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Wake County school system to launch study of year-round school program

The Wake County school system plans to launch a comprehensive study of its year-round school program, both in terms of facilities usage and programming.

School administrators say the study is needed to figure out what role year-round schools should have in future student assignment plans. It's tied in with issues about how a number of year-rounds schools are underenrolled and face issues providing program equity across tracks.

Talk of the study emerged during Tuesday's discussion and removal of Highcroft Drive Elementary School as one of the overflow options for 2013-14 for the capped Mills Park Elementary School. Some board members attributed the vote to growth while others blamed it on the board's decision to return to the 2011-12 base maps.

Wake County school board adds hiring of superintendent to Tuesday's meeting agenda

It's official now that the Wake County school board will vote Tuesday on hiring the new superintendent.

The newly released agenda for Tuesday's meeting includes votes on appointing a new superintendent and approving the person's contract. The agenda doesn't list which of the three finalists will get the job.

There's also an agenda item to appoint an interim superintendent to start June 14 to serve until the permanent superintendent arrives. They need someone new because interim Superintendent Stephen Gainey will be transitioning to his new job leading Randolph County Schools on July 1.

Other items Tuesday including requesting an $810 million school bond issue, discussing on offer of purchase for the former Forest Ridge High School site and dropping Highcroft Drive Elementary as an overflow choice for the capped Mills Park Elementary School.

Wake County school board approves enrollment caps at 17 schools for 2013-14 school year

The Wake County school board approved tonight placing enrollment caps at 17 schools for the 2013-14 school year.

The elementary schools that are affected are Brooks, Cedar Fork, Fuller, Holly Grove, Farmington Woods, Hunter, Joyner, Lacy, Mills Park, Underwood, Walnut Creek and Wiley. Caps would also affect the elementary school grades at Hilburn Drive Academy, and Apex, Garner, Heritage and Holly Springs high schools.

Unless that school is already capped for this school year, newcomers who still move in after this late date can get in for the rest of the school year. But you've got a big problem, unless you already live in the school's attendance area, if you want to begin attending this fall.

Enrollment caps to be recommended for 17 Wake County schools this fall

Enrollment caps, school budgets and bell schedules are among the things the Wake County school board will deal with today.

During the work session, this handout shows that school administrators will recommend placing enrollment caps for the 2013-14 school year on 17 schools. This is based on how crowded those schools are after the declaration of base, magnet school and first transfer application periods.

Nine of the 17 schools already at the cap figure, meaning families who hadn't moved in by a set date can't attend this fall. The cap would go into effect at the other eight schools when they hit their cap figure.

UPDATE

A revised document presented today shows that 15 of the schools are already at their cap figure. Only Farmington Woods Elementary and Holly Springs High aren't there yet.

Wake County's enrollment caps keeping 22 students out of their base school

Nearly two-dozen Wake County students are facing the impact of the enrollment caps that were placed on some schools for the rest of the school year.

Laura Evans, senior director of student assignment, said that as of Wednesday 22 students have been capped out of their base school for the rest of the school year. The information was shared during Thursday's joint meeting of the school board and county commissioners.

“It’s not something like we do, but we also don’t like excessively crowded schools," Evans said.

Seven Wake County schools to immediately stop enrolling new students this school year

Seven of the 13 Wake County schools on the full-cap list have hit their figures to stop taking new students for the rest of the school year.

As this handout shows, Brooks, Conn, Davis Drive, Hunter, Lacy, Mills Park and Wiley elementary schools are now at the figure to trigger the full enrollment cap restrictions.  New families who move into the base will be given three other schools to pick from for this school year.

Originally, Davis Drive Elementary's full-cap target was 990 students. But Laura Evans, senior director of student assignment, said it was lowered to 970 — the school's current enrollment — after Principal Chip Mack said he couldn't take any more students.

Wake County school board debates use of enrollment caps in new student assignment proposal

Is expanding the use of enrollment caps the best way to deal with overcrowding in Wake County schools for the 2013-14 school year?

As noted in today's article, there was a lot of discussion Tuesday about staff's recommendation to put full caps on 12 schools for the rest of the school year and partial caps on 22 schools.

Staff pitched the caps as being an alternative to using reassignment to deal with overcrowding.

1353011095 Wake County school board debates use of enrollment caps in new student assignment proposal The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Speakers defend Wake County magnet schools and criticize new student assignment plan

Former Wake County school board member Beverley Clark wasn't the only speaker firing bombs at Tuesday's school board meeting.

As noted in today's article, critics of the new choice-based student assignment plan and supporters of magnet schools made up much of the turnout for public comment. Several speakers urged the board to make major changes to the new assignment plan.

Speakers also defended the magnet school program, downplaying the data indicating they have larger achievement gaps than non-magnet schools. They also denied that magnets were schools within a school as terms such as "social justice" and "diversity" were often mentioned.

Wake County school system sued over money donated for building elementary school

The Wake County school system could find that there's no such thing as a "free school" after all.

As noted in Saturday's article in The Cary News by Andrew Kenney, a developer is suing the Town of Cary and the school system for a $6 million refund on money that was given to build Mills Park Elementary School.

The lawsuit represents the latest chapter in the fallout caused by efforts by slow-growth advocates in Cary dating back to 1999 to get developers to help pay for costs such as new schools caused by their projects.

Staff looking at how to implement the new student assignment policy

Next year's Wake County student reassignment plan is a work in progress with everything approved by the old school board under review with new suggestions coming in all the time.

During Tuesday's work session, Laura Evans, senior director of growth and planning, laid out to the board an explanation of the assignments being considered and the direction they're leaning toward. It will help to have your copy of the handout present.

The ensuing discussion showed how the thinking has changed to reflect the new student assignment policy. Multiple times, Evans talked about bringing students home, having them attend their neighborhood schools and moving the least number possible for stability.

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