You know a proposal is going to be a hard sell when the school board and staff spends time lecturing the media on how to report an issue.
That was the case on Tuesday when school board members said the media needs to explain why the bell schedule changes are needed for the 2009-10 school year. They stressed the benefits that will come from giving teachers more planning time in professional learning communities.
As noted in today's article, those backing the proposal acknowledge it won't be easy selling parents on earlier starting times, more early release days and regular early dismissals.
"This is something that will take getting used to," said James Overman, principal of East Garner Elementary School and a member of the Time Committee that developed the options.
Throughout the pros and cons sheet, increased child care from the two proposals, especially Option B, are listed as a problem. One of the things the time committee said would need to happen is to market the changes to parents.
Sarah Martin, a member of the time committee and president of the Wake PTA Council, said during Tuesday's student achievement committee meeting that explaining the changes to parents will win them over.
She said that once you explain the value of giving more PLC time to parents they calm down and a "light bulb" goes off.
But Robin Oke, an Apex parent and longtime school district supporter, is worried that the issue could be used by critics to build up opposition to the school district.
What may play a factor is the timing of the proposal.
The time committee has been meeting for two years and has presented the options to groups such as the Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council. But Tuesday was the first time that the school board was told by staff that they want the changes approved for the upcoming school year.
It will next be discussed by either the student achievement or facilities committee on March 24. Plans call for it to be adopted as part of the bell schedule vote on March 31.
What could also muddy things is that the board is looking at this at the same time they're talking about starting some high schools later and some elementary schools earlier.