Imagine being told you have to return to the academically struggling school you left and also having to change your year-round track.
As noted in today's article by Ray Martin, Joni Duell's two kids were sent back to Barwell Road Elementary School after having taking advantage of their options last year under No Child Left Behind to transfer to a more successful school.
It's a double whammy for Duell, whose children were on track 4 at East Garner Elementary. Instead of starting the new school year on July 27, they were given a track at Barwell that started July 7, forcing them to start classes three weeks earlier than planned.
Duell is not happy. She's pointing to federal No Child guidelines that say that students who transfer out of a failing school are supposed to be allowed to stay at their new school until they finish.
But Wake is making the 262 students who transferred out last year under No Child return to their old school and reapply to get out.
Federal and state officials said in today's story that Wake's practice seems to go against the intent of NCLB. School officials say they're trying to deal with conflicting transfer demands of NCLB.
On one hand, districts are supposed to provide transportation to transfer students. But the law also says districts don't have to continue busing transfer students to their new schools if their original school meets No Child mandates for two consecutive years.
Asst. Supt. Chuck Dulaney said they wanted to avoid providing transportation to students when they don't have to do so. This means reassigning students to their old schools before providing them their transportation and No Child transfer options for the coming year.
While the legality of this practice is debatable, it's less of a problem for students trying to leave traditional-calendar schools. But it really causes problems for parents like Duell at year-round schools whose children start the school year much sooner.
As previously noted, Wake also isn't following NCLB guidelines saying students at year-round schools should be notified of their transfer options before the first day of classes.
This means that students who had left failing year-round schools actually have to spend time at their old schools before being given the option to reapply for a transfer out.