Local News

Some Wake year-round schools not filled to capacity

Posted July 9, 2007
Updated April 29, 2008

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— School buses started rolling and doors opened Monday at year-round schools in Wake County. However, after a ruling from Superior Court Judge Harold Manning made year-round schools voluntary, at least half of the schools have lower enrollment than projected and are not filled to capacity.

East Garner Elementary is a new school, dealing with a new Wake County problem. The year-round school is one of dozens in the system where parents opted to take their children elsewhere.

"It could be that the parents at the last minute decided, 'You know what? I want to ride this out in the traditional schools,'" said James Overman, principal at East Garner School.

Overman said nearly 140 students requested to leave after a lawsuit filed by a group called WakeCares gave parents the choice to remove their kids from mandatory year-round assignments.

One of East Garner’s third-grade calendars, known as Track 3, was canceled. Other year-rounds have had to juggle similar problems.

Some administrators admit there could be trouble ahead.

"At this point obviously, we're going to have some of our schools that are under enrolled," said Del Burns, superintendent of Wake County Schools.

School board member Rosa Gill expects the system will have to do a better job of educating parents about the benefits of the year-round option.

I don't know that it's going to be a tough sell. Hopefully, the parents will choose to send their kids in the future to year-rounds," she said.

After Manning's ruling, 29 year-round schools in Wake County had 40 or more students opt out. Five of those schools had more than 100 students leave.

Officials said the long-term plan was to have at least 12 new elementary and middle schools built with the latest bond package to be year-round. Now that year-round schools are voluntary, school leaders may be re-thinking those plans.

"Our capital improvement plan, as we move forward, is based on year-round calendars to get the best use of our seats," Burns said. "That was a fiscally responsible act by our Board of Education. It may well have to be re-examined."


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  • Nancy Jul 11, 2007

    "The start times have to do with the bussing routes. Most HS and MS start between 7:25 and 8:15. Depending on the school and the route, after those students are dropped off, they usually then do a route of elem. students. Some buses even complete three runs each morning/afternoon."

    Yes, it is true, elementary/middle/high school start times are tied to when the buses can make the runs.

    And yes, bus drivers are required (except if they are substitute drivers which cover for drivers out) to cover three routes morning and three routes afternoon.

    One elementary, one middle, one high school. UNLESS one of those routes takes too long and the driver is not able to pick up students in time to get them to school on time.

    When I used to drive, my high school route was over an hour long, I was consistently late getting the middle school students picked up in the afternoon on time for their trip home. I could not cover an elementary school route as a result.

  • nowayeddy Jul 10, 2007

    is there any reason that a school can not be year round and traditional at the same time. If there are empty classrooms, put those classes on regular schedule. What difference does it make if they are at a year round school, it will be open all year. No real need to seperate them onto different campuses

  • common_sense_plz Jul 10, 2007

    The fact is...YR students attend school the same number of days as traditional calendar students..180. They are also out of school for a total of 14 weeks. And yes of course many of us would give up a week or 2 of our fall and or spring, to have a little longer summer, but no matter how you look at it, the days and the amount of time out of school are still the same. Did anyone take into consideration that, the people left the school because of other reasons not just the YR issue. They may have left because Job transfere, acceptance into charter schools, Or they just may have moved out of the county to avoid the constant reassignment that wake county forces on all the students. Personally I like the YR calendar, we are able to enjoy traveling to great places during times when it is less crowded and not HOT. But hey, if you like standing in those long lines at disney and other parks during summer, then have at it. I prefere, fall, winter & spring.

  • jenjen02 Jul 10, 2007

    Btw Knel my children can think just fine for themselves at least that is what the A.Gifted teachers say about them. In fact they are quite capable of thinking outside of the box are you?

  • jenjen02 Jul 10, 2007

    Knel you are actually really humerous to me at this point with all of your narrow minded slanted comments. The debate with you gets to be redundant because if the concensus dont agree with you--then you personally attack individuals and their points of view. It is awesome that you do not live in Wake county that way the traditional vs YR does not affect your life. My question to you is isn't there something in your own backyard that you could work on cleaning up rather than being the Traditional police of Wake county. OOOORRR better yet maybe you should be taking your children to the pool to be "kids"

  • poohperson Jul 10, 2007


    This is all a repeat of yesterday, where I was accused of bashing you. It is clear that you do not have an open mind about the situation. I see no one here criticizing you for your choice to go to a traditional school. I think you are jaded from feeling like you had to leave Wake County to get a traditional school. If the is why you are angry, you have every right to be, but quit blaming those of us who accepted year round for that.

  • lolly Jul 10, 2007

    Schadenfreude -
    is a German word meaning 'pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune'.

    Hey Uncle Ruckus - Hope u are doing ok.

  • richard2 Jul 10, 2007

    Everybody's needs are not the same and people do not want to be dictated to.

  • Uncle Ruckus Jul 10, 2007

    I wonder how many School Board members and senior staff at WCPSS are ROFL at these posts. Who are we to dare interfere with long-term plans and social agendas?

    The secret motto of the School Board:

  • jaksethi Jul 10, 2007

    Knelsud and Oceanchild, I appreciate what you both have to say, but don't assume my children don't love playing and say they're bored because they don't. My children play outside or with their barbies or read books ALL the time. They're happy well adjusted children who have the same amount of vacation in a year as your children. We go on Disney Cruises in October, while your's are in school (pretty much like summer), we're going to Hawaii this October (pretty much like summer). We have most of August off and the last week of June. We're happy, they're active in swim team, softball and gymnastics. I work from home so my needs are not "babysitter" oriented.
    As I stated yesterday, everyone has different opinions and different situations work for different families and I'm just tired of people saying I've programmed my children or brainwashed as Knelsud is so adamantly convinced.

    I've also explained yr to my 8 yr old and guess what she doesn't care. It's all the same to her.