Wake County Schools

First day of school goes smoothly, Wake schools leader says

Posted July 8, 2013

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— The Wake County Public School System's interim superintendent says that bus operations ran smoothly Monday on the first day of classes for thousands of year-round students.

"We believe that we've had a really good first day of the school year," Cathy Moore told reporters Monday afternoon, saying the district had received few reports of major issues and that principals at the 30 elementary and eight middle schools opening also reported few problems.

School officials acknowledged some bus delays Monday morning but said they were expected.

"It’s nothing more than what we anticipate for the start of the year," Renee McCoy, Wake schools' director of public relations, said. "We’ve got about 20,000 students that we’re trying to get delivered, so we’re using this opportunity to learn and to get us ready for the traditional start of the school year, which will present other things that we hope we will have worked out."

The first day for traditional-calendar schools is Aug. 26.

Parents are urged to continue reporting transportation issues to the district via the Wake schools website but to also be patient for the first couple of weeks of school as they continue to evaluate and shift bus routes.

Wake County Public School System Interim Superintendent Cathy Moore Wake schools has 'really good first day'

Moore said more buses and more drivers on the road Monday helped avoid problems last year that were blamed on budget cuts. Parents complained for weeks about a variety of issues, including long bus rides and children either not being picked up or dropped off at their assigned bus stops.

The district added more than 50 buses to the roads and has since hired 120 new drivers. It's still looking to hire 100 permanent drivers.

But some parents, like Shannon Coulter, said communication, not transportation, was the problem Monday.

Coulter, whose son attends Wilburn Elementary School in Raleigh, said she never received information from the school about her child's bus stop, class assignment or necessary school supplies. Despite calling the school twice last week, she said, she never heard back.

"I had to leave a message," she said. "There was no response, and there hasn't been any communication – no returned phone calls, no letters in the mail, no emails. Nothing."

McCoy said "a fraction" of parents had similar issues that were caused by a glitch. Moore said the district is transitioning to a new student information system and that parents with questions and concerns about school-specific items should contact the school.

"Anytime you have 169-170 schools, there are going to be issues with the best way to communicate with families," Moore said.

28 Comments

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  • smcallah Jul 10, 11:40 a.m.

    "Wake County cannot be the largest district so therefore no other district has the problems they do, or have figured out how to MANAGE and avoid the bulk of problems. "

    How do you know that no other school districts have this kind of problem? WRAL is in Wake County, they're going to report Wake County school problems like this. People are going to care about Wake County school problems that come here.

    WRAL is going to make a big deal out of Mecklenberg County, or any other school district outside of its viewing area. CNN isn't going to report on Wake County school bus problems or on any other city's school bus problems.

    Just because you don't hear about something doesn't mean it is not an issue.

  • smcallah Jul 10, 9:12 a.m.

    "If they are year round schools, why do they have a start date? I wonder if they just mean that students are starting a new grade level today."

    Yes, what you are describing is the start date. I'm not quite sure what you are getting at.

    Whether the school starts in the fall or starts on a year round schedule, the start date has always been when starting a new grade.

  • Zealotry Jul 9, 3:09 p.m.

    You know there is a real problem with your school system when a day without problems makes the news!

  • Leeca Jul 9, 2:36 p.m.

    For the second day, the school bus did not show up this morning.

  • markanthonytfs Jul 9, 12:02 p.m.

    Year round school is a interesting concept, the rest of the world does it, I wonder if School Supplies are really more expensive if you have to buy them every 3 or 4 months.

  • busyb97 Jul 9, 11:39 a.m.

    >>The routes change every year."

    There lies the problem. Why do they have to change so much? I get that kids move into the district or start school, etc, but why would the routes change that much from year to year?

    It seems to me, that they would look at other school systems and see how they manage. Wake County cannot be the largest district so therefore no other district has the problems they do, or have figured out how to MANAGE and avoid the bulk of problems. I would think they could find one staff member or two to do some homework, yeah? See how other districts work it out successfully.

    I know of a student whose bus didn't show up yesterday either. Should be interesting when the traditional calendar starts with almost 10x the number!

  • due_whats_right Jul 8, 7:10 p.m.

    beachboater....can you tell me how that is possible? Even coming out of state or transferring from another agency, you get paid for your years of experience so not sure how a 10 year veteran(even if out of state)would be paid for 1 or 2 years of experience. Help me understand that please.

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Jul 8, 2:40 p.m.

    Yes we should not have any tests. The teachers can just decide that the students have mastered the material they were supposed to learn. I am quite sure we will no longer see illiterate kids, graduating using such a method. I hope more and more parents stop sending their kids to these Government run places of propaganda.
    To; whtelseisnew
    Oh...................You did not comprehend!!
    I said Year round TESTS....not just TESTS

  • btneast Jul 8, 2:10 p.m.

    the school board should have amended the budget and cut some administrative costs.


    .....That would be nice, but doesn't seem to happen. All of you would be shocked to know just how many people WCPSS employs in administrative/staff positions.....and I am not talking about in the actual schools. If you think all of the administration employees are in that 3 story building on Wake Forest Rd, you would be way wrong. That building houses at best 20% of the central office staff. They used to have an additional 2 buildings in Cary, Crossroads I and II....2 floors each, plus a huge maintenance and building services complex just off the beltline...as well as a scattering of several specialized offices. Last time I was involved with it, they were consolidating Crossroads I and II into one building.

  • btneast Jul 8, 1:59 p.m.

    I does seem odd that after only a month off that the drivers cannot remember their routes?

    The routes change every year.

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