Wake County Public Schools certainly offers plenty of choices for parents, including calendar options, and it can be confusing to know if a Traditional or Year-Round calendar is best for your family. If you are new to Wake County, have a rising Kindergarten student, or are facing a base school change, you may be exploring WCPSS calendar options for the first time. We asked our various parent circles why they love their calendar option and learned there’s a general consistency of pros for both.
A Traditional calendar option in WCPSS can easily be defined as “what you’re familiar with” when it comes to a school calendar. It’s 180 days of school beginning in late August, with the usual holiday and seasonal breaks peppered throughout, followed by one long break in the summer.
Why Parents Love It:
- It’s familiar.
- It’s optimal for parents who also have children in preschool or middle/high School following a traditional calendar.
- It provides a bit more consistency and steady routine throughout the school year for students who need it.
- It provides a long summer break for students who need it.
- Benefit of having summer break at the same time as family and friends who live elsewhere
- Parents needing child care/ summer camp options while students are out, need only to worry about it once in one big chunk versus spread out in small increments multiple times throughout the year.
- Parents don’t have to deal with tracks.
A Year-Round calendar option in WCPSS operates on a multi-track, year-round calendar. Students at the multi-track year-round schools are divided into four groups, called tracks, with each track having its own calendar. The traditional 180-day school year is divided into nine-week quarters with three week breaks (45 days in, 15 days off).
Why Parents Love It:
- Off-season vacations (think a less crowded trip to Disney or less expensive week at the beach)
- A mental break every 9 weeks is good for preventing student and teacher burnout.
- Less need for review at the beginning of each school year
- The plethora of enriching and fun track-out camps offered in our area for parents needing child care, and kids love to try new things more often.
- If your child begins year-round in Kindergarten, he/she will not know differently and easily adjust to the schedule.
- Since students remain with the same students on their track the entire time, they get to know each other really well.
- Desirable for students who struggle with retention over the summer
- Many parents cited the unexpected bonus of grandparent/grandchild bonding time during track-out periods, as extended family members often spend more time with students during those periods.
Regardless of your calendar preference, it all begins with your assigned base school. Find and learn more about your school assignment here.