One of the variables for next school year is whether there will be a big increase in the number of year-round and traditional-calendar applicants in Wake County.
As noted in today's article, staff plans to approve all calendar applications filed next month except in those rare cases when a special education requirement would be an issue. While the percentage of approvals will go up, Asst. Supt. Chuck Dulaney said they're not expecting much of an increase in total applicants.
In the case of traditional-calendar applicants, the reason why they might not increase much could be a source of anger for some parents.
Dulaney said he's not recommending any changes for next school year in the traditional-calendar options that had been used for this school year.
Some parents had hoped that there would be significant change because the resolution adopted last week says "every effort" will be made to provide a year-round or traditional option "at a school within proximity of their residence."
Parents have complained for years that Wake doesn't provide convenient traditional-calendar options for families. For instance, students who live in the Hedingham subdivision in North Raleigh who don't want to attend River Bend Elementary have Rolesville Elementary as their traditional-calendar option.
While some parents and even school board members may urge Dulaney to make changes in the traditional-calendar options, time is the problem.
The next board meeting is Feb. 2 and the calendar application period begins Feb. 8. Staff would want approval of any changes before Feb. 8 so, barring something odd like a special meeting or a vote on Feb. 2 with little time for public input, options will likely remain unchanged.
In terms of crowding, administrators are hoping to avoid a spike in the number of requests. But families who've unsuccessfully tried to get into year-round schools in recent years may try again, which could sharply increase applications.
That's a concern raised by Janny Flynt, a Fox Road Elementary parent who had spoken out against the changes at last week's board meeting. She's worried about an exodus of active PTA parents from schools like Fox Road over to year-round schools.