Under-Enrollment, Overcrowding, and Calendar Alignment

 At the September 16th Board of Education meeting, the following decisions were made:

• Mills Park Elementary and Mills Park Middle will remain on a traditional calendar and will retain enrollment caps. One temporary classroom will be added to the Mills Park Elementary; four temporary classrooms will be added to Mills Park Middle.

• Wakefield Elementary will switch to a traditional calendar and be aligned with Wakefield Middle and Wakefield High.

• Alston Ridge Elementary will switch to a year-round calendar.

• Ballentine Elementary will retain its year round calendar but lose one of the four tracks offered.

But the meeting was notable for several additional reasons.

First, it was standing room only. WCPSS staff and media reported approximately 200 attendees at the meeting. This is perhaps a ten-fold increase. And that’s not hyperbole.

Many in the audience wore Mills Park Elementary or Mills Park Middle t-shirts. It was clear they were most interested in the vote that was going to take place addressing crowding in those two schools. They had yet to hear that two new options had been presented to the Board of Education during the work session immediately preceding the board meeting. Nor had they heard that there was consensus around an option that did not include changing their traditional school calendar. New options were presented to address overcrowding at Mills Park Elementary and Middle Schools.

Second, multiple parents took the podium during the public comment portion of the meeting to thank board members and school system staff for listening to their concerns and identifying solutions that work for families.

Third, a loud cry of “hooray” and a long round of applause was the audience response immediately following a vote to accept staff recommendations as noted above.

“Thanks!” “Hooray!” Long applause. If you’ve been in Wake County for the past several years during announcements and discussions of school enrollment, you know that this is most certainly a different experience.

There is still time for you to submit comments on the district’s MindMixer site. Additionally, three community meetings have been scheduled during the month of October for public comment. They are: Oct. 9 at Wake Forest High, Oct. 14 at Apex High, and Oct. 16 at Millbrook High. All meetings start at 6:30 PM.

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