The Wake County school board did more than just change leaders on Tuesday.
The board also adopted the 2014-15 student assignment plan, approved an offer for the former Raleigh headquarters building, approved a plan for serving academically gifted students and adopted a policy to handle police investigations. The board also bought some additional land for a new school and filled the Chief of Staff position in central office.
The board unanimously adopted a plan that calls for no assignment changes for the 2014-15 school year. But as soon as February, look for staff to publicly present a draft three-year plan that would have lot of students being reassigned through the 2017-18 school year.
In other action:• The board unanimously accepted a $6.8 million offer for the former HQ on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh. But Betty Parker, director of real estate services, said it looks like someone may offer an upset bid of 5 percent more for the building.
• In another real-estate matter, the board agreed to pay $193,750, or $125,000 an acre, for 1.55 acres on Comstock Road in northwestern Wake. It’s located adjacent to the E-38 site that the school board agreed to buy in October.
Parker said the additional 1.55 acres will provide the road access for the new elementary school slated to open in 2016.• The board gave final approval to a new policy that lays out rules for how principals are to respond when police officers want to question, search and/or arrest students.
Principals, or their designated representative, must be present if a parent isn’t there when police officers question students on campus. The policy is meant for officers who are not assigned to schools who want to come on campus to talk with students about non-school related incidents.• The board approved a plan for serving the more than 25,000 Wake County students who are identified as academically or intellectually gifted.
The plan calls for increasing the representation of under-represented groups, including minority and low-income students. Another shift in the plan is having gifted students receive more instruction in their regular classrooms as opposed to being pulled out for specialized instruction.
The vote was 8-1 with board member Jim Martin as the lone dissenter.• In personnel matters, Marvin Connelly was named Chief of Staff and Strategic Planning.
Connelly takes the position that Judy Peppler held until she resigned in September 2012 after Tony Tata was fired as superintendent. Connelly has been assistant superintendent for student support services since 2006.
The board also named Freda Cole as the interim principal of Cedar Fork Elementary School in Morrisville for the month of January. Cole has filled in at various schools since retiring as principal of Forest Pines Elementary School in 2012.