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Year-Round School Uncertainty Leaves Camps in Limbo

Posted May 11, 2007

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— The uncertainty over year-round school assignments is also affecting summer camps and programs catering to year-round students during their breaks from school.

The Wake County school system is sending consent letters to the families of about 32,000 students slated for year-round assignments in the 2007-08 school year after a judge ruled last week that the district can't force students to attend a year-round school without parental consent.

The judge's order was the result of a lawsuit filed by a group of parents who wanted to block the district's plan to convert 19 elementary schools and three middle schools from traditional calendars to year-round schedules. The school district said the conversions are needed to create enough classroom space for an expected 8,000 new students, but the families said the new schedule would disrupt their lives.

The district won't know for a couple of weeks how many families are opting for year-round school, and until the issue is settled, many camps can't gauge how many children they will have.

"We are on hold," said Tom Maynard, director of Garner's Parks and Recreation Department.

Garner planned to host camps for students that were "tracked out" of year-round school, beginning this fall. But the program has been scrapped because of the uncertainty.

"We just decided we couldn't put the camp program in at this point," Maynard said, adding officials hope to launch the program next year. "We worked a long time. Am I disappointed? Yeah."

Parents also are disappointed.

"What we counted on is now a maybe," said parent Gary Butler, whose son was excited about attending the Garner track-out camp. "It's going to put me on hold again. It puts my family on hold again."

The YMCA runs more track-out camps in Wake County than anyone, so it has more flexibility to roll with shifts in the number of students attending year-round school, said Marco Ramirez, director of youth programs.

"Much like the rest of the county, we're waiting to see whether these parents will choose traditional or year-round," Ramirez said.


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  • Steve Crisp May 13, 2007

    For over 30 years now, Wake County and the various cities have had a master development plan in effect. That plan determines future land use, road development, and various population densities can be extrapolated from it including the number and approximate age of children. yet even when the powers-that-be have allowed the plan to proceed, nothing has been done about infrastructure like schools,improving existing road networks, fire and police protection, and water/sewer installation and capacity until a crisis develops. That smacks of nothing but poor leadership. On every level. In every Wake County jurisdiction. Time to get rid of them all and replace both elected oficials and civil servants with people who are competent.

  • scal May 13, 2007

    I don't think the leadership in Wake County will do what is necessary to raise additional revenue. What they should do is come up with a couple plans of where to best implement such fee's and let the community vote on the best one at a special election.

  • scal May 13, 2007


    For 20 years I have seen the BOE put students in trailers, shift them to other schools, threaten us with YR (which I personally have no problem with), and split sessions.

    Why, because the supply for schools is far less than the demand. It's basic economics. As I've stated before, our infrastructure can not support our current rate of growth. The bonds that fail or barely pass is good barometer that should tell you that tax payers do not want to pay the full bill. So where is the money going to come from that will help the community has whole right this ship?

    Impact fee's? Building Permits? Real Estate Sales Transaction Tax? these are things I believe can be another source of revenue to help fund our school system. If it slows down growth that's a good thing shortterm as long as the money goes to where it's supposed to. As much as folks hate to admit it, it's really the only way to get caught up.

    This is why I really think Wake County needs new leadership. Someth

  • speedy May 13, 2007

    OK, build me a "limited number" then

  • inform May 13, 2007

    Goalie man,

    You can implement impact fees for the cost of the additional capacity needed for w/s, roads, and schools.

  • inform May 13, 2007

    Speedy, why haven't they started building? Because the bond that was passed was for a limited number of schools, which included conversion to YR, rather than the number required to keep all students TC. Where have you been for the past 6 months?

    Personally, I feel YR schools are the way to go anyway. It makes better use of school buildings. It makes little sense to build more schools than necessary, for the sake of keeping TC. YR is just common sense, but why should common sense prevail, when a small vocal group of malcontents know what's best all of us!

  • inform May 13, 2007

    UNC Doc, this group doesn't know when to call it a day. They've lost at the polls, in the courts and will ultimately lose in the court of public opinion, when few families opt for traditional schools. They've inconvenienced 32,000 families, yet they "say" they represent 2,000? Public policy shouldn't be determined by the interests of the few. Shame on WakeCares for their win at any cost, slash and burn politics!

  • superman May 13, 2007

    speedy-- I was school finance director for over 25 years for a very large school system. It takes about 6 months to build a house. I looked at the WCPS web site-- it says "31 months to design and build an elementary school, 38 months for a middle school and 41 months for a high school". There is no mention on whether this includes finding a suitable buiding site. I think finding about 5 to 10 acres in an area of where you want to build the school may also take 6 months to a year. I believe you will find my estimate of 2 to 3 years in keeping with the schools own prediction.

  • Goalieman May 12, 2007

    I feel you cannot control growth. If someone has the property to sell and they want to develop it, you cannot stop them without a lawsuit being issued.

    We have to embrace the growth by having a plan in place to accommodate it. If building schools is the answer, then let's get started. If YR is the answer, then let's get started. If a TY with a split schedule is the answer, then so be it. Just get a plan and stick with it. But when a plan is formulated, you will never please everyone. The plan must still be implemented. If you don't like it, get voted on the baord and change it.

  • Goalieman May 12, 2007

    UNC Dr - I have admit you are correct with the name calling. It is a childish thing for adults to do and I opologize.

    I have to say though that the perfect way to resolve the conflict is to put it to vote. Let's call for an emergency vote for all voters to voice their opinion and which ever side wins, so be it!

    This is they way it should have been resolved in the first place!