Education

Lee County considering mandatory year-round schools

Posted January 4, 2013

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— Lee County's school board is considering a proposal to convert all of its elementary and middle schools to a mandatory year-round schedule, beginning with the 2013-14 school year.

Last month, a Board of Education committee unanimously approved a proposal aimed at satisfying state laws that restrict start- and end-dates for public schools while meeting other needs such as staff development.

Right now, only one of the district's 16 schools, Tramway Elementary in Sanford, is on a year-round schedule. The proposal would change that for six other elementary and three middle schools.

A separate resolution also before the school board would also call on state lawmakers to allow the adjustment of school calendars for high schools to align schedules with local community colleges that provide programs to students.

A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at McLeod Auditorium at Lee County High School.

Lee County considering mandatory year-round schools Lee County considering mandatory year-round schools

Year-round proponents say the calendar provides more flexibility to meet school demands and more time for staff development days.

George Raney, principal at Broadway Elementary School in Broadway, serves on the school board's calendar committee.

He cites solid test results at Tramway as another reason for implementing a mandatory year-round calendar.

But others say the schedule creates child-care challenges and disrupts summer plans.

Parents' opinions on the issue are mixed.

"If it's not broken, why change?" said Renee Hunter, who has two children who would be affected by the calendar change.

She prefers the traditional calendar and the long summer that comes with it.

"My advice to (school board members) is to listen to the parents and the ones most affected by this change," she said.

Karen Cameron, who also has children in the school system, says she has mixed feelings about mandatory year-round schools.

"We'd adjust to it," she said. "We'd get used to it, and most people who are in year-round here like it."

17 Comments

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  • blmcrae Jan 9, 7:37 p.m.

    This proposal was shot down in a blaze of glory. This is absolutely about choice. We prefer traditional for our children, and it works great. Do not force me into year round. Every freedom we lose moves us closer to socialism. That is UnAmerican...

  • Shells Jan 8, 12:35 p.m.

    It would make my day to see this for Wake County.

  • goldenosprey Jan 7, 4:19 p.m.

    Your position is understandable superman. As a huge chunk of state and local expense, school funds should be allocated wisely. But not cheaply. Start skimping on education and you end up in South Carolina or Mississippi or Texas.
    Whoops, looks like we are already on the way...

  • superman Jan 7, 3:43 p.m.

    I live in Wake County and as a taxpayer without children I will never support another bond issue spending a billion dollars to build more schools while some are vacant 75% of the time. Would you rent out a house or apartment for just 9 months a year or would you want to rent opt to rent it for the entire year. Schools need to excerise financial responsibility is important. Please also keep in mind that parents get a nice income tax deduction on their state and federal taxes so please dont say you pay your fair share.

  • goldenosprey Jan 7, 2:56 p.m.

    If your elementary school kid is on year round while your middle school kid is on traditional, that IS a problem. The solution is to put all schools on year round and let parents choose tracks for all siblings. I've taken vacations in March and December with no crowds.

  • nor98 Jan 7, 2:21 p.m.

    We love the year round schedule however I don't think it should be mandatory. We chose Tramway Elementary because of the year round schedule vs. sending our child to our traditional district school. The issue no one is mentioning is this mandatory change will cause Lee Co. to have to redraw elementary districts to include this school as a district school now. Lots of elementary children will be forced to change schools. Most of the kids at this school now would not be in the Tramway district I would bet.
    If Lee Co. wants to implement this change, at least provide a 2 year timeframe before implementation-not 6 months.
    Lee County year round is not on multiple tracks like Wake County--one track--so there is no added space benefit.

  • sfallin3 Jan 7, 12:22 p.m.

    "The kids are more engaged in school and it is a more effective use of school space because you can put an extra 15-25% of kids in a building without affecting class size."

    I have yet to figure how you can utilize space with year round school! Yes, Year around school is ok when all of your children are on the same schedule....What happens when your children are on different schedules? I will tell you that you end up squeezing your summer vacation into a very small window when EVERYBODY is trying to go on vacation!

  • goldenosprey Jan 7, 12:14 p.m.

    75Tarheel, I would argue you are putting the interests of a few athletes ahead of the interests of the school body as a whole, not to mention taxpayers. Besides, the entire state may eventually transition into year-round.

  • 75Tarheel Jan 7, 11:43 a.m.

    And yet no one has mentioned what this will do to middle school athletic programs in Lee County. We are part of a conference that includes Harnett Co. If we go to year round schools it will require athletes to come to practice and games during breaks. And teachers to come to help with ticket sales, concessions stands and crowd control. Which teachers want to volunteer for that??? If we dont, then the Harnett County schools will just kick us out of the conference all together. IF we can find another county to allow us in it will mean more travel, longer travel and more difficulties for low income families who have to take off work to get kids to practice and games during the breaks between sessions. Discrimination??? Sounds about right to me.

  • btneast Jan 7, 11:25 a.m.

    Year round is superior to our old agrarian throwback traditional calendar. The kids are more engaged in school and it is a more effective use of school space

    All that and more. Year round is great. Both my daughters did it....as a family we loved it. You get 4 each 3 week breaks, so you are not forced to take vacations when the rest of the free world is. The kids do better because they don't have a long 12 week break where they forget half of what they leaned.Once a community goes to it, the afterschool and daycare providers will all adapt. It is MUCH better than traditional calandar.

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