Wake County Schools

Wake extends Veterans Day break for students, adds remote workday for employees

Posted October 19, 2021 8:08 p.m. EDT

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— The day after Veterans Day won’t be a school day for students in Wake County next month.

Friday, Nov. 12 was previously scheduled as a school day.

But disruptions to educators’ plan time caused by staff shortages prompted the district to seek a calendar change Tuesday.

The Wake County Board of Education approved changing Nov. 12 to a remote work day for staff. It means no school for students.

Year-round, track 3 schools are tracked out Nov. 12 already. Their additional educator remote workday will be Monday, Nov. 15.

“The purpose of this request is to provide an extended Veterans Day break for those honoring our military families and a chance for employees to use a remote workday to help them reflect and prepare for the remainder of the semester,” district officials wrote in their request to the board.

Board members noted hesitancy about changing calendars this late, but they supported the addition of a day to help teachers plan more.

The district is short virtual academy teachers, and many teachers are filling in those gaps as a regular assignment during their plan periods. Some teachers are filling in when the district can’t hire enough substitutes for classrooms, as the district’s fill rate remains much lower than normal.

Educators at Tuesday night’s board meeting, during the public comment period, argued that teachers and other school employees are exhausted and underpaid and taking their work home with them at night because they can’t complete it during the day.

“We need that downtime for our own social and emotional well-being now more than ever,” Cecelia Joyce told the board.

The district will continue to meet the required amount of instructional time under state law, even without the Nov. 12 school day.

The district annually observes Veterans Day, which is Thursday, Nov. 11.

The change approved Tuesday will effectively extend the weekend for students.

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