CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – Families are sharing concerns about Wake County’s 2024-25 student reassignment plan with the school board. About a dozen parents spoke at Wednesday evening’s public hearing on the plan.
One of those parents is Prathibha Ayyappan.
“I have a lot of concerns,” she said.
Her child would not only switch schools, going from Alston Ridge Elementary School to Pleasant Grove Elementary School, but also switch calendars.
“They forge friendships, I think it’s going to be a big impact for them, you know, mentally, and then they’ll have to reestablish like a routine, friendship, and change of calendar would be the worst,” Ayyappan said.
Ayyappan was part of a group of several parents from the Morrisville area who said they were once again impacted by a reassignment plan.
Her older child had to switch elementary schools.
“Now they’re switching us again within four years, but remember, two years of that we were in a pandemic,” Ayyappan said.
The draft of next year’s plan reassigns students from 13 elementary, six middle, and two high schools.
The district said the changes are necessary to improve transportation, relieve overcrowding at some schools, and help fill a new school opening next year.
“The school system doesn’t want to reassign students,” Carrozza said. “It’s part of our natural business to deal with the growth that we have in our district, and so we really take time to look at the data, try to limit the impact as much as possible.”
In many cases, students can request to stay at their current school, but won’t be able to ride the school bus. Hemant Vishwasrao’s third grader would be eligible to stay at Parkside Elementary School next year, but won’t receive transportation.
“For a family where both parents work, this is a big problem,” Vishwasrao said.
Vishwasrao said he’ll find a way to pay for private transportation if he has to, not wanting his child to leave the school he loves.
“I hope my son does not see this because he still does not know this is going to happen, and I cannot even dare to tell this to him because first he’ll freak out,” Vishwasrao said.
The district received responses from more than 1,700 people in its online feedback portal. No changes, beyond technical ones, were made from the first to the second draft of the plan.
CBS 17 asked Carrozza why changes were not made despite feedback.
“Based on the feedback that was given to us, there wasn’t anything that staff felt that they should change based on that,” Carrozza said. “There were a lot of recommendations to move other neighborhoods instead of theirs, and when you look at that feedback, that doesn’t add up with regard to the numbers of students in those neighborhoods, so we decided to stick with the draft that we had from draft one.”
The board will vote on the final version of the plan at its meeting on Nov. 21. Carrozza said the district will know the exact number of students the reassignment plan could impact at that time.