Parents react to new Wake County school assignment plan


CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – Citing “hardship” and worrying about “chaos,” some parents are pushing Wake County’s school board to reconsider next year’s students assignment plan, which was released earlier this week.

Since Tuesday, parents have posted on the school system’s website both concerns and appreciation for some of the proposed changes.

“We want to share our bewildered concerns about changes to base middle school from Davis Drive MS to East Cary MS in upcoming school years,” wrote Gordon Chen.

Parents in the Carpenter Village and Old Carpenter neighborhoods in the western part of Cary are worried the travel time to their new base school would more than double.

“We do have some neighbors that go to East Cary now, and their bus time is 6:08 in the morning, which is early,” said Emily Valentine, who lives in Carpenter Village.

The neighborhood’s base middle school is currently Davis Drive, which is on a traditional calendar. The proposed base school would be East Cary Middle School, which is on a year-round calendar.

School administrators say the proposed changes are aimed at better utilizing space in buildings.

If nothing changes, Davis Drive is projected to be at 130 percent capacity in the 2018-2019 school year and at 99 percent capacity with trailers. Meanwhile, East Cary would be at 81 percent capacity.

The proposed base reassignment would put East Cary at 112 percent capacity next school year, which has caused some parents to question why the change has been proposed.

Neighbors plan to meet this weekend to discuss what to tell school board members as they debate what changes to make to the proposal in the next two months.

“We want to make as few changes as possible but still have an effective and efficient school system,” said school board member Bill Fletcher.

The county is opening four new schools next year, also prompting a variety of changes. They include: South Garner High, Apex Friendship Middle, Bryan Road Elementary and Buckhorn Creek Elementary.

The district is holding two public information sessions. The first is Oct. 6 at Holly Grove Middle School, which is at 1401 Avent Ferry Road. The second session is Oct. 9 at South Garner High School, which is at 8228 Hebron Church Road. Both meetings start at 6:30 p.m.

To view the plan and provide input online, click here.

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