Staff presents recommendations regarding school capacity

Four public feedback sessions in August helped generate a series of recommendations Tuesday to the Wake County Board of Education about ways to make more efficient use of classroom space at five different schools in 2015-2016.

The recommendations followed a discussion by the school board’s Facilities Committee on August 13th involving Alston Ridge Elementary, Ballentine Elementary, Mills Park Elementary, Mills Park Middle and Wakefield Elementary.

The recommendations from staff were based on a wide range of factors including efficient use of schools, cost and parent feedback.  Staff members recommended the following:

Alston Ridge Elementary, which currently operates on a single-track year-round calendar, be expanded to a full four-track year-round calendar.  The current enrollment cap at Alston Ridge would be removed. Alston Ridge is currently at 111% of capacity with a disproportionate share of kindergarten and first-grade students.

Ballentine Elementary, which currently operates on a four-track year-round calendar, eliminate one track to become a three-track year-round school with the removal of four temporary classrooms.  Ballentine is currently at 65% of capacity with the temporary classrooms in place.

Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle, which both operate on traditional calendars, be considered for one of two options. The first option would bring temporary classrooms onto both campuses at a cost of about $1.9 million. It would take nine temporary classrooms at the elementary school and 12 at the middle school to handle expected enrollment increases. Both schools currently operate between 110% and 120% of capacity. The second option would require converting both schools to a multi-track year-round schedule, which many parents oppose.

Wakefield Elementary, which currently operates on four-track year-round calendar, be converted to a traditional calendar so it aligns with the traditional calendar used at Wakefield Middle. Wakefield Elementary is currently just below capacity and its enrollment has declined in recent years. Unused temporary classrooms can be reopened if needed.

No decisions were made Tuesday on the recommendations. The Board of Education is expected to vote on the proposals Sept. 16. It will continue taking feedback from parents through an online forum that can be found at http://envisionwake.mindmixer.com/feedback-on-staff-recommendations-on-under-enrolled-and-crowded-schools

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Motorists encouraged to be alert to students at bus stops

State leaders called on motorists across NC to be alert to students returning to school. They urged drivers to beware of student bus riders waiting to board buses and not to pass stopped school buses.

Motorists asked to keep bus riders safe

With the start of the WCPSS traditional calendar school year on August 25, State Superintendent June Atkinson called on motorists across N.C. to keep bus riders safe.

“Student safety is a top priority for school bus drivers and school transportation staff,” Atkinson said at a news briefing held at Combs Magnet Elementary. “We want our students to arrive at school safely and to be delivered home safely. That is why every N.C. motorist should always remember to stop completely for the school bus’s flashing red lights and extended stop arm, and to watch for students around bus stops.” Continue Reading . . .

Vance and Timber Drive closing early

Vance and Timber Drive Elementary schools will release students early today as utilities crews work to repair a water main.

 The schools will be sending students home at 1:30 p.m. today.

School buses will provide transportation home for students who ride by bus and parents will be able to pick up their children for rides out as usual.

School staff will stay with students at school until arrangements have been made for each child to get home.

Repairs should be completed today and school will resume its usual schedule tomorrow.

ACT exam scores hold steady, top state average again

Results from the ACT college readiness exam, released nationally Wednesday, August 20, show that Wake County Public School System graduates from the 2013-2014 school year scored above the state average in all subject areas. The district’s composite score was six-tenths of a point behind the national average, which is heavily weighted with college-bound students who have opted to take the ACT.  In North Carolina, all school systems including WCPSS require high school juniors to take the ACT, regardless of college intentions. Continue Reading . . .

Board appoints new principals, administrators at August 19 meeting

The Board of Education approved the following staff appointments at its August 19 meeting:

  • Teresa Abron has been appointed Interim Principal at Powell Elementary School through September 12, then Carpenter Elementary School from September 15 through November 15.
  • Elena Ashburn has been appointed Assistant Principal at Garner Middle School.
  • Edna Fay Jones has been appointed Principal at Carpenter Elementary School.
  • Continue Reading . . .

    Join us: Discuss the new school enrollment plan

    Wake County families,

    A fresh academic year has begun and we are eager to welcome thousands of new families as they start school in Wake County. We continue to be the largest school district in North Carolina, and one of the fastest-growing in the country.

    Thanks to strong public support of last year’s bond campaign, our facilities are also growing to accommodate our new families. During the next four years, we will build and open 17 schools. Three of these schools will open at the start of the 2015-16 school year (Abbotts Creek Elementary, Scotts Ridge Elementary, and Apex Friendship High).

    Continue Reading . . .

    New bus routes available today for traditional calendar schools

    New 2014-15 bus routes for WCPSS traditional calendar schools are available online today at www.wcpss.net/routes.

    Families should check the bus routes to find the stop on the list closest to their address. Each year, bus stops change based on the students who ride the route. Students should be ready and waiting for the bus at least 10 minutes before the bus is expected to arrive.

    WCPSS Transportation encourages parents to review bus safety and their family bus plan with their children to get the new school year off to a great start.

    New transportation practices for 2014-15 school year

    Students will find Wake County Public School System buses will make fewer stops on routes and students may walk farther from home to the bus stop.

    These changes are the result of WCPSS Transportation Department work to create efficient bus routes to serve student bus riders. There is a change in student riders every school year resulting in changes in stops and routes. To increase the efficiency of operation, the school system has consolidated bus routes and stops. There are 116 fewer runs and 4,000 fewer stops for 2014-15 school buses compared with last year’s service.* Continue Reading . . .

    La Junta Escolar solicita su opinión en cuanto a las opciones de matrícula (capacidad) en cinco escuelas

    En un esfuerzo por hacer más eficiente el uso del espacio del salón de clase, el Sistema de las Escuelas Públicas del Condado Wake está considerando algunos cambios en cuatro escuelas primarias y una escuela intermedia para el año escolar 2015-2016.

    Una posible opción ya discutida por el  Comité de Instalaciones de la Junta de Educación sería cambiar los calendarios escolares. Otras opciones incluyen la adición de salones modulares, colocar un límite de estudiantes, la asignación de futuras ampliaciones a otras escuelas, la reducción de asistir a escuelas  base y la apertura de nuevas escuelas. Continue Reading . . .