Wake County school administrators are going to take extra steps to notify the Garner High families who were reassigned at the last minute this year to Southeast Raleigh High.
This extra heads up emerged during Tuesday's committee of the whole discussion about student transfer requests. Board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman, who backed the reassignment of the Garner High students, acknowledged that the students didn't get "a lot of notice," which drew snorts from the crowd.
Goldman asked if there was any way the district could provide those families with transportation considering they might not have cars. You typically lose bus service if your transfer request is approved.
Laura Evans, senior director of growth and planning, said parents whose transfer requests are approved are told they can submit a request for bus service. The old board approved a policy last year saying that transfer students can get bus service if they're near a bus stop that's serving the school and there's space on the bus.
Board members asked about the process of notifying families about transfers.
Evans said transfer info will be provided on the assignment letters for the 2010-11 school year that will go home with students on May 14. Letters will be mailed to families of rising kindergarten students who've preregistered.
Board member Keith Sutton, who opposed the reassignment of the Garner High students, said they need to go beyond just sending a letter to those families. He suggested having school administrators and/or counselors contact the families being moved before this school year ends.
Sutton said Southeast Raleigh High Principal Beulah Wright told him she fears some parents won't realize they've been reassigned and will show up on Aug. 25 for the first day of the traditional calendar. That's a month after Southeast Raleigh High, which operates on the modified calendar, starts.
Board member John Tedesco, who has gotten heat for proposing the Garner HIgh moves, repeatedly pointed out that other families are being moved this year without the benefit of a public hearing. He's talking about the families who staff asked be moved to free up seats for more year-round and traditional-calendar application students.
Interim Superintendent Donna Hargens told board members that staff will work out a notification plan for all the families who didn't have the traditonal public hearing before the vote.