Blog: Wake school board sees year-round survey results
Wake County school board members on Tuesday saw preliminary results from a survey that asked parents whether they prefer traditional or year-round schools.
Last month, the board voted on a resolution to end mandatory assignment to year-round schools beginning with the 2010-2011 school year and to allow parents to choose whether their child attends a school with a year-round or traditional calendar.
Two years ago, the district converted 22 elementary and middle schools to mandatory year-round schedules (the board overturned that policy at a meeting in December.)
At the time, administrators defended the controversial moves by saying it would help the district keep up with enrollment growth and save money on school construction since year-round schools can accommodate more students than traditional-calendar schools.
Up next, changes to the school calendar application resulting from the school board's decision to end mandatory year-round school assignments. Board members say they don't feel comfortable voting at this time.
Board member Debra Goldman puts forth a motion to table the decision until after public comment and after board members evaluate the results of the parent survey results. The board unanimously approves.
Assistant Superintendent Chuck Dulaney expresses some concern about possibly extending the application period because of planning for the upcoming school year.
Central service reductions include the elimination of vacant positions – which have been vacant since 2008. The temporary loss of support will become permanent. There will also be significant reductions in non-personnel services, meaning services would be eliminated and response times will go up. There will also be 75 to 100 filled positions eliminated.
If changes are made by the state, necessary adjustments will be made to the superintendent's budget.
The county is dealing with an $18 million gap in its budget. The superintendent's budget assumes no change in county funding.
Right now, the school system does not anticipate any current mid-year reductions in its budget.
Board chair Ron Margiotta jokes that makeup days from the weekend's snow is probably "the most controversial issue" on the agenda. Makeup days are as follows:
- Traditional calendar: Monday, Feb. 15 and Thursday, June 10
- Modified calendar: Monday, Feb. 15 and Monday, Mar. 8
- Wake early college: Monday, Feb. 15 and Thursday, April 1
- Year-round calendar: Saturday, Feb. 6 and Saturday, May 1
The board received 39,611 responses after 774 responses were removed after being identified as duplicates and 959 removed because they had invalid student ID numbers.
Twenty-eight percent of the district responded to the survey over a 10-day period. About 68 percent of respondents were white. Nearly 15 percent were black. Hispanic participants made up 5.7 percent.
Of those responding, 825 respondents (2.1 percent) have students on a modified calendar, 17,936 (45.3 percent) are on a traditional calendar and 20,850 (52.6 percent) are on a year-round calendar.
- 58.8 percent – very satisfied
- 35.7 percent – satisfied
- 4.1 percent – dissatisfied
- 1.1 percent – very dissatisfied
- 0.3 percent – no response
- 58.76 percent – very satisfied
- 29.99 percent – satisfied
- 6.85 percent – dissatisfied
- 4.07 percent – very dissatisfied
- 0.33 percent – no reponse
- 48.80 percent – traditional
- 44.75 percent – year-round
- 6.17 percent – no preference
- 0.29 percent – no response
- 40.18 percent – yes
- 21.88 percent – no
- 36.48 percent – do not want
- 1.46 percent – no response
- 80.90 percent – keep
- 18.04 percent – change
- 1.06 percent – no response
- 27.87 percent – very likely
- 18.83 percent – likely
- 29.61 – unlikely
- 22.90 percent – very unlikely
- 0.80 percent – no response
Some results from the staff survey (there were 8,839 respondents):
- 49.03 percent – very important
- 36.59 percent – important
- 12.53 percent – unimportant
- 1.85 percent – very unimportant
Assuming that you continue to work at your current school, would you prefer that the school keep the same calendar or change to another type?
- 78.96 percent – keep calendar
- 21.04 percent – change calendar
- 19.62 percent – very likely
- 20.94 percent – likely
- 35.82 percent – unlikely
- 23.61 percent – very unlikely
Board member Keith Sutton wants to change the site of one of the four community forums to an economically disadvantaged area.
He is also asking for a fifth community meeting to be added, saying fewer people in low-income areas took the survey. They want to see if a school is available for Feb. 11.
Those hearings are currently scheduled as follows:
- Tuesday, Feb. 9 at Holly Springs High School, 5329 Cass Holt Road, Holly Springs
- Thursday, Feb. 18 at Heritage High School, 1150 Forestville Road, Wake Forest
- Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Leesville Road High School, 8409 Leesville Road, Raleigh
- Thursday, Feb. 25 at Panther Creek High School, 6770 McCrimmon Parkway, Cary
Each meeting runs from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the schools' auditoriums.
Board Chairman Ron Margiotta wants a minimum of five school board members at the public hearings.