CARY — Three weeks from now, students in families who move into Wake County could be turned away from attending 17 overcrowded schools this fall.
School administrators on Tuesday identified schools that are already so crowded that officials want to cap enrollment for the 2013-14 school year. If the school board approves, new families who move into the attendance areas for those schools could see their children sent to more distant schools.
We are trying to get them down to a manageable size, Laura Evans, senior director of growth management, told school board members.
If a school hits an enrollment figure specific to each campus, the system will turn away students who move in after April 9, the date the board will vote on the proposal. The policy exempts families who already live in a schools attendance area but dont yet have children attending the school.
The elementary schools that would be affected are Brooks, Cedar Fork, Fuller, Holly Grove, Farmington Woods, Hunter, Joyner, Lacy, Mills Park, Underwood, Walnut Creek and Wiley. Caps would also affect the elementary school grades at Hilburn Drive Academy, and Apex, Garner, Heritage and Holly Springs high schools.
Evans said 15 of the schools have hit the attendance number for the cap to go into effect immediately. Newcomers at those 15 schools would be given a choice of as many as three other schools they could attend.
Evans said Farmington Woods Elementary School and Holly Springs High School are the only schools on the list that havent hit their cap figure.
Since the 1990s, the Wake County school system has used enrollment caps to control crowding. But the states largest school district has sharply increased the use of caps lately.
In December, the school board approved caps on 13 schools for the rest of this school year.
Since then, Evans said 8,000 students had their requests approved to change school assignments for the 2013-14 school year. After those results, Evans said they determined the 17 schools should be capped.
Also on Tuesday, the school board approved changing the bell schedules for 17 schools this fall to improve transportation efficiency.
The majority of schools would see shifts of 20 minutes or less for the 2013-14 school year. Six schools Apex Elementary, Davis Drive Middle, Green Elementary, Lufkin Middle, Vandora Springs Elementary and Walnut Creek Elementary would shift by 30 minutes or more.
Administrators made some changes to an earlier proposal, such as dropping a change to Baucom Elementary in Apex and starting the Wake Young Mens Leadership Academy and Wake Young Womens Leadership Academy five minutes earlier.
The Walnut Creek change was also a last-minute revision under which the school will start 45 minutes later, at 9:15 a.m., this fall. This means ending a program in which Walnut Creek operated 45 minutes longer than other elementary schools to provide more help to its large low-income population. There were complaints that teachers were putting in the extra time without additional pay.