May 16 Closure

WCPS to Close for students May 16. Read the latest updates.
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Updated - May 14, 2018

Last week, Wayne County Public Schools announced that it will be CLOSED for students on Wednesday, May 16 due to the high number of expected teacher absences. Here are a few updates regarding the closure.

Expected Absences:
As of 1 PM on May 14, approximately 660 teachers and support staff had requested leave for May 16.

Food Services
To assist families in need of food services, the district obtained approval from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to utilize the reimbursable summer feeding program model.

The following cafeterias will be open for lunch on May 16:
  • Brogden Primary
  • Carver Elementary
  • Dillard Middle
  • Fremont STARS Elementary
  • Eastern Wayne Middle
  • Spring Creek Middle
Lunch will be served from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The meal will consist of turkey and cheese on a bun, garden peas, pinto beans, tropical fruit mix, and milk. This meal will be free for students up to 18 years of age. Adults who bring a student do have the option to purchase a meal at a cost of $3.50.

In addition to the opening cafeterias, the district is also providing breakfast pastries and fruit for up to 200 students who will be at the W.A. Foster Center in Goldsboro on May 16.

Eastern Wayne High
North Carolina General Statute §115C-84: School Calendar requires that school calendars have a minimum of 185 days or 1,025 hours of instruction covering at least nine calendar months. As a result of the closure, Eastern Wayne High is the only WCPS school at risk of not meeting the minimum number of legislated instruction hours. This is due to the high volume of school closures this winter in conjunction with a thirty minute planning/professional development block that is scheduled throughout the school year for staff each morning.

To address the shortfall, Eastern Wayne High began starting school 10 minutes early (8:15 AM) on May 14, and will continue with the earlier start time through the end of the school year. 

Original Announcement - May 10, 2018

Due to the high number of expected teacher absences, Wayne County Public Schools will be CLOSED for students on Wednesday, May 16. The day will be a teacher workday for staff.

WCPS Superintendent, Dr. Michael Dunsmore, released the following statement regarding the closure:

In advance of the May 16 “March for Teachers and Rally for Respect” event in Raleigh, our human resources department spent the past several days closely monitoring local leave requests. As of Thursday morning, we had surpassed three hundred leave requests from teachers and classified employees, with that number continuing to climb by the hour. Recognizing that not every substitute teacher in our pool will be available on May 16, along with the fact that many support staff will also be absent to show their support, we simply cannot bring students to school without having adequate staff in place to ensure student safety and supervision.

We recognize that anytime there is a school closure, there are a number of issues that arise for parents and the community. We hope that the citizens of Wayne County understand that this decision was not reached lightly. Yesterday afternoon, I did share my plan for closing with individual Board of Education members. While all Board members are in support of teachers, one Board member was not in favor of the closure or the rally scheduled on a school day which is causing teachers and staff to miss work.

Wayne County Public Schools supports its teachers, and strives to have the best and the brightest at the head of each classroom. While this closure will cost the district a day of valuable instructional time, I believe those teachers and staff members who requested leave have weighed these costs against the potential outcomes they hope to achieve for all North Carolina public schools by standing in solidarity with their colleagues from across the state on May 16.

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