- Capped Elementary Schools: Abbotts Creek, Alston Ridge, Apex, Beaverdam, Cedar Fork, Highcroft, Holly Grove, Holly Ridge, Hortons Creek, Mills Park, Northwoods, Oakview, Olive Chapel, Parkside, River Bend, Rogers Lane, Scotts Ridge, Sycamore Creek, White Oak, Weatherstone
- Capped Middle Schools: Apex Friendship, Mills Park
- Capped High Schools: Apex Friendship, Heritage, Panther Creek
Knowing your base school isn’t enough in Raleigh, Cary and Wake County
by Marianne Howell Wright
Updated April 17th 2021
Don’t buy a house in Wake County, NC for a school you like based on any information you get anywhere. Always check with the assigned base school and be prepared for changes. The good news is the schools are generally good and located close together. Use this info to help understand capping and redistricting knowing the school attendance areas can change.
What is a base school?
A Wake County Public School base school is the school you are districted for based on your address.Use the Wake County Schools address lookup tool to find your base school.
What are capped schools and overflow schools?
When a base school is at or over enrollment capacity the school is capped. New people moving into the district are sent to an overflow school. Sometimes a capped school may have some openings so you don’t know for sure until you go to register at your base school. The overflow school may not even be the same calendar option (year around or traditional) as the base school. The capping situation just keeps getting worse. The State legislature reduced the number of students in k-3 from 21 to 17. There isn’t room at many schools for the extra classes so more caps for 2021.
Elementary Capped Schools
- Mills Park (overflow White Oak) -3.8 miles
- Holly Grove (overflow Holly Springs) -3.5 miles
- Highcroft (overflow Turner Creek)-3.6 miles
- Olive Chapel (overflow Salem)-4.5 miles
- Hortons Creek (Alston Ridge) -1.6 miles
- Scotts Ridge (Baucom and another TBD)-3 miles
- Weatherstone (Reedy Creek)-3.7 miles
- Fuquay-Varina (Buckhorn Creek) -6.6 miles
- Sycamore Creek (Pleasant Grove)-7.8 miles
- Oakview (Buckhorn Creek)-4.5 miles
- Vance (Rand Road)-3.6 miles
- Willow Springs (Rand Road)-11 miles
- Rogers Lane (Knightdale)-6.3 miles
- Yates Mill (Swift Creek)-1.4 miles
- Harris Creek (River Bend)-4.2 miles
- Baileywick (Lead Mine)-2 miles
- Combs (Swift Creek)-3.9 miles
- Cedar Fork (Reedy Creek)-6.8 miles
- Northwoods (Cary Elementary) -1.4 miles
Middle Capped Schools
- Apex Friendship (Apex Middle- 5 miles)
- Mills Park (Alston Ridge)
High Schools Capped
- Apex Friendship (Apex High-6 miles)
- Panther Creek (Green Level, Green Hope)
Reassignment is different from capping
A school may be capped for new students moving into the area, Reassignment happens when a new school is built and attendance areas are changed to fill the new school. 2022-2023 is a good year for reassignment as there are no new schools opening.
Every year, as long as I have lived in the Triangle (a VERY long time), the news is full of stories of parents protesting the latest assignment plan. Some neighborhoods have been reassigned to 10 different schools over the years. The thing to remember is that the schools in the Cary, Apex and Holly Springs areas are all good.
Wake County bases the reassignment plans on four factors, all weighted the same (they say).
- Student achievement. Income and test score diversity included.
- Stability. Keeping as many kids in their same school.
- Operational efficiency. Overcrowded schools vs under enrolled schools.
- Proximity. This is hard when schools are just a few miles apart. If you look at the attendance maps(here is the sought after Green Hope High attendance map) you can see that you can be across the street from a school and be assigned elsewhere.You can look up the assigned school by address here.
From the Revised-2020-2021-WCPSS-Final draft enrollment plan. The school board usually votes on capping around the 3rd week in January. It was late this year in March 2021.
- Overflow schools can change so check with the school before you buy a house. No guarantees with Wake schools.