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Thread summary:

Transfers within Union County school districts, schools exceeding capacity, UCPS policy, population growth estimates, school transfers, learning cottages, new school projection

 
Old 04-03-2007, 07:51 AM
 
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According to UCPS policy:

Quote:
School Exceeding Capacity

Parents may request a transfer from a school of assignment that exceeds 20% over capacity to a school that is less than 10% over capacity. Parents wishing to exercise this option should contact the Office of Student Assignment at 704-283-3526.
My questions: how does one know what the capacity (or exceeded capacity) is of a particular school? Does the school let you know when they are approaching capacity and by how much they are exceeded?

Seems like the policy of transferring from a 20% exceeded capacity school to a 10% exceeded capacity school means probably another transfer in the future, depending on how old the child is. Based on official population growth estimates, many schools at 10% exceeded capacity will be receiving more students in the next 3-5 years.

Also, any data on how many transfers were requested (and honoured/not honoured) during previous school terms?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Union County, NC
2,115 posts, read 6,447,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muse1110 View Post
According to UCPS policy:



My questions: how does one know what the capacity (or exceeded capacity) is of a particular school? Does the school let you know when they are approaching capacity and by how much they are exceeded?
I simply asked the principal of my son's school prior to him starting. He provided me with a lot of helpful information in this regard.

I suppose you'd easily figure out how serious the situation is by the number of learning cottages outdoors.

Even new schools, like my son's, opened their doors the first day and found themselves over capacity. In this case, they began with a little more than 100 (students) than planned, according to the principal.

SL
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:45 AM
 
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Default Union County Student Population Growth

Quote:
Originally Posted by muse1110 View Post
According to UCPS policy:

My questions: how does one know what the capacity (or exceeded capacity) is of a particular school? Does the school let you know when they are approaching capacity and by how much they are exceeded?

Seems like the policy of transferring from a 20% exceeded capacity school to a 10% exceeded capacity school means probably another transfer in the future, depending on how old the child is. Based on official population growth estimates, many schools at 10% exceeded capacity will be receiving more students in the next 3-5 years.

Also, any data on how many transfers were requested (and honoured/not honoured) during previous school terms?

Thanks in advance.
First, take a look at this chart to get a handle on the situation:

Union County Student Population Growth Graph
http://www.ucps.k12.nc.us/communicat...population.pdf

In the past, the school has published the data, but I think the data is changing so quickly these days that it would be hard to keep up. Most of the schools on the western side of Union County would be at or exceeding capacity. Shiloh and Wesley Chapel Elementaries were capped last fall because they could not fit another student into the building. New schools are in the pipeline and relief is on the way, however.

This policy was put into place to allow parents who were unhappy with overcrowded schools the option to send their student to a less crowded school. During the years that my children have been in school, I have seen both Wesley Chapel and Weddington Elementaries covered with mobile units (think Wesley Chapel or Weddington Middle right now). But, when new schools open, the capacity drops back into a more manageable range.

For example, the projection for Wesley Chapel next year will be about 600 students. So, half that school (students and teachers) will move into the two new schools in that cluster (New Town and Rocky River).

And, having done this SEVERAL times with my own family, I can tell you that it is not such a hard move. It is just taking a very large school and condensing it into several smaller schools. In most of my families' school moves (notice I said "school-moves" - we still live in the same house), a core group of parents met with the new school administrators, put together a PTA/PTSO, did fundraisers and helped transition the move.

Having this "bonding" experience of moving a school, I think, helped the new neighbors make new friends and get connected. Since so many of you are in the same situation, moving here from somewhere else, I think there is a plus to being a part of opening a new school together. You can all be new together!

BTW - My family was a part of opening these schools: New Waxhaw Elementary, New Weddington Middle, New Weddington High, New Marvin Elementary (and now new Marvin Middle/High). We did not move. I have three children. First one graduated Parkwood Middle/High. Second one graduated Weddington Middle/High. Last one should finish at Marvin Ridge Middle/High (I hope!) Look back at the growth chart. Does this help answer your questions about capacity and changes? In summary, transfers to another school WITH CAPACITY are an option...or you can just wait for the new school in your community, coming soon.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Union County, NC
2,115 posts, read 6,447,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvinnative View Post

And, having done this SEVERAL times with my own family, I can tell you that it is not such a hard move. It is just taking a very large school and condensing it into several smaller schools. In most of my families' school moves (notice I said "school-moves" - we still live in the same house), a core group of parents met with the new school administrators, put together a PTA/PTSO, did fundraisers and helped transition the move.

Having this "bonding" experience of moving a school, I think, helped the new neighbors make new friends and get connected. Since so many of you are in the same situation, moving here from somewhere else, I think there is a plus to being a part of opening a new school together. You can all be new together!

