Education: Bill Fletcher March Newsletter

education-fletcher-march2015

Wake County, NC — Thoughts for March 2015 from Bill Fletcher, Member Wake County Board of Education.

Snow & Sleet & Black Ice

Your school district’s top priority is the safety of its students. The daily goal is to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment in our 171 schools and to do everything in our power to assure students arrive and return home safely.

The Snow Decision Team includes senior administrators, school principals and folks who actually drive the roads to assess current or potential dangers.

State Releases New School Report Cards

A significant take-away from the new state report cards is the close correlation between poverty and school performance. Are children in poverty or low socio-economic strata less capable or less intelligent than others?  Absolutely not! But, for decades, education policy has allocated resources in a “one size fits all” formula.

Clearly, that policy has not served all children well. WCPSS has identified 12 elementary schools for a new approach to include flexible student-teacher ratios, intense professional development, holistic child and family educational support and other strategies. Stay tuned for more details.

WAKE Up & Read Book Drive Success!

Area Realtors, businesses, churches and chambers of commerce have worked to collect what is expected to be more than 100,000 books. Due to inclement weather, the official collection period was extended to March 16, 2015. Donated books will be sorted by reading levels and made available in book fair-type events at ten elementary schools. Each child will choose ten books to add to his/her personal home library for summer reading.

Get more info at www.wakeupandread.org

Legislative Agenda

What can our legislative delegation do to support the Wake schools?

  1. Allow Wake to sets its own academic calendars to enable exams before Winter break, incorporate professional development during the academic year, and allow more options to recover from snow days.
  2. Allow Wake to have “Charter-like” flexibility in curriculum, staffing, scheduling, etc.

See the full agenda.

Future School Board Elections

The 2013 General Assembly changed election law so that all nine board seats will be elected at the same time in the Fall 2016 presidential election. This law is just bad public policy and will likely lead to dramatic swings in the Board’s philosophy and leadership at a time when the new strategic plan is just being implemented.

I’m all for change over time. This law promotes change overnight! Please let your Wake legislators know your thoughts on this topic. Only a strong plea from voters will reinstate staggered terms.

Factoid #9

More than 50% of high school students participate in inter-scholastic sports. These students also have better attendance and higher grades than non-participants. Athletics are an extremely positive factor in student performance and persistence toward graduation.

As high schools get larger – moving from 1600 to 2600+ students, slots on teams and facilities for competition remain constant. As a result, fewer students have opportunities to compete.

Parent Chats

Parent chats are held on the first Thursdays and on the third Mondays of each month. They are not held on holidays.

  • 1st Thursdays: 1 pm, Cary Chamber, 315 N Academy Street
  • 3rd Mondays: 11 am, Caribou Coffee shop, 109 SW Maynard

Get in Touch

BFletcher@wcpss.net  ||  Voice Mail: 919-431-7332   ||  Mobile: 919-880-5301

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Story by Bill Fletcher, Member Wake County Board of Education. Photo by Hal Goodtree.

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