Please help - AP Tutors

Monday, March 29, 2010

MUCH NEEDED TUTORS for Knightdale High School students taking the following AP Exams!


May 6 / 8:00 AM English Literature IV 3 students

May 10 / 8:00 AM Biology 3 students

May 12 / 8:00 AM English Language/Composition III 16 students (out of 24 taking the exam)

If you can help during the month of April please contact Shannon Hardy (274-8880).

Advocates of community schools gather in thanks ::

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Advocates of community schools gather in thanks ::

Diversity, Del Burns on Wake Board agenda

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Diversity, Del Burns on Wake Board agenda

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Budget cuts could cause many Wake schools to start later - Education -

Friday, March 19, 2010

Budget cuts could cause many Wake schools to start later - Education -

By T. Keung Hui - Staff writer
RALEIGH -- Budget cuts could force most Wake County elementary school students to start school later at 9:30 a.m. this fall.
The Wake County school board is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal to shift starting times later for a majority of elementary schools and several middle and high schools. The changes are being made because of a proposed $3.8 million cut in the school transportation budget that will limit the number of school buses on the road for the 2010-11 school year.
The school transportation cuts are part of $20 million in proposed budget cuts requested by outgoing Superintendent Del Burns because of the poor economy.
Under the proposed 2010-11 schedule, 71 of Wake’s 103 elementary schools would now operate from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those schools currently are running from 9:05 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
The new schedule also reflects the school board’s decision in December to scrap the weekly early Wednesday dismissals at the end of this school year. Schools now dismiss early every Wednesday so teachers can use it for planning time.
Wake operates what it calls a “three-tier” bus system to save money. This allows many buses to run up to three routes in the morning and in the afternoon.
But because of the budget cuts, the new bell schedule calls for shifting start times later for schools that now begin after 8:00 a.m. The later start times would give buses more time to catch the many elementary schools on the later tiers.
Under school board policy, the bell schedules for each upcoming school year must be adopted by March 31.
Staff writer Thomas Goldsmith contributed to this report.

Wake School Board Takes First Steps Towards Changing Student Assignments

By Steve Sbraccia, NBC17

The newly elected school board is beginning to keep the promises it made to parents regarding school assignments.

Thursday afternoon, a newly formed student assignment committee met for the first time to address assignment issues.
"This will include keeping most of our existing year-round schools as they are for the most part, and this will include keeping most of our magnet schools for the most part," assignment committee Chairman John Tedesco said.
In its first steps Thursday, the committee acted on a very limited, narrow set of requests, leaving a lot of the big changes still to come.
"We'll use the next nine to 15 months to build our new assignment process," Tedesco said.
As its first order of business, the committee looked at school-specific node changes based on parental comments from last month's community engagement meetings.
"We're making small changes at this time," school board member Carolyn Morrison said. "A lot of the things we did today are not final."
The assignment committee includes a number of parents, who will help the board members draft recommendations that will create neighborhood schools.
Elected board members say those recommendations are a long way from being created.
"We need to take our time and be very, very diligent and careful in our approach to building a community-based school plan," board member Debra Goldman said.
The school-specific changes recommended by the committee must now go to the full board, which will take a look at them and decide what to do next.

Juvenile charged with assaulting officer


KNIGHTDALE - A Knightdale High School student was charged last Tuesday with assaulting a police officer after he refused to take off gang-related paraphernalia.
Knightdale School Resource Officer Mark Batey said the 17-year-old student was charged as a juvenile. Police would not release his identity because of his age.
He said the student refused to take off blue rosary beads and a blue glove, both symbols of Southside 13, a national gang with branches in Knightdale.
Batey said Wake County school system has a no-tolerance policy regarding gang-related clothing, symbols and other paraphernalia. He said he asked the teen to remove the rosary and he refused. When Batey reached for the rosary, the teen grabbed his arm, he said.
He released the young man to the custody of his mother and talked to her about how to recognize gang activity, Batey said.
Batey said the rosary beads have been co-opted by gangs as a symbol -- something he began to research after he noticed colorful rosaries showing up where beads had once been used to represent gang loyalties. The school has been taking beads for some time, Batey said.
In addition to the altercation with the student, the high school had a spate of gang-related graffiti on school athletic facilities over the weekend, Batey said.

