It may not officially be called a "reassignment" by the Wake County school system, but you'd have a hard time telling that to the parents who attended Wednesday's public hearing on the assignment plan.
As noted in today's article, the largest contingent of speakers at the hearing were from the Durant Trails community. They were complaining about proposed changes in their year-round school options.
The majority of the speakers Wednesday were complaining about things that aren't counted in the 1,479 student assignment number in the plan. In addition to changes in calendar options, you've got changes in the feeders from what was in the choice plan.
The 1,479 figure is based strictly on reassignments of base nodes from the 2011-12 school year to the 2013-14 school year.
Lynn King, a North Raleigh parent, argued that the 1,479 figure is too low to reflect how many students are actually affected by the plan.
In her case, King has a sixth-grader at Wakefield Middle School and a fifth-grader at Pleasant Union Elementary.
Under the choice plan, the feeders for Pleasant Union were set at Wakefield Middle and Wakefield High.
The return of the 2011-12 base maps means her feeders go back to being West Millbrook Middle and Millbrook High.
King complained about how her children now could end up in two different middle schools and her son, who she said is "established" at Wakefield could now have to go to Millbrook High.
King asked the board to keep the choice plan feeders for middle and high school for families who are already following them. She said that younger siblings entering middle school and high school next year should be allowed to go to the same school that they're older siblings are enrolled in without having to go through the application process. She also said they shouldn't make changes this year if they're going to have a new plan in 2014-15.
Staff has said they'll try to honor the choice plan feeders for next school year. They've also said that siblings entering k, 6 and 9 will be guaranteed to be in the same school as an older sibling if they file during the first transfer period.
“We don’t need a temporary plan followed by another different plan," King said. "We need stability. Our children need quality education and you have been giving them schools that are not accredited.
Our children need stability and you’re currently giving them chaos. Our children need caring, committed leaders and you are giving them selfish politics.”
For the Durant Trails families, reassignment was a frequently used term although they're not considered to be reassigned by the district.
"Reassigning our neighborhood to Rolesville Middle School and to Wakefield Elementary School, which is over 9+ miles away, will tear our neighborhood apart even more," said Sue Reynolds, vice president of the Durant Trails Homeowners Association. "This is not why I moved to Raleigh five years ago.”
Even though Durant Trails is right next to Durant Road elementary and middle schools, their bases in the 2011-12 school year were Fox Road Elementary and East Millbrook Middle. But they've been able to apply to Durant Road as their year-round calendar options.
The 2013-14 plan changes their year-round calendar options to Wakefield Elementary and Rolesville Middle.
"Why send these kids on buses 10 miles away to Rolesville?" asked Bennette Arnold, president of the Durant Trails Homeowners Association and the parent of a rising sixth-grader. "It doesn’t make sense."
At the same time that the year-round options are changing for Durant Trails, a similar action is taking place in the Wakefield area.
At least some Wakefield families who had applied to Heritage Middle School in the past for their year-round option are now being told their new choice is Durant Road Middle. Part of the reason for that is Heritage is one of the proposed full-cap schools that wouldn't be taking non-base students.
School board vice chairman Keith Sutton said he hadn't known about the Durant Trails issue before the hearing but it's something they'll see if they can fix.