Wednesday, October 26, 2005

N&O article:Year Round Rumors

From 10/26/05, News and Observer

Year-round rumors

In the interest of rumor control, there are no plans right now to convert any Wake elementary school to a year-round calendar for 2006. That's at least what Wake school administrators are telling parents who are hearing scuttlebutt about year-round conversion.

The rumors were flying Monday evening at a public meeting at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School. Ramey Beavers, senior director for growth management, tried to defuse questions from a pack of parents that Wake Forest Elementary School would go year-round.

Parents can continue to ask questions at meetings being held around the county through next week. These meetings will begin at 7 p.m.:

Tonight at Knightdale High

Thursday at Athens Drive

Nov. 2 at Garner High

Nov. 3 at Leesville Road High

Saturday, October 22, 2005

An Invitation

I was asked to pass along this invitation. You can see these candidates' opinions on mandating year-round schools here and here.

November 10th School Board Forum

This just in from Wake Education Partnership:
Join us for the next Wake Regional Education Roundtable on Nov. 10 for a school board forum, including current and newly elected members of the Wake County Board of Education. The Roundtable, hosted by Wake Education Partnership and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Raleigh Chamber (800 S. Salisbury).
Wake Regional Education Roundtable is a series of monthly lunch discussions held in conjunction with area Chambers of Commerce. Each month, the Roundtable focuses on a relevant education topic – past meetings have included discussions about teacher recruitment, student assignment and municipal leadership in education. Community members have the opportunity to listen to and talk with the experts about these issues. Chamber members, parents, business people, educators, community representatives and elected officials are encouraged to attend. All meetings are held from noon to 1:30 p.m. and include lunch. For more information or to RSVP, contact Candace Atkins at or 821-7609 ext. 31.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Massive Reassignments Proposed for Wake County Students

The Wake County School Board met on Tuesday, October 18. Click here to read the N&O article about discussions that took place.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

10/11/2005 Unofficial Elections Results

10/11/2005 Unofficial Elections Results

Monday, October 10, 2005


Don't forget to vote on Tuesday, October 11!!! The results of these School Board elections (4 available seats) will determine the course of education in Wake County for years to come! Mandatory year-round schools are one of the main issues.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Fernie Williams Responds

I am firmly against mandatory year round schools. I feel year round schools are great for those who want it but should not be forced on the parents and students of Wake County. The Wake County school systems planning group is constantly in damage control mode instead of doing their jobs and providing the facilities to meet the future needs put upon the system.

I have been in my current home for about four years. Two years ago a new school was built to reduce crowding at my children's school. This year they are having to add new mobile classrooms to handle the demand. This is unacceptable. It has to be a better investment for the taxpayers to build in a reasonable amount of extra capacity than to build new schools every three to five years when the stated life of a school is forty years.

I have attended one of the reassignment meetings recently and noted the comments from every parent that voiced their opinion. The majority of the comments regarding mandatory year round schools were negative and I agree with them.

If I am elected I will never forget that I work for the people that I represent, not that they work for me, and find the best compromises to the tough decisions that I will face.

I am not a politician, I am an engineer and that is what engineers do, find the best compromise to the problem, based upon the facts.

Best regards,
Fernie E. Williams

Friday, October 07, 2005

Tillie Turlington Responds

I will NOT support mandatory year-round schools.

Thanks, Tillie Turlington Candidate for School Board District One

Bill Fletcher Responds

Year round
I support the expansion of voluntary year round schools. The inaccurate enrollment projections provided by county government have put the system more than 10,000 seats behind the 2000 projection for the current year. Year round expansion must support the healthy schools concept and provide families with options to meet their particular needs. The ideal solution is completely voluntary.

Conversion of an existing school calendar to year round is being proposed and promoted by members of the County Commission. Because of inadequate capital funding, expansion of year round is likely. And there must be some mechanism by which we all can be assured that those converted schools will be filled to capacity. But there must be clearly defined rules and procedures about opt-in/opt-out, transfers, appeals, etc. What options would be available for track changes, track alignment between grade levels, alignment with high school, etc. If year round expansion is driven by only cost concerns, as is being suggested by members of the county commission, then parental choice and preference will be minimized in order to implement the most efficient model for capital and operational dollars.

