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Principals leaving Cary High School and Holly Ridge Middle School

The Wake County school board announced Tuesday that two principals are taking jobs in central office and six schools are getting interim principals.

Doug Thilman will leave Cary High School, where he's been principal since 2007, to become assistant superintendent for human resources. Gerald Pickett, a retired principal, will fill in at Cary High through August.

Brian Pittman will leave Holly Ridge Middle School in Holly Springs, where he's been principal since 2008, to become senior director for middle school programs.

Wake County school board approves enrollment caps at 17 schools for 2013-14 school year

The Wake County school board approved tonight placing enrollment caps at 17 schools for the 2013-14 school year.

The elementary schools that are affected are Brooks, Cedar Fork, Fuller, Holly Grove, Farmington Woods, Hunter, Joyner, Lacy, Mills Park, Underwood, Walnut Creek and Wiley. Caps would also affect the elementary school grades at Hilburn Drive Academy, and Apex, Garner, Heritage and Holly Springs high schools.

Unless that school is already capped for this school year, newcomers who still move in after this late date can get in for the rest of the school year. But you've got a big problem, unless you already live in the school's attendance area, if you want to begin attending this fall.

Wake County parents asking for 8:30 a.m. school start times

One thing that became clear on Tuesday is that Wake County families really like 8:30 a.m. start times, especially those whose kids go to elementary schools that start at 9:15 a.m.

As noted in today's article, the school board approved Tuesday this revised 2013-14 school bell schedules for each school. A common theme voiced by board members and the public is the concerns families have with continuing to start most elementary schools after 9 a.m.

Wake operates a two- and three-tier bus system in different parts of the district. This means the majority of buses run two or three routes in the morning and afternoon to save money.

Wake County school board approved revised 2013-14 bell schedules

More to come later, but the Wake County school board approved tonight the 2013-14 bell schedules.

The board approved a few changes from this document presented two weeks ago. The revised plan now means 17 schools are shifting for this fall, with six shifting by 30 or more minutes.

The new changes include starting Walnut Creek Elementary at 9:15 a.m., ending a program in which it operated 45 minutes longer than other elementary schools. The plan also starts the Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy and Wake Young Women's Leadership Academy.

The board also dropped a change to Baucom Elementary School.

UPDATE

Click here to view the 2013-14 bell schedules adopted by the school board.

Enrollment caps to be recommended for 17 Wake County schools this fall

Enrollment caps, school budgets and bell schedules are among the things the Wake County school board will deal with today.

During the work session, this handout shows that school administrators will recommend placing enrollment caps for the 2013-14 school year on 17 schools. This is based on how crowded those schools are after the declaration of base, magnet school and first transfer application periods.

Nine of the 17 schools already at the cap figure, meaning families who hadn't moved in by a set date can't attend this fall. The cap would go into effect at the other eight schools when they hit their cap figure.

UPDATE

A revised document presented today shows that 15 of the schools are already at their cap figure. Only Farmington Woods Elementary and Holly Springs High aren't there yet.

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.”

Talking about whether Walnut Creek Elementary School should receive a magnet program

Should the Wake County school system magnetize Walnut Creek Elementary School?

As noted in a recent email from the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children, the group asks school board vice chairman Keith Sutton "will you consider adding any new Magnet Schools in Southeast Raleigh such as Walnut Creek or will this school remain a high poverty/ segregated school?"

The question about magnetizing Walnut Creek came up last week during the board's discussion about what schools to include in the federal magnet grant.

CCCAAC demands Wake County school board vice chairman Keith Sutton answer its questions

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children is trading barbs again with Wake County school board vice chairman Keith Sutton.

In the latest dispute, CCCAAC President Calla Wright accuses Sutton of "hiding" from the group for not answering its requests to meet with him. Sutton declined the invitation, citing "the tone and tenor of your last meeting that I was invited to," but agreed to answer the group's questions.

CCCAAC had a long list of questions, many involving what more will be done to help Walnut Creek Elementary School. Questions also dealt with topics such as why Sutton is supporting the use of performance pay for teachers, whether any magnet schools will lose their status and when will revisions to the student assignment policy be presented.

Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata on the "State of the Schools"

Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata came out with a three-point message at his State of the Schools address on Thursday.

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, Tata talked enthusiastically about the gains that Wake made on state exams. But he warned that the results could drop as Wake and the rest of the state switches to the new common core curriculum and tests this school year.

The third prong of Tata's speech was the need "to make a compelling case" for the passage of a school bond issue in 2013.


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Wake County pointing to gains at Title I and Renaissance Schools

Wake County school leaders are touting the academic gains this past year at several schools with high levels of low-income students

New results released today show that all four Renaissance Schools saw gains in their passing rates and made at least expected growth. The most dramatic gain was at Barwell Road Elementary, where the passing rate rose 9.7 percentage points to 74.1 percent. 

Wake used $9.5 million out of its $10.2 million in federal Race to the Top funding to create the Renaissance model.

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