Local News

New school year brings new schedule

Posted August 20, 2009

— Wake County students starting at traditional schedule schools next week will encounter a new schedule: a one-hour early dismissal on Wednesdays.

Teachers will meet in professional learning teams those afternoons.

For the rest of the week, the school day has been lengthened by 10 minutes to ensure students get the mandatory 1,000 hours of instruction. Year-round schools began the new schedule seven weeks ago.

Scott Garren, who teaches social studies at year-round East Cary Middle School, said the collaboration lets teachers better help their students.

"The more heads you have in the situation, the more eyes you have on the situation, the more ideas you're going to come up with," Garren said.

Teachers discuss how students are doing and how they can help them. Team members teach different subjects and share their strategies.

"A student I might have in social studies, they might go to art and really excel. By talking to that teacher about what's working really well in that class, I can take some of that and bring that into my classroom and set them up for success," Garren said.

Since traditional-schedule students will start on a Tuesday, their teachers soon began discussing ways to help them.

"By the second day of school for traditional students, teachers will already be talking about what students need ... so they can start addressing those needs immediately," said Donna Hargens, chief academic officer for the Wake County Public School System.

On six Wednesdays, students will be released 2½ hours early for schoolwide faculty professional development.

Teachers said the program helps them build a sense of camaraderie.

"You have this danger of being isolated in the classroom, like you're on an island," Garren said. "This really gets us out of that and gets us together."

School system officials said that many after-school care providers are accommodating the schedule change.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • time4real Aug 21, 2009

    so year round teachers are getting rooked? not getting paid for 12 months? the audacity of it!

  • OhBella Aug 20, 2009

    So, if you complain that teachers get two months off a year, are you, as a taxpayer, willing to pay for an increase so teachers work every weekday, year round? Rememember, teachers are only paid for 10 months but most choose to stretch it over 12. It would get pretty expensive for the state to employ teachers 12 months.

  • time4real Aug 20, 2009

    whutttttttttttttttttt? never heard of it.

  • TontoKozlowski Aug 20, 2009

    "For the rest of the week, the school day has been lengthened by 10 minutes to ensure students get the mandatory 1,000 hours of instruction. Year-round schools began the new schedule seven weeks ago."
    I'm confused..If you are attending class 10 minutes later 4 days a week, that equals 40 Minutes right? So then you are leaving school 1 hour early once a week which equals 60 minutes right? Isn't that a weekly deficit of 20 minutes? So doesn't this prevent them from attaining the mandatory 1000 hours of attendance?

  • time4real Aug 20, 2009

    go to www.wakesca.org and/or http://maloneforschoolboard.com/ and see for yourself. pretty sure he supports neighborhood schools, which is the only way the future should take us! the busing has to end!

  • anneonymousone Aug 20, 2009

    There's no overtime, although I know few teachers who work fewer than 50 hours a week, comp time is difficult to come by, and the summer that is reputed to be three carefree months is actually eight weeks long and is filled with workshops and unpaid preparation for the next year.

    It takes me five hours or more to create plans and materials for a substitute teacher to come into my room. This is in addition to the papers, planning, creation and grading of assessments, communication with students and their families, tutoring, etc. that I already do. Guess how often I can take sick leave or personal leave.

    Our working conditions give OSHA nightmares; we are routinely insulted and sometimes threatened by students and their parents; we make all other professions possible, and many people think that, because they attended school, they know how to do my job. I've operated a car for years, but that does not make me a carburetor.

    And I love my students and I love my job.

  • RMC10 Aug 20, 2009

    JoeAshley - Naw I think I've got you beat on the hours/salary distance. Plus I don't get 30 days off a year, I get only 11 Federal Holidays,and forget about track out weeks, and summers off here in corporate land. We do team meetings during lunch or at the end of the day, which means we don't leave on time, We take home reports to do, articles to write, and check work e-mails on weekends. And, with all the layoffs these days, we are glad to do it. But for parents to be able to do all that, we do depend on the teachers and the schools to have set, traditional, regular hours, so we can. To see what WCPSS has done to break apart schools, neighborhoods and friendship/support systems between families, kids, and even to siblings is an misuse of their power, social status, and trust. I wish we parents could just wave a magic wand at election time and undo all that, but the folks who are running in districts we don't get to vote for, seem hell bent in perpetuating the happy myth for anot

  • anneonymousone Aug 20, 2009

    Joeyashley wrote, "This whole thing is an absolute joke in any manner which is looked at other than to pamper the teachers who already do not work 8 hr days 12 months a year."

    I have worked a variety of jobs, all of which have their challenges, and the hardest that I have done---by far---is teaching. I do not know what you refer to as "pampering"; I see none of it in this situation. I leave the workshops on these "early release days" still having a stack of papers to grade, materials to write and copy, assessments to create, parents and guardians to call, and planning to do for future lessons.

    And you're right, we don't typically "do not work 8 hr days 12 months a year," nor do we get paid for those hours. In North Carolina, at least, we get the worst of the salary/hourly work situation.

  • RMC10 Aug 20, 2009

    Smez2 and Time4 - The early release days are ONLY covered by the third party after school program thru YMCA, IF you are enrolled in the after-school program at your school. It's NOT cheap it's $179.00 a month for after school care at Kraft YMCA, $79.00 additional for SOS/Holiday days, and they currently do not offer a Wednesday PLT day (only) option. Too many young, tweens will be home alone on Wednesdays. The WCPSS Board is way wrong on this program. It's just the PLC/T program got some big bucks from SAS. N&O and several other companies to implement this program (and it's on a five-year program schedule). I'd say give the money back, and drop this to protect the very children the PLC/T teams are supposed to help, they are putting at great risk by sending them home early, on odd days at odd times. The little girl that was killed yesterday was out of school at 1:30, an off time for busses to be on the road, and maybe the driver was not expecting to see school busses with children.

  • injameswetrust2003 Aug 20, 2009

    time4 what is his position on neighborhood schools? The candidate I vote for must support them. End busing by race!