What's Different This School Year

What's different this year at North Carolina public schools?

For the most part, school started as usual for North Carolina school students this year, but there are a few differences.

1. Teacher vacancies.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools opened with 89 vacant teacher positions, many at the elementary level. This shortage many not be just this year, as it seems fewer people are choosing teaching as a career. As with any job, you have to respect the people who do the job, and teachers' are feeling under attack. And the fate of teacher assistants is still undetermined as the final budget for the school year has not been passed by the N.C. legislature. A decision should be made by Monday, Aug. 31. I'm rallying behind teacher assistants because as classroom sizes grow, having an assistant is crucial to keep the kids on task and give the teacher time to teach. 

2. No more driver's education.

Pubic high schools will no longer offer driver's ed as of Sept. 1. Once again, this is tied to funding. If I had to choose between paying more teachers or driver's education, I'd choose teachers, however, this does pinch the pockets of parents as paying for driver's ed on a private level is more expensive, or more kids are going to be driving with less experience. Look out! 

3. Ten-point grade scale.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools high-school student grades will now be on a 10-point scale, as are most other districts throughout the state. That means 90-100 is an A/4 points, 80-90 a B/3 points, and so forth. Grades from prior years will not be adjusted. This is the new norm going forward, and was done with the idea it matches other states grading scales and puts N.C. students at a competitive advantage when applying to colleges.

What else is new? Are their changes at your school? We want to know. Please share in the comments below.