Space crunch in Wake County, N.C., schools

Sept. 11, 2007
Enrollment is up by 5,600 students.

If a room is big enough for a small, round table, chances are it's being used as classroom in a Wake County, N.C., school. Space is tight throughout the district; more than 5,600 additional students have enrolled in Wake schools this year. The growth has forced principals to put more children into portable classrooms and turn cafeterias, storage rooms and bathrooms into classrooms. The space crunch has been even more of a challenge for traditional-calendar schools, which have been forced to take in an additional 3,000 students who chose the traditional calendar over year-round schedules.
Click here to read The Raleigh News & Observer article.

EARLIER: Wake County, N.C., students attending traditional-calendar schools will be going to classes in trailers and storage rooms and eating lunch at odd hours to accommodate an exodus from year-round schedules. School district projections show that more than three-quarters of the district's 56 traditional-calendar elementary schools will be at or over capacity this school year.
Click here to read The Raleigh News & Observer article.

On the first day of classes for year-round schools in Wake County, N.C., some students stayed home who shouldn't have and others came to school who didn't need to. The confusion came as thousands of families who are new to the year-round calendar made the switch from a traditional school year. Officials reported a mostly smooth first day, but some families had questions and misunderstandings about reporting to school in July.
Click here to read The Raleigh News & Observer article.

Critics of year-round school conversions in Wake County, N.C., say efforts to organize mass opposition to the plan appear headed for failure. Opponents of the conversions, scheduled to take place this summer at 22 schools in the district, hope they can get so many families to say they don't want to attend year-rounds that the school system will abandon the changes. But some organizers of those efforts say parents are worried that they won't get enough to block the conversions, and the only result would be that protesters would lose their seats at their school. The school district has sent forms home with more than 30,500 students assigned to year-round and modified-calendar schools this fall. A judge has ruled that the district cannot require students to attend a school with a year-round calendar.
Click here to read The Raleigh News & Observer article.

Some Wake County, N.C., parents are banding together against critics of year-round schools, calling them a "vocal minority" that has gotten too much attention. Several dozen parents have joined Support Wake Schools, a group formed last week to unite people who believe that they represent most families in the school system. They're upset that the parent group Wake CARES sued the school system, and they say Wake CARES doesn't represent their interests.
Click here to read The Raleigh News & Observer article.

Wake County (N.C.) school leaders are urging parents to keep their children at the year-round schools to which they are assigned. The district warns that if too many insist on a traditional calendar, students may end up in less-than-ideal circumstances. A judge ruled last week that students can't be required to attend a year-round school unless parents provide "informed consent." If too many families opt for traditional-calendar schools, crowding could force some classroom sharing or relegating classrooms to gymnasiums. Schools might have to run two shifts in which some children would come to school early in the morning and others stay until the evening.
Click here to read The Raleigh News & Observer article.

The families of a fifth of the students in the Wake County (N.C.) school district are grappling with more uncertainty after a judge blocked a plan to send the students to mandatory year-round schools. The judge says the district does not have the authority to force 30,000 students to attend school on a year-round schedule. Those students' families, many already weary from a prolonged fight over the conversion of 22 schools to year-round schedules, reacted with shock, elation and anger. The school board responded to his ruling by giving parents what many say is an impossible choice: Stay at their assigned year-round school, or opt out and go to an undetermined school on a traditional calendar.
To read The Raleigh News & Observer article, click here.

Related: The ruling has created much confusion about what will happen. To read The Raleigh News & Observer article, click here.

AND: A judge's decision against the Wake County school system's use of mandatory year-round schools caught many by surprise Thursday, but the conditions that led to it have been building openly for more than a decade.
To read The Raleigh News & Observer article, click here.

A judge has questioned the Wake County (N.C.) school system's legal authority to require students to attend schools that follow a year-round calendar. Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. said during a hearing that he hadn't found anything in state law allowing mandatory year-round schools. He also questioned the fairness of making 20,000 students attend the 22 schools that the school district plans to convert to a year-round schedule this summer. Click here to read The Raleigh News & Observer article.

Wake County, N.C., school leaders say they would have to put some elementary students on split shifts with some children leaving home before sunrise and others getting home after sunset, if a lawsuit prevents them from converting some schools to a year-round calendar. The school district says that it will be thrown into chaos if a judge grants an injunction blocking it from converting 22 schools to a year round calendar this summer.
Click here to read The Raleigh News & Observer article.

A parent group has filed a class-action lawsuit to block the Wake County (N.C.) school system from converting 22 schools to a year-round schedule this summer. The group, Wake CARES, contends that requiring only some students to attend year-round schools violates the state constitution's guarantee of a "uniform system" of schools with "equal opportunities" provided for all students. Parents argue that their children will have less access to extracurricular and co-curricular activities.
Click here to read the Raleigh News & Observer article

Wake County, N.C., school planners say it will cost about $285 million in additional funding to avoid opening all new elementary and middle schools on a year-round calendar. That is the amount needed to build nine additional schools by 2010 and create more traditional-calendar options for families. The money would be in addition to the $970 million bond issue voters approved in November to combat Wake's soaring student enrollment.
Click here to read the Raleigh News & Observer article

The fight in Wake County, N.C., over converting some schools to a year-round calendar is far from over. Parents, who have had the ear of some county commissioners in the past, are still lobbying hard to block the conversion of 22 schools to a year-round schedule in July, including the possibility of a court battle before the argument is resolved. School officials say the extended calendar would enable them to accommodate 3,500 additional students. Parents have persuaded county commissioners to delay payment to the school district of $4.7 million for the conversions.
Click here to read the Raleigh News & Observer article

Wake County, N.C., commissioners have refused to authorize funds for converting schools to year-round calendars, but the school board says it will press ahead anyway. In a 4-3 vote along party lines, commissioners approved more money for renovations and mobile classrooms, but they specifically withheld $4.7 million for year-round conversion. Several school board members say they will still go ahead with the conversions, which they say are needed to provide enough classroom seats in the growing district.
Click here to read the Raleigh News & Observer article.

Sponsored Recommendations

Providing solutions that help creativity, collaboration, and communication.

Discover why we’re a one-stop shop for all things education. See how ODP Business Solutions can help empower your students, school, and district to succeed by supporting healthier...

Building Futures: Transforming K–12 Learning Environments for Tomorrow's Leaders

Discover how ODP Business Solutions® Workspace Interiors partnered with a pioneering school system, overcoming supply chain challenges to furnish 18 new K–12 campuses across 4...

How to design flexible learning spaces that teachers love and use

Unlock the potential of flexible learning spaces with expert guidance from school districts and educational furniture providers. Discover how to seamlessly integrate adaptive ...

Blurring the Lines in Education Design: K–12 to Higher Ed to Corporate America

Discover the seamless integration of educational and corporate design principles, shaping tomorrow's leaders from kindergarten to boardroom. Explore innovative classroom layouts...