GOLDSBORO – School is now in session for all Wayne County Public Schools students. On Monday, August 26, twenty-nine schools operating on the Traditional Academic Calendar kicked off their first day of classes.
“We welcomed back students from Goldsboro High, Wayne Early/Middle College High, and the Wayne School of Engineering earlier this month, and we are excited to now have students at all of our traditional academic calendar schools back in the classroom,” states Dr. Michael Dunsmore, WCPS Superintendent. “For the most part, our schools experienced a smooth first day of school. As would be expected during the first week of school, our schools saw some slowdowns in the car rider lines and some scattered bus delays around the district.”
Outside of the typical issues, a small number of Edgewood Community Developmental School students experienced a significant delay with their bus route on Monday afternoon due a combination of problems, including mechanical issues and a substitute driver unfamiliar with the route.
Enrollment: In looking at enrollment numbers, the preliminary and unofficial enrollment numbers for Monday reflect a headcount of 17,020. This time last year, the district had an enrollment of 17,374 students. Over the next nine days of school of the traditional calendar, the 2018/2019 enrollment grew to 18,309 students, a trend that is expected to occur again this year.
Staffing: The WCPS Human Resources Department works year round to hire quality teachers and staff and keep vacancies at a minimum.
“It is worth noting that the majority of our schools, including hard to staff schools like Carver Heights Elementary, are one hundred percent staffed,” states Dr. Yvette Smith-Mason, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources & Professional Development. “The fact that we started school with only 13 teacher vacancies district-wide is a testimony of the hard work and recruiting efforts that are ongoing by our principals and the HR department staff. To put into perspective how far our schools have come in attracting and retaining teachers, it is worth reminding that in 2015 we started school with more than 90 teacher vacancies.”
Transportation: The WCPS Transportation Department also started the school year with fewer bus driver vacancies. The greatest need for drivers is in the Spring Creek attendance areas, which are down around five drivers.
“To ensure buses run without delay, we have school staff who hold the appropriate CDL licensing, as well as route managers and other transportation staff temporarily jumping behind the wheel until these vacancies can be filled,” adds Dr. Dunmore.