Four schools converted to traditional schedules

Staff WriterMarch 3, 2010 

  • Wake County school board members agreed Tuesday to accept the Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank, as a provider of annual training for school board members.

    Under state law, members must receive at least 12 hours of training annually. Previously, they have received it from the N.C. School Boards Association or the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill.

    The Civitas Institute, founded by Raleigh businessman Art Pope, says its mission is to "facilitate the implementation of conservative policy solutions to improve the lives of all North Carolinians."

    Staff Writer Thomas Goldsmith

— Wake County school board members voted Tuesday to put four year-round schools on a traditional calendar this fall.

By unanimous vote the board agreed to convert Leesville Road Elementary School, Leesville Road Middle School and Mills Park Elementary School to a traditional calendar. The board also agreed to open Mills Park Middle School on a traditional calendar instead of the planned year-round schedule.

The conversions could result in hundreds of students changing schools to stay on a year-round calendar.

Administrators said converting those schools would result in the loss of $28 million worth of seating capacity. Year-round schools can hold more students than traditional-calendar schools.

New board members had campaigned on converting some year-round schools to a traditional calendar as part of a pledge to end mandatory year-round schools.

Parents surveyed

A majority of parents who responded to a recent district-wide survey at Leesville Road Middle had said they'd prefer the traditional calendar. A majority of the parents who responded whose children will be rising sixth-graders when Mills Park Middle opens this summer also said they prefer the traditional calendar.

Board Chairman Ron Margiotta and member Deborah Prickett suggested converting Leesville Road and Mills Park elementary schools as well to have the whole campus on the same calendar.

A majority of parents who responded at Wakefield Elementary and Salem Middle also said they'd prefer the traditional calendar. But board member Kevin Hill, whose district includes Wakefield, didn't back the move.

Margiotta, whose district includes Salem Middle, said those families could easily go to Mills Park.

keung.hui@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4534

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