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.
Wake County school board member Jim Martin says “there is not a school-to-prison pipeline” but a “poverty-to-prison pipeline.” The Education Justice Alliance disagrees, telling Martin that school board members must “acknowledge” the role school policies play in helping send students to prison.
Wake County school board member Keith Sutton has been elected to the steering committee of the National School Boards Association’s Council of Urban Boards of Education CUBE says it “supports urban school boards and fosters effective leadership for excellence and equity in public education, with a specific focus on underrepresented students.”
The high number of teacher absences on this week’s three spring-break makeup days has resulted in a large need for substitute teachers in Wake County. Several school administrators are helping out by serving as substitute teachers.
Wake County school employees largely tweeted about how much learning was going on in school Monday on what was originally the first day of spring break. Students largely tweeted that the makeup day was a waste of time, citing how many classmates, particularly at high school, were not in school.
As part of its effort to provide maximum flexibility for people who can’t change their vacation plans next week, the Wake County school system will cover the $50 fee taken from teacher paychecks to help offset the cost of hiring substitutes. Hundreds of teachers requiring substitutes will be out each day next week now that Wake County is holding makeup days on what were the first three days of spring break.
Wake County principals have been told to be flexible if parents whose children miss next week’s makeup days cite “a valid educational opportunity” to request an excused absence. Some traditional-calendar families say they can’t break their spring break plans now that Wake is using the first three days as makeup days.
The East Wake Education Work Group will hold its first meeting on Wednesday night at East Wake High School. The new Wake County school system group is charged with recommending ways to help improve schools in Wendell and Zebulon.
The digital home for the Triangle arts community that connects visual and performing artists, venues and audiences in a lively conversation that builds engagement, community support for artists and awareness of the arts’ economic impact.
Citing all the time spent on handling the requests, Wake County school administrators say they may recommend eliminating the practice of allowing families who are ineligible for bus service to request transportation from the district. If adopted, it would primarily impact students who’ve received transfers, such as those trying to escape a reassignment change.
The Wake County school board hired Stacey Alston to be principal of East Wake High School in Wendell. Tiffany Rich was hired to be principal of Sanford Creek Elementary School in Rolesville. Kathy Marynak’s contract as interim principal at Green Hope Elementary School in Cary was extended to April 17.
The Wake County school board will be asked Tuesday to waive a policy requiring school start and dismissal times for the coming school year to be adopted by April 1. School administrators want the additional time to analyze if the next phase of the I-40 reconstruction project will require changes to bus routes.
Wake County school administrators will lay out some of the school system’s budget priorities at Monday’s work session of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. Items will likely include funding for high-needs schools and expansion of pre-kindergarten services for low-income children.
The Wake County school board’s government relations committee will get an update Monday on the bills filed in the General Assembly, including one giving the district school calendar flexibility. The committee will also review a letter sent by a consortium of 17 big districts, of which Wake is a member, telling Congress its views on the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Several local groups will hold a forum Thursday night to discuss proposed solutions to the problems of equity and equality for students of color in the Wake County school system. The meeting will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. at the N.C. Justice Center, 224 S. Dawson Street in Raleigh.
House Bill 206 would exempt Wake County from the state requirement that traditional-calendar schools start no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26 and end no later than the Friday closest to June 11. Wake school leaders blame the lack of flexibility in the school calendar law with having to cut into spring break for snow makeup days this year.
Erin Baker, the organizer of a petition that has gotten more than 8,000 signatures asking Wake County to bring back spring break, thanked school leaders for a promising not to penalize people who can’t come on those makeup days. She said “this compromise will help to ease the pressure of families with extenuating circumstances.”
The Wake County school board meets Monday for the first time since the district’s controversial announcement over the weekend that three days of spring break will be used as snow makeup days instead of Good Friday and two Saturdays. More than 5,000 signatures had been collected as of Monday morning on an online petition asking Wake to save spring break.
Wake County school officials say they will announce Saturday which two Saturdays will be used as makeup days to help cover the Feb. 25-27 snow days. But several of the Saturdays could pose scheduling issues.
Wake County school officials are delaying an announcement about which two Saturdays will be used as school makeup days until after they know for sure if classes will be held Friday. The new wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet could cause schools to close Friday.
The State Board of Education is scheduled to discuss and vote over the next two days on revoking the charter of Dynamic Community Charter School in Raleigh. It’s the only charter school in North Carolina focused on educating special-needs students but is facing problems such as a large financial deficit.
Wake County school administrators say holding makeup days on Good Friday and two Saturdays will better prepare students for exams. They say that options such as extending the end of the school year, adding 20 minutes to the school day and cutting into spring break have less instructional value.
The Wake County school board hired Kristin Walker from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system to become the new principal of Green Hope Elementary School in Cary. The board also extended Thomas Dixon’s contract as interim principal at Apex High School and Vicki Brown’s contract as interim principal of Sanford Creek Elementary School in Rolesville.
Five Wake County magnet schools won the School of Excellence Award from Magnet Schools of America, putting those schools in the running to be named the top magnet school in the nation. In addition, 18 Wake magnet schools received the School of Distinction Award.
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