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Assessing whether Wake County's magnet schools are aligned to the program's principles

Which Wake County magnet schools, if any, should be worrying about losing their magnet status?

During Tuesday's school board work session, Deputy Superintendent Cathy Moore said the determination on demagnetization is a longer more drawn out process that they weren't going to discuss yet. She wanted the board to focus on the adoption of the magnet principles and which schools to include in the magnet grant.

But this color-coded chart showing how the existing magnets fare under the magnet principles could give an indication of which schools might be at higher risk. Green indicates strongly aligned with the magnet principles, yellow is moderately aligned and red and white both mean not aligned.

Proposed changes to 2012-13 Wake County school bell schedules

Thre are a bunch of changes to the latest version of the peoposed 2012-13 Wake County school bell schedules.

I'll go into more detail later but some highlights include staff recommending no changes from the 2011-12 schedule to several elementary schools: Briarclff, Kingswood, Lead Mine Elementary, Lincoln Heights and Sycamore.

Davis Drive Elementary would start 10 minutes earlier and go from 7:35 a.m to 2:05 p.m. instead of the proposed switch from a 7: 45 a.m. start to a 9:15 a.m. start.

Green, Wendell and Zebulon elementary schools would still change but not go from a 7:45 a.m start to a 9:15 a.m start. They'd both now operate from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Click here to view Wake's press release. Staff is scaling back the projected savings from $6 million a year to $4.8 million because the changes announced today would keep 33 more buses on the road than the prior proposal.

The revised bell schedule list was approved 6-2 with board chairman Kevin Hll and board member Jim Martin the no votes.

Martin said the new schedules should have been provided to parents before the end of round one of the school selection process.

Martin also said he was concerned that the plan has so many schools starting after 9 a.m. because of the impact on working families. His amendment to require schools that open after 9 a.m. to offer before-school care died from a lack of a second.

Setting magnet school and achievement choice set asides in new plan

Here's an abbreviated recap of today's update on the Wake County student assignment plan.

Staff is proposing splitting the magnet schools into three groups with varying level of magnet and application seats. Group one schools, largely those around Southeast Raleigh, would have 55 to 60 percent magnet application seats.

Group two schools in less high-poverty areas such as Brooks, Joyner and Underwood elementary schools would have 40 to 45 percent magnet seats.


Two principal changes in Wake County

The Wake County school board announced tonight that one principal has transferred schools and another principal has taken a job in Central Office.

Shane Barham will become the new principal of Wendell Elementary School, earning a salary of $75,155. He has been principal of Rolesville Elementary since 2007.

James Overman, the principal of East Garner Elementary, will now become senior director of elementary education programs. He had been at East Garner since 2007 and was the county's Principal of the Year in 2005.


Click here for the bio sheets. 

New principals named at four schools

The Wake County school board named new principals on Tuesday night for several schools.

Catherine Berry was named the new principal of Creech Road Elementary School in Garner. She's currently an assistant principal at New Hope Elementary School in Hillsborough. Her salary will be $91,591.

Mary Ellen Leach was appointed principal of Green Hope Elementary in Cary. She's been an assistant principal of Turner Creek Elementary since 2004. Her salary will be $99,659.04.


New principals named for three schools

New Wake County principals were announced tonight at Wakefield High, Farmington Woods Elementary and Durant Road Middle.

Tripp Crayton will go from being principal of Wakefield Middle to principal of Wakefield High in North Raleigh. Before moving to Wakefield Middle in 2007, he had been an assistant principal at Wakefield High.

Crayton will receive a salary of $96,487. (He replaces Mark Savage, who is now principal of the new Heritage High.)


Info on the second-chance magnet schools

It looks like Wake was trying to steer more people into eight magnet schools this year via the second-chance letters.

For those who might not recall, this year was the first time that people whose magnet applications were rejected were sent a letter giving them a second chance to apply to another school.

You only got the offer if staff thought your departure wouldn't have a negative impact on your base school.

Parental reaction to schedule changes

Will the less than positive parental response to schedule changes to add more teacher planning time derail the proposal?

As noted in today's article, school board members have heard from a lot of parents who aren't enamored with the proposed changes slated to go into effect in July.

Few parents have contacted board members to say they're in favor of adding 10 minutes to the school day in order to dismiss classes an hour early once a week and to increase the number of early release days.


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