Wake Ed

Wake County school board to discuss strategic plan

The Wake County school board will hear Tuesday about new academic initiatives and other steps that will be taken to help reach the goal of 95 percent of high school students graduating by 2020.

During the work session, staff will give an update on what’s being done to carry out the strategic plan that includes the ambitious graduation goal. Strategies that will be put on the table include expanding summer programs for rising second-grade students, middle-school students and rising high school freshmen.

Also during the work session, staff will give an update on recommendations from the Knightdale Area Education Work Group for improving the town’s schools.

The final work session item will include staff asking the board for input on whether to tear down the historic gym at Rolesville Elementary School as part of a renovation project. Town leaders had wanted to keep the gym but didn’t want to take over maintenance of the building.

The consent agenda for the regular meeting has a number of things for the board to do, including:

▪ Approval of the conversion of Highcroft Elementary School in Cary to a traditional calendar in 2016 while Salem elementary and middle schools in Apex will remain on the multi-track year-round calendar;

▪ Adopting a contract with an outside vendor that will reduce the number of CASE21 tests given annually in reading, math and science from three exams to just one assessment per subject;

▪ Approving the names for five new schools;

▪ Approval of a $690 fee – or $230 per week – for families of third-grade students who passed the state’s end-of-grade reading exam to attend three-week summer camps. They’ll be seated if there’s room after the free spaces are given to students who failed the reading exam.

▪ Final approval of a responsible use of technology policy that will now require parents to give their consent for their children to use the Internet at school.

If it’s on the consent agenda it means there’s general board agreement to approve the items so there’s no need for a separate vote.

The action agenda includes a vote on revised magnet school program principles in preparation for applying for a new federal magnet grant. The changes are fairly minor such as saying “support diverse populations” instead of “promote diverse populations” and inserting the word innovative to the sentence about providing expanded educational opportunities.

After the closed session, look for plenty of new principals to be announced and potential acquisition of land for a new elementary school in western Wake.