Early College looks at scheduling changes

First Posted: 2/2/2009

As the Surry Early College High School of Design continues to expand and students become more involved in classes at Surry Community College, scheduling has become more of an issue, particularly concerning holidays.
The Surry County Schools Board of Education was asked Monday night to consider allowing the Early College to move spring break to coincide with that of the community college instead of with the county school system for the 2009-2010 school year. The board will consider the policy for 30 days before voting at the March meeting.
They (the staff) are all in favor of it, said Celia Hodges, principal, of the switch. Our students have nowhere to go when the community college classes arent taking place. Thats five days that could be very beneficial. The students thought it was a great thing.
The issue was brought up because some parents of students at the school expressed concern with the idea that the students did not actually have a spring break. When the community college classes were out, the county school system was in and vice versa.
There was also a request to make Dec. 18 a full work day for the Early College. The day is an early release day for the county schools and with transportation situations, the Early College students would only be in class for about an hour.
Special Recognitions
The Surry County Schools administration, including Dr. Ashley Hinson, superintendent, and Pat Widdowson, Chuck Graham and Dr. Terri Mosley, assistant superintendents, was recognized by Tom Ratledge, assistant principal at White Plains Elementary School and a chief warrant officer in the National Guard, for its appreciation and support of the armed forces. He presented each of the administrators with a U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute Certificate of Appreciation.
This is one of the most impressive leadership teams I have ever seen, Ratledge said of the school system.
As a member of the National Guard, Ratledge has had to rely on the administration to help him work out schedules when he is deployed or has to participate in training exercises.
He is a consummate soldier in every way, said Hinson. You are truly the one who needs to be recognized.
Josh McMillen, a teacher at Central Middle School, was recognized for being inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Cowley County College. The schools baseball team won the World Series in 1997 and 1998 with McMillen winning MVP honors in 1998.
Computer teaching assistants at the nine county elementary schools were recognized for their work in implementing the Rosetta Stone language software into the schools for students in grades three through five. The program began in the fall, and students chose to take lessons in either Spanish or Mandarin Chinese.
I appreciate you guys going the extra mile, said Earlie Coe, board chairman.
Other Actions
The board voted to remove two policies from the technology policy manual, policies 3220 and 3227-7322, both of which are now covered in the 10,000 policy section. The board approved the editorial revisions to policy 10,500, which it approved last month subject to revisions.
Coe announced to the board that the state has not asked for another reversion in funding, and Hinson believes that with the coming stimulus package that is currently in the U.S. Senate, the schools will receive more money in the next budget year than they received last year. However, he believes that money will have restrictions as to on what it can be spent.
Sherri Parks, director of child nutrition, presented the board with a proclamation concerning National School Breakfast Week, which will take place from March 2-6, which Coe read and signed. The school system serves about 3,800 breakfasts each day and has a free kindergarten breakfast program in seven schools.
The board approved the purchase order for new textbooks for certain subjects for the 2009-10 school year.
The board received a booklet of school improvement plan milestones for the 2007-08 school year. Each school came together to look at the goals it set at the beginning of the year to see if it had attained those goals by the end of the year. Many of the schools set lofty goals which they may not have achieved but continue to strive for them.
The board also looked at the goals it created during the summer to strive for during this school year. The members looked at each objective under the goals and what its progress toward attaining those objectives was.
Jeff Hall, board member, asked that an emergency generator be included in the initial bid for the construction of the new elementary school in Dobson as it is a necessity for the school. He said that it would be easier to factor it in at the beginning instead of having a large added expense at the end of the project.
The visioning committee met to discuss renovations to Pilot Mountain Middle School which would be necessary to convert it into an elementary school. The school system is facing budget constraints with the project, forcing the committee to prioritize the renovations.
The board approved seven field trips.
The board will visit Dobson Elementary School on March 10, Westfield Elementary School on March 17 and Pilot Mountain Middle School on March 24 in accordance with its policy to visit each of the schools in the system during the school year.
The board discussed changing the way in which students are recognized at graduation beginning with the incoming freshman class. The suggestion, made by high school guidance counselors, is to move away from class rank and instead recognize students as cum laude, summa cum laude and magna cum laude. The members will receive more information at the next meeting.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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