Wake County Schools

Interstate 40 traffic
Dave DeWitt

The reconstruction of the Raleigh Beltline is likely to have a huge impact on the Wake County School system.  About 20 percent of schools may be forced to change their start times and bus routes next year.

Though construction is not expected to reach its peak until late 2014, Wake County school administrators and board members are already considering what changes they may need to make.

David Benbennick via wikimedia commons

The chair of the Wake County school board says the board will consider county commissioners' request for more authority over school construction.

For at least the past 11 years, Wake County commissioners have tried to gain control in the design and maintenance of schools. Just this week they passed a proposal - asking the school board if they can at least share the responsibility.

school bond
Dave DeWitt

The Marching Trojans from Garner Magnet High School aren’t marching this morning – they are sitting, and practicing, in the band room. Their bags and instrument cases are stacked in every corner of the tiny space, on pockmarked floors and against cracked walls.

After band class, many will make their way across a grass-less, uncovered field to the temporary, modular cafeteria. Or as they call it here, the “Trailer-teria.”

STEM
WCPSS

A unique high school with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math will officially open its new building today. The Wake N.C. State STEM Early College High School is designed to serve students who would be the first in their families to go to college. 

John Tedesco
Wake County Public Schools

The past few years on the Wake County School Board have been marked by controversy. Republicans came into power in 2009 and board member John Tedesco led the charge to eliminate the school assignment program, sparking outrage and national attention.

wake bus
Dave DeWitt

Most traditional-calendar public schools open their doors to students starting this morning. In Wake County, all will be on its extensive transportation system.

Last year was, by most anyone’s standards, a disaster for the bus system in Wake County. Hundreds of students were late for school, stranded at the wrong bus stop, or simply not picked up. It came about because buses were removed from routes to save money when implementing a choice-based student assignment plan.

Y.E. Smith Elementary School visit the Nasher Museum
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nashermuseum/ / Photos by Duke Photography

During the last several years, you may have heard the phrase "School-to-Prison Pipeline" pop up in conversation. It will often be used in discussions regarding the "Zero Tolerance Policy" and armed resource officers in schools. What the school-to-prison pipeline refers to is a number of policies and practices in place that push children from schools into the criminal justice system.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools police patch
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Wake County’s sheriff, Donnie Harrison, is urging the School Board to create its own police force.  Harrison made the comments as part of a report to the Wake School Board on school security.

He says school security issues are more important now, six months after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Wake School Bus
Dave DeWitt

Tonight, the Wake County School Board will continue its discussions on hiring a superintendent.

It’s been more than two weeks since the three finalists for Wake Superintendent visited the district for a hectic few days of interviews and public appearances. Wake School Board Chair Keith Sutton initially indicated a new superintendent would be hired within a few days, but delays have pushed it back to tonight, at the earliest.

  County School Boards have long since been in charge of school construction. However, the Senate recently passed a bill that would hand over school construction to county commissioners in 10 North Carolina counties. Many people who oppose the bill argue that county commissioners may have experience building prisons but not schools. This is one bill out of many that have been progressing through the Senate recently.

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