Wake board likely to halt mandatory year-round schools

Posted December 14, 2009
Updated January 5, 2010

— Adding to changes the new majority on the Wake County Board of Education has already made, the board is likely to vote Tuesday to block the opening of any new year-round schools until officials can determine whether more are needed.

"It is the intent of the board that current year-round schools will be transitioned to either a voluntary basis or to traditional calendar by the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year," a resolution to be presented for a board vote reads.

Classroom generic Wake board to survey parents on year-round schools

If approved the resolution directs school district staff "to cease opening schools on a non-voluntary year-round calendar and stop work on any conversion of remaining schools to mandatory year-round pending the outcome of approved surveys."

"No plans will continue to open the new schools next school opening as year round calendars until the results of the survey," board Chairman Ron Margiotta said Monday.

The school board wants to survey parents whose children attend year-round schools to gauge the popularity of the calendar, which divides students into four groups and has them rotate on a schedule of nine weeks of class and a three-week break, Margiotta said.

Two years ago, the district converted 22 elementary and middle schools to year-round schedules, and officials ordered all new schools to operate on that calendar. Administrators defended the controversial moves by saying it would help the district keep up with enrollment growth and save money on school construction since year-round schools can accommodate more students than traditional-calendar schools.

Margiotta said he and four board members elected this fall want to end mandatory assignments to year-round schools and make the calendar an option for families who want it.

The five-member majority has said it wants to be responsive to parents, and it has already scrapped early releases on Wednesdays and halted funding for a new high school northeast of Raleigh, both of which had generated extensive opposition in recent months.

Supporters of year-round schools argue that mandatory assignments are necessary to plan for future growth.

"There may be some tweaking that needs to be done to that," board member Keith Sutton said. "Does every school need to be opened as year-round? I don't know."


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  • SS67 Dec 15, 2009

    Traditional calendar was shoved down our throats. Now year around is shoved down yours, so "Waahhhh!" How does that taste?

  • familyfour Dec 15, 2009

    25 comments, six votes, and you say this is the most visited blog on your site?!

    I am so disappointed in WRAL today.

    Tell it like it is, or stop trying. It is rather irritating to those of us who have sense enough to read.

  • Eduardo1 Dec 15, 2009

    We have year round schools & traditional schools, so when does WACKY WEDNESDAY end????

  • ladyblue Dec 15, 2009

    I don't know how anything gets done anymore. there are meetings and votes to do something and it gets passed and then there are protests and things that undo what is done. Seems to be a vicious cycle. Shows that no one is willing to bend for others. I guess when they re vote and change it again and we can expect more protests from the other side. The kids will be graduating and they will still be voting and re voting.......

  • NC Reader Dec 15, 2009

    If Wake County is not going to have mandatory year-round, then it shouldn't have mandatory traditional, right? I'm guessing that when parents in the converted year-round schools vote, there will be a strong majority at a number of them in favor of maintaining year-round. Does this mean that parents will be able to move their children out of that school, and that other parents can move their children into that school? One converted year-round school's principal told me that when parents were allowed to opt out of that school, most of the school's behavior problems went away and the receiving traditional school bore the brunt of that. Interesting.

  • wiseowl Dec 15, 2009

    i thought you lived in Burlington, time4real. why do you care about this again?

  • bake Dec 15, 2009

    Please no mandatory traditional schools!!

  • Spongebob Dec 15, 2009

    Cary didn't shove year round schools down anyone's throats. They were against them. 2 years of college?? If you want your children to be successful in this world you will need 4+ years of college. Has anyone compared the cost of running the schools in the summer to having them sit idle?? I'll bet running them year round costs considerably more. Think of how much your home electric bill goes up in the summer. It's also not cheap running those buses for 3 extra months. Not to mention one nearby school where the air kept breaking in the summer and they had several repair bills. Year round should be a choice. They are only proposing ending mandatory.

  • mjhs Dec 15, 2009

    cary1969 ~ "Maybe you should have gathered some support to elect your chosen condidate." 'Con'didate . . . I love that!

  • fishstory Dec 15, 2009

    The year round calendar was shoved down our throats. I can't wait for it to end, my kids and I hate it. I think after high school, kids should attend 2 years of college or 3 years in the military. Atleast they would get a sense of discipline and a taste of the real world, unlike kids that were sheltered from reality and raised in Cary. Liberal towns like Cary are poison to the moral compas of the USA.