Cary News

Wake County school board caps 10 schools, delays decision on Enloe

The Wake County school board approved enrollment limits Tuesday at 10 schools for this fall but delayed a decision on Enloe High School after receiving complaints from parents at Broughton High School about taking the Enloe students.

Because of overcrowding at Enloe, school administrators want to put an enrollment cap on the school, resulting in families new to the school’s attendance area being sent to Broughton for 2015-16. But Broughton parents have told the school board their school, near Cameron Village, is also crowded and can’t take as many as 100 new students from Enloe.

“I’ve heard from Broughton parents, and it’s been difficult to explain to the community that we’re capping a school that has a similar utilization as Broughton,” school board Chairwoman Christine Kushner said. “I think you’ve all received copies of those emails, so I think it warrants a lot more analysis.”

Kushner also said they need to leave enough seats for Broughton’s new magnet school program. That concern was echoed at the board meeting by Joy Ruhmann, Broughton’s PTSA president, who said the Enloe students “will take away from our ability to build our magnet program.”

Board members said they still intend to cap Enloe but want staff to consider alternatives such as sending students to multiple schools.

Previously, administrators had recommended reducing crowding at Enloe, located near downtown Raleigh, by reassigning students to Southeast Raleigh High School. But when magnet school families at Southeast Raleigh objected, the board instead asked staff to pursue an enrollment cap.

“Nobody’s really wanting these base students coming from this area,” said school board member Keith Sutton, whose district includes Enloe. “I’m going to leave it at that. I think everybody knows what I’m saying.”

Sutton suggested that the board begin looking at building new schools inside the Raleigh Beltline. The idea was embraced by other school board members. Kushner said the topic could be discussed at Monday’s joint meeting with the county board of commissioners.

The board went ahead Tuesday with leaving in place caps at Mills Park Middle School and Hodge Road, Holly Grove, Hunter, Mills Park and Walnut Creek elementary schools. They’re starting caps at Heritage and Panther Creek high schools, Davis Drive Middle School and Cary Elementary School.

Families moving into the 10 schools’ attendance areas face being sent to more distant schools with space.

Administrators said they can remove caps at 14 schools that are capped this school year because of factors such as the opening of new schools and the recently adopted student assignment plan.