Here's a recap of today's Wake County school board committee of the whole session.
Much of the COW was focused on the calendar surveys and the criteria that will be used by staff to make recommendations for which schools to convert.
The date for staff to bring recommendations has been pushed back from Feb. 16 to March 2. This will allow all four community engagement meetings to take place before staff comes forward.
The March 2 date now means that the board will hear the recommendations the day after Asst. Supt. Chuck Dulaney retires.
Supt. Del Burns warned today that the longer it takes to make calendar changes for 2010-11 the harder it will be on schools preparing for next school year. The upshot is that April would be next to impossible so a call would have to be in March.
School board member Carolyn Morrison made a pitch to delay implementation of calendar changes and ending mandatory year-round until the 2011-12 school year.
School board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman stressed to her colleagues that they keep in mind that it won't be easy on schools making changes so late in the process. But she didn't outright say delay implementation.
At Goldman's suggestion, the board also agreed today to include staff among those who will take the calendar survey.
The board agreed to have staff use this criteria for conversion: school capacity, parental choice, impact of the calendar change on a school's instructional program, interest in year-round education, staff interest, ability to offer alternatives to students and teachers and matching middle school calendars.
The criteria is a variation of what was used to determine which schools to convert to year-round in 2007.
Other tidbits, which I'll cover in more detail in other posts, include Dulaney saying they expect that that the resolution ending mandatory year-round will lead to an increase in the number of people accepted into year-round schools. He said they're also recommending giving traditional-calendar choices to people who are assigned to modified-calendar schools.
Earlier in the COW, Asst. Supt. David Holdkzom talked about the calendar survey. He said that as of this morning there had been 21,000 English responses and 300 Spanish responses.
Holdkzom downplayed the fraud concerns that have been raised about the survey, saying it would be hard for a person to randomly come up with a correct NCWISE number for the survey. He said less than 1 percent of the surveys responses were fraudulent or duplicates.
Holdzkom said they've been able to help a few people who called his office to say they had inadvertantly filled out an application more than once. He said he doesn't have the staff to be able to handle those requests on a wide scale basis.