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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 . . .

ALERT: Martin parents should expect delays at dismissals.

Martin Middle School families:

Parents should be aware that they may experience traffic delays around the school this afternoon, as well as delays for students arriving home by bus. Continue Reading . . .

ALERT: Broughton High School to close early; students relocated to Martin MS

UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: Students and staff can return to campus to pick up cars. No students will be allowed in building. Continue Reading . . .

Board discusses the expansion of the Juvenile Justice Project

During the May 19 board work session, the Wake County Board of Education discussed expanding the Juvenile Justice Project, a program that provides teachers and administrators with an alternative response to student misbehavior in school.

Continue Reading . . .

And the winner is….Allison Reid of Heritage High

Superintendent James Merrill names the 2014 Wake County Teacher of the Year in ceremonies at the Raleigh Convention Center on May 8.

Proctors needed for Testing Season

Proctor training for Central Services Administrators is underway and organizers are issuing the call for assistance.  Proctors serve an important role as an additional monitor who helps the test administrator to ensure testing occurs fairly and uniformly. Proctors are assigned by school Test Coordinators to assist during the administration of testing to all students in grades third through eighth and in high school courses for which an End of Course or NC Final Exam is administered. proctor 2

proctor 2Proctors are desperately needed during the last two weeks of school, as all testing must be given during the last 5 to 10 days before the last day of school for each calendar type, such as all year round tracks and modified calendar schools.

All proctors must attend a test administration training session and agree to fulfill the duties described.  Community members are also encouraged to sign up to proctor and are welcome to contact the schools of their choice to offer their time. Volunteers will be trained to serve as a proctor by the school test coordinator.   If an individual has not signed up to volunteer in our schools previously, WCPSS provides a volunteer sign-up process that is open on Mondays between 8 a.m.-4 p.m.  The sign up process for volunteers will end on May 19. If you wish to participate, please sign up by May 19th at:

WCPSS  staff who want to volunteer assisting schools auntitleds they scramble to prepare for end of year testing can receive proctor training provided by the Testing Office.  All WCPSS Central Services Administrators interested in supporting the schools and serving as a proctor can sign up for a training session in eSchools . If you are trained by the Testing Office, you will not need to be trained at the school and vice versa. Testing Administrators say it’s a perfect opportunity for everyone to come together to support our schools and our students!


The next scheduled training session is:

Where: Testing Office -Rock Quarry Road, Bldg. F
When: Tuesday, May 13, at 1:00 PM

WCPSS staff who are not available for the above scheduled training are encouraged to contact the testing office to schedule a training session email:





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