Please know that we ARE LISTENING

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One Goal!  It's go good to know that we are gaining ground in this community and stretching the message beyond our community.  Please see note below from one of our members:

Hello Knightdale 100,

First of all, I am a member of the 100 so far by name only since I have not been able to attend any meetings and for that I am sorry. I do want to tell you that I have been in many talks with Debra Goldman and Chris Malone regarding the state of the schools in Knightdale. I am the Vice President of the PTA for Hodge Road Elementary and nobody knows the troubles knightdale schools have more than me.

With that said I wanted to tell you that I have been speaking with Mayor Killen and Derrick Burr to get an idea of what knightdale really needs so that I can make sure I can pass it on to the school board. For some reason, Debra has gone out of her way to speak to me and get my opionion about the schools in Eastern Wake and has adopted me as her contact for at least Hodge Road elementary. I want you to know that I pleaded for her and Chris to think of Knightdale when making their decisions especially regarding having a magnet school in Knightdale, among others.

I just wanted to let you know that there are other members of the community that are passionate about Knightdale and are working hard in the hopes that we can all come to our goal of having Wake County recognize Knightdale a little more than they have in the past.

Alhtough I have spoken with Debra many times I have yet to get her to visit one of our schools. She has mentioned coming out this Tuesday but obviously I cannot guarantee that especially with the school board meeting that day, just know that I will stay communicating with her and Chris so they do not forget Knightdale. Please read Debra's email to me below, hopefully this will give you some hope for the future...

"Dear Mr. Nourie,

Thank you so much for writing this. Hodge Road Elementary has been one of the schools that I have mentioned and asked questions about over and over again. I would like to look more closely at this and a few others that seem to have been "forgotten" (or something!) by the Superintendent and previous Board and staff. Please know that I AM aware of your situation, and eagerly looking forward to the implementation of some broad reaching changes that will take into account ALL of Wake County. As you are the VP of the PTA, perhaps you are a good contact for me to have. I would like to visit the school, perhaps a PTA meeting, and really try to get a first hand feel of what is happening, and how you are all dealing with this.

Please know that we ARE LISTENING.


Parents will miss superintendent


EASTERN WAKE COUNTY - Some Eastern Wake leaders see turbulent times ahead without Dr. Del Burns at the helm of the Wake County Public Schools.
"It's just a shame that someone who has led such a good school system is not there to support the school system any longer," said Tami Sakiewicz, a member of Knightdale 100, a grassroots education lobby in Knightdale. "I just thought he had a good direction and did a good job. And I'm just worried about what the future holds without him being up there."

Sakiewicz also is the president of the Knightdale High School PTA.

Knightdale Mayor Russell Killen said Burns' crowning achievement was operating a school system on less and less dollars and maintaining excellence.

"Dr.Burns was superintendent during a time of unprecedented financial difficulties for the school system," he said. "He managed with continued decreasing funds without impairing the education of the children."

Tina Lynn, president of the PTA at East Wake High's School of Technology, said she liked Burns because he cared for all Wake County students, rich or poor. "He's been good to care about the students who receive free to reduced lunch," she said. "I was disappointed when I heard he resigned because I'm wondering what direction we're getting ready to go with our schools."

"I think parents need to step up and get involved in what's going on in their schools," she said. "Parents have got to be there."

Knightdale High School guidance counselor Jackie Arnold said Burns' departure is just one more change for the school system, but she hopes that students will still be well-served.

"I think we were all kind of a little surprised," said Arnold. "I guess there's just a lot of uncertainty along with his departure and the new school board.

