Wake agrees on 16-zone concept for student assignment - Local - NewsObserver.com

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wake agrees on 16-zone concept for student assignment - Local - NewsObserver.com

By T. Keung Hui - Staff writer - News And Observer

RALEIGH -- A Wake County school board committee agreed today on the concept of dividing the community into 16 different zones for school assignment that’s expected to result in more children going to school near where they live.
The board’s student assignment committee picked a map based on current high school attendance zones out of four proposals developed by staff. The new map, whose boundaries would still need to be refined over the next several months, will likely dictate where the majority of Wake’s 143,000 students will go to classes in the future.
The new school board majority that swept into office last fall vowed to change the way children are assigned in Wake. The board majority voted this spring to scrap the decade-long socioeconomic diversity policy in favor of developing a new assignment model based on sending children to schools in their communities.
The change has led to protests and arrests at school board meeting by supporters of the old diversity policy.
Last month, the student assignment committee told staff to work on four different maps based on high school attendance lines, transportation zones, the regions run by each area superintendent and on planning regions used for developing school construction bond issues.
The board was faced with going with a plan that would have a smaller number of large zones that would have more diversity or a large number of smaller zones that would make it easier for children to go to schools closer to where they live.
Committee members agreed today to go with a plan with a lot of zones. Demographic data shows that the 16 zones based on high school attendance have wide disparities in race and on the percentage of children receiving federally subsidized lunches.
Committee members stressed that the boundary lines for the 16 zones are still being finalized and could minimize the disparities.
But in addition to the zones, the committee told staff to go ahead today with developing a plan that would divide the county into five regions. The five regions, which are more evenly balanced than the 16 zones, would provide additional choices for middle schools and high schools.

Knightdale High Launches New Initiatives for Students

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17, 2010 - Knightdale High teachers were greeted by community leaders and heard Principal Carla Jernigan talk about new initiatives on their first day of the 2010-11 school year.

Ron Margiotta, Wake County Board of Education Chair, greets teachers at Knightdale High on their first day of the 2010-11 school year.

The teachers were welcomed back to the new school year by Wake County Board Chair Ron Margiotta, Wake County Board member Chris Malone, Wake County Interim Superintendent Donna Hargens, Wake County Commissioner Joe Bryan, Knightdale Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Bryan and Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen.

Jernigan welcomed the faculty back with plans for new initiatives that involve the school’s Academy of Environmental Studies, the new Freshman Leadership Academy and a new 21st Century learning initiative where Knightdale and Green Hope high schools will jointly offer classes.

Jernigan explained that the principals of Knightdale and Green Hope high schools have submitted a $44,000 grant application to the Lowe’s Corporation to develop a videoconferencing lab at each school. This will allow the schools to jointly offer Advanced Placement and foreign language classes.

The Freshman Leadership Academy will provide a structured learning experience that will develop student leaders. Current 9th grade students may apply and 30-40 students will be selected to participate in monthly seminars, field trips and other learning experiences. The program will provide educational experiences in leadership development, communication skills, problem solving and team development. Students will meet and network with community leaders and develop skills for success in college, career and life.

The Knightdale Academy of Environmental Studies has 26 students who will have a monthly environmental focus. Students will participate in monthly meetings, quarterly field trips and will work on a yearlong community service project that they will develop. Students will be involved in interdisciplinary project-based learning and will visit community college and university campuses. Students will be career-focused, taking part in job shadowing with industry professionals and the WCPSS Xtreme Beginnings career fair.

The Knightdale High School Alternative to Suspension Program will work to keep students in school and focused on instruction. The program is geared towards students who have a history of facing suspension for tardy violations and skipping class. They will have a structured class where they will be expected to complete their coursework.

Jernigan said these unique opportunities and a devoted team of teachers will encourage students to seek academic success.

Drugs Uncovered--What Parents Need to Know

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Poe Center’s Drugs Uncovered: What parents need to know! is coming to Knightdale Town Hall, 950 Steeple Square Court on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm!

The Poe Center for Health Education, Knightdale Chamber of Commerce and Knightdale Parks and Recreation Department are challenging you – we want to see if you can identify any of the 70 references to drugs and alcohol hidden in a “life like” teenager’s bedroom. The bedroom is part of the Poe Center’s interactive program, Drugs Uncovered: What parents need to know! Drugs Uncovered will inform you of: current drug trends, teen culture, signs of substance use and abuse and much, much more. It will also give you the tools you need to effectively talk with your teens about drugs and alcohol.

We invite you to join us for this interactive session where we will explore current drug and alcohol trends in our community and strategies for equipping our kids with the skills they need to continue to make healthy choices. Participants will receive FREE materials including resources on raising drug and alcohol-free teens.

This program is FREE To parents and adults. So please join us at Knightdale Town Hall on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.


Or you may call the Chamber at 919-266-4603 or Knightdale Parks & Rec. at 919-217-2235.

Student Assignment Committee Receives First Sample Zone Maps

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Credit: http://www.wcpss.net/news/2010_july28_sample_maps/

July 28, 2010 - The first sample zone maps were presented to the Student Assignment Committee of the Wake County Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday, as the committee continued to develop a new method of student assignment to recommend to the school board. Assignment Zone Samples

John Tedesco, a school board member and chair of the Student Assignment Committee, worked with WCPSS Growth and Planning to meet an earlier request from committee members to compile a series of sample maps that reflect different ways schools may be grouped into zones.

The Student Assignment Committee composed of board members and their citizen advisors is beginning to look at the creation of zones where families would be assigned a seat in the schools in that zone. Tedesco said he would like to see families be guaranteed a seat in the zone and continue to have the opportunity to apply to magnet schools in other parts of the county.

At the meeting Tuesday, WCPSS Growth and Planning Senior Director Laura Evans presented a number of maps to the committee as samples to help the committee begin to consider ways of grouping schools into zones.

Evans noted the committee had indicated three criteria in creating these zones:

They wanted contiguous zones

That created community schools; and

Resulted in minimal reassignment.

Evans provided sample maps based on current zones used in Wake County and showed where school facilities are located in those zones. The maps included postal zip codes with 39 zones, WCPSS area superintendent districts with 7 zones, Wake County planning regions with 10 zones and WCPSS transportation districts with 15 zones. Evans said her office made some adjustments to the map of WCPSS high school attendance areas addressing the need for contiguous zones and grouping some schools together for another sample map labeled proposed zones. It had 16 zones.

The postal zip codes zone map was discarded by the committee because it created too many zones.

Tedesco said he would like to receive community feedback on the various sample maps, and the committee agreed it would be good to solicit feedback by posting the maps on wcpss.net. He asked the committee to identify issues with the different zones and information they would want that would define zones.

The committee asked staff to bring back academic information by zone for the maps. The committee agreed to meet again August 31.