Wake Schools To Support "High-Needs" Schools With Extra Resources

Dec 23, 2014

Credit Vancouver Film School via Flickr/Creative Commons

Wake County School leaders hope to spend millions over the next few years to help support their high-poverty schools.

Officials identified 12 “high-needs” elementary schools earlier this year that will receive extra resources like professional development and more pay for teachers.

“One immediate need that we saw in a lot of the schools had to do with vacancies,” said Cathy Moore, Wake's deputy superintendent for school performance, at a recent school board meeting. 

As a recruiting incentive, all teachers in the schools will receive 11-month contracts as long as they commit to staying for three years. Most Wake teachers receive 10-month contracts, so the change will likely result in pay increases for teachers.

Moore said the schools could also get updated technology and extra positions like counselors and social workers. The schools will also be required to use certain intervention programs based on their school data. 

“It really gives the nod to recognizing a one-size-fits-all is not the kind of approach that we want to take with these schools,” Moore said.

Officials identified the 12 elementary schools earlier this year based on factors like school performance, teacher characteristics, student demographics, school climate and leadership. They are also working with one middle school and two high schools.

The district set aside $1 million to help support schools in the 2014-2015 school year. They hope to eventually implement permanent funding structures as they plan to expand the program into middle and high schools.