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Don’t like your new Wake school assignment? See if you can stay at your current school.

Wake County school board: Student assignment ‘isn’t easy.’

Wake County school board chair Monika Johnson-Hostler talks on Nov. 20, 2018 about not being able to please all parents in the newly adopted 2019-20 student enrollment plan. She said it's not easy for school leaders reviewing assignment options.
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Wake County school board chair Monika Johnson-Hostler talks on Nov. 20, 2018 about not being able to please all parents in the newly adopted 2019-20 student enrollment plan. She said it's not easy for school leaders reviewing assignment options.

The clock is now running for some Wake County families to file paperwork that will allow them to stay at their current school instead of being reassigned to a different school for the 2019-20 school year.

On Nov. 20, the Wake County school board approved a plan that student assignment staff say could move 5,600 students to different schools next year. But the new assignment plan includes “grandfathering rules” that will allow some of those students to stay at their current school — typically if they’re willing to provide their own transportation.

The online period to file grandfathering requests opened Monday and runs until Dec. 14. All eligible requests will be approved. Go to https://transfers.wcpss.net/apply/ to submit a grandfathering request.

Wake says families who are eligible for grandfathering should have been contacted by phone and/or email last week.

Here are examples of families who are eligible for grandfathering:

Students who next school year will be 8th-graders who are being moved to Alston Ridge Middle and any fifth-grade student who is being moved to a different elementary school.

Students who next school year will be 10th, 11th- or 12th-graders who are being moved to an existing high school, such as from Heritage High to Millbrook High.

Students who next school year will be 7th- or 8th-graders who are being moved to an existing middle school, such as from Reedy Creek Middle to East Cary Middle.

Any current calendar application student whose calendar-application school is changing next school year.

Younger students can grandfather alongside their older sibling to go to the same school next year. How long the younger sibling can stay varies from as little to as one year to multiple years.

Students who grandfather generally aren’t eligible for school district bus service. The exception is students who are grandfathering with their older siblings instead of going to the new Green Level High School. Students keep bus service for as long as their older sibling stays at their current high school or until they change addresses.

Go to https://www.wcpss.net/Page/30654 to view Wake’s grandfathering rules, including to see how they vary for younger siblings.

The new plan is largely focused on filling four new schools (Green Level High, Alston Ridge Middle, Parkside Elementary and Southeast Raleigh Elementary), relieving crowding at existing schools, filling under-enrolled schools and to a lesser degree balancing school test scores.

Some students aren’t eligible for grandfathering, such as rising sophomores moving to Green Level High and rising 7th-graders moving to Alston Ridge Middle, because Wake school officials say they need to make sure the new schools are filled. Many elementary school students being moved aren’t eligible for grandfathering because school officials say they need to comply with the state legislature’s requirements for smaller K-3 class sizes.

Official 2019-20 student assignment notices will go out to Wake families in January. But families can go to http://wwwgis2.wcpss.net/addressLookup/ to look up their assignment for next school year.

Approval of a grandfathering request won’t prevent families from applying for a magnet school or year-round school in January or, Wake says, from requesting a transfer to another calendar application school in February/March.

Families with questions can contact the Office of Student Assignment by going online to https://bit.ly/2AW4PmH or by calling 919-431-7333.

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T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.


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