Bill Fletcher

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Eleanor Goettee Responds

I support the prospect of making year round schools the "default option" in Wake County. In my opinion, year round schools are the most palatable option for addressing student growth in the short term - not that they are the only option we must employ. Research shows us that year round schools are educationally sound and that is a huge factor for me. These schools still provide for at least three weeks of a break at some point during the summer months so there is indeed time for families to have vacation time together. I do believe that should we need to move to mandatory year round schools - which would be a last resort in my opinion but could happen if we are not able to come up with more appropriate options soon - there should be a process in place that allows parents the right to be heard if their schedule simply does not work with the year round configuration. The one thing I am committed to is to be sure to offer parents continued options for year round schools as their children move to middle school and then high school. I would like to think we could synchronize schedules of the year round tracks to allow an elementary student in one school and his sister in a middle school to have one or two weeks of common break time in the summer.

I disagree with the argument that there will be difficulty in making arrangements for child care during the "track out" period. Our private enterprise system works pretty well and I suggest a demand in the market would generate plenty of quality child care options.

Horace Tart responds

I am against mandatory year-round schools. There are many parents who are denied their choice of year-round schools. These requests should be taken care of first. Parents will become the sales persons for year-round schools, thus the demand will continue to increase. Thank you, Horace Tart

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lori Millberg responds

Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 10:56 AM
Subject: RE: position statement
It would be my strong preference to not force year-round attendance on any student. …
However, I am aware that there are many parents who believe that year-round is the best for their children, and would love to honor their desire to have their children attend on that schedule. …I would love to be able to tell you that if elected, I will make sure that no child will ever be forced to attend school on a year-round schedule, but I can't.   It has already happened to some extent and right now Wake County has a couple of schools in a crisis situation, as the number of students greatly outnumbers the available seats in the schools.   The students are spending a good chunk of their day standing in long lines to get lunch and use the bathroom.  The only options immediately available to create more seats in those schools are either 1.) make the schools year-round or 2.) have students attend on split shifts.  During the elementary years, most parents feel that the use of year-round schools is the more manageable option.  Therefore, we may be forced to look at converting our most overcrowded existing schools to year-round.  If that happens, I believe it would be ideal to be able to identify one or two nearby schools to partner with the newly created year-round programs for purposes of attendance.  This could allow students assigned to the partnered traditional calendar schools who would like to attend on a year-round calendar to transfer to the newly created year-round programs, and students who do not want the year-round schedule to transfer into the partnered schools keeping the traditional calendar. About 60% of the children who apply for year-round each year are turned away. We can make great improvements in our crowding problems by creating enough year-round programs for the children who want them.

Please keep in mind, forced year-round anywhere it happens, happens only because the school system has not received adequate funding to build schools in time to meet the demand. Voters opposed to forced year-round need to insist that our County Commissioners submit a bond to adequately fund our building program, and then work to be sure it passes. … Wake County is #2 in the state in our ability to pay (per capita income); yet 10 counties out spend us on schools. I believe that it is time to make our children a priority and build enough schools to continue allowing students to attend on a traditional calendar.

Thank you for your interest,
Lori Millberg
Candidate for Wake County Board Of Education
District 1

Curt Stangler replies...

Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2005 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: position statement
… I am not in favor of mandatory year round. Because of the lack of planning and foresight on the part of the current board and the school administration we (the citizens of Wake County) may get pushed into decisions we don't like. We must elect Board members who are willing to "think outside the box" and come up with reasonable answers to finding seats for the ever increasing number of students in the Wake County Public Schools.
Thank you
Curt Stangler
Candidate for Wake County Board of Education
District 9

Candidates' Opinions on Mandatory Year-Rounds ...

I have asked each of the candidates for the Wake County School Board to let us know their position on the mandating of year-round schools. As I receive their responses I will post them, so please continue to check this site regularly. Also, continue to urge others to investigate the candidates and to make informed decisions when they vote on October 11. The results of this election will determine the direction that education will take in Wake County for years to come.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Mandatory Year-Round still being considered

If you haven’t seen the article in Saturday’s N&O titled “Wake Expects School Squeeze”, take a look. An excerpt:

The growth is so huge that Beavers said the school board can't ignore looking at more mandatory year-round schools, which can handle about 20 percent more students than traditional schools.
Students in Wake's year-round schools attend 180 days of classes, like their peers in traditional-calendar schools.
The difference is that the 10-week summer break in traditional schools is eliminated in year-round calendars by interspersing breaks throughout the year.
There's already a proposal to open all new elementary schools on a year-round calendar. Talk will intensify about converting existing schools as well.