Wake School Board Begins To Develop Year-Round Scheduling Criteria
Posted June 6, 2006 6:33 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Wake County's school board worked Tuesday on ways to control the student population and began formulating criteria to decide which schools stay traditional or become year-round schools.
The Wake County school system is growing by 6,000 to 7,000 students every year, and year-round schools maximize space. Leaders expect to convert 20 to 30 schools beginning in 2007.
The process for determining which schools will convert to multitrack year-round schedules is beginning to take shape, but it's also a process that's a long time in the making.
"It's a pretty complex process," said Wake County Schools Superintendent Bill McNeal. "The board has been working on this the last year, year and a half to two years."
The schools will likely convert to the rotating year-round calendar beginning in the 2007-2008 school year. But how will school board members decide which schools make the switch? Board members looked over a list of 12 factors to consider when switching schools. By prioritizing those factors, they feel they can systematically determine which schools to convert.
Chuck Dulaney with Wake County Schools said that a timetable for the announcement of which schools will become year-round is up to the school board. However, he said that a tentative target date has been set for August.
"We don't want to be in a hurry right now, because we want the community to be confident that we've taken into consideration all the factors that are important," said Dulaney.
A grassroots parent group fighting to limit the number of mandatory year-round school said they're encouraged by the discussion, but believe August is too late to name the affected schools.
"I think that is just way too late," said group leader Hope Carmichael. "They need to know a year before the conversions -- July at absolute minimum."
The board is expected to rank the factors and maybe give them a points value at a facilities committee meeting next week. Board members will also come up with a timeline at that meeting.
Throughout the summer, the school board said it wants to involve parents with community engagement meetings.