The results are in: Year-round or traditional?

February 3, 2010 2:56:42 PM PST
The Wake County School Board has released the results of its two week survey asking parents about year-round and traditional calendars.Survey results showed most parents are satisfied with their current school calendar.

Overall, nearly 40,000 surveys were completed.

Year-round parents had the largest response, but traditional parents also turned out in big numbers.

About 94.5 percent of parents who responded say they are very satisfied or satisfied with the current calendar at their individual schools.

And 80 percent say they want to remain on that calendar whether it is year-round or traditional.

As to preference, about 49 percent prefer a traditional calendar with about 45 percent preferring year-round.

Click here to view the survey results

Now, parents want to know if the board still plans to change the calendars next year and possibly switch some year-round schools.

Ticia Rhodes is the mother of an 8th grader in Wake County schools.

She says the survey results should be a sign to the new school board to keep things as they are.

"More than 90 percent of parents in Wake County are either satisfied or very satisfied with the school that their child or children attend I think that's the bottom line here," she said.

Surprisingly, newly-elected school board member John Tedesco says he's not surprised by the results.

"They tell me exactly what we knew all along that Wake County has people interested in both year-round and traditional schools," he said.

Tedesco says the new majority ran on ending mandatory assignments to year-round, meaning parents should be given the option for year-round or traditional and not forced into either one.

"You either do it all one way or the other way and if you're going to do both you have to offer choice," Tedesco said. "It can't be mandatory year-round assignment and that's what everybody was against in the election and that's what everybody came from the board knew from day one we had to address."

Tedesco argues families were turned away from year-round if they were either too poor or too wealthy.

By giving all parents a choice some fear it's going to end Wake County's diversity policy.

"The policy reads with no regard, with complete disregard to socioeconomic status," Rhodes said. "To that degree, yes, it is the first step to dismantling the diversity policy."

A policy Rhodes says she feels is contributing to her son's success.

Tedesco argues Wake County is naturally diverse, that schools would still be diverse if parents are given a choice and they switched to neighborhood schools.

As for changing any year-round schools, Tedesco says they'll listen to what parents have to say at four public hearings throughout the month to see if it would be necessary.

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