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Bill Fletcher applies to fill Wake County school board vacancy

In a blast from the past, Bill Fletcher is hoping to return to the Wake County school board by filling the vacant District 9 position.

Fletcher became the first, and at the moment still only, applicant on Friday for the Cary seat that Debra Goldman resigned from Feb. 1. Fletcher said in an interview Monday that he wants to bring his “institutional knowledge” to the at-times tumultuous school board and help build community support for public education

“I can’t do anything about what's in the past,” Fletcher said of the recent school board turmoil. “I can only contribute toward improving education for our kids and community.”

Wake County school board member Jim Martin on considering PTA impact in student assignment

Wake County parents may want to consider becoming active PTA members in the future in case it can reduce the chances of their children being reassigned.

During the last board meeting, school board member Jim Martin talked about the "frank conversations" he had with parents at a recent tour of Dillard Drive Elementary School in Raleigh. He said it highlighted to him the need to consider the impact of reassignment on PTAs when they work on future assignment plans.

“It’s pretty clear that in many of our schools we need to look at where the PTA leadership in the schools comes from because we think a lot about reassignments as they impact families, which we need to and they really do," Martin said.

1356962464 Wake County school board member Jim Martin on considering PTA impact in student assignment The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wake County school board members on the level of scrutiny of the student assignment plan's implementation

Are the new Democratic members of the Wake County school board doing their job to make sure the student assignment plan is ready or are they micromanaging the process?

That was a point of contention between Republican and Democratic board members during Tuesday's review of the assignment plan. The first half of the meeting dealt with a look at how the school system is handling its outreach efforts, particularly informing parents about their options and getting them to register if they're new.

Some tense words were exchanged over the issue of whether school registrars and data managers are able to do the job of getting students registered and informed about their options.

1347334003 Wake County school board members on the level of scrutiny of the student assignment plan's implementation The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

School board fills two more senior leadership positions

The Wake County school board filled two top-level jobs and a principal's vacancy tonight.

Christine Mulder was hired for the newly renamed position of chief of family and public engagement. The job was previously called chief of communications but is being revamped as part of Superintendent Tony Tata's shakeup of his leadership team.

Her predecessor, Michael Evans, resigned last month.

UPDATE

Mulder's salary is $132,500. Baker's salary is $120,000.

School board fills new position of assistant superintendent for special education

The Wake County school board reached into Superintendent Tony Tata's former school district tonight to fill the new position of assistant superintendent for special education services.

Lisa Grillo, a former special education teacher who is currently a principal in D.C. Public Schools, was hired for the new assistant superintendent's position. Tata was D.C.'s chief operating officer before being hired by Wake.

Tata created Grillo's new position as part of a reorganization of his leadership team. Her salary was not immediately known.

UPDATE

Grillo's salary is $120,000.

School board names new assistant superintendents and principals

The Wake County school board announced tonight the hiring of two new senior  administrators and two new principals.

Sylvia Wilkins was named assistant superintendent of academics. The position used to be chief academic officer before it was downscaled after Donna Hargens left to become a superintendent in Kentucky.

Wilkins, who has been principal of Dillard Drive Elementary School since 2007, will report to the newly created but still unfilled position of deputy superintendent for school performance.

St. Michael School student wins Wake County Spelling Bee

Congratulation to Catherine Wagner for winning today's Wake County Spelling Bee.

Wagner, 13, an eighth-grader at St. Michael School in Cary, came out on top of a field that included 78 competitors, mostly from the Wake County school system. The event lasted more than 4 1/2 hours and 23 rounds.

Wagner's prizes will include an all-expenses paid trip in June to Washington D.C. for the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Wagner will be the first student to represent Wake in the national competition since 1997.

Simulating an attack on the Dillard school campus today

Do not freak out if you see a lot of police cars and helicopters swarming around Dillard Drive elementary and middle schools today.

Taking advantage of today's teacher workday, the Wake County school system is teaming up with 15 other agencies to conduct an emergency response drill on Dillard's campus in Raleigh. They're going to respond to a simulated attack on the campus.

"This exercise will dramatize an event that is more severe than any emergency our schools would likely face, but this will help us be prepared for everything," said Randy Dishong, a school system security investigator coordinating the drill, in a press release. "We will be testing our ability to communicate, delineate and execute our responsibilities during a serious incident."

Staff looking at how to implement the new student assignment policy

Next year's Wake County student reassignment plan is a work in progress with everything approved by the old school board under review with new suggestions coming in all the time.

During Tuesday's work session, Laura Evans, senior director of growth and planning, laid out to the board an explanation of the assignments being considered and the direction they're leaning toward. It will help to have your copy of the handout present.

The ensuing discussion showed how the thinking has changed to reflect the new student assignment policy. Multiple times, Evans talked about bringing students home, having them attend their neighborhood schools and moving the least number possible for stability.

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