Two Raleigh schools will change calendars this summer while the Wake County school system decides what to do with the future of its other multi-track year-round schools.
The Wake County school board voted Tuesday to switch Durant Road Middle School and Durant Road Elementary School from a year-round calendar where students are split into different schedules to one where they’re all on the same year-round schedule. The switch means hundreds of students will get a new first and last day of school and different vacation breaks starting in the 2019-20 school year.
Both Durant schools currently operate on a multi-track year-round calendar in which students are split into four groups called tracks with three in session and one on break. This schedule can increase the school’s capacity by up to 33 percent, but school officials say the Raleigh schools don’t have enough students..
Durant’s situation mirrors what has happened to Wake this decade.
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Wake had 51 multi-track year-round schools in 2010. But for a variety of factors, such as slowdown in the district’s growth, the number of schools is now down to 36.
Durant Middle used to have 1,300 students, but the enrollment has shrunk to 970 students after the opening of Pine Hollow and River Bend middle schools. School officials say the lack of students make it hard to provide all four tracks with equal access to programs.
Both Durant schools will now operate on only track 4, the most popular of the year-round tracks. School officials say the schools could switch back to multi-track if growth picks up.
Before Tuesday’s vote, school board members held a work session discussion on the goals of the year-round program.