Families in the Haddon Hall community were right to worry that the odds of their children getting into Baucom Elementary School and Apex Middle School in the future will get worse.
At last week’s Wake County student assignment work session, school administrators say that crowding at Baucom means fewer Haddon Hall families will get into the school over time. Crowding at Apex Middle also means while administrators think they can accommodate students from Haddon Hall for the next year or two, they can’t say what it will be like beyond that
“I’m just having problems with us forcing this change of their base school,” said school board member Susan Evans, who unsuccessfully lobbied her colleagues to keep Baucom as Haddon Hall’s base. “That community is very astute. They have figured out that means a lesser chance some time in the future of them getting to Baucom and getting to Apex Middle as their calendar options.”
As part of the 2015-16 student assignment proposal, administrators want to change Haddon Hall’s base from Baucom to Salem Elementary School. With Haddon Hall’s base switching to a year-round school, the community will get Baucom and the new Scotts Ridge Elementary School as traditional-calendar options.
This means that Haddon Hall students now at Baucom will be able to stay and keep their bus service. Students who apply at the same time they have an older sibling attending Baucom will have the top priority to get accepted.
School board member Jim Martin asked what the chances would be for a future Haddon Hall student getting into Baucom if they don’t have any siblings at the school.
“A new family, the chances are going to be very low,” responded Laura Evans, senior director of student assignment.
Laura Evans added that future families will need to use Scotts Ridge more than Baucom for their traditional-calendar school.
School board Chairwoman Christine Kushner asked about rising kindergarten students from Haddon Hall getting into Baucom.
“There will be some calendar-option students who get into Baucom as kindergarteners,” Laura Evans replied. “But it won’t be the big numbers that they have right now.”
“Some will get into Baucom, not as many who want to be there,” Laura Evans said later in the work session.
The Haddon Hall families have also raised concerns that it will get harder for them to get into Apex Middle too. The community’s base assignment is Salem Middle but many have applied over the years to get into Apex Middle.
Laura Evans presented statistics showing how they’ve been able to get the students with the top three application priorities into Apex Middle.
School board vice chairman Tom Benton asked what that meant for Haddon Hall families in the future. Laura Evans replied that for the near future she thought those students could get into Apex Middle. But she added she wouldn’t predict for three or more years down the road.
“Will we accept calendar applications to Apex Middle School next year?” Laura Evans said. “Yes. But will we be able to accommodate everybody? That’s yet to be seen.”
But the concerns weren’t enough to get a majority of the board to drop the change in base for Haddon Hall.
Benton said they’re still providing a calendar match for future families by giving them Scotts Ridge as one of their calendar options.
But Susan Evans said Scotts Ridge is not the school the community has long gone to or wants to attend.
The vote on the plan is scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting.