Wakefield Elementary School will return to a traditional 10-month calendar next year, a move that puts all of the schools at the Wakefield campus on the same schedule for the first time in years.
The change aims in part to increase enrollment at Wakefield Elementary, though it will cause what school officials said would be a period of overcrowding.
The Wake County school board voted Tuesday for the calendar switch, as part of a package of changes designed to make more efficient use of space at five schools, mostly in the western part of the county.
Wake introduced the proposed changes last month and held community meetings and hosted an online forum to solicit feedback about them. School officials said the response from Wakefield families has been mixed about the calendar change.
Wakefield Elementary was among 22 schools that converted from the traditional calendar to the year-round calendar seven years ago over parents’ objections. Wakefield middle and high schools are on the traditional calendar.
Under the change, crowding at Wakefield Elementary will increase from 90.6 percent to 107.9 percent with the use of five temporary, or trailer, classrooms. There are 10 temporary classrooms at the school, though five are considered “mothballed.” If some of those were used, crowding would decrease below 100 percent.
School board member Jim Martin said at a work session earlier this month that modular classrooms should not be the solution to overcrowding.
“I don’t like modulars. Modulars should be temporary. We should be moving toward capacity where we don’t need that,” he said.
Wake schools give parents who want a different calendar an option to enroll at specified schools with their preferred schedule instead. The new calendar options for Wakefield families seeking year-round school would be Durant Road and North Forest Pines elementary schools.
Wakefield parent Michelle Tomlinson said she didn’t have strong feelings about the calendar either way, though she’s glad her children will be on the same schedule when the oldest reaches middle school.
Tomlinson said she is concerned, though, about the potential for overcrowding at the school, even if relief comes quickly.
“For us, a few years is a long time,” she said.
Tomlinson said it would be good if any overcrowding could be dealt with through the redistricting process, as long as it kept the Wakefield area together.
The change from a year-round calendar to a traditional calendar will also set off a number of calendar option changes at other schools:
• Forest Pines, Fox Road and Wildwood Forest elementary schools, all on a traditional calendar, will no longer have Wakefield as a second calendar option.
• Lead Mine and Lynn Road elementary schools, which are on a traditional calendar, will switch from Wakefield to Pleasant Union as a year-round calendar option. North Ridge, also on a traditional calendar, will change to Durant Road for its calendar option.