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Interim principals appointed to River Bend Elementary and Longview School

The Wake County school board appointed interim principals tonight for River Bend Elementary School and Longview School.

Darryl Fisher will serve as interim principal of River Bend, located in northeast Raleigh, from Feb. 1 to April 1. Fisher was the principal of Wilburn Elementary for 21 years.

Ramey Beavers' stay as the intern principal at Longview, an alternative school in East Raleigh, was extended through May 1. Beavers, the former head of student assignment, has been filling in at Longview since October.

Wake County schools concerned about state legislature's education changes

The education reform package passed last year by the state legislature drew plenty of red flags at Thursday's Wake County school board student achievement committee meeting.

As noted in today's article, school board members said that issuing an A through F grade for every school will humiliate schools and won’t have much value. School leaders also say now requiring districts to hold summer reading camps for third-grade students who fail the state reading exam is an unfunded mandate.

“We are charged to make sure we have the best education system for our students and teachers," said school board member Jim Martin. "If something is coming down the track that doesn’t help students and teachers, then we have the obligation to get off the track before the train hits us.”

Wake County school system names new head of special education

The Wake County school board appointed the new head of special education and an interim principal on Tuesday.

Karen Hamilton was named assistant superintendent for special education services with a salary of $120,000. She's been senior director of counseling and student services since 2007.

Hamilton was also principal of Longview School, an alternative school in Raleigh, and worked in central office as a program specialist and later director of special education services.

Martha McCaskill was named interim principal of East Wake School of Arts, Education and Global Studies in Wendell through Feb. 28. Before her retirement, she was the school's principal from 2007 to 2009.

UPDATE

Click here to view the bio sheets.

New principal named to Leesville Road Middle School

The Wake County school board appointed one permanent and one interim principal tonight.

Cynthia Kremer was hired to be principal of Leesville Road Middle School in North Raleigh, with a salary of $110,910. She has been principal of Guilford Middle School in Greensboro since 2003.

Ramey Beavers, the retired former head of student assignment, was named interim principal of Longview School in Raleigh. Beavers previously served as the interim principal at the alternative school in April and May.

Wake County school board members debate use of teacher performance pay

It looks like, at least in the near term, any use of teacher performance pay in the Wake County school system would be on a limited basis.

Wake County school board members debated the use of merit pay when reviewing the draft strategic plan last week. Some school board members support its use while others are adamantly against it or only support using it in limited cases.

Performance pay is already in limited use in Wake.

New principal named to North Forest Pines Elementary School

The Wake County school board appointed a principal to North Forest Pines Elementary School tonight and made several interim principal appointments.

Syreeta Smith was promoted from assistant principal to principal of North Forest Pines Elementary in Raleigh. She's been at the school since 2007 and will receive a salary of $80,788.24.

As for interim principals:

Wake County school board approves merit pay program at Walnut Creek Elementary and Longview School

The Wake County school board approved today offering bonus pay to teachers and other staff at Walnut Creek Elementary School and the Longview School.

Starting in the 2012-13 school year, grant money will be used to offer to staff signing bonuses and bonuses based on student performance. A similar merit pay program, also using grant money, is offered at four Wake elementary schools.

Walnut Creek is getting the program because it's a high-poverty school in Southeast Raleigh. But unlike the Longview School, an alternative school in East Raleigh, Walnut Creek's staff won't have to reapply to keep their jobs at the school.

The vote for Longview was 8-1 with only board member Jim Martin, a critic of bonus pay programs, voting no. Board member Susan Evans joined Martin in opposition to the 7-2 vote for starting the program at Walnut Creek.

1331084883 Wake County school board approves merit pay program at Walnut Creek Elementary and Longview School 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 discussing budget, student assignment and other issues today

Budgets and student assignment headline a long list of items on today's Wake County school board agenda.

 As noted in today's article, during the work session, staff will present recommended changes to the assignment plan based on the results of the first round of the choice selection process. The board has scheduled a vote on changes for the regular meeting.

Chief Transformation Officer Judy Peppler previously told the board they may recommend adjustments in four areas: whether seat set-asides should be allocated for some or all of the high-performing schools, the percentage of magnet vs. base students at some schools, options for students whose feeder doesn't include transportation and sibling priority in grades 1-5, 7-8 and 10-12.

Wake County may offer bonus pay to teachers at Walnut Creek Elementary and Longview School

Wake County school administrators want to offer signing bonuses and performance pay to teachers at Walnut Creek Elementary School and the Longview School.

The school board will vote Tuesday on using $442,000 from the Race to the Top grant for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years to start Walnut Creek's bonus plan. The new plan would help Walnut Creek "be able to hire and retain the most capable staff members in all positions."

Some critics had argued it was unfair to offer the bonuses at the four Renaissance Schools but not at Walnut Creek when they have similar demographics.

The board will also vote on using $425,000 from a School Improvement Grant to fund the bonus plan at Longview for the next two school years. The plan calls for Longview, which is an alternative school, to "reconstruct" its staff, meaning some current teachers might not return to the school in the fall.

1330956067 Wake County may offer bonus pay to teachers at Walnut Creek Elementary and Longview School The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Making changes to single-gender leadership academies

Wake County's two new single-gender leadership academies are undergoing some changes before they open the doors for the 2012-13 school year.

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, Wake is now looking at partnering with Peace University to house both schools on their campus. The earlier plan was to have the male academy at the Longview School site and the female school at Raleigh Charter High's former space at Pilot Mill.

Wake will now only require that ninth-graders take Junior ROTC instead of having all grades in the program.

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