Bowing to strong parental opposition, Wake County school administrators are dropping a northwest Raleigh elementary school from the list of year-round schools being considered for conversion to the traditional calendar in 2016.
Administrators said Wednesday that they’re recommending leaving Brier Creek Elementary on the year-round calendar and instead open a nearby elementary school in Morrisville on the traditional calendar. The district will now only consider converting Highcroft Drive Elementary in Cary and Salem Elementary and Salem Middle in Apex to the traditional calendar in the 2016-17 school year.
“The feedback really overwhelmingly from the community was just to leave the school calendar as it was,” Cathy Moore, deputy superintendent for school performance, told the school board’s facilities committee.
Administrators originally proposed changing Brier Creek’s calendar and opening E-38, a yet-to-be-named school two miles away on the Durham border, as the year-round school for the region. Administrators had said it makes more sense to operate E-38 on the year-round calendar because it can hold more students than Brier Creek.
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“It’s great,” Allen Oliver, Brier Creek’s PTA president, said of the new plan to leave the calendar in place. “I thought the school was perfectly fine the way it is.”
Some Brier Creek families will now be able to stay on the year-round schedule into middle school, using the new Pine Hollow Middle which will open next summer.
But even with Brier Creek’s calendar unchanged, Moore warned that the community should be prepared for some families to be reassigned next year when E-38 opens.
It isn’t likely that parents will have complaints about that, Oliver said. Most parents understood that some Brier Creek students would have to move no matter what happened to the calendar.
“You will have traditional people that will take that option because there is no other close traditional option,” he said. “I think you’ll have a natural selection.”
Following an online forum and community meetings at Highcroft and Salem, staff will recommend June 16 which schools should be converted. The school board could vote on July 21.
Staff writer Mechelle Hankerson contributed to this report.