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Wake board voting on changing school calendars, magnet programs

Posted November 3, 2008

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— Parents got to speak about changes to schools' calendars and magnet programs during a Wake County Board of Education meeting late Monday afternoon.

In a voice vote, board members gave final approval to switch Leesville Road Middle School in Raleigh from a traditional, nine-month schedule to a year-round schedule, starting next fall.

Before the vote, some Leesville parents said they opposed the change.

"I'm beseeching you to please, please not make a hasty decision," said Lisa Boneham, who founded a parents' group to fight the change. "About half the current staff members are planning to leave if the conversion goes through."

The board was also to vote on implementing a traditional schedule at Baucom Elementary School in Apex next fall and at Green Hope Elementary School in Cary in the 2010-11 school year.

Board members said they needed to make changes to balance student populations. Lower- than-expected enrollment growth has left some traditional schools overcrowded and some year-round schools under-capacity.

Adjustments were also necessary because the economic downturn has reduced financing for future school construction, said Rosa Gill, the board's chairwoman.

"The economy is not going to allow us to continue to build at the rate that we're building," Gill said. "We're trying to look at how we can maintain capacity based on our economy."

Year-round schools can accommodate more students than other schools by using a rotating schedule. Baucom and Green Hope were among 22 elementary and middle schools converted to year-round calendars last year – a move that prompted a parents group to file a lawsuit that will gone to the state Supreme Court.

On Thursday, the school board will also consider giving formal approval to phasing out the magnet program at Daniels Middle School in Raleigh.

The neighborhood around Daniels Middle has improved, lowering the school's poverty concentration, so the school no longer needs special academic programs to entice parents to send their students there, board members said. Staff members also recommended ending the program.

The board voted to do so two weeks ago, but parents, including some who spoke Thursday, have pressured the board to change its decision.

"It's heading back down the path where parents won't choose to go there," parent Susannah Childers said. "Let's build on it, not just eliminate it and throw it away."

34 Comments

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  • imrecyclin Nov 13, 2008

    Nice seeing teachers speaking out. You are fortunate to have CCLP bringing your concerns out when you cannot. The areawide effort to bring unity and stability is interesting to witness. One Campus One Calendar sounds great. Community pride is evident.

  • familyfirst999 Nov 13, 2008

    Please focus your unhealthy obsession on someone else Soccer Mom. Perhaps your own family could use some attention. CCLP is doing a great job without your wicked attempts to discredit their work. Keep the faith teachers and thank you for your service. Others are fighting hard for you as you cannot speak for yourselves.

  • soccermomof2guys Nov 13, 2008

    Obviously these comments are being solicited by the Boneham clan...we could do the same but... we have lives

  • teachn4thekids Nov 13, 2008

    Make no mistake, your public acceptance of the yearround schedule is of utmost importance. Reality is we are flabbergasted at the thought of being yearround. That does not reflect on how we feel about our current students. They did not pull the rug out from under us. I am dedicated to my current and future students. I echo the sentiment that we need a miracle or it will be a detrimental change for staff and students. The group fighting for us is mature and professional. I applaud their efforts and thankfully support what they are doing as we cannot do it ourselves.

  • familyfirst999 Nov 12, 2008

    Kudos to CAllison for speaking in defense of a truly good person. Proof that having opposing views does not create enemies. May others learn from your example.

  • prideparentof3 Nov 12, 2008

    What an utter disgrace to read the hate filled comments. Where do these people even come from? Thank you to callison for defending Lisa's character. No one deserves to be subjected to such malicious lies. Unless you know someone do not judge them. So many of us are proud to belong to CCLP as we share Lisa's desire to keep Leesville families together. Splitting families & splitting communities is unacceptable. Period. It needs to stop. I praise One Campus One Calendar for what they have accomplished to this point. I applaud what their driving force represents. Thank you Lisa for your dedication to our unique campuswide community.

  • leesvilletchr Nov 12, 2008

    I too am at LRMS and I beg to differ. In public we need to show our support for the conversion. In private it is an entirely different matter. I do not know Ms. Boneham but am eternally grateful for her efforts on behalf of us who cannot speak. We were not asked how we felt. We were told what we had to do. I believe more than half of the current staff who will leave if this change takes place. Not one other staff member wants this change. We need a miracle.

  • wcpss123teacher8 Nov 12, 2008

    Lisa,
    I am a teacher at LRMS and although I am sure you feel very passionate about what you are trying to accomplish. A lot of the staff do not need or want you to fight our battles. I don't appreciated you reporting that the half of the staff may leave. That undermines our dedication to the current students. Please refrain from gossiping publicly about the teachers' positions of the subject. I don't feel you have deserved these attacks, however, you have subjected yourself to the public eye by stating your headstrong opinions on WRAL. Your friends attacks on the opposing side have only made your group look immature and unprofessional. Words sting but they don't really hurt you, isn't that what we tell our children. If someone said these things to your children would you tell them to retaliate or turn the other cheek???

  • callison Nov 11, 2008

    I'm a bit late to this thread, but I've been out of town and just heard about it.

    I do know Lisa Boneham and I disagree with her completely on calendar and reassignment issues. We've spoken openly about it. However, I know her to be a good and kind person who has the courage to put her name to her beliefs and is undeserving of personal and childish attacks.

    Yes, I know that many bloggers that oppose her viewpoints are attacked just as unfairly and viciously, but they are under handles, so they are somewhat protected. Having been a named "blog victim" myself, I understand how it feels and give Lisa the credit for taking the high road here.

    Everyone needs to understand that we are not fighting each other, but are simply advocating for what we believe is the best solution for all. The most important issue is the EDUCATION of our children. What kind of education would they be getting from their parents if they were to read what they've written under a handle on the blogs?

  • familyfirst999 Nov 11, 2008

    Just as expected, soccer mom does not know Lisa. She just hangs around the lowlife swamp to attack a stranger because she doesn't have a life of her own. Based on your attacks and ugly demeanor soccer mom I'll bet you have never been invited to join any caring families groups. Keep on lying and throwing your tantrums while the CCLP makes things better for Leesville families. You are pitiful to watch.

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