Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Five new magnets in 2015

Two schools will return to magnet status and three more will become magnets next school year, the WCPSS school board decided Tuesday evening.

Broughton High School and Daniels Middle School will be remagnetized. They were made traditional schools in 2008. Hodge Road, Jeffreys Grove and Stough elementary schools will become magnets.

The five schools will create a K-12 language immersion/global studies magnet pathway. Jeffreys Grove now offers a full immersion program in Spanish, Stough offers Chinese full immersion and Hodge Road has a dual-language Spanish immersion program. Making those schools magnets will open those options to students across the district.

The move will cost $180,959.

Learn more about these and all other magnet school options in the district on Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Magnet and Early College Fair, from 9 a.m. to noon at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School.



Inspiring STEM Students

Ed Summers was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease, in 1981 at the age of 10. He tried to hide his condition over the next 20 years, even as his vision continued to deteriorate.

“Throughout this period, I became increasingly ashamed and self-conscious,” Summers told a group of 6-12 graders Wednesday at the STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities.  “As my vision decreased, my world got smaller.”

At age 30, he could no longer read print. To save his career and his marriage, “I had to accept the fact that I was going blind. I couldn’t hide it anymore. I had to find a way to adapt. I fought that decision tooth and nail for 20 years. But the root of the problem was not my failing vision. The problem was between my ears.  I equated blindness with failure. Yet failure is defined as refusing to acknowledge reality.”

So he looked to other successful people with visual impairments for inspiration.

“I knew if they could do it, I could do it,” Summers said. “I started spending less time worrying, and more time doing.”

Summers is now senior manager of accessibility and applied assistive technology at SAS. He shared his story at the STEM Showcase, which encourages students with disabilities to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Watch the full video HERE.

Sanderson High School Closing Early Due to Power Outage

Sanderson High School will release students early today due to a power outage.

The school will be sending students home at 12:30 p.m. today.

Please note that a tree is blocking Dixon Drive. The only access to the school is North Hills Drive.

School buses will provide transportation home for students who ride by bus and parents will be able to pick up their children for rides out as usual.

School staff will stay with students at school until arrangements have been made for each child to get home.

Repairs should be completed today and school will resume its usual schedule tomorrow.

WCPSS ‘STANDS UP and SPEAKS OUT’ Against Bullying in October

There’s just nothing cool about bullying. The Wake County Public School System has fully embraced this stance and is taking meaningful action to protect students from being either victims or perpetrators.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and the WCPSS Counseling and Student Services team has crafted an extensive array of activities and information points for students, parents, teachers and counselors across the district. The goal: to empower young people to stand up and speak out against bullying.

Continue Reading . . .

Draft 2 of 2015-16 Student Enrollment Plan Released

On Oct. 7, the Wake County Board of Education reviewed the second draft of a student enrollment plan for the 2015-2016 school year.

The first draft was presented to the board and the public in August. Since then, staff members have collected feedback from hundreds of parents via a unique online forum called Envision Wake and a series of public meetings.

The second draft reflects many of the changes requested by parents. WCPSS staff members worked diligently to respond to parent concerns related to stability, choice and neighborhood cohesion while still addressing the district’s imperative to ease overcrowding, fill new and underenrolled schools and maximize operational efficiencies. (See section about growth below.)

More detail about Draft 2 proposed changes, including a list of neighborhoods that would be kept intact and a full chart of calendar option revisions, can be found HERE.

The best way for parents to confirm where their children are proposed to be assigned is to type their address into the Base School Preview tool. The tool has been updated to reflect Draft 2 changes.

The Board did not take a vote on the enrollment plan on Oct. 7. Rather, their discussion kicked off another public-input period, with a fresh round of questions posted to the Envision Wake website and a series of four public meetings scheduled, all at 6:30 p.m.:

• Oct. 9 at Wake Forest HS
• Oct. 14 at Apex HS
• Oct. 16 at Millbrook HS
• TBD at Southeast Raleigh HS (tentative)

The board will hold at least one public hearing and work session in November to consider a third draft of the enrollment plan. They are slated to approve the plan in December.

Here are a few clarifications in response to some frequently asked questions from parents:

• This enrollment proposal does not impact transfer students or grandfathered students. It impacts students who attend their base school and students who attend their calendar option school.

• The calendar application process gives priority to families who wish to align the school calendar for siblings in elementary and middle school.

Apex Friendship High will open with 9th and 10th grades only. Students who are rising 11th or 12th graders living in the base area of Apex Friendship High will continue at their current school with their current level of transportation until they graduate.

• Students assigned to their calendar option school for their address are eligible for district transportation.

The Wake County Public School System, already the largest in the state and 16th largest in the country, is facing rapid growth. More than 25,000 students were added between 2006 and 2013. Another 18,615 are expected to be added by 2018, which would bring total enrollment to 171,915, an 11% increase over the current enrollment of about 155,000.


