The Richmond County Board of Education met Tuesday night in the Richmond County Schools’ Central Office in Hamlet. All members were present.
GOLDEN LEAF STEM BIOMOTO CHALLENGE
Jacque Gregory, Director of Secondary Education, introduced four teachers who will lead several Richmond County Schools middle school students through the Golden Leaf Biomoto Challenge. Chris Dennis, Benny Leviner, Mark Burr, and Matt Morrison will serve as coaches for each of the four middle schools who will soon participate in this collaborative effort to get more students interested in education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The Biomoto Challenge represents a three-year competition that will prepare middle school students from across North Carolina to be pit crew members. Richmond County Schools was one of four school districts in the state to be selected to participate in the initial pilot. The students will participate in a two-part competition. First, they will build and design an apparatus. Second, they will take on the pit-crew challenge. The students will have an opportunity to travel to Kannapolis later this fall to the Appalachian State University Human Performance Lab. They will learn to make accurate calculations to ensure that their drivers and cars can perform without mishaps. The competition will culminate at the Rockingham Dragway on March 10, 2012, when all schools will compete in the pit crew challenge. The four middle school teachers are in the process of identifying and selecting students to participate.
ROCKINGHAM MIDDLE SCHOOL UPDATE
Pam Patterson, Principal of Rockingham Middle School, presented board members with a school report. Patterson introduced the Advisory Intervention and Enrichment Block (AIE), which is being implemented at Rockingham Middle School. This period is embedded into the school day. The Advisory Class allows students to take part in a common curriculum. Students meet in the advisory classroom for one week in between intervention and enrichment rotations. Every six weeks, the students are placed, based on information gathered from common assessments, benchmarks, predicted scores, and EVAAS data. Students can also be placed based on teacher recommendation. Rockingham Middle School, and the other three middle schools are part of the I-3 Schools to Watch grant, which provides resources and support to help the schools eventually seek the Schools to Watch designation.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE RICHMOND COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Dr. Tommy Jarrell, Director of the Richmond County Health Department, presented an update on partnerships between the schools and the Health Department. Jarrell was joined by Deann Anderson and Martha Richardson.
Deann Anderson, Operation Healthy Kids Coordinator, discussed how the Health Department is partnering with the school system to prevent childhood obesity among elementary school students. Anderson focuses on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity with these students. She shared data with the board members on the Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) for students at each of the elementary schools. Anderson also presented a plan for the Presidential Fitness Class, for which she plans to generate more student interest. Martha Richardson, “Baby Think It Over” Coordinator, shared results from the 2010-11 “Baby Think it Over” parenting simulation program. Richardson will continue to work with 7th grade students in the middle schools.
• Mike Williams, Director of Instructional Technology, presented the Parent Assistant Technology Pilot through the North Carolina Window of Information on Student Education (NCWISE). This new service, Parent Assistant, is designed for parents and guardians and students to access information via the Internet at home or at work. The module will allow parents to review and/or change specific information on their student, such as view posted grades, check attendance, change an address, and review notes from teachers. Each parent or guardian will be provided with a username and password and will have access to student records 24 hours a day, and will be able to communicate with teachers and the school as needed. Richmond County Schools is in the initial pilot,
• Dr. Robert Beck, associate superintendent, presented Board Policy 4270/6145— Concussion/Head Injury to the board to consider at its next meeting. This new policy will sit with the board for 30 days.
• Dr. George Norris, superintendent, presented information regarding an architect for the L.J. Bell Elementary Gymnasium Project. Five firms have agreed to submit plans for the construction project. The proposed budget for the project is nearly $700,000. Several board members expressed concern about problems that may have arisen with other projects completed by the architects. Terry Miller, Director of Maintenance recommended that the Design Team follow the Owner’s Design Criteria. Norris and a small team will choose the architect and bring recommendations to the board.
• Sharon Johnson, Career Technical Education Director, also presented information regarding ways the Career Technical Education department of RCS is working to address the needs of local employers by working with current students. Johnson indicated that Career Technical Education is focused on applied learning within CTE course offerings. Students will also be presented with numerous opportunities to take part in co-ops, internships, and job-shadowing opportunities.
•Norris presented information on the School Bus Maintenance Program. Richmond County Schools received positive results from the annual review of the School Bus Program. Norris thanked Wayne Stephens, Director of Transportation, and his staff for their efforts to maintain the buses. The transportation department had the lowest score in the region, and received an award for their accomplishments.
• Norris also presented board members with a resolution in support of Richmond Community College in opposition to the proposed merger of the college with other community colleges. Ed Ormsby made the motion to approve, Tom McInnis seconded the motion, and the motion passed.
• Norris also presented information to the board members regarding the Raleigh Dingman Award nomination through the North Carolina School Boards Association. The school board can nominate a member for this award. Joe Richardson nominated Bruce Stanback, Pam Easterling seconded the nomination, and nominations closed. Stanback accepted the nomination.
• McInnis made a motion to nominate the Richmond County Board of Commissioners for the North Carolina School Boards Association of County Commissioners Award. Local school boards may nominate their county commissioners for this honor. This award recognizes a board of county commissioners for service to the local community through outstanding support of public education. Dr. Irene Aiken seconded the motion, and the motion passed.
• Following executive session, Dr. Jeff Maples, assistant superintendent of human resources, presented the personnel report for approval. Richardson made the motion to approve, Ormsby seconded the motion, and the motion passed.
• George Crump, board attorney presented a resolution to the board to sale the surplus properties of Roberdel Children’s Center, Grant House, Fincher Property, and Great Falls Maintenance Property. Richardson made the motion to approve the resolution, Stanback seconded the motion, and the motion passed.