Sixth-grade centers are officially on the table to deal with overcrowding in some middle schools.
Chuck Dulaney, assistant superintendent for growth and planning, proposed today delaying the 2009 opening of Alston Ridge Elementary in Cary to serve as a sixth-grade center for West Cary Middle School.
He also suggested delaying the 2009 opening of Herbert Akins Road Elementary in Fuquay-Varina to serve as the sixth-grade center for Holly Ridge and Fuquay-Varina middle schools.
In 2010, both elementary schools would open for their intended purpose.
Dulaney wants an answer soon for the multi-year assignment plan. The full board will review the proposal on Oct. 7.
As some may recall, Dulaney had previously talked about using Alston Ridge as an early start campus for Mills Park Middle School. He had suggested using Herbert Akins as an early start campus for Holly Grove Middle School.
Both Holly Grove and Mills Park are scheduled to open in 2010 as year-round middle schools.
Dulaney said he changed his thinking after meeting with parents and principals who are helping formulate the multi-year assignment plan.
Those groups said that going with an early start could be a hardship for families.
For instance, both new schools will open with only sixth grade the first year. An early start would mean parents in 2009 could have both a sixth-grader on a year-round calendar and seventh- and eighth-graders on a traditional calendar.
Using the new elementary schools as sixth-grade centers will allow the affected families to stay on a traditional calendar in 2009.
Lori Millberg asked about the possibility of opening Alston Ridge and Herbert Akins on schedule as a K-6 campus for one year. But Superintendent Del Burns said it would be hard academically to meet the needs of the sixth-graders there.
Ron Margiotta said he supported the sixth-grade centers.
The renovations for the next bond issue were also discussed today. I'll post on them later.