Board seeks input on capacity options at five schools

In an effort to make more efficient use of classroom space, the Wake County Public School System is considering  changes at four elementary schools and one middle school for 2015-2016 academic year.

One possible option discussed by the Board of Education Facilities Committee is changing school calendars. Other options include adding additional modular classrooms, capping, assigning future developments to other schools, reducing the base attendance areas and opening new schools.

Two schools, Ballentine Elementary and Wakefield Elementary, would be converted to a traditional 10-month school calendar under a proposal discussed Tuesday in the school board’s Facilities Committee. Both schools currently operate on a year-round calendar.

The possibility of converting Alston Ridge Elementary, Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle to multi-track year-round calendar schools was also discussed.

Alston Ridge currently operates on a single track year-round schedule. Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park middle currently operate on a traditional 10-month calendar.

No decisions were made at Tuesday’s committee meeting, although committee members favored the calendar changes at Ballentine and Wakefield.  No consensus was reached on the remaining schools. Opportunities for input from each school community will be provided prior to the next Board discussion on September 2. (See links below)

Schools that use a multi-track year-round calendar can enroll a larger number of students by operating on four separate tracks.  Each track runs roughly nine consecutive weeks followed by a three-week break. The tracks are then staggered so three tracks can operate at any give time.

(To see an example of a color-coded calendar with four tracks, go to http://www.wcpss.net/parents/calendars/2014-15/year-round-14-15.pdf)

Ballentine and Wakefield elementary schools do not need all of the additional space provided by a year-round calendar.  The proposal would also match the calendar of Wakefield Elementary to the traditional 10-month calendar of Wakefield Middle.

A calendar change at Alston Ridge, Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle would help address crowding issues in western Wake County, but it would severely restrict the availability of traditional-calendar seats.

A decision by the Board of Education is likely by Sept. 16

Learn more about possible solutions for each of these schools: