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FOWC runs television ad backing Wake County school bond issue

The Friends of Wake County is trying to promote the “it’s for the children” message in a new television spot urging people vote to for the $810 million school bond issue.

The narrator talks about how “students and teachers deserve the best teaching environment" amid backdrops of smiling students. The commercial argues that the bonds will reduce overcrowding and provide needed technology while helping strengthen the economy and property values.

The 30-second spot has appeared online so far. But it will soon be making its way on to cable television stations.

Wake County school board talks about cap options for Hunter Elementary School base families

Hunter Elementary School, a magnet school near downtown Raleigh, looks like it will be among the 13 Wake County schools that will have a full enrollment cap placed on it today for the rest of the school year.

But the discussion last week about where the capped out base children for Hunter would go gives more insight into the differences between the board members about how students should be assigned. It could serve as an another example of what direction the new 2014-15 student assignment plan will take.

Last week, staff added Hunter to the original list of 12 schools it was recommending for a full cap for the rest of the 2012-13 school year. Students who are capped out of Hunter would be given the option of Oak Grove, Timber Drive and Washington elementary schools.

1355253519 Wake County school board talks about cap options for Hunter Elementary School base families 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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's draft 2013-14 plan would reassign 1,479 students

Somewhat unexpectedly, the Wake County school system posted the full draft 2013-14 student assignment plan online in advance of Tuesday's school board presentation.

As noted in today's article, this document shows that the plan recommends reassigning 1,479 students, most of whom would go to three "new" schools: Richland Creek Elementary, Rolesville Middle and Rolesville High.

For the second year in a row, staff is recommending delaying the opening of  Abbotts Creek Elementary. The document doesn't say why, but some families have balked at the thought of going to a modular school whose funding isn't in place for the permanent building.

Wake County school board considering "least bad" choices for dealing with Panther Creek High overcrowding

No one in the Wake County school system is thrilled with the options but by the end of the day there should be a plan in place to deal with short-term overcrowding at Panther Creek High School.

Of the four options on the table, staff will recommend today that the school board approve a plan to install two additional modular units at Panther Creek and three at Green Hope High School. The projected cost is $6,944,600, which includes an assumed offsite budget of $1.5 million.

This option is being recommended over other more expensive options that would call for a standalone ninth-grade center. But while the modulars are cheaper, it means the loss of some athletic fields and mean fewer students would be able to attend the popular Panther Creek.

UPDATE

The school board unanimously approved the staff recommendation to put the modulars at Panther Creek and Green Hope high schools.

What seemed to influence several board members is that Panther Creek Principal Rodney Nelson and Green Hope Principal James Hedrick backed the option.

Click here for the link for today's handout.

1349227376 Wake County school board considering "least bad" choices for dealing with Panther Creek High overcrowding The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Four options laid out for Panther Creek High School ninth-grade center

More to come later, but Wake County school administrators laid out today these four options for dealing with crowding at Panther Creek High School in Cary, three of which would still result in a ninth-grade center.

Two of the options are new but one to lease the former Kmart at SW Maynard and Kildaire Farm roads seemed to pretty much get the least support from the board. This option would cost $16.5 million, not the $9.9 million in the handout, and would be ready in August.

The other new option would be to scrap a standalone ninth-grade center and instead place more classroom modular units at Panther Creek and Green hope high schools, splitting the future PCHS students onto both campuses.

Wake County school board committee talks about imbalanced year-round school track utilization

New data shows that Wake County's year-round schools have imbalanced tracks in terms of enrollment, but school administrators say they're working to ease the problem over time.

Handouts from today's Wake County school board facilities committee meeting show that track four is above capacity while tracks two and three are way below their capacity. For instance, track two is operating at 68 percent of capacity districtwide in elementary schools and 44.5 percent in the middle schools.

The capacity figures are based on ideal long-range capacity, which is designed to reduce the number of modulars and mobiles on each campus. The capacity percentages would likely be lower if you base it off annual campus capacity, which takes into account all the temporary classrooms in use.

UPDATE

Click here to view Wake's plan for balancing the tracks and the 2012-13 year-round school utlilization by track.

Updated to make it clearer that decisions about collapsing tracks are no longer solely the call of the principal. It's now supposed to be done in coordination with the new plan to balance out tracks over time.

1347463565 Wake County school board committee talks about imbalanced year-round school track utilization The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Newcomers enduring long waits to register for school in Wake County

Patience is a virtue that newcomers to Wake County need as they register their children for school this fall.

As noted in today's article, the implementation of the new choice-based student assignment plan changed the way registration takes place in the Wake County school system. In the past, newcomers could come any time of the year to register at their child's base school.

But since June, newcomers have had to go to Central Office in Cary. Parents are told to expect to spend at least two hours as they go through the process of waiting to register their children and then making the school selection.

UPDATE

Nichols went to Salem on Wednesday. The school notified her today that her son would get track 2, putting him a month behind his new classmates.

Wake County school board puts hold on Panther Creek High School ninth-grade center plan

Future plans for a ninth-grade center to control overcrowding at Panther Creek High School are back on hold again.

The Wake County school board voted last week to direct staff not to spend any additional money on design work to place modular units for Panther Creek's ninth-grade center on the M-16 campus. The vote was made possible because of the absence of two Democratic board members, giving Republicans a temporary majority.

Whether the Democratic majority will let that stand at next week's meeting remains to be seen. At least some GOP board members want to return to the original plan of leasing an office building on Pleasant Grove Church Road in Morrisvillle.

Wake County school system appealing Cary's rejection of Panther Creek High School ninth-grade center site

The Wake County school system isn't giving up on efforts to house Panther Creek High School's new ninth-grade center at the site of the future Alston Ridge Middle School.

In a Tuesday blog post, Cary Town Councilman Don Frantz writes that Wake has appealed the Town Council's decision to reject the district's use of the site. The appeal was filed with the Cary Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Frantz writes that the Council didn't want to amend Cary's Land Development Ordinance because it would pave the way for "any public or private school, trade school or other educational uses would be allowed to construct 'temporary' facilities in the absence of a principle structure."

"Make no mistake — this was not an easy decision," Frantz writes. "We all are well aware of the overcrowding issues at Panther Creek High School and we know we need additional school seats. Sacrificing our development standards however is not the answer."

1338492947 Wake County school system appealing Cary's rejection of Panther Creek High School ninth-grade center site 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 Superintendent Tony Tata apologizes for computer glitches and says most families are satisfied with assignment plan

Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata apologized today for the delays in releasing updated student assignment results on Thursday while also continuing to say that most families like the schools they're getting.

During his press conference, Tata said he took "full responsibility" for problems that first delayed the posting of the results on Thursday and then led to the site being shut down for three hours. He said they hadn't encountered this problem in rehearsals in which the front end of the system where people logged in wasn't connecting to the back end where the results were located.

"I personally apologize to parents who needed faster service and better information," Tata said. "However, as I did mention, we did work into the night to fix the problems."

1347246937 Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata apologizes for computer glitches and says most families are satisfied with assignment plan The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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