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Check in frequently for the latest on the Keith Sutton for Wake County School Board campaign! Keith Sutton observes and listens. He is a passionate leader who advocates unapologetically, in word and deed.

Parent input needed

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Wake County Public Schools held the first of many informational meetings Wednesday about the new school assignment plan.

The school system decided on the choice-based plan after asking parents what they want for their children.

"Do I just want to follow my high schooler or do I want to try and follow the feeder pattern?" parent Kim Keyes asked.

Parents were allowed to submit questions during a student assignment presentation.

"Well, I still think it's pretty confusing to try and figure out how it's going to affect the kids that are currently in school," Keyes said.

Keyes and about 40 others met inside Middle Creek Park High's auditorium to get a better idea of the proposal that will replace a 10-year-old diversity plan. The new proposal allows parents to choose their top three schools.

"I think we're at a good point," said Susan Pullium, Wake Schools Assignment Task Force. "It's really nice to be able to come out at a meeting and share the information."

The biggest update to the plan that was revealed during Wednesday's meeting is a proposed feeder pattern that will follow a child from kindergarten to high school.

Data from an online test drive in June showed parents are more concerned about proximity and calendar type. Maintaining magnet schools also is a priority.

"I have questions about how selection will work for students beyond kindergarten," parent Hardin Engelbardt said.

In the coming months, school leaders hope to address that worry, including questions about overcrowding and changes in transportation costs.

""We're really concerned about the transportation simulation that's currently happening," Pullium said.

Additional community information meetings are scheduled for 6:30 - 8 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Thursday, September 1 at Wakefield High
  • Wednesday, September 7 at Apex High
  • Thursday, September 8 at Southeast Raleigh High
  • Tuesday, September 13 at Broughton High
  • Thursday, September 15 at East Wake High

Student Assignment Plans to Unveil Choices

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Parents to learn about Wake schools assignment proposal

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students

Wake County parents will get the chance Wednesday evening to learn more about a student assignment plan that would give them a say in which school their child goes to but leaves some concerns about transportation and capacity.

Superintendent Tony Tata and members of his student assignment task force will talk to the public over the next three weeks about the choice-based student assignment plan he proposed in May. It replaces a decade-old busing for diversity program.

School board members seemed satisfied with the direction of the plan after a presentation by Tata earlier in August.

"It's a very thoughtful plan, trying to come up with the best possible solutions and trying to make as many people happy or satisfied as possible," school board member Keith Sutton said.

"We are headed in the right direction now," school board vice-chair John Tedesco said. "You saw the survey. Parents wanted proximity. That's everything we've been fighting for for two years."

The new plan would let parents rank their choices among a variety of schools based on their address. Tata said an online test run of the plan showed that most parents are likely to choose the school nearest their home.

Recent updates to the proposal include adding proposed feeder patterns and broadening the options for students whose closest school is a magnet school.

School board members have expressed some concern about overcrowding popular schools and the cost of the proposal.

Tedesco said earlier in August that he is especially worried about Garner High School, which has a high number of mobile classrooms to accommodate its burgeoning enrollment.

"An excess of 2,000 additional students in a school built for 1,600? That's not right," Tedesco said.

The cost of transportation is also a question mark, depending on which schools parents want to send their children to.

"It may go up. It may go down," Tata said. "We've got good data that should get us in the ballpark of knowing exactly what that number is."

The student assignment task force will meet with the public 6:30-8 p.m. on:

  • Aug. 31 at Middle Creek High, 123 Middle Creek Park Ave. in Apex
  • Sept. 1 at Wakefield High, 2200 Wakefield Pines Dr. in Raleigh
  • Sept. 7 at Apex High, 1501 Laura Duncan Road in Apex
  • Sept. 8 at Southeast Raleigh High, 2600 Rock Quarry Road in Raleigh
  • Sept. 13 at Broughton High, 723 St. Mary's St. in Raleigh
  • Sept. 15 at East Wake High, 5101 Rolesville Road in Wendell

Tata hopes to bring a final plan for student assignment to the school board in October.


