Did the administration of the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), the states largest school district, send buses out this morning knowing that would allow them to avoid a makeup day?
The media reported very quickly that WCPSS might not have to make up today’s missed classes as buses were already rolling when school was canceled.
As a long time critic of WCPSS, and a sometimes cynic, I have to wonder whether the WCPSS administration made the call to roll buses, even as snow was falling, with the knowledge they would not have to make the day up. As the WakeEd blog, linked above, pointed out:
The relevant passage is on page 41 of the state’s School Attendance and Student Accounting Manual, http://bit.ly/1b2N3Zs:
“If school is closed early due to inclement weather, the State Board of Education shall allow the day and the scheduled amount of instructional hours to count toward the required minimum number of days and instructional hours. If school buses are en route to schools when school is canceled for the day, then the day and instructional hours scheduled for that day will count toward the required minimum.”
While it is always a judgement call as to delaying or cancelling classes, sending those buses out this morning actually put drivers and students in danger as conditions deteriorated very quickly.
Much of the problem with WCPSS scheduling and busing problems can be traced back to the sheer physical and student population size of the district. It is so large that it is cumbersome and complicated and decisions have to be made on a countywide basis when conditions can vary greatly in different parts of the county. As many have advocated, dividing WCPSS into zones or even breaking the district up, would go a long way to making the system more manageable for administrators and parents alike.
Hopefully as school choice options increase in North Carolina, there will be fewer students and parents at the mercy of public school bureaucrats.