Wake County school administrators are saying it’s a matter of consistency why they’re making single-track year-round students make up last week’s snow days on Saturdays instead of on weekdays.
After school was closed for four days last week, Wake was quick to announce that the 48 single-track and multi-track year-round schools would have the same Saturday makeup days of Feb. 8, Feb. 15, April 26 and May 3. In contrast, the other 122 schools are making up their lost days on weekdays.
The explanation given by Wake is that Saturdays are the only days available for the 38 multi-track schools. There aren’t enough empty seats to use on weekdays considering how three of the tracks are always in session for 50 weeks of the year.
But parents at the 10 single-track schools have pointed out that problem doesn’t exist for them. They can use the intersession breaks on weekdays when no students are in session.
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The year-round schools in Durham, Johnston and Orange counties – all single track – are holding makeup days on weekdays. The same applies to Wake’s modified-calendar schools, which are in essence a version of a single-track calendar.
But Wake Deputy Superintendent Cathy Moore said that the single track is considered to be a year-to-year rather than a permanent designation for those schools. Many of those schools had been on the multi-track calendar before switching to only Track 4.
Wake had begun putting multi-track schools on the single track in the 2011-12 school year because of underenrollment at those schools.
Moore said they wanted to keep consistent the makeup days for all the year-round schools.
Another factor, Moore said, is how they’re planning to use two of the three weeks during the intersession breaks to hold the Read to Achieve reading camps. That leaves those third-grade students with just one week for a break.
Moore said they didn’t want to cut into that break week by using that time for makeup days.
Most Wake schools will hold their six-week reading camps over the summer after students take the state’s reading end-of-grade test. That’s not an option for the single-track and multi-track year-round schools because they don’t have that long a break after the end of the school year.
The year-round schools are starting their reading camps in March by identifying at-risk students before they even take the end-of-grade reading exam.