Some parents say they are unhappy about a proposal to switch Brier Creek Elementary to a traditional calendar and move the school’s campus about three miles away near the Durham County line.
Dozens of parents packed the northwest Raleigh school’s cafeteria on Wednesday evening for a meeting about the plan, which is recommended by the Wake County school system’s staff.
Some said they were concerned about disrupting the school’s culture by changing some teachers and faculty members.
“If you pick them all up and move them over there, I would follow you to the end of time,” said Michelle VanCannon, a parent of a second-grader at Brier Creek.
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School staff has recommended opening a new school, known as E-38, with a year-round calendar near Durham County. They say the new building will be better suited to a year-round calendar because it will be bigger than the current Brier Creek campus, with six additional classrooms.
Brier Creek students, who currently attend school on a year-round calendar, could maintain that calendar by transferring to the new school. School officials have said the new school could even take on the Brier Creek name.
“Some of you will go kicking and screaming,” Laura Evans, senior director of student assignment, told parents. “But you’ll love it.”
Another option would be to open the new school with a traditional calendar. In that case, Brier Creek Elementary would remain the year-round option for families in the area.
On Wednesday, several parents suggested that Brier Creek and E-38 should both be year-round schools since the calendar choice seems popular among families in western Wake County.
Monique Harris, a Brier Creek parent, asked if the current Brier Creek campus could be expanded to accommodate more students.
But Joe Desormeaux, assistant superintendent for facilities, said it wouldn’t solve the bigger problem of growth in the area.
“There’s no way we could add 780 more seats at this school,” Desormeaux said. “That’s what we’re adding at the new school.”
Evans said some Brier Creek students will surely face reassignment, regardless of whether the campus moves. The new school’s base attendance zone will pull from Brier Creek’s current base.
Current fourth- and fifth-graders would not be affected by the change since E-38 will not open until the 2016 school year.
Current second- and third-graders would be grandfathered into the school that has the calendar option they currently attend. Younger siblings would get priority during the application process if the school is not the family’s base school.
The school board is expected to consider the proposal March 3 and could make a decision by the end of March.
A new assignment plan, which will reveal the new school’s attendance area, will be completed by the end of the year.