The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.
The Wake County school board appointed Kenneth Branch to serve as lead interim princpal of Lead Mine Elementary School in Raleigh. He will work alongside current Principal April Hill, who some parents have been lobbying to be removed.
On Tuesday, the Wake County school board will adopt its 2015-16 operating budget proposal, including whether to ask for more than the $48.3 million increase in local funding proposed by Superintendent Jim Merrill. The board will also hear whether rising construction costs could result in delays to some projects funded from the bond referendum approved by voters in 2013.
For the 2015-16 school year, Wake County placed 49.3 percent of the 5,531 applicants into magnet schools and 41.7 percent of the 1,006 people who requested the application schools such as the early colleges. Wake also placed 55.9 percent of the 2,204 applications to year-round schools at 47.5 percent of the 1,522 traditional-calendar applicants.
The N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board has recommended giving preliminary approval to 17 schools statewide to open in 2016, including four in Wake County – Cardinal Charter Academy of Knightdale, Central Wake Charter High School, Peak Charter Academy and Pine Springs Preparatory Academy.
The crossover deadline passed in the General Assembly with the Wake County school system striking out on its requests for legislation giving it flexibility on setting it own school calendar and operating its own charter schools. No bill was filed on giving Wake flexibility to operate charter schools. House Bill 206, which would have exempted Wake from the state’s school calendar law, died in committee.
The Wake County school board’s policy committee will review Wednesday policies on curriculum management and development and the duties of board members. As part of Wake’s movement to follow the N.C. School Boards Association’s policy manual, the district’s policies are being modified to make them compatible.
The Wake County school system’s website was hastily scrubbed Tuesday of references to school waiting lists being dissolved in June. This comes after administrators decided this month to dissolve them Thursday.
Local elected officials – including Wake County school board members – and community and business leaders are returning to the Triangle Tuesday after wrapping up a visit ot see what they could learn from Austin. Texas. Austin was picked for the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Inter-City Visit & Leadership Conference, organizers say, because it parallels Raleigh in many ways.
Authors of a new book on Wake County school assignment politics surveyed 1,700 adults for their views on assignment, diversity and neighborhood schools. The survey revealed details such as how affluent African-American residents in Wake County favored diversity more than lower-income African-American residents.
Wake County school leaders and school supporters are trying to portray the state as the bad guy for putting the district in the situation where it may ask for a $48.3 million local funding increase. During Tuesday’s school board work session and budget public hearing, the General Assembly was repeatedly accused of not providing enough funding to help North Carolina’s largest school district meet its needs.
The Wake County school board appointed Gary Duvall on Tuesday to be the new principal of Conn Elementary School in Raleigh, starting June 1. Duvall, who has been assistant principal of Hunter Elementary School in Raleigh since 2014, will receive a salary of $78,270.
The Wake County school board will review Superintendent Jim Merrill’s $1.4 billion operating budget proposal on Tuesday and holding a public hearing on the plan. The board will also vote on school bell schedules for the 2015-16 school year.
Wake County’s magnet schools will be in the spotlight during the upcoming Magnet Schools of America’s National Conference in Raleigh. The title of the conference is “Legacy of Leading in Diversity, Equity, and Choice” to trumpet the role that magnet schools have played in Wake County since 1982.
“The End of Consensus: Diversity, Neighborhoods, and the Politics of Public School Assignments” by N.C. State professors Toby Parcel and Andrew J. Taylor looks at the ways diversity and neighborhood schools have influenced school assignment policies in Wake County, particularly during 2000-2012. The authors say some pieces of conventional wisdom about Wake’s diversity efforts are wrong.
The Wake County school board is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a change in Superintendent Jim Merrill’s contract that would allow him to get annual pay increases of up to 5 percent. Under the contract amendment, Merrill would be eligible for additional compensation, split between a bonus and a pay raise, based on his annual review.
WakeEd, formerly the Wake Education Partnership, is looking for volunteers to read applications submitted by Wake County teachers for Teacher Innovation Grants. The group also wants volunteers to help set up the WAKE Up and Read book fair and distributions.
The Wake County school board’s facilities committee will review Wednesday the steps for developing the next school construction program. Wake is trying to keep pace with enrollment projections that have 3,000 new students enrolling annually.
Through April 27, the Wake County school system is asking parents of students with disabilities who have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) to take an anonymous, online survey. The survey is designed to find out how well special-education services are being provided to students.