Enrollment proposal information sessions begin for new WCPSS schools

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ByAna Rivera via WTVD logo
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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The reassignment plan will decide which students will go to Apex Friendship Elementary, Barton Pond Elementary and Herbert Akins Road Middle School.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- If you're a Wake County Public School System parent, you'll have an opportunity Wednesday to comment on the 2022-23 enrollment proposal for three new schools.

While the main reason for the reassignment is so students can be placed in the three new schools, under the plan, some students in about 25 schools in the district would be moved to relieve overcrowding and balance out the population in underutilized schools.

The Wake County Public School System said this only affects about 2 percent of their about 161,000 students.

The first draft of the reassignment plan includes moving some students from Abbotts Creek Elementary in Raleigh to Durant Road Elementary to reduce overcrowding at Abbotts Creek.

Some parents are not happy with the plan.

Richard Potts and his wife have two children at Abbotts Creek.

"With everything that's been going on in the world the past year and a half, two years, to introduce more instability in our lives, it's just it's heartbreaking to even attempt this," Potts said.

He also said it would disrupt the family's routine when it comes to school, sports, and extracurricular activities.

"It just puts more burden on us, which we already have enough of that right now," Potts said. "We are a well-established family within the ACES community, the Abbotts Creek Elementary School community, and we really, we don't want to see that change. It's really just disheartening to even think about."

While Abbotts Creek and Durant Road aren't far from each other, Potts said his family wouldn't feel comfortable biking or walking to school any more because of a busy road they'd have to cross.

"They're quite literally splitting our neighborhood up," Potts said. "Families that our kids play with routinely in and outside of school, they're no longer going to have that opportunity, nearly as much."

The reassignment plan will also decide which students will go to Apex Friendship Elementary, Barton Pond Elementary and Herbert Akins Road Middle School.

There will be virtual information sessions at each of the schools. The first one is Wednesday at Apex Friendship Elementary from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The other virtual sessions will be at the same time. Herbert Akins Road Middle School is on Thursday and then Barton Pond Elementary on Oct. 28.

"When a school is operating over its designed capacity, that means that there are too many students at the building. It forces strain on, let's say, long lunch hours, the resources within the building, too many students using the bathrooms, longer wait times," said Glenn Carrozza, Wake County Public School System Assistant Superintendent for School Choice Planning. "Reassignment is never something we purposely seek out. In the case of Abbotts Creek; you're looking at a school that has an enrollment cap. We do not foresee any relief in the area so we needed to look at a reassignment in order to provide relief to the school."

If passed, the district's reassignment plan would take effect the next school year.

Some students will be able to submit what's called a stability transfer to stay at their schools.

A second draft of the plan will be presented to the school board on Nov. 16 and there will be a public hearing later next month. The board is scheduled to vote on a final plan Dec. 7.