Weatherstone Elementary school dismisses students early today

The school will begin dismissal at 12:30 p.m. today as utilities work to repair the water system.

School buses will provide transportation home for students who ride by bus and parents will be able to pick up their children for rides out as usual.

School staff will stay with students at school until arrangements have been made for each child to get home.

Wake students continue to improve according to 2013-14 performance results

Wake County Public School System students posted steady academic growth across multiple measures last school year, according to test results released today by state school officials.

In addition to gains in the percentage of students considered proficient, the school system’s graduation rate also climbed above 82 percent and the percentage of students meeting new college and career standards increased.

The results were part of a large amount of data released today by the state Department of Public Instruction on various academic indicators.

About two-thirds of Wake County students met or exceeded the more rigorous state standards for proficiency introduced two years ago. They also scored well above the state average in all categories tested.

“Steady growth across a broad range of indicators is always a good sign, especially when a school system starts from a relatively high base given the tougher standards now used by the state,” said Superintendent Jim Merrill.

Grades and subjects tested included Math and Reading in Grades 3-8; Science in Grades 5 and 8; and Biology, English II and Math I in high school courses.

For the 2013-14 school year, 82.2 percent of seniors who started school four years earlier graduated on time. This is a 1.2 percentage-point increase over the 2012-13 rate of 81 percent, and the highest rate registered in WCPSS in the past eight years.

The school system as a whole realized a 1.8 percentage-point increase in the number of students who achieved grade level proficiency in particular subject areas. The districtwide proficiency rate moved from 64.8 percent for the 2012-13 academic year to 66.6 percent last year.

This is the second year that students have been tested on academic offerings under the new NC Standard Course of Study. The new Standard Course of Study incorporates the Common Core State Standards and NC Essential Standards that were first implemented in fall 2012, and under which students were first tested in spring 2013.

Career and College Readiness

The percentage of students deemed Career and College Ready also increased by 1.7 percentage points, from 55.8 in 2012-13 to 57.5 in 2013-14. Career and College Readiness is the percentage of students who scored at levels 4 or 5 (with 3 being grade level proficient) and are on track to graduate prepared for college or the workplace.

A number of schools reported significant percentage-point increases, many in the double digits. Durant Road Elementary showed an overall increase in performance of almost 8 percentage points. Principal Teresa Winstead attributes this to more intervention support, very detailed data walls for each teacher, the addition of a literacy coach two years ago, and a Y-Learning partnership with the YMCA.

Among a number of schools that realized higher performance results were:

  • Olds Elementary, which experienced an overall 16.6 percentage point gain in performance;
  • Smith Elementary, which realized a 13.3 percentage-point jump in Grade 3 reading and a 6.6 point jump in Grade 3 math; and
  • Athens Drive High, which experienced an 11.5 percentage point increase in Math 1.


The percentage of high school juniors who scored a 17 or higher on the ACT exam increased, as well. The percentage of juniors who scored at least 17 in 2013-14 was 71.4 percent, up from 70.5 percent for their counterparts the year before.

For more information on these results and how they affect student learning, please visit

A copy of today’s briefing presentation can be downloaded here.

2014-15 Budget update and salary implications

On Tuesday’s Board of Education work session, staff presented an update on the 2014-15 operating budget that included changes for staff salaries and implications on funding needs.

You can view the presentation here:

Take our online survey.

As the Wake County Public School System continues to work on a new strategic plan for the district, we are asking the community to provide input throughout the process. In May, focus groups with numerous community stakeholder groups were held to gather information about the priorities for the district and our students. Continue Reading . . .

2014 Graduation Schedule and more

** See below for an important note about graduations taking place Friday, June 6, to Sunday, June 8.** 

Families, we welcome you to our graduation ceremonies. You can view the 2014 graduation schedule here. The follow guidelines apply to all ceremonies:

  • Graduates must be at the graduation services at least one hour before graduation.
  • No one without an admission ticket will be admitted to a graduation ceremony.
  • Doors open to parents and guests 45 minutes prior to the ceremony.
  • Do not bring any balloons, glass containers, wrapped packages or noisemakers of any kind.
  • Please be considerate of all graduates and hold applause as required by the schools.

For graduations taking place in downtown Raleigh, ceremonies will impact traffic and parking. Please allow plenty of time to park and arrive at the ceremony.

The parking spaces located along McDowell Street adjacent to the Convention Center under the ‘Shimmer Wall’ will be reserved for passenger drop-off for the duration of the graduation schedule. Golf carts will be available at the drop-off area and nearby parking garages to transport those people having difficulty walking long distances to the doors of the Convention Center and/or Duke Energy Center.

NOTE: Graduations taking place Friday, June 6 – Sunday, June 8 in downtown Raleigh:

Students from 12 high schools will attend graduation ceremonies at the Raleigh Convention Center during this weekend. But participants should be aware that several other downtown events will contribute to heavy traffic and limited parking from Friday, June 6 through Sunday, June 8. Continue Reading . . .