Archive for July, 2010


Student Teaching Information

We now have comprehensive information about student teaching in Wake Schools available online.

There are documents, instructions and forms available for university contacts, students, and cooperating teachers, as well as a listing of the program deadlines.

Lifelong Learning Jumpstarts Education

The Wake County Public School System’s Community Services Department has just released its mini-catalogue providing a sneak peak of exciting Lifelong Learning courses being offered this fall! Pick up the catalog at any WCPSS campus or Wake County library branch.

Here’s a look at the Jumpstart for Education section:

Fall Catalog5.jpg

To secure seating for any of the following Fall courses, you may register online. By visiting the Lifelong Learning website, you will also find out about other course listings, times and locations for courses in career development, personal enrichment and much more.

Students can enroll in evening classes hosted at eight Lifelong Learning school sites: Athens Drive High, Leesville High, Heritage High, Millbrook High, Knightdale High, Sanderson High, Southeast Raleigh High and Reedy Creek Middle. For more information, call 850-1807 or visit

Recalculation Adds Wake High Schools to Best Schools List

After being inadvertently left off Newsweek magazine’s Best High Schools list, eight Wake County high schools have been added to the roster following a recalculation of the data.

In all, 12 Wake County Public High Schools are on the news magazine’s list of best high schools in the United States. They are:

  • Apex
  • Middle Creek
  • Cary
  • Panther Creek
  • Holly Springs
  • Wakefield
  • Millbrook
  • Enloe
  • Broughton
  • Athens Drive
  • Leesville Road
  • Green Hope

“When we first saw the list, we were alarmed only four of our schools made the list,” said David Holdzkom, assistant superintendent for Evaluation and Research. “Using the Newsweek criteria, we re-examined all WCPSS high schools to see if any met the test used by Newsweek. We discovered eight of our schools had been left off the list in error,” Holdzkom said.

The authors of the story acknowledged the error in their calculations and have reposted the corrected results on their Web page.

“We have great schools in Wake County, and we want to make sure they get the credit they deserve,” Holdzkom said. Our teachers, administrators and principals have worked hard for these results.”

According to Newsweek, just over 1,600 schools, or about six percent of all the public schools in the U.S., made the list.

ParentVision: School Meals

Learn more about school breakfasts and lunches — including how to easily pay for them and track your child’s usage — on today’s ParentVision video podcast, part of our Back-to-school guide.

Board Names Interim Principals

At its July 20 meeting, the Board of Education named retired WCPSS principal Tom Benton as Interim Principal at the East Wake School of Integrated Technology and retired WCPSS principal Charles Langley as Interim Principal at West Lake Middle.

The board named as assistant principals Eric Betheil at Wakefield High, Christopher Cox at Martin Middle, Dimitrious Foster at Fuquay-Varina High, Brian Gwyn at Apex Middle, Aaron Marcin at Green Hope Elementary, Robert Morrison at Holly Springs High, Chrystal Regan at Sanderson High, Wallace Sellars at Wakefield Middle, Niko Schutte at Fuller Elementary, Ellen Wester at North Garner Middle, Karen Whiteman at Dillard Drive Middle, Raleigh Bame at Sanderson High, Kimberly Harrison at Phillips High, Kristine Harris at Cary Elementary and Susan Parker at Durant Road Middle.

Chairman Margiotta’s Open Letter to the Community

Wake County Board of Education Chairman Ron Margiotta issued the linked open letter to the community to thank Chief Harry Dolan and the Raleigh Police Department for their recent efforts on behalf of the school system.

Click to read the letter. (PDF)

Families to Receive Calls About HPV Vaccine

From Ann H. Dishong, WCPSS senior administrator for K-12 Healthful Living/JROTC:

General Statute 115C-47(51) directs all local education agencies in North Carolina to provide parents and guardians of students in grades 5-12 with “information about cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, human papillomavirus and the vaccines available to prevent these diseases.” To view the North Carolina law please visit this link.

Each year, WCPSS Central Services provides information to parents and guardians of students in grades 5-12 via a centralized voice message. Below is the 2010 schedule:

  • All Year Round Calendar Schools: July 26 – 30, 2010
  • All Modified Calendar Schools: August 9, 2010
  • Wake Early College: August 23, 2010
  • All Traditional Calendar Schools: September 9 – 17, 2010

This voice message will inform parents and guardians of all students in grades 5-12 of this legislation and where to obtain an informational flyer.

The flyer is accessible electronically by visiting our website at, clicking on the “Parents” tab located at the top of the website. Once on the parent’s page, click on “Health & Safety” then click “HPV vaccine Information.” There you will find the information in both English and Spanish.

Board Chair’s Statement from July 20 Meeting

Wake County Board of Education chairman Ron Margiotta’s opening remarks from the July 20 school board meeting are attached here.

Enrollment Cap at Cedar Fork Elementary Effective Immediately

Due to school crowding, on July 20 the Wake County Board of Education approved an enrollment cap for Cedar Fork Elementary effective immediately. The enrollment cap is 843 students. Any new base students enrolling today will be “capped out” and assigned to the overflow school approved by the school board, Weatherstone Elementary. Transportation will be provided to Weatherstone Elementary. Board Policy 6204 and its R&P give the details of the capping process.

Capped out families may also submit a transfer request to apply for their calendar option school. For six of the seven Cedar Fork base nodes the calendar option is Morrisville Elementary. For one node the calendar option is Carpenter Elementary. If the family submits a transfer request to their calendar option school and if there is a seat available, the WCPSS Growth and Planning staff will approve this request with school district transportation.

Combined classes and collapsed tracks: How principals respond to enrollment changes

Every year, principals hire teachers and staff for their schools based on projected student enrollment. These projections are usually fairly accurate, but sometimes more or fewer students arrive at their school than expected — and that leaves them with difficult choices in organizing their schools and assigning students to classes. WCPSS principals work to find the best, most supportive classroom environment for every child within some difficult constraints.

For example, the state has strict requirements for class sizes from kindergarten through third grade. An older school facility may not provide enough classroom space to serve larger classes. Or the school may not have high enough enrollment to permit the hiring of additional staff. Principals weigh many of these issues when they have to react to situations such as imbalances on year-round tracks or over-enrollment at a particular grade level.

When these situations arise, principals restructure the school. If there are enough resources in the budget — schools are allotted positions based on enrollment — and the facility supports it, principals can create new classes. Otherwise, solutions might include:

  • providing team-teachers, where students are assigned to two teachers that may share the same location;
  • multi-grade classes such as a combined first- and second-grade class;
  • collapsing year-round tracks or moving students to a different track;
  • or losing positions and consolidating classes through the budget reconciliation process.

None of these situations is ideal, although changes such as team-teaching or combined-grade classes can provide strong academic environments through greater opportunities for differentiated instruction.

Especially in a time of tight budgets, WCPSS principals have the responsibility to be careful stewards of their funding while assuring strong academic support for every child. As in previous years, we anticipate that some year-round and traditional principals will have to restructure their schools in response to enrollment changes. WCPSS Central Services staff will support them in every way we can. If you have any questions, please contact your school’s principal.