Wake Ed

Stough Elementary families want closer home during renovations

Mandarin Chinese immersion kindergarteners recite in Mandarin the works shown them on a projection screen in Mandarin Chinese during the kids' hour long session at Stough Elementary School in Raleigh, NC on Jan. 30, 2015.
Mandarin Chinese immersion kindergarteners recite in Mandarin the works shown them on a projection screen in Mandarin Chinese during the kids' hour long session at Stough Elementary School in Raleigh, NC on Jan. 30, 2015. hlynch@newsobserver.com

Parents from Stough Elementary School in Raleigh are expected to show up at Tuesday’s Wake County school board meeting to ask that their children be sent to a closer location while their campus is rebuilt.

The school board is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the design that will be used for the $35 million reconstruction of the campus on Edwards Mill Road near Crabtree Valley Mall. While parents are happy that the school is being rebuilt, they’re not as thrilled about the plan to relocate students more than nine miles away to Spring Forest Road next to East Millbrook Middle School during the renovation project.

Stough students and staff are scheduled to be at the swing space site on Spring Forest Road for the 2018-19 school year.

Last week, Principal Christopher Cox presented a petition to the school board’s facilities committee containing the names of 220 parents who want a closer swing space site.

With 402 students, Stough is down 140 students from last school year as a result of families being reassigned to the new Pleasant Grove Elementary School. Parents are concerned that the long commute to the swing space site could discourage applications to the school’s Mandarin Chinese immersion program, in which some students spend much of their day learning in Mandarin.

Parents are also worried about how the new location will impact the many lower-income families at the Title I school. Last school year, half the students qualified for federally subsidized lunches.

Last week, school board members said that trying to find an alternative to the Spring Forest Road site would likely mean having to delay the renovation project. Stough families don’t want the work delayed either.

Over the next five years, families at 10 Wake schools around the county are scheduled to relocate to temporary sites until their campuses are rebuilt. This year for instance, students at Brooks Elementary in Raleigh are at Spring Forest Road and Garner High students are at South Garner High.

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