"As far, as how it will affect me, I'm still doing the same job, and I will still continue to do the same job and just hope everything works out best for the students," she said. "Every year it seems like we face another adjustment. I guess this is bigger than a budget crunch which we face every year."

Wake school board passes resolution on neighborhood schools ::

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wake school board passes resolution on neighborhood schools ::

Raleigh, N.C. — The Wake County Board of Education voted Tuesday to end its long-standing diversity policy in student assignment in favor of a neighborhood schools concept.
By a 5-4 vote, the board approved a resolution to begin planning for the phase out of the policy. The move will allow students to go to schools closer to home, regardless of the socio-economic makeup of the student body.
WATCH VIDEOWake board votes to phase out diversity policy
Reassigning students to ensure schools had no more than 40 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches has been controversial for years. It was a key point in last year's election, in which voters elected four candidates who said they supported changing the policy in favor of neighborhood schools.
School board member Anne McLaurin said Tuesday before the vote that the resolution called for additional research, public feedback and financial cost analysis.
"We have not done any of these things,” she said.
School board member John Tedesco argued the resolution was only a direction and that more discussion would follow.
“We are going to have opportunities to have our committees and our communities participate in that process,” he added.
Read more about Tuesday's school board meeting.
After hearing from dozens of people who signed up to speak before the board, Tedesco joined board Chairman Ron Margiotta and members Deborah Prickett, Chris Malone and Debra Goldman in voting in favor of the resolution, while McLaurin and board members Keith Sutton, Kevin Hill and Carolyn Morrison voted against it.
Those in the crowd opposed to the vote joined in an impromptu rally led by the Rev. William Barber, the state's NAACP president.
Barber has threatened to sue the board if it moves away from the diversity policy. He says research shows schools with large majorities of poor children fail because they are underfunded, have a high teacher turnover and low student performance.
Barber and supporters of the diversity policy said neighborhood schools is a move toward re-segregation.
Margiotta, who broke the tie and passed the resolution, said the district's new direction will not segregate students.
"We have laws, we have court rulings, and we have morality. It is something that would never be tolerated by anyone on the school board,” he said.
Barber said he will be watching the school board’s proceedings closely.
"We are not going anywhere. We are not going anywhere,” he said.
The resolution calls for a second and final vote, which will be taken at the next school board meeting.

Reporter: Adam Owens

WakeEd - Strained relations between school board majority and Wake Education Partnership | blogs

Monday, March 1, 2010

WakeEd - Strained relations between school board majority and Wake Education Partnership blogs

Submitted by KeungHui on 02/21/2010 - 06:00

Tags: WakeEd Ann Denlinger Chris Malone Deborah Prickett Debra Goldman Del Burns diversity John Tedesco reassignment Ron Margiotta Tim Simmons Wake Education Partnership
It would be an understatement to say that relations are strained between the new Wake County school board majority and the Wake Education Partnership.
As noted in today's article, school board members are questioning such recent WEP publications as the school assignment analysis and the assessment of Del Burns' resignation as superintendent. It's a departure from when the WEP worked closely with the old school board majority.
“They seem to be going against everything we want to do," said school board member Deborah Prickett. "I feel like a salmon swimming upstream against them.”
Intentional or not, the WEP is becoming the defacto research arm for critics of the new school board majority. The WEP's reports are regularly cited by opposition groups.
School board members are particularly upset about the WEP report which found that sending students to their closest school would result in crowding problems.
Members of the new board majority say they've never said they're solely going to assign students based on proximity.
School board vice chairwoman Debra Goldman said the WEP could have tried to develop a scenario which would have allowed for more community-based school assignments while still trying to provide the socioeconomic balance the group wants to preserve.
“Let’s work together to bring something positive," Goldman said. "Even if you don’t like the general concept of what we’re trying, try to work with us to make it more positive.”
Goldman said she's been asked by school board chairman Ron Margiotta to serve on the WEP's board of trustees after he turned down the invitation.
School board member Chris Malone said he looks at the WEP reports to see if there's anything worth finding. But he said he hasn't found much.
As for school board member John Tedesco, his blast on the WakeEd blog following the WEP school assignment report has gotten a lot of attention. He accused the WEP of spreading 'fairy tale hysteria" and "waxing philosophical lies."
But Tim Simmons, communications director for the WEP, said the report noted that the approach it analyzed was not under consideration by the board. But, he said, it spoke to questions the public might have about community-based schools.
"I know that the general public thinks that school choice means they get to choose the schools close to home," Simmons said in the article. "The primary reason for doing this is to make it clear that this is not possible."
The school board majority has at least some reason to be skeptical of the Wake Education Partnership, which has been a longtime supporter of the diversity policy.
In 2002 the WEP's board of trustees passed a resolution in support of the diversity policy.
More recently, WEP President Ann Denlinger attended the Friends of Diversity Press Conference that was held the day before the October elections. She was joined at the event by several people who are on the WEP's board of directors and board of trustees.

