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Parents Want Resolution to Wake Year-Round Fight

Posted May 5, 2007
Updated May 6, 2007

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— Adalberto Ribeiro’s plans for a family trip to Brazil are in jeopardy because of his children’s school schedules.

“Suddenly, you know, this whole thing is falling apart,” Ribeiro said.

Ribeiro’s not alone. Many Wake County families’ plans are based on the school system’s controversial decision to convert 22 existing schools to a mandatory year-round calendar.

But on Thursday, Superior Court Judge Howard Manning, deciding on a lawsuit by the parents’ group WakeCares, ruled it illegal for the Wake County Public School System to assign students to year-round schools without parental consent.

The school board, in an emergency meeting on Friday, decided to give those parents affected the option to accept the year-round assignment for the 2007-2008 school year or enroll their children in traditional-calendar schools without knowing which school in the county they would attend.

Ribeiro’s son Arthur will join his sibling, Vini, at Salem Middle School this fall. When their dad booked the Brazil trip last year, Salem was on a traditional calendar. When the school system slated the school for conversion, Ribeiro had to rebook the trip, losing several hundred dollars in the process.

Depending on what Ribeiro decides for his son, he might have to rebook again. Frustrated, he says money isn’t the issue. Stability is. He only wants the decision makers to make up their minds so he can make his plans and stick with them.

“They keep changing,” he said. “Every second month, it's a different story.”

WakeCares member Dawn Graf said Saturday that she shared those sentiments when the school board converted her child's school calendar.

“You know, I felt sad for those families, because that's exactly how I felt,” Graf said.

When asked if WakeCares is doing more harm than good, in the end, by fighting the year-round conversions, Graf said she doesn’t think so.

But she said she’s sorry for the frustration fellow parents feel. She said it was right to challenge the school board even as she hopes to work with the board on finding a solution.

“I think it's time to heal the wounds that at this point are just getting deeper,” she said.

529 Comments

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  • Uncle Ruckus May 8, 2007

    Oh yeah, just remembered. If the billion-dollar bond had NOT passed there was a Plan B. All the school would of been forced to go MYR over the next three years. Why not go back to that plan and make all the schools go MYR over the next 3 years, then is would be equal across the board.

  • Uncle Ruckus May 8, 2007

    Ever hear the term "Fortress Preston." The good people of Preston have never really been reassigned to anything -- they are protected because of who lives there. Want to really make your day -- look at the F&R numbers of the Preston School, seems like no one is bused in either. Politics & Power have protected Fortress Preston for years.

    All those highly paid Phd's in the Palace of Education and no Plan B? In the real world (corporate) they would of been fired for not having a Plan B. One solution is to put every Management postion in WCPSS on one-year "performance" contracts, instead of life-long positions (tenure).

  • Spongebob May 7, 2007

    I used to live in a large neighborhood in Apex that didn't get reassigned the entire 10 years that I lived there. They did get reassigned this time though.

  • Spongebob May 7, 2007

    The BOE's exact words in the debate..."there is no plan B". They were well prepared.

    After this evening - I honestly believe the BOE should have allowed 2 years to implement this mess. There are a LOT of kinks that need to get worked out. I just spent the eve in conversation and found out, among other things, that there is a neighborhood being converted to a YR middle school. There are three students in this neighborhood who applied for transfers to their "voluntary" YR middle school. (rising 7)They were granted, like just about everyone else and now there is a bus coming there to take these three students to their voluntary YR while the other residents will be taking the bus to their assigned YR. There were several other points made tonight but that was one that stood out.

  • Just weighing in May 7, 2007

    Oh wow... I just heard that the Welsley sub divisions in Cary on High House road has never been redistricted. They have been assigned to Davis Drive Middle and DD elementary since 1995..Could that be true?? Plus they are one of the only schools in this area remaining on a tradtional schedule. We have been redistricted so many times and our neighborhood has been established about the same time. What is going on here?

  • momof2inCary May 7, 2007

    One more thing, PFK - what back-up plan could the school system possibly implement in two months that would not create major chaos? WakeCARES fails to acknowledge that most of us-like it or not-are READY for year round. I think the BoE has actually implemented its backup plan -- which is going forward. People keep throwing around this back up plan, but for the life of me I have yet to be convinced of a viable option other than what they have done. None of it's pretty, but again, it's like asking the apple tree to produce an orange...

  • momof2inCary May 7, 2007

    PFK - I see what you are saying, but I still think WakeCARES is doing more harm than good at this point, because I think most people have accepted year round. If the BOE has to backtrack and delay their plans, I honestly thing this is worse than just moving forward with the conversion. FORMER TEACHER is right. This idea of complete choice is like asking an apple tree to produce oranges and then being mad when it won't. The school board cannot make everyone happy. The idea of putting every decision out for consensus is a recipe for disaster. That's why we have a board -- to make decisions for us. I didn't run, and I don't spend my nights awake trying to figure out a plan that will make everyone happy. FORMER TEACHER hit the nail on the head: complete choice = private school.

  • PFK May 7, 2007

    momof2incary
    Iknew I would be cut off so I just did it myself:) I am not supporting or against I for one am done with argueing. I just read this stuff in the paper and that is where Igot the info. also theN&O has a great page that explains alot of these questions we have..

  • former teacher May 7, 2007

    I empathize with everyone in this situation. I am a parent dealing with this as well. I keep reading that the School Board doesn't listen, care, etc. What people need to remember is that the job of the SB is different than that of the individual. The individual only has the needs of her family to look out for. The School Board must make decisions for over 100 thousand students. It is a huge job, that will leave half of the community angry no matter what is decided.
    Fortunately for those who want to be able to choose the exact school for their children and want a system more responsive to individual needs, there is a choice. It is called private school.

  • PFK May 7, 2007

    Momof2incary,
    Hey, I may be wrong about this, no doubt someone will let me know. But I think you may be searching for an answer to the wrong question. The Wake Cares group say they have been addressing the BOE for 9 months. That the board knew what could be coming and chose to have NO back up plan. They did say that they have been trying to get the board to here their plan to help over crowding. Not a last min. effort but a real long term plan. I don't think they ever said they had a quick fix except the obvious of course which is to leave things the way they are for now. they claim there will not be a huge increase in students this year.

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