Welcome to the Wake County school system. Things might be slightly different than what you’re used to, and definitely different if you’re a parent, and trying to relate to how things were when you were in school.
The track system, capping and county-wide closings are likely different than what you’re used to. Most parents like the track system once accustomed to it.
The track system or year-round schooling is a new method to arguably make better use of school space. The way the system works, is that there are four “tracks” on the school calendar. Each track is in session for nine weeks, then out for three weeks. The tracks rotate 1 through 4 in numerical order. When track 1 is out, then tracks 2, 3 and 4 are in session. At any given time, only 75% of the students are in session, meaning less congestion in the parking lots, and more space within the school be it the cafeteria, gym or common areas.
There is another school of thought, that without the long summer break, students have a better chance of remembering what they’ve learned from grade to grade. The studies as to whether or not that’s true are inconclusive.
There is another argument that it’s a more efficient use of school space, because the school is empty for the summer in a traditional system.
One of the problems with the system, is that Holly Springs High School follows the traditional calendar. That means that if you have one child on the track schedule, and they have a sibling in high school, they will be out at different times, making it slightly more difficult to plan vacations.
The other buzz-word you’ll encounter in Holly Springs is school capping. Capping means meaning the school has reached the maximum number of students it can serve. If a student’s base school has an enrollment cap, they will be assigned to an overflow school. Transportation is provided to a student’s overflow school. For the 2014-15 school year, the following schools are capped:
Just because a school is capped, that doesn’t always mean that your child will not get in. With the area being so transient in nature, the system is in constant flux. To learn more about school assignments, you can go to https://www.wcpss.net/parents/student-assignment.
The final item that’s different here than many other places, is the county-wide operation decisions. If you grew up in area that frequently got snow, then you know that the closings came on a school-by-school basis. In Wake county, if the deciding body feels that any part of the county may have snow or other potentially hazardous weather or emergency situations, every school in the district is affected by either being delayed or closed.
The Wake County School website is easily navigated, and offers answers to most of the questions you’d have as a parent.