BY T. KEUNG HUI - Staff Writer
Tags: education local news politics
RALEIGH -- A second attempt by the new Wake County school board majority to push through the elimination of busing for diversity in favor of neighborhood schools failed Wednesday when one of its members didn't back the change.
New school board member Debra Goldman again broke ranks with the majority when she killed a motion Wednesday by refusing to second proposed changes in the student assignment policy.
Goldman was also one of the members of the majority who backed down on adopting the changes when they were introduced Dec.1, right after the newcomers took office.

Goldman stressed Wednesday that she's still a critic of the current policy. But Goldman, who also split with the majority to pass a compromise resolution that doesn't completely ban mandatory year-round schools, said more "due diligence" needs to occur before the student assignment policy is changed.
"I didn't feel right about the wording," said Goldman, chairwoman of the policy committee, after Wednesday's meeting. "I need to eyeball this more, especially when the policy has such major implications."
The committee unanimously agreed Wednesday to recommend scheduling a work session of the full board to discuss what changes to make on student assignments.
Goldman's position caused at least one group that supports the new board majority to say it's beginning to have doubts about her.
"We have seen this nightmare before, where new school board members do not vote to do what they said they were going to do in their campaigns," said Dallas Woodhouse, state director of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group, in a written statement.
Not in my melting pot
Wake has received national recognition for trying to balance the percentages of low-income, low-performing, special education and limited English proficient students at individual schools.
But opposition to the diversity policy helped fuel the election of Goldman and three other board members last fall. They formed a new majority with veteran board member Ron Margiotta.
The proposed changes eliminate all references to diversity and prioritize the formation of neighborhood schools. New school board member John Tedesco justified the change by saying the current policy isn't working.
"We are a good school system," Tedesco said. "I'm not going to deny that by any means. Like Toyota, we sold a lot of cars, but we lost sight of quality."
To support his point, Tedesco pointed to the rising suspension rates, low graduation rates and below-average academic performance of Wake's poor students.
But Keith Sutton, a member of the board minority, said it would be "unconscionable" to forgo mentioning those high-needs students in the policy. He said the current policy avoids having all those students dumped in one school or area.
Goldman and Tedesco argued that it's not the role of the assignment policy to deal with diversity.
"This is an assignment policy," Goldman said. "It's not how to address these students and how to address these needs. Is it fair to tell these students that you fit in one of these categories so you can't go to the schools near their house?"
The meeting took place less than a week after schools Superintendent Del Burns publicly warned that ending the diversity policy would lead to economically segregated schools.
The board met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss whether to remove Burns ahead of his announced June 30 resignation date. Board members agreed to continue the discussion Tuesday.
Woodhouse, of Americans for Prosperity, speculated that Goldman may have been the vote that helped keep Burns from being removed. He's urging residents in Goldman's Cary district to contact her.
"They're not related," Goldman said of Burns' resignation and her decision Wednesday. "My job is to do my job."