BTW - My family was a part of opening these schools: New Waxhaw Elementary, New Weddington Middle, New Weddington High, New Marvin Elementary (and now new Marvin Middle/High). We did not move. I have three children. First one graduated Parkwood Middle/High. Second one graduated Weddington Middle/High. Last one should finish at Marvin Ridge Middle/High (I hope!) Look back at the growth chart. Does this help answer your questions about capacity and changes? In summary, transfers to another school WITH CAPACITY are an option...or you can just wait for the new school in your community, coming soon.
Marvin,

I truly enjoy your outlook and insight. Thanks for your contributions to the board.

SL
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:57 AM
 
478 posts, read 1,880,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvinnative View Post
Does this help answer your questions about capacity and changes? In summary, transfers to another school WITH CAPACITY are an option...or you can just wait for the new school in your community, coming soon.
Yes, thank you very much for your informative post. I can see how a small group of parents banding together would help some parents with the anxiety of new school every year/every couple of years. Hopefully the children would be happy, too.

Why is the data changing so rapidly? Sorry, I didn't understand that point. If it's just a matter of increased numbers to areas, seems that would be part of the routine updating process to the graph(s). Or do you mean the data is changing in another way?
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:02 AM
 
478 posts, read 1,880,611 times
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Sorry, marvinnative, one more question: why not stay at the school, not transfer (I'm assuming you put in transfer requests each time)? Was there a reason you requested a transfer from these schools instead of staying on and allowing your children to finish their time there?
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:27 AM
 
1,304 posts, read 3,872,151 times
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Default Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by muse1110 View Post
Yes, thank you very much for your informative post. I can see how a small group of parents banding together would help some parents with the anxiety of new school every year/every couple of years. Hopefully the children would be happy, too.

Why is the data changing so rapidly? Sorry, I didn't understand that point. If it's just a matter of increased numbers to areas, seems that would be part of the routine updating process to the graph(s). Or do you mean the data is changing in another way?
Sorry...I probably wasn't clear. The data I was referring to (not the graph) was what percentage each school is exceeding capacity. For example: When the Hunter Oak subdivision, Phase I opened, those students all attended Wesley Chapel Elementary. The school grew to probably double capacity. Those students were transferred to the new school when Weddington Elementary opened, then Wesley Chapel dropped back to normal capacity. When Weddington grew to double capacity, Hunter Oaks students then moved to the new school when Marvin opened, and Weddington dropped back to normal capacity. When Marvin grew to double capacity, a new school opened at Sandy Ridge. (No, those Hunter Oaks didn't move that time...LOL, but they will now go to the new Rea View). Do you see the pattern? This particular community has just exploded with growth.

To your next question, about why would we not have just stayed at the first school (using this example - Hunter Oaks families). With each new school opening, the school actually got closer to our homes. Since all of the students being transferred moved "together," it wasn't so much that we transferred to a new school, we just "split" the old school and took the population nearest our home "with" us. Does that make sense?

When Weddington High opened, my oldest was a senior in high school, so he chose the option to "grandfather" there because he was just too invested in the school to make the move in his senior year. In my neighborhood, many of our oldest kids were finishing up at Parkwood, while our younger kids were getting started at Weddington. Two kids in two different high schools was a bit hectic, and it was by our own choosing, but we felt it was right for those oldest children to stay where they had earned leadership (class officers, sports teams, etc.) that would impact their college resumes. That transition was probably the hardest one for us, because at the time, the Parkwood cluster students were just a small fraction of those moving to Weddington. Most of the students were coming from Sun Valley. But, once we got there, there were sooo many new faces annually that it seemed we were all in the same boat. No established cliques.

And you are probably thinking...oh my goodness! Thankfully, we now have a school that is almost within sight of our home. I think that probably, we are coming to some stability for us. The moral of this story for us has been - bloom where you are planted. Nothing is ever really ours to OWN. Wherever we go, we give it all that we've got. We try to keep a positive mental attitude and look for good. Burn that energy on making each new move a great experience.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:40 AM
 
1,304 posts, read 3,872,151 times
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Default Transfer vs. re-zoned

Maybe I should say that when new schools open, a new school zone is created and students who live within that zone are automatically "transferred" to the new school. Maybe that is part of the confusion. The only time you would request a transfer would be if you chose to do something "different" than your home address zone.

For instance, if you had moved here before Wesley Chapel was capped and you felt it was just too crowded for your taste, you could have requested to transfer your student to another school in Union County that still had capacity and was accepting students. But, with two new schools opening (New Town and Rocky River) next year, Wesley Chapel will NOT be overcrowded next year, because students currently attending Wesley Chapel will automatically be rezoned to those schools. Can you see how trying to state Wesley Chapel's capacity would get just crazy to keep up with?

To those of you moving here, I would really not get too hung up on the reputation of any particular school. With the population shifting around so much, what made that school's scores last year probably doesn't even exist there next year. Union County has good schools, across the board. Trust me, I've been in a lot of them...LOL!
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