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Wake County school board finds common ground on student assignment plan

After a week of tearing into each other, Wake County school board members finally found something they could agree on Thursday night.

As noted in today's article, Republican and Democratic board members unanimously agreed to scrap the 2013-14 draft assignment maps in favor of going to the 2011-12 base maps. The fact they were agreeing drew several mentions and jokes at the board table.

The change occurred when board member Jim Martin interrupted the discussion of how the draft maps would affect the percentages of low-income students next year.

UPDATE

The 2011-12 base address lookup feature is still up. Click here to view.

If you don't remember what the pre-choice plan maps looked like in 2011-12, click here to refresh your memory. The link puts you on Wake's school directory page. Pick a school and then click on its assignment tab. Under the assignment tab you'll find a link to a PDF map for the 2011-12 base assignment area.

If you live near Rolesville High, Rolesville Middle, Richland Creek Elementary's permanent campus off US 1 in Wake Forest near the Franklin County line or Abbott Creek Elementary's permanent campus near the North Wake Landfill you can expect you might be added to their base areas.

Also, if you live in Panther Creek High's base look for change as you're reassigned to Green Hope High since they're not using a standalone ninth-grade center for PCHS.

The board agreed with the stay where you start rules proposed in the draft plan so you'd be able to grandfather if you're an existing student.

Wake County school board discussing 2013-14 student assignment plan tonight

The Wake County school board will tackle the 2013-14 student assignment plan tonight looking at changes requested by the Democratic majority.

At Saturday's work session, which was only attended by Democratic board members, staff was asked to look at making changes to the draft plan, from elementary through high school. This could result in achievement-based changes and revisions to the middle school and high school feeder patterns.

At the same time, majority members said they don't want to move a lot of students next year and want to make changes over several years.

Wake County school board committee debates guaranteeing school spots for families who want to return

Should the Wake County school system hold spots at specific schools for families who say they're leaving but intend to return?

If a guarantee can be given, should it be limited only to families citing sabbaticals from universities or professional leave to go on unique job opportunities? Or should there be no guarantee for any family that leaves with Wake saying it will try, space permitting, to put them back at the same school when they return?

Those questions formed the heart of a lengthy discussion at Tuesday's school board policy committee meeting on whether not having base assignments in the new student assignment plan requires development of a family and professional leave policy.

1338392791 Wake County school board committee debates guaranteeing school spots for families who want to return The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school system mulling additional modifications to student transfer policy

School administrators and Wake County school board members agreed to recommend some changes to this version of the student transfer policy during Wednesday's policy committee meeting.

One change is to modify the title of Section B to say "Reasons Transfer Requests May Be Approved by Office of Student Assignment." A similar change is being made to the title of Section C to add in the words student assignment staff.

The wording was added to try to convey to parents that Section B and Section C don't bind the school board when it handles transfer appeals.

UPDATE

Click here to view the policy that will be voted on Tuesday.

Wake County school board members on the level of scrutiny of the student assignment plan's implementation

Are the new Democratic members of the Wake County school board doing their job to make sure the student assignment plan is ready or are they micromanaging the process?

That was a point of contention between Republican and Democratic board members during Tuesday's review of the assignment plan. The first half of the meeting dealt with a look at how the school system is handling its outreach efforts, particularly informing parents about their options and getting them to register if they're new.

Some tense words were exchanged over the issue of whether school registrars and data managers are able to do the job of getting students registered and informed about their options.

1347334003 Wake County school board members on the level of scrutiny of the student assignment plan's implementation The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Handling the overcrowding at Walnut Creek Elementary

Walnut Creek Elementary School is still going to be crowded even with the enrollment cap approved for the rest of the school year.

As noted in today's article, the Wake County school board unanimously adopted a cap to send new students to Creech Road Elementary. The cap will stay in place for the rest of the school year unless Walnut Creek's enrollment, now at 929 students, drops below 862 students.

"Walnut Creek is hemorrhaging and we needed to stop the bleeding," said school board member Keith Sutton, who had requested the cap. "We did that with the cap."

Explaining the reasons for the year-round school changes

The issue of whether siblings could be accommodated on Track 4 decided which Wake County year-round schools would make the move to a single track for the next two school years.

Click here for this handout that shows how the 14 underutilized year-round schools were evaluated by staff. Inability to accommodate siblings was cited for eight of the nine schools as to why a move to a single-track year-round calendar wasn't considered feasible.

Laura Evans, senior director for Growth and Planning, said inability to accommodate siblings reflected challenges caused by moving multi-track year-round schools to a single-track calendar.

UNC Center for Civil Rights charges racial discrimination in 2011-12 student reassignments

Were the student reassignments approved by the Wake County school board this year part of a "pattern of racially motivated moves of Black and Hispanic students?"

That's the contention made by the UNC School of Law's Center for Civil Rights in a memo it filed last month to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. The memo focuses on the 2011-12 moves to help buttress the arguments of racial animus made in the civil rights complaint filed by the NAACP against Wake.

(Thank you to the Wake Education Partnership for providing this link to this report.)

1303159331 UNC Center for Civil Rights charges racial discrimination in 2011-12 student reassignments The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

School board finalizes 2011-12 student reassigment plan

The 2011-12 Wake County student reassignment plan is now officially in the books.

The school board agreed today to reassign 136 additional students. When combined with the 3,500 moved on Feb. 1, you've got more than 3,600 kids on the move for this fall.

Among the moves approved today was to send 15 students from school board member John Tedesco's neighborhood from Creech Road Elementary to Aversboro Elementary.

Advocating filling all magnet school seats randomly

Is it time to fill all of Wake County's magnet seats by random lottery?

That's the position articulated at last week's school board meeting by Jennifer Mansfield, a longtime critic of the magnet selection process and a leader of the Wake Schools Community Alliance. She urged the board to eliminate the guidelines which give priority to applicants from crowded schools.

Mansfield argued that the crowding component should be removed to give applicants an equal shot of getting accepted. Currently, only 10 percent of seats are randomly filled but even that comes with some strings that I'll get into later in the post.

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