Wake Ed

Wake County school board to consider school calendar changes

From left, Tenajia Pratt, 9, Cammora Shirley, 9, and Semaya LaSane, 9, read in a group during reading and writing time in their fourth grade class at Walnut Creek Elementary School on Jan. 11, 2016 in Raleigh, N.C.
From left, Tenajia Pratt, 9, Cammora Shirley, 9, and Semaya LaSane, 9, read in a group during reading and writing time in their fourth grade class at Walnut Creek Elementary School on Jan. 11, 2016 in Raleigh, N.C. jhknight@newsobserver.com

The Wake County school board will decide Tuesday whether to convert any lower-performing elementary schools to a year-round calendar starting this summer in a bid to boost student achievement.

School administrators will give their recommendation at the work session whether any of the Elementary Support Model schools should switch to track 4 year-round for the 2016-17 school year. Staff had recommended last month delaying any changes to the 2017-18 school year, but board members asked them to do more research if Barwell Road, Walnut Creek and Wilburn elementary schools could make the switch this year.

Walnut Creek is on the traditional calendar, but parents and teachers have spoken at board meetings in support of becoming a year-round school. Barwell and Wilburn are multi-track year-round schools that could switch to track 4 only like Hodge Road Elementary, one of the Elementary Support Model schools.

Also during the work session:

▪ Staff will ask board members for feedback on what areas they’d like Superintendent Jim Merrill to focus on in the new 2016-17 operating budget that’s being developed;

▪ The board will review allowing board members to participate remotely, such as on a speaker phone or Skype, at board meetings.

The agenda for the regular meeting is relatively short.

The board will have an initial vote on revising the employment policy to ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation. But some gay activists don’t like that the policy omits gender identity as a protected category.

In honor of Black History Month, the East Millbrook Middle School Choir will sing at the meeting.

School board members and administrators will also donate children’s books to Ruben the Rooster as part of the 2016 WAKE Up and Read book drive.

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