Major shakeups for Wake County students

WAKE COUNTY Next school year, Leesville Middle will be on a year round schedule, while some Wake students return to a traditional calendar.

Year round versus traditional calendar is the question Wake County School Board members are debating as they prepare to release a three year reassignment plan next month.

"When we first set up our criteria for converting schools we looked at prosperity, costs, what can we do with the amount of money we have," Board Chair Rosa Gill said.

But with an economic crisis and lower than expected enrollment, at least two year round schools will return to a traditional calendar --Baucome Elementary next year, Green Hope Elementary in 2010.

Both are part of nearly two dozen schools converted to year round despite a storm of parent protests.

The year round conversion was designed to relieve overcrowding. Wake schools continue to grow, just not as much as expected.

There are about 137,700 students. That's about 3,700 more than last year. But fewer than the 140,000 projected in the last reassignment plan.

"I foresee more confusion from people," parent Jennifer Mansfield said.

No matter the math, some parents say it adds up to more frustrated parents and does little resolve the reassignment shuffle.

"That comes down to priorities, it's more important to maintain healthy school balance with free school lunch percentages or to utilize the capacity that we have and who is making that decision," Mansfield said.

"There are going to be some parents that are happy, some are not going to be," Gill said."They can rest assured we will give them options, those who want year round will have the option to go to year round.

The school system is working on the new reassignment plant. A draft will be released early next month.

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