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Wake County school board discussing budget, bell schedules and student assignment policy

The school budget, student assignment and bell schedules are among the items that the Wake County school board will deal with today.

During the work session, school transportation staff will present this list of 15 schools whose bell schedules are proposed for changes in the 2013-14 school year. The wild card is whether Deputy Superintendent Cathy Moore tells the board that any other schools need changes to meet the new state requirement of 1,025 instructional hours.

The board is then slotting more than an hour to discuss factors and goals to use in the new comprehensive 2014-15 plan. This handout is the result of the wide-ranging discussion held Feb. 7.

During the regular meeting, interim Superintendent Stephen Gainey will present his 2013-14 fiscal year budget proposal. We'll see how much of an increase he wants to request from county commissioners.

Lois Nixon applying for vacancy on Wake County school board

Former candidate Lois Nixon says she wants to fill the District 9 vacancy on the Wake County school board.

Nixon, who lost to Debra Goldman for the seat in 2009, told Andrew Kenney of the Cary News that she’s focused on finding compromise in the school board’s meeting room.

“I would like to turn down the heat a bit, if I can help to do that,” Nixon said.

Wake County school board passes voluntary desegregation resolution after debate on magnet schools

The Wake County school board passed the voluntary desegregation resolution it needs as part of it federal magnet grant application, but in the process it led to a discussion about achievement at magnets and the programming options at non-magnets.

At the last meeting on Feb. 5, the board considered this voluntary desegregation resolution. Approval was required as part of the $10 million in federal magnet dollars Wake will request to start up three new magnets and to revamp the themes at two schools.

School board member Deborah Prickett came to the discussion with a long list of notes to raise her concerns about approving the resolution.

1361209839 Wake County school board passes voluntary desegregation resolution after debate on magnet schools 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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 system starting first transfer application period today

The hybrid of the choice plan/address-based plan kicks off today with the start of the new first transfer application period.

As noted in today's article, it carries over how in the choice plan you could request as many as five schools. But there are some big differences, like how you won't get transportation for most of the schools you request now.

You've got the people who will request a calendar-option school, with transportation provided.

Talking about the link between student assignment and new Wake County school needs

Wake County school administrators are pointing to the link between student assignment and the number of new schools that are needed in the next school construction bond issue.

Joe Desormeaux, assistant superintendent for facilities, told school board members last week that revised projections show that 13 to 26 new schools are needed by the 2016-17 school year to keep up with growth.

If Wake sticks to its current practice of only partially filling new schools when they open, Desormeaux said they'll need closer to the high end of the 26 schools. If Wake opens the schools at full capacity and reduces grandfathering, it would reduce the number of new schools but not make families happy.

AdvancED says WCTA complaint against Wake County school system not invalid

There's apparently enough justification in the charges leveled by the Wake County Taxpayers Association to keep the Wake County school system's high school from regaining full accreditation.

As noted in today's article, Mark Elgart, president of AdvancED, said that they haven't officially made a determination as to whether the WCTA complaint is valid. However, he said, if the agency had already found it to be invalid it would have given Wake’s high schools full accreditation.

“We’re not picking sides in the complaint,” Elgart said. “But there’s clearly a lack of confidence in the community.”

Wake County high schools on accredited under advisement status through June 30

This arguably could be classified as being a glass is half full or half empty situation.

In this Jan. 9 letter, AdvancED is telling the Wake County school system that the high schools will remain on "accredited under advisement" status through June 30. It's not full accreditation, which is one step up, but it's not being dropped down a step to "accreditation warned."

AdvancED wants Wake to report back by May 31 on how its conducting the superintendent search, implementing a new student assignment plan and reviewing its policies. They also want to hear if relations on the board are improving.

“The school system is asked to share continued efforts being made by its Board of Education to move beyond the conflicts of the immediate past and the ability of the Board to focus on the needs and best interests of the students of Wake County,” wrote Mark Elgart, president of AdvancED, to the school system in the Jan. 9 letter.

Wake County school system approves all back-to-base declaration requests

Wake County school officials say they approved all 1,159 requests from families to return to their base school for the 2013-14 school year.

Some critics of Wake's abandonment of the choice plan were skeptical that the district would be able to honor every request made during the January back to base declaration period. Their concerns turned out to be unfounded this year.

In addition, school officials say most of the people returning to base will have the same as or shorter bus ride times for this fall.

Wake County school board review changes to assignment policy

It's not an understatement to say that Thursday's Wake County school board discussion on the student assignment policy was a free-wheeling discussion.

The variety of topics discussed, such as how explicit to make an achievement goal and what to say about socioeconomic diversity, set the stage for the long process to follow to come up with a revised policy.

Unlike most committee meetings, nearly every board member including new appointee Tom Benton attended. That's a sign of how important the discussion was viewed.

Wake County school board reviewing student assignment, grading, achievement gap and equity policies today

Can the Wake County school board successfully harmonize policies on student assignment, equity and closing the achievement gap?

Understandably, much of the focus of today's joint meeting of the school board's student achievement and policy committees will be on the review of the student assignment policy. They'll go over these handouts from the Sept. 25 committee meeting, which talks about developing an assignment plan to avoid high concentrations of low-performing students in a school.

The details of the achievement component, along with whatever modified version of a socioeconomic component that doesn't use school lunch data, would need to be finalized before it could be used in the 2014-15 plan.


1360281994 Wake County school board reviewing student assignment, grading, achievement gap and equity policies today The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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