Wake County School Assignment Blog

“Our hospitals report that births equal about one kindergarten class per day in Wake County, so that kind of growth is really phenomenal.”

– WCPSS Superintendent James Merrill on the fact that 22 babies are born in Wake County every day


The school construction bond was passed.
On August 22, 2014, Wake County hit a new milestone: one million residents. Fortunately, Wake County voters came out in support of a bond that would renovate six schools, make repairs to 79 other schools, and build 17 new schools. Three schools funded by a previous bond opened for the 2015-16 school year: Abbotts Creek Elementary, Scotts Ridge Elementary, and Apex Friendship High School. Learn more about the school construction bond and get a school-by-school update.

Opening more schools means students must be assigned to them.

WCPSS is opening three new schools in 2017-18. Many important considerations go into developing the base attendance area for a new school. The School Board student assignment policy calls out four factors or “pillars” that guide the development of a plan: student achievement, stability, proximity and operational efficiency. In addition, the school district works closely with NC State University’s Operations Research and Education Lab to help balance base attendance areas.

Learn more. Weigh in.

The WCPSS website contains a variety of materials, including a way to enter your address and see your school assignment base , a timeline of activities leading to the finalization of assignment plans, the list of affected schools, and more. It’s important that everyone help shape a good assignment plan; now’s your chance to make a difference!

Background: Student Assignment Policy 6200

On May 21, 2013, the School Board approved a new student assignment policy. There are four factors in the new policy that must be balanced by staff “to the extent reasonable” when making assignments.

  • Student Achievement, aimed at providing an optimal opportunity for academic success for all students
  • Stability, meaning that students will have the opportunity to stay at the same school with their siblings through the exit grades without experiencing involuntary changes in school assignment (This may not be guaranteed if the reassignment is necessary due to opening a new school.)
  • Proximity, meaning that base assignments will be a reasonable distance of the student’s home
  • Operational Efficiency, meaning that assignments will optimize the use of school facilities and transportation resources

GSIW is gratified that many of the elements in the  assignment plan included several suggestions made in our April, 2012 Let’s Find a Better Way position paper.  Many of these suggestions were based on the thousands of concerns and suggestions we received from community members.  GSIW also weighed in after WCPSS staff presented an initial proposal for the 2013-14 assignment. GSIW members created a summary of our feedback.  We simplified confusing language, raised some concerns and provided specific examples.

Among the positive elements of the current plan:

  • Reestablishing address-based assignments that offer families the assurance of a guaranteed school assignment with an option for choice at all grade levels,
  • Providing stability for grade spans so that once children start at a school, they stay at that school, unless a family opts to apply for another assignment
  • The ability for families to enroll their children at their base school, thereby ending the requirement to travel to Cary to enroll at the central office
  • The opportunity for students to “grandfather” at their current schools (with their current level of transportation) if they wish
  • Priority for siblings of students already attending a school
  • Options for choice: magnet, application, year-round and traditional calendar schools

Now, any student who enrolls in WCPSS or moves to a new address within Wake County will be assigned to a base school based on his or her home address.


We offer parents two opportunities to apply to change their school assignment – the Magnet/Year-Round Application period and the School Transfer Request period. En Español


Magnet/Year-Round Application for 2018-19

Application Period: Ended Feb. 5. Families will be notified of results on Feb. 19.

Families have the opportunity to apply to a magnet school and/or a year-round calendar school during this application period. 

School Transfer Request for 2018-19

Request Period: Feb. 20 – Mar. 6, 2018 

Families will have the opportunity to request to attend any school on any calendar during this request period. Requests must be completed online by March 6. Late requests will not be accepted. Families will be notified of results starting on March 6.

School Transfer Request for 2017-18

Request Period: Within 10 days of enrolling or changing your address. 

New families, families who recently moved or students who experience a life-changing event may apply to change schools. Applications must be completed within 10 days of enrolling or changing your address.


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