Board revises resolution ending mandatory year-round schools

Posted January 19, 2010
Updated January 20, 2010

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— The Wake County Board of Education voted Tuesday in favor of a revised resolution that aims to end mandatory year-round school assignments, which some say will give parents more options when it comes to where their children can attend school.

Board member Debra Goldman split with other newly elected members for the first time Tuesday to support the revised resolution, which states that beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, "every effort will be made to eliminate mandatory year-round assignments.”

The original resolution, which chairman Ron Margiotta, and members Deborah Prickett, Chris Malone, John Tedesco and Goldman voted in favor of on Jan. 5, while members Carolyn Morrison, Keith Sutton, Kevin Hill and Anne McLaurin voted against, said "there will be no mandatory year-round assignments."

The word change came in response to concerns that overcrowding could lead to parental choice being altered for some students.

“Our staff believes that if we don’t make these changes we are going to wind up with some very overcrowded schools resulting from approving calendar choice,” Chuck Dulaney, Wake County Public School System assistant superintendent for growth and planning, said.

Those against ending mandatory year-round schools, which divides students into four groups and has them rotate on a schedule of nine weeks of class and a three-week break, asked the board to take more time to study the issue.

"Wait to do research so that the best decision can be made,” parent Lettice Rhodes told the board Tuesday.

Others supported making the change now.

"You are doing a good job by doing away from year-round schools,” parent Louise Lee 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.

Tuesday's resolution calls for parents to receive a flier, which will be sent home with students the week of Feb. 1, informing them of their calendar options.

An online application to apply for a traditional calendar school will go live online Feb. 8.

The board also discussed Tuesday how to go about a survey to gauge parents’ attitudes concerning year-round schools. Parents have until Jan. 25 to respond to the survey, which was sent out last week.

The board has also community meetings scheduled from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. where parents can voice their concerns.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 9 at Holly Springs High School, 5329 Cass Holt Road, Holly Springs
  • Thursday, Feb. 18 at Heritage High School, 1150 Forestville Road, Wake Forest
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Leesville Road High School, 8409 Leesville Road, Raleigh
  • Thursday, Feb. 25 at Panther Creek High School, 6770 McCrimmon Parkway, Cary

The survey and meetings, board members have said, will help them make better decisions regarding year-round schools in the future. Recommendations on whether to change schools from traditional calendar to year-round schedules, or vice versa, are likely in early March after the community meetings.

According to school administrators, there are 33,157 students in 42 year-round elementary schools. In nine year-round middle schools, there are 10,925 students. The schools are currently utilizing 85 percent of elementary seats and 91 percent of middle school seats.

It’s unclear, still, how ending mandatory year-round school assignments will affect the school makeup. But the board’s decision has caused many to be concerned about other potential changes.

The board’s new majority has indicated it is also in favor of ending the school system’s decade-old diversity policy, which buses students across school districts to help achieve socio-economic diversity.

The board wants to implement neighborhood schools – another choice, they have said, for parents.

Many groups oppose the move, including the state chapter of the NAACP, which fears the move would re-segregate schools and hurt children’s opportunity for a high-quality education.


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  • Escaped from Wake Jan 21, 2010

    Mom2two and Yuall, I'm not an English major. I'm just pointing out how bad the previous board was, and the impact it has on Wake county students. This thread is about the school system not English composition. If you have any thing constructive or constructive criticism regarding the Board of Education this is the place. The negative comments do nothing to educate others. Thanks...

  • EAC090609 Jan 21, 2010

    Paulej, just thought I should inform you that teachers in year-round school make the same salaries as they did teaching on the traditional calendar. They work the same number of days, they are just spread out differently with intermittent breaks rather than one large one in the summer months.

  • Mom2two Jan 21, 2010

    RE: Hey yuall's comment on "Escaped Wake"'s horrendous spelling of basic words:


  • wondrfl1 Jan 20, 2010

    Here is an interesting comment when you have to understand is that a governmental authority already makes sending your child to school in some form mandatory.

    "If some governmental regulatory authority wants to make something mandatory, let that authority raise the kids then."

    It says they have to go to school not what kind of school. When it comes down to it, it is all about power and money!!

  • mommymatters Jan 20, 2010

    My family is hoping that perhaps we now have a chance for year round! we have applied many times before and not able to get into a year round school. Maybe there are others who feel the same.

  • dchurn2 Jan 20, 2010

    To me it looks like they are backing away from campaign promises after realizing its not quite as easy as just saying we're going to end year round. Always easier to throw stones and past judgement from the outside looking in.

  • Spongebob Jan 20, 2010

    RB! Bingo! All educational resources should be available to all students. That is a problem. Wake County offers different programs in different schools! And then they wonder why test scores are different! It's not the schedule!!!!!!! Too bad the board can't change that!

  • Alexia.1 Jan 20, 2010

    3) Selfish parents: yeah, I bet there are some. There are also lazy teachers who are too lazy to make a new test year-to-year, grade homework assignments to help show kids where they need to improve, or work with kids to give them that extra help they need. I guess I was fortunate when I was a kid in that my teachers would take time out of their schedule to provide assistance to whomever asked for it. We also have a state board of education that creates all kinds of paperwork that consumes everybody's time, taking away from time for teachers to do some of the things I mentioned. So, perhaps they're not "lazy", but just have too much non-essential stuff to do? Punishment is excessive, yet useless. You can't paddle a kid who gets into one fight, but you can throw him out of school? That helps who? The problems with the education system here in Wake are numerous and everybody's fault.

  • Adelinthe Jan 20, 2010

    None of this should be MANDATORY.

    Whatever educational resources are available should be available to each and every student upon the approval of their parents.

    If some governmental regulatory authority wants to make something mandatory, let that authority raise the kids then.

    God bless.


  • Alexia.1 Jan 20, 2010

    This thread covers a lot of ground, but I'll bite:

    1) Year-round is nonsense. I heard there is a report of savings, but I do not buy it. Where is the highest costs? Salaries. If teachers teach more months out of the year, they would demand (rightfully) to be paid more. Cost of structures is high, but they last for decades: build properly-sized schools. It has worked for 200 years, so why is it suddenly not workable?

    2) Neighborhood schools: entirely agree that's the way to go. I heard the NAACP wanted "socio-economic diversity". Is that way of saying "we want to mingle the rich and poor"? That's nonsense. Most of us are not rich and the difference between one school or another is how the students behave, accomplish, etc. There is absolutely no good reason to send a little kid across the county out of some illusion that we're helping anybody. Every school gets the same funding.

    I need more space... I'll continue.