Despite Fierce Debate, WCPSS Changes Leesville Back to One Calendar

On Feb. 23, Leesville parents and community members met with the WCPSS school board to argue for or against year-round schools.

Each speaker had two minutes to address the school board members, and participants were encouraged to talk only about year-round schools, not the highly controversial diversity policy or Del Burns’s resignation.

Three years ago, Leesville Elementary converted to the year-round schedule, much to the dismay of parents who chose Leesville for its traditional schedule.

One parent noted that “Sycamore creek is currently an under-enrolled elementary school” and argued that applicants who chose Leesville for its new schedule could apply there.

Many parents argued against the fundamental idea of year-round schools, noting that, in their words, “neighborhoods have deteriorated” and that families have been torn apart due to conflicting schedules.

On the other side of the aisle, however, strong supporters of year-round schools noted better behavior at Leesville Middle school since its change to year-round. According to one parent’s statistics, the school’s rate of suspensions had dropped an average of 20 per month since the change.

Even parents who faced similar hardships at home disagreed. For example, Ms. Killian, a mother of two special-needs children argued the psychological benefits of year-round schools for autistic students. “After testing, my psychologist told me that my children would be best-served by year-round schools.”

Other special-needs parents argued that their children learned best and functioned best when they had a “predictable, traditional schedule.”

Overall, the proponents of traditional schedules controlled the auditorium’s atmosphere. With custom-made signs promoting “1 Campus, 1 Calendar, 4 Leesville” they rose to applause each time a traditional parent spoke and scowled each time year-round proponents, especially applicants, spoke.

I can make only one clear conclusion after the hearing: Leesville parents, and especially Leesville Middle school parents, are especially divided over this issue. Although their apparent love for the school’s faculty and environment united them, few people left the high school confident that a decision would be made that would make everyone happy.

Since the hearing, board members voted and upheld their campaign promises of a return to traditional schools, at least for four area schools.


  1. This isn’t relevant to the article but congratulations with Editor-in-Chief Mr. Lourens! Also I am really impressed with the Mycenaean now and I’m glad there are so many enthusiastic journalists on board doing great work. I’ve seen work from upper level kids here at Mizzou that is much less qualified than what I have read here on the website which is saying a lot considering Mizzou considers themselves #1 in journalism. Keep up the good work and give my regards to the staff despite the fact that I know hardly anyone on it now! I might drop by some time at the end of the semester with a legendary Starbucks run and some K.K. Dough.

  2. As much as I feel your pain for losing your chance to have vacations overseas, year round schools save money, resources, and are more efficient for education. The extra money and resources can be used to enrich education throughout Wake County, especially at a time like this when the school board is tight on money. This would benefit all students, much more than paying a Superintendent to stay at home and catering to the needs of the already affluent populations that whine about missing “good summer camps”. At the end of the day, would you prefer your child to be a more intelligent, better educated student, or to have vacationed in France? For my kid, I’d take the former.

  3. I have two children one attending Leesville Road High School and the other one currently attending Sycamore Creek Elementary and will be going to Leesville Road Middle School. I like the fact that both the schools are close to home, but their different calendars make it very hard for the family. I am not able to work full time because my younger son is not capable of staying home alone when tracked out. We can not make longer vacation plans to visit overseas as a family. My younger son misses lots of good summer camps that he used to attend earlier. He is generally occupied in the school and hence has to miss many good summer camps. I hate year round schedule.


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