 

"Friend-raiser" on August 23

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Community Leaders To Host Fundraiser for Keith Sutton

RALEIGH—Community leaders Kel Landis and Nina Szlosberg-Landis will host a “fundraiser and friend-raiser” reception in honor of Keith Sutton who is running to keep his Wake County School Board seat for District 4 on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in Raleigh.

Tickets are $50 per person, and additional contribution levels are Sponsor, Patron, and Host at $250; $500; and $1,000, respectively. RSVP by phone to 919.210.4420 or email to lgd@votekeithsutton.com

Donations to the campaign can be made securely at www.votekeithsutton.com.

 

Upcoming Appearances

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Sutton is participating on  a candidates' panel at the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce's Leadership conference in Pinehurst on August 17.

On August 22, he will participate in a Raleigh Chamber briefing from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Chamber offices in Raleigh.

After his Town Hall meeting from 9 a.m. to noon, Keith will also attend the Raleigh/Apex NAACP banquet on August 27.

Sutton to Hold Town Meeting August 27

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Discipline, Achievement, School Assignment

Sutton Invites Parents, Community to Ask Questions, Get Answers

RALEIGH—Wake County School Board member Keith Sutton will host a public forum called “Connecting Policy and Achievement - A Town Hall Meeting" on Saturday, August 27 from 9 a.m. to noon at Walnut Creek Elementary School, 2600 Sunnybrook Road in Raleigh.

Sutton has enlisted the assistance of The Flood Group, a consulting firm specializing in education issues, to help with facilitating the discussion.

“I invite parents and other community members to come out, bring their questions, and obtain a better understanding of the policy changes and the transformation that our school system is undergoing.  These changes affect student assignment, discipline and behavior, math placement decisions, and how we view student achievement.  This is a great opportunity for the residents of District 4 and throughtout Wake County to hear more than just "sound bites" about important decisions we are grappling with,” said Sutton.

Forum presenters on the agenda are Dr. Dudley Flood, retired educator; Corey Moore, Principal of Walnut Creek Elementary School; Vonda Martin, Assistant Principal of Walnut Creek Elementary School; and, Marvin Pittman, retired educator. 

 

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Official Campaign Kick-Off Successful

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Keith & McNeal

More than 60 supporters gathered at the Prime Smokehouse in Raleigh on August 4 to wish Keith well in his bid for election to the District 4 seat to which he was appointed last year. Former Wake County Public Schools Superintendent Bill McNeal gave rousing and inspirational remarks, wrapping up with the simple words, "This is our man."

Colleague says Hargens will do well with issues facing JCPS

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Will the new JCPS superintendent satisfy the district's need to keep schools diverse? WDRB spoke with someone close to Dr. Hargens, who knows her strengths and weaknesses.

The NAACP and others in Louisville are concerned, but the only African-American on the nine-member school board in Hargen's current district talked to WDRB and says there's nothing to worry about.

Click here to view the original article at WDRB.com

Sutton mentioned in N&O article on new Wake school posts

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From the article: 

"The school board agreed to ask the General Assembly for additional funding for the coming school year, while expressing gratitude that funds haven't been cut further.

A suggestion of Democratic board member Keith Sutton, the letter to the legislature describing the potential damage from proposed cuts hasn't been written yet, but was endorsed by Republican Chris Malone as well as Democrats Dr. Anne McLaurin, Carolyn Morrison and Kevin Hill. Malone and others gave credit to Tata for lobbying legislators to lower a proposed 10 percent state cut to a 6 percent cut."

Click here to read the original article in The News & Observer

Wake Will Create New Top School Posts

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From the article:

"The school board agreed to ask the General Assembly for additional funding for the coming school year, while expressing gratitude that funds haven't been cut further.

A suggestion of Democratic board member Keith Sutton, the letter to the legislature describing the potential damage from proposed cuts hasn't been written yet, but was endorsed by Republican Chris Malone as well as Democrats Dr. Anne McLaurin, Carolyn Morrison and Kevin Hill. Malone and others gave credit to Tata for lobbying legislators to lower a proposed 10 percent state cut to a 6 percent cut."

Read the full article at WRAL.com