School calendars, weather makeup days, bell schedules, grading and spot nodes are among the items the Wake County school board will deal with today.
The school board is scheduled to adopt the 2015-16 calendars for traditional, year-round and modified-calendar schools and the 2014-15 calendars for the early colleges and leadership academies. The calendars will reflect the new way that the school district is handling makeup days moving forward.
Wake announced and then canceled makeup days several times this year. School officials admit they hadn’t adjusted to how the changes in the state calendar law meant they only had to make up hours and not days for students.
The makeup days for the 2015-16 school year will be presented. They’ll reflect how the first priority is to use work days within the school year, followed by changing early release days to full days, then using banked hours and then extending the end of the school year. Other guidelines include things like no more than two Saturday makeup days in a row for year-round students.
Cathy Moore, deputy superintendent for school performance, said they’re not using banked hours as the first option because they want to get back the instructional hours.
"There is value in school,” Moore told school board members at the April 22 meeting. “We want to promote that."
You may notice that the link from the last board meeting showed Thursday as early release days instead of Fridays. Ignore that. Moore said they decided that there’s not sufficient rationale yet to move the early release days off of Fridays.
But Moore said they’re still still studying the issue so she didn’t rule out a change in the future. One of the things she said they’re looking at is switching to a late start as opposed to an early dismissal on the half days that are used by teachers for professional development.
You’ll also notice that the calendar the board looked at a few weeks ago had traditional-calendar schools starting their winter break on a Wednesday, Dec. 23. Still will report back on what could be done to have Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 changed as days off for students.
Board member Zora Felton, a retired teacher, said teachers would appreciate it if Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 became work days.
Also today, the board will discuss whether to resume using spot nodes, or what they now call “future housing development school assignments.” for the 2014-15 school year.
The board will adopt the 2014-15 bell schedules. Click here for the list, which only shows changes to five existing schools from this school year.
The board will have also have final adoption of the revised grading policy that would create a grade recovery plan instead of banning zeros.