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Old 08-29-2011, 10:04 PM
 
5 posts, read 16,544 times
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We would like some advice on Wake Forest, NC, area elementary schools. In particular, we’d like to hear any opinions on Wake Forest Elementary.

We are moving to Wake Forest this fall. We have a kindergartener and a second grader, so we have done a great deal of research on how the schools work, etc. We took a tour of Jones Dairy elementary on a visit. Seems good, if a bit overcrowded.

At the moment, we’re zeroing in on a house to buy. Schools are our biggest priority.

We’ve looked at Jones Dairy, Heritage and Wake Forest Elementary zoned houses. We like one that’s zoned Wake Forest elementary very much…

We’ve heard it’s hard to go wrong in Wake Forest as far as elementary schools go, but looking at what data we have it seems that Jones Dairy and Heritage are better elementary schools than Wake Forest elementary…
We had a look at the Wake Forest Elementary building and it is older and there are a bunch of prefab annexes out back…

We saw a recent newspaper survey that puts the number of subsidized lunches (and hence the number of poor kids -- who are just as wonderful as middle class kids, of course, but who will likely take more attention from the teachers for basic development) at almost double Jones Dairy or Heritage – nearly 30 percent.

Our children are very happy in their current very suburban school, and the last thing we want is to drop them into a new school that’s not as good.

In general, we aren’t blown away by Wake County schools, to tell the truth. The year round schedules of some schools seem bizarre, and really a way to cram more students into existing buildings. Nevertheless, we’re sure we can adapt to it. We’ve heard about the new green and blue redistricting plans and found out that if we move now, whatever school the kids start at will be “grandfathered” in when the new districting goes into effect. We also found out that the chance of our kids getting into one of the year long secondary choice schools within a district is virtually nil. So, for instance, though a house we are looking at has Wake Forest as a base and Heritage as a secondary option, the nice lady at the school district says that she has approved NO transfers into Heritage this school year. It seems that your base school is the school you send the kids to, unless you enter a lottery and get them in a magnet school such as the nearby Franklin (which we'll try to do next year).

So anybody who knows about or has kids at Wake Forest Elementary out there? Can you help us out with some advice?

If you had to choose between Jones Dairy and Wake Forest Elementary, which would you pick?

Any other advice or things we haven’t considered?

Thanks so much in advance!

Last edited by darkcoffee; 08-29-2011 at 10:12 PM..
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:09 PM
 
Location: NC
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30% for a Wake Co school is good! Wake Forest is a great community, you won't have an issue with the area or schools. Year Round IS a way to get more kids into the school. Our area has had rapid growth for years, it's been hard to keep up. Our leaders have done the best they can with the schools we have. And, they've built others as quickly as possible. My child was in YR, no problems. She liked the 9 wks in, 3 wks out. We took vacation off peak times which was cheaper and less congested.
If you are talking about Heritage MS, then what they mean by stating they didn't transfer or add students, they moved kids out, including mine, as the school was started to get crowded. You mentioned Magnet schools. And, Franklin. I think you mean Franklin Academy the private or charter school...right? There are some Wake Forest residents on the board, hopefully some will post for you.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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You've got to realize that moving into a super-high growth area such as Wake County and Wake Forest in particular is going to mean perennial "growth"-related issues with schools as they can't get funded and built fast enough to keep up with the new population (i.e. you ). Virtually all of the issues you mention came from too many new students, too fast, in a finite number of schools.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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have you looked at greatschools.org? wake forest elem and heritage both get a 7 and jones dairy gets a 9. you can also look at their test scores in each area for each grade starting at 3rd grade. its a good way to compare.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
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I am in wake forest, my kids are in 2nd and 4th grade and they go to North Forest Pines Elementary School (technically a raleigh address) but it pulls from houses west of capital blvd, the purnell road/stony hill road area. It is a year round elementary school and we have been more than thrilled with the school.

Our traditional calendar option is Wake Forest Elementary, and I would have been quite happy there as well. I have a friend who wanted traditional calendar, so she chose WFE for her girls and she absolutely loves it. The PTA is very active, seems like a very good school. It was a magnet school, but lost its magnet status a couple of years ago (meaning they do not have as many extra curricula classes during the school day).

My sister's kids go to Jones Dairy (along with many of friends of mine). My sister has been happy there, feels like her kids are thriving, and she has not had a teacher that she did not like. The school, in comparison to the school my kids attend, seems to emphasize the AR aspect of reading, and the math does not seemed to be emphasized as much. JDE does not have english as a second language offered, our school does, so there are more students who are learning english when they enter the school.

I would agree and say that I have not heard bad things about any of the elementary schools in wake forest (wake forest elementary, jones dairy, heritage, north forest pines and forest pines).

Good luck!

leigh
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:47 PM
 
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Thanks you all for the most excellent intel. We've looked a Greatschools till we're blue in the face, looked at various statistics, and, as mentioned, had a look at the school -- but first hand advice is priceless.

I have to say that it seems to me that there's no excuse for school overcrowding in such a reasonably well off suburb I live in the fastest growing area in the U.S. (much faster than that North Raleigh corridor, believe it or not), and around here they throw up new schools at a steady rate and have minimal overcrowding. Since I grew up in the south and know how politics generally works around there, I suspect the NC teacher's union has some pretty hefty pension plan that needs funding coupled with huge political clout -- and that's where funds go that would otherwise build for schools. But I don't live in Wake Forest...yet...so I'm just guessing, of course. :-)

Nevertheless, sounds like pretty good choices all around. We just want to be careful there isn't something we're not considering that might throw the kids for a loop. We're yanking em up for the only home they've known so far. But kids are resilient. I only hope parents are, too!
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:57 AM
 
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Default Overcrowding unrelated to teachers unions in N.C.

I know the post is old, but I also know that people continue to see it. I would like to clear up a misconception. First of all, NC is the least unionized state in the nation, and teachers are not union members. Collective bargaining for teachers is against the law. I'm sorry that anyone would think we have such generous pensions (or that the state has been so generous to us teachers) that this is the reason counties are cash-strapped and a busy place like Wake County struggles to keep up with growth. You can do a quick web search of NC teacher salaries and pensions and I think you will see we are not making out like bandits! Also, our pensions are completely unrelated to school construction.
Secondly, wouldn't it make more sense that teachers want more schools to be built? There are more teacher jobs that way, after all - more opportunities. And teachers do not want to work in overcrowded schools or have our own children in overcrowded schools.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:17 AM
 
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There is also Richland Creek Elementary School, currently in temp facilities I think but opening next year (?) ... on the north side of wake forest near the youngsville/franklin county line. Since it's a new school I would think you could possibly get a seat there relatively easily as they are trying to fill it.
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