Wake County Schools

Wake school board to consider extending school day

Posted June 20, 2011

— The Wake County Board of Education will consider Tuesday a proposal to extend the school day next year by 10 minutes to comply with a new state requirement that adds five days to the academic calendar.

Michael Evans, a spokesman with the school system, said that school staff plan to ask for the board’s permission to send a letter, asking for a waiver, to the state Department of Public Instruction.

Instead of adding days, the district wants to start classes five minutes earlier and end five minutes later each day to compensate.

Wake schools' chief business officer, David Neter, said the extra five days would cost the financially strapped school system more than $500,000 to operate buses.

In addition, he said, it would mean that all four tracks of year-round schools would be in class on certain days of the school year.

The General Assembly added the five days to the school year as part of the 2011-12 state budget.


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  • luvdemheels23 Jun 24, 2011

    It is amazing how many people think they are experts on education and have no idea how hard out teachers work and the barriers they have to overcome to teach kids. And just saying we need to hire better teachers or do this or do that with no practical knowledge of what we already have or what can be done shows where the problem may be. ; )

    1) Politicians create ridiculous rules and guidelines for education that do not consider the ramifications. Eg. Extending the school year when cutting a budget? Requiring state test after state test after state test? Teachers' pay not equal to what how valuable they are to society (caring for our kids)
    2) Many parents (not all) not being parents and delegating/handing over that role to teachers. "It's your problem."
    3) Many kids in this day and age filled with apathy, short attention spans, and numerous problems.

    We still have many great kids and parents But the critical mass is sinking and the rest of the world is passing us.

  • PurlsOfWisdom Jun 21, 2011

    I know it would be a hard fit for parents, but I think it would be great if kids went to school four longer days per week and had every Friday off. Teachers could work a half-day on Friday (or longer, depending on the lenght of the regular school day), giving them time to write great lesson plans, keep their paper-grading workload manageable, meet with parents or student groups, tutor one-on-one, etc.

    BTW, if high school students had more self-discipline, they could be trusted to use the school on Fridays for their own "work days," to catch up on projects, use the library or computer center, play some B-ball, or whatever. Too bad they have to be constantly monitored. Parents, creating trustworthy children is YOUR challenge. Teachers can help, but they aren't magicians.

  • ctya Jun 21, 2011

    cut out some of the teacher work days or early release days. It seems for every day that is added a workday pops up also. Also it seems kids are out of school every other month.

  • 2AMANDA2 Jun 21, 2011

    JACK1... i agree with you completely. parents have to do their part. my kids teachers have always known that under no circumstance is it ok for my kids to cut up in class. some parents use they are bored, etc... as an excuse. i work with my kids at home to make sure they have what they need for school and can do the work. shoot i was just in sam's today buying workbooks for both my kids. some parents think they aren't supposed to do anything past the school day/year... or think it's unfair. my kids love doing workbooks and showing me what they know. if only more parents took an active role!

  • 2AMANDA2 Jun 21, 2011

    WHATTHEHEY... your point is valid to a degree. if the students don't want to invest themselves in the requirements than they don't deserve to be in the programs. as for the busing... my kids go to regular/magnet schools and spend and hour each on the bus each way. but job after 10th grade... what job can they really get with only a 10th grade education that will allow them to be able to support themselves? there are people in this world with multiple bachelor's degrees that can't get a job that will allow them to support themselves... and not just in the current economy

  • Plenty Coups Jun 21, 2011

    tadbjb-"In response to you former teachers. I hope you never taught either of my kids."

    They're probably glad they didn't have you as a parent.

    "You chose to be a teacher and just like most other people who work, we work 8 or more hrs a day, we have to do what the boss tells us"

    That they did, but they were also given contracts showing pay grades when they were hired. That has been frozen going on 4 years now. Promised "merit pay" has also been taken away for 4 years. Unlike you, they cannot go to their boss and ask for a raise.

  • Plenty Coups Jun 21, 2011

    jcoopson-"Those that work in the corporate world, a lot of times making less $ then teachers make"

    The FACTS show that teachers starting out here in NC making around 31K per year. That has been frozen going on 4 years now. Private sector pay has again started to rise. The average college graduate just starting out can expect to make 50K this year. A teacher would have to work many many years to even get to that starting out point for professions requiring the same educational level. If you add in the TWO (not 3) unpaid months of summer vacation, it still doesn't even come close. (31 divided by 10 = 3100/month or 6200 for 2)Your comment lacks truth to say it nicely.

    College pay levels as determined through NACE surveys:

    Pay raises in private sector:

    and another source:

  • Plenty Coups Jun 21, 2011

    "Right now, 8-10 days are wasted on state testing--5 days for testing, 5 days for retesting. That is for middle schools and high schools on a traditional calendar."

    Actually more time than that if you figure in required remediation time (5 hours per test) that has to be given by teachers who then must send their regular students to other classes as well as mandatory drill and review time prior to the EOGS. (about 2 weeks)

  • Jack1 Jun 21, 2011

    These are all wonderful comments and some may really help education but nothing addresses the real cause of low student achievement. That is the US school system's huge emphasis on self-esteem AT THE EXPENSE OF self discipline. You can extend the school day by ten hours with very limited results because there is almost no accountability of the students themselves for their own education. As any educator can tell you, the students themselves face very few consequences for poor academic performance and/ or terible behavior. Part of that is due to lack of resources (if there's no bus to bring the kids home late, you can't keep them after school without knowing their parent will deffinately come get them) and part is due to the effort not to hurt the kids' feelings. We need to hold the students accountable for their own achievment (or lack thereof) rather than coming up with more ideas for teachers and administrators help them. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them dri

  • Whatthehey Jun 20, 2011

    2AMANDA2, good point, and they are good programs - but can accept very few students. Also, academically they are extremely demanding; their students must master 11th & 12th grade Honors or AP level courses AND complete a curriculum for Associate's degree, and be bused from many parts of the county. What about the thousands & thousands of students who don't care to invest what it takes to be successful in a program like that but who would love to be be able to get a job that requires training beyond 10th grade? Our economy isn't able to provide jobs for many of the college graduates we have now!