Cary, NC – Thoughts for December 2017 from Bill Fletcher, Member of the Wake County Board of Education.
Superintendent James Merrill is Retiring
Dr. Merrill has decided to resign from Wake County Public Schools and retire as of February 1, 2018. Dr. Merrill has provided strong, steady leadership during his five years at the helm of our public schools. He continuously empowered staff to develop and use their talents and gifts for the benefit of our students. He will be greatly missed.
What does this Leadership Change Mean for our Schools?
There is a lot to do: name an interim superintendent; gather community input on the qualities of the next superintendent; design and conduct an appropriate search; vet, interview, select and negotiate initial performance goals and compensation.
Target date for a decision is April with our new leader in place by July 1. Stay tuned!
Attempting to Straighten Out Mismatched Calendars
Over the years by action of different boards with different perspectives and agendas, numerous families have found that their elementary and middle school calendars do not match. The current board is attempting to undo many of the forced mismatches.
For the 2018-19 school year, familes may apply to attend a multitrack/year-round school in January. Multitrack schools will be treated like magnets in terms of accepting students and filling the schools. Interested? Apply in January 2018.
Reduced Class Size Mandate Persists – Schools and Families Having to Adjust
Reduced class sizes in kindergarten through third grade is still the law of the land. This year – a max of 20 students per classroom; next year – a max of 17 students per class. Efforts continue behind the scenes to inform legislators of the negative impact this mandate is having on students and school communities.
Numerous community organizations are planning to welcome legislators back to town January 9. You can be involved, too. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
APPLY in January! Explore School Choice for 2018-19!
School-based open houses/fairs are being held at many magnet schools. There is still time check them out.
- Early Colleges in December
- Magnet programs in January
- Multi-track / year round program in January
- Other parent choices in February
Interscholastic Athletics Engages Most of our Students!
More than half of all high school students participate in a competitive sport. For many, participation in sports is as important as academics, music, art and other co-curricular activities such as school clubs. Athletes have better attendance and grades, and fewer discipline referrals, than do non-athletes.
The State Board of Education submitted its ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) application to the US Dept of Education outlining how NC will utilize federal funds.
Unfortunately, the application fails to propose changes to the existing testing regimen which measures the performance of less than half of our students on less than half of the curriculum – and omits any evaluation of students’ ability to communicate, collaborate, to think critically and to exhibit creativity. A real missed opportunity!
Parent chats (except on holidays)
1st Thursday – 1 PM
Cary Chamber, 315 N Academy St., Cary
3rd Monday – 11 AM
Caribou Coffee shop, 109 SW Maynard Rd., Cary
Bill Fletcher school info: BFletcher@wcpss.net || Voice Mail: 919-694-8843 || Mobile: 919-880-5301
Story by Bill Fletcher, Member Wake County Board of Education. Photos courtesy of the Wake County Public School System.