Wake school survey now online

January 12, 2010 4:55:13 AM PST
Wake County parents now have their chance to tell the new school board majority in an online poll what they think about year-round schools and school assignments. What they have to say could radically alter school schedules across the district.

Click here to take the survey

Parents will answer questions like how satisfied they are with the current calendar at their child's school, which type of calendar they'd prefer, how far they'd be willing to travel for a school with the calendar of their choice, and whether they'd leave if their current school calendar changed.

Board members said the results of the poll will be used to plan school calendar assignments as early as the 2010-2011 school year.

The move comes as the controversy over schedules and school assignments continues to rage across the district.

In November, voters elected a new majority to the board that ran on a platform of doing away with the district's current diversity policy in favor of neighborhood schools. But opponents have pledged to fight change. On Sunday, the North Carolina NAACP held a rally to demand the board hear its position on the issue. NAACP President Rev. William Barber wants a 45 minute public meeting to present his case. So far, the board has not agreed.

"Do you know how many people request those kinds of meetings? Many," explained Wake County School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta.

Instead, he's offering Barber a meeting with himself, the Vice Chairman, and the Superintendent. He also wants Barber to join a committe to study graduation rates, test scores, and suspension rates among low income students.

"I'd like to ask the Reverend to join us and help us help those low income kids who could really use some help," said Margiotta.

"If he wants to talk and the superintendent wants to talk, we should talk to the full board," Barber responded.

Year-round schools have also been controversial. Some parents like them and others do not. The new board majority has approved a resolution doing away with mandatory year-round schools. Presumably, it will use the results of the online poll to decide which schools could see their calendars switched to traditional school years.

To keep the results of the poll scientific, parents will be required to enter their child's NCWISE identification number to participate. The district said those numbers would be provided to parents in a letter sent home from school beginning Monday. If parents have not received the letter by Friday, they should contact the school. If parents are unable to complete the poll online, they can get a paper copy from the school. They must be completed and returned by noon Monday, January 25.

Officials said individual responses will be kept confidential.

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