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Parents' Group Not Giving in on Year-Round School Debate

Posted May 9, 2007

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— WakeCares, the parents' group that sued to block the conversion of Wake County public schools to a mandatory year-round schedule, says it is hearing that groups are organizing to encourage parents not to consent to year-round enrollment.

Patrice Lee, with the group, said that if it happens that way, the Wake County Public School System may not be able to fill 22 schools that are slated to go year-round for the 2007-2008 school year.

The moves comes the same day Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning told attorneys for both sides during a conference call that the district is complying with his order to make year-round schools voluntary.

Last Thursday, Manning ruled that the school system's decision to convert 22 existing schools to mandatory year-round schedules was illegal and that parents must give their consent before the school system can assign students to year-round schools.

That ruling affects more than 30,000 students who would have attended any type of year-round school next year.

In an emergency meeting Friday, the school board decided to move ahead with the conversions and to give parents a choice. If parents choose traditional-calendar schools, however, there is no guarantee where their children would be assigned.

Board members decided to mail permission letters to parents this Friday. Officials said they hope to get responses by May 18 so that they can begin making assignments. Assignments are not expected to be mailed out until late June, however.

WakeCares said the school board found a loophole in Manning's ruling and that the district should delay the conversions until it knows how many parents opt for year-round schools. They also think parents should know what traditional-calendar assignment they might get before making a decision.

425 Comments

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  • Beachcomber May 10, 2007

    Herelegally
    If you can come to West lake Middle School tomorrow between 10:15-1:00, I will be glad to give you a schedule, show you around and answer questions. I am there tomorrow as a substitute. Come into the office. I will explain to the receptionist about your possibly coming.

  • herelegally May 10, 2007

    I'm sorry...I entered this debate late in the day...and I really have to go...I will look at the schedule and I will count the actual number of "days of instruction" per track...if it comes up to 180 within each calendar year...I'll be amazed...but I'll be interested on how it worked out that way too

  • SWinslow May 10, 2007

    Yes, there is nothing Beachcomber nor I can explain to you more clearly unless you look at the schedule. It's actually a fairly clear concept.

  • herelegally May 10, 2007

    Shamrock it strikes me as a shell game because unless I'm missing something kids are just being passed around in an "attendance day" cycle game but ultimately being shortchanged in actual educational days...the numbers just don't add up for the "shift" will create more "space" argument...there are not enough days in a calendar year to give each child 180 days of instruction

  • Beachcomber May 10, 2007

    Herelegally
    Please look at the schedule.

  • herelegally May 10, 2007

    Shamrock...how do you work 4 tracks of 180 days...even if only 3 are active...that makes for 540 days in a calendar year...add in weekends thats 644 days...how does that work exactly???

    even allowing for only 2 tracks at any given school at 180 days each + 360 days plus weekends = 464 days

    sorry but that just doesn't seem to add up...

  • Beachcomber May 10, 2007

    At some time each year parents choose a track for their children. If places are NOT available for all children from the same family parents are given a choice of a different track. This year this placement has been done by the schools and they work together to find a track for all the children from the same family.
    The schedule for each track is best explained by looking a the color coded calendar. These schedules are available at the schools or on the wcpss.net web site.

  • SWinslow May 10, 2007

    How is it a shell game?

  • Just weighing in May 10, 2007

    I just have one thing to say to all you YR lovers, with all of these schools going YR, you are in the same boat we are in now! In the past you were SAFE…redistricting only happened twice in the past 10 years, (when Adams and Turner Creek opened) now you are vulnerable to anything... Our neighborhood has been changed 3 times in the past 10 years and 1/2 of the neighborhood goes to a different Traditional school (both on the conversion list.). So I'm glad you love year round but don't expect your kids to start and finish at the same school, not if all of these conversions take place. This will give the Board of Ed many YR schools to transfer you to. I got to admit, staying at the same school WAS a nice benefit of Year Round Schools, (that traditional schools never had)!

  • SWinslow May 10, 2007

    herelegally, you really need to go and look at the calendars. That would clear up your confusion. Teachers aren't hired by WCPSS and then assigned out to a school. Teachers are hired by the principals at each school, so a teacher applying for a position at a YR would know it is a YR. Also, they get the same number of vacation days as traditional, as do the students, but again, they are just split up rather than clumped together during the summer.

    All students and faculty are off for the week of the fourth of July and all are off for the same Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. There are many holidays in common. Again, the calendars are posted at the WCPSS website, and it would be easier to see for yourself there than for me to try and explain it all.

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