Changes sketched out in anticipation of neighborhood schools

Staff writerMarch 18, 2010 

— A Wake County school board committee recommended today changes that will allow hundreds of students to be moved to different schools this fall while reversing previously approved moves for other students.

Members of the school board’s newly formed student assignment committee agreed to recommend seven changes for this fall’s student assignment plan. The changes were made after parents at recent community meetings told board members they want to go schools closer to where they live.

The full board will vote on the recommended changes on Tuesday.

Today’s meeting took place against the backdrop of a vote scheduled for Tuesday that would call for ending busing for diversity in favor of neighborhood schools.

Even though the resolution hasn’t gotten final approval yet, board members pushed for changes today that would put students in closer to where they live with consideration of the impact on diversity rarely discussed.

“We’re not talking about socioeconomic status anymore,” said school board member John Tedesco, chairman of the student assignment committee. “Once we pass the resolution we won’t be talking about it again.”

If the resolution is adopted, the student assignment committee would spend the next nine to 15 months developing a new model that would divide Wake into community assignment zones.

The new system wouldn’t significantly go into effect until 2012-13, when the current plan adopted by the old board expires. Tedesco said that for today, the goal is to recommend changes within the existing system as they looked at around 20 changes suggested by parents.

The changes recommended for approval today include: • Reversing previously approved reassignments for this fall that would send Brier Creek area students from Panther Creek High to Broughton High. • Reassigning those same Brier Creek students out of Daniels and East Cary middle schools to Mills Park Middle. • Reassigning some Wake Forest students from Knightdale High to Heritage High. • Reversing the reassignment of students from Node 539 in the Walden Creek subdivision from Turner Creek Elementary to Salem Elementary. • Reversing this fall’s reassignment of Node 368.2 students from Reedy Creek Elementary to Alston Ridge Elementary. • Reversing this fall’s reassignment of students from nodes 416 and 632 from Holly Ridge Middle to Apex Middle. • Reversing this fall’s reassignment of students from nodes 458.2 and 465.2 from Fuquay-Varina High to Holly Springs High.

The committee held off on making recommendations on several other changes today, saying they’ll wait for staff to get more information Tuesday. Those changes still on the bubble include: • Reversing reassignments that moved Lacy Elementary students to Stough Elementary this school year. • Reversing reassignments that moved Wood Valley subdivision students from Leesville Road Middle to West Millbrook Middle.

A few proposed changes were rejected outright today by the board.

keung.hui@newsobserver.com or (919) 828-4534

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