apex, Holly Springs, and Oakview Elementary Schools are redesigned. "Change is hard and change is scary, but you will find high-quality teachers and educators and folks who will love on your kids just like I did when my kids moved schools," said School Board Chair Lindsay Mahaffey.
The initial planning for the 2024-2025 reassignment plan started in May of 2023. The first draft was presented in September. A month later in October, the second draft was unveiled.
Five weeks later the final draft was recommended and approved by all nine board members.
It's an immensely difficult task to balance, our state legal requirement for our school populations to manage a district-wide bus system with a shortage of drivers, to manage the growth a building of schools, especially when past decades we haven't done what we needed to do to keep up with our school construction," said Vice Chair Chris Heagarty.
He represents Northwestern Wake, including Morrisville and portions of Raleigh and Cary. His district is also a part of significant change under the reassignment plan. Heagarty shared parents' concerns with the board Tuesday night.
"It's not just their children are being moved, but it's oftentimes they feel like they are the ones that are often getting moved and getting moved the most," said Heagarty.
" We can't keep moving the same families all the time," he continued.
Parents will have the opportunity to apply for stability transfer. Emails with next steps should go out next week.