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Board of Education Places Enrollment Cap on 3 Schools

During the November School Board meeting, the Board of Education voted to place an enrollment cap on Kensington Elementary School, Marvin Ridge Middle School and Porter Ridge Middle School. The school assignment will be as follows for new students enrolled on or after November 13, 2013:

  • Students new to Kensington Elementary attendance area will be reassigned to Waxhaw Elementary.
  • Students new to Marvin Ridge Middle attendance area will be reassigned to Parkwood Middle.
  • Students new to Porter Ridge Middle attendance area will be reassigned to Piedmont Middle.

Union County Public Schools will provide transportation for students affected by the cap to the reassigned schools.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why has an enrollment cap been placed on these schools?
The enrollment at the capped schools currently exceeds the school’s core capacity which creates concerns about meeting the needs of the students and staff.

How long will the schools stay capped?
The enrollment cap will remain in place until the Union County Board of Education approves a student reassignment plan to alleviate the overcrowding situation or until the enrollment meets our core capacity standards.

If I move into the attendance area for one of the capped middle schools but my child is in elementary school, how will he/she be affected by the cap?
Elementary students who move into a capped attendance area after November 13, 2013 will, upon completion of 5th grade, go to Parkwood Middle if they are in the Marvin Ridge Middle attendance area or Piedmont Middle School if they are in the Porter Ridge Middle area.

If I move from one home in a capped attendance area to another home in the same capped attendance area, will my child be able to remain in the capped attendance area?
Yes, since your child is already occupying a seat in the capped attendance area.

If I currently live in one of the capped attendance areas but my children attend private school, could they attend a capped school if I wanted to enroll them now?
No, children who are domiciled in one of the capped attendance areas but have not availed themselves of a public education (i.e. are in private, religious, home, charter, or other schools) must enroll in Waxhaw Elementary, Parkwood Middle, or Piedmont Middle after the effective cap date.

A teacher is hired today at one of the capped schools; can his/her child attend the capped school? If a teacher’s child is at a non-capped feeder school can he/she move from 5th grade to the capped middle school? Why do you let teachers from outside of Union County take seats from students and families who pay Union County Taxes?
A teacher’s child whose parent was hired today at a capped school would not be allowed to attend the capped school because that child would also exceed the cap and the concerns raised about core capacity and meeting the needs of the students and staff would be the same. If a teacher’s child is at a non-capped feeder school he/she can move from the 5th grade to the capped middle school because he/she is already occupying a seat in the cohort group. Teachers from outside Union County are allowed to “take seats” in UCPS as part of the recruiting incentives employed by UCPS.

When will redistricting take place in Union County Public Schools?
In a growing school system, redistricting is always under consideration and a possibility for implementation. If capping will not resolve the overcrowding problem, re-districting is the next option.

If I do not want to attend Parkwood Middle or Piedmont Middle, do I have the option of attending Sun Valley Middle or another non-capped middle school?
First, you must enroll in the attendance area to which you have been assigned; then, you may apply for transfer and must meet the criteria of the transfer guidelines. (No guarantee is given that the transfer will be approved.) If the transfer is approved, no transportation is provided; and the transfer cannot take the requested school into overcrowded conditions.

Will my child have a computer at Parkwood Middle?
UCPS is a one-to-one access model in which ALL students in the 6th through 12th grades are given computers.

Do they have all the same sports at Parkwood Middle?
UCPS system-wide- sponsored sports in the middle schools are basketball and cheerleading.

Why don’t you stop the building in the crowded areas? Why don’t you communicate with the builders?
The school system is not involved in the issuing of building permits. The Board of County Commissioners governs land use zoning and development approval within unincorporated Union County. The responsibility for land use designation, zoning or development approval in the 14 municipalities rests with the applicable municipal government. Once a developer and/or resident obtain approval from a municipality, the county government’s role is to issue the building permit and to perform the applicable inspections. The county performs these services for all municipalities with the exception of Monroe and Waxhaw. The role of the school system is to enroll/educate any child living within Union County whose parent/guardian chooses to avail themselves of public education.

How does the school system work with local governments with regards to growth?

The UCPS Facilities staff has tried to attend meetings in municipalities when asked to do so. Our Facilities staff has also met with developers when we have been asked to offer our input. We have felt obligated on each occasion to inform a municipality or realtor as to how potential growth will affect a school’s seating capacity and core capacity (which will, in turn, affect our schools’ ability to educate potential students). Essentially, UCPS has no control over how many houses are built, when they are built, where they are built, who buys those houses, or even if children will be occupying those houses. We are called upon to react to the growth based upon information collected and compiled by a demographer and information provided by municipalities, the County, market trends, etc. UCPS tries to be as forthcoming as possible when offering data about capacities (both core and seating) to the County and to municipalities. The school system “reacts” to growth instead of “managing” it.

Why don’t you just add trailers?
“Trailers,” mobile units, or learning modules can be added to school campuses until a school reaches its core capacity….not its seating capacity. Once core capacity is reached, the concerns for meeting the needs of the students and staff are the same.

Why don’t you build new schools with the $91 million?
The award of the $91 million is under appeal and has not been funded to the school system. In addition, the award was not for new school construction; the judgment was awarded to repair and renovate older, existing buildings.

Will kindergarten students be capped?
If a family moves into the Kensington attendance area after the effective cap date (11/13/13), the kindergartner would attend Waxhaw Elementary. If families with children under school age live in the Kensington attendance area prior to cap, then said children will attend Kensington. If a family with elementary age children (including kindergarten) moves into one of the capped middle school attendance areas after the effective cap date (11/13/13) and the cap is still in effect when the said child is ready for middle school, then the child would attend middle school at Parkwood or Piedmont Middle School.

Why weren’t school administration and parents notified that a cap was going to be placed?
The Board of Education had to react to core concerns; the twenty-day numbers just came out, and the growth was more than had been projected.

Written by: Dr. Mike Webb, Deputy Superintendent of Instructional Technology and Operations
Posted: Nov 18, 2013 by Rob Jackson

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