Board of Education holds last meeting of 2013

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

December 9, 2013

Elkin City Schools’ last board of education meeting for 2013 brought changes for both the board and students.

The board held its last meeting for the calendar year in Elkin High School’s media center. The meeting was held at 10:30 a.m., prior to the school system’s legislative luncheon at 11:30 a.m.

The meeting started by board members selecting their new chairman and vice chairman for the 2014 year.

Board policy requires the board to elect the two positions each year. A member can serve as many as three one-year terms if the board so chooses.

Foley Norman was re-elected to the chairman position following nominations. This will be Norman’s third and final year as the head member.

Dr. Richard Brinegar was nominated as the upcoming year’s vice chairman. Brinegar will replace James Freeman at the post.

Freeman was the member who nominated Brinegar to replace him. He later congratulated him on the new position.

Both Norman and Brinegar were elected unanimously by the board.

Brinegar’s name plaque, used to identify him to the public at each board meeting, will now present him as the vice chair. His picture at the school system’s central office also will reflect the change with the new title.

Students will now have two early-release school days in the New Year.

Jan. 17 and Feb. 27 will be early release days following the board’s vote of approval. School Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe and Elkin High School Principal Joel Hoyle made the recommendations to the board following a principals’ meeting last week.

One date was changed for testing requirements and another for staff development needs.

“As we started looking at exam schedules as we began the year, we were unsure exactly how exams would be,” Hoyle said of the January date. “We were told we were going to have retesting on our EOCs, then when it eventually became clear we found out we’re not going to have retesting and we just simply had the EOCs, the North Carolina final exams, and the CTE exams.”

With no retesting, the question became “what to do with the students after their final exam on Jan. 17?” The students would have been left with a space of time between the test and the end of the school day with nothing to do.

Officials debated sending students back to a class they already had been tested in and were done with.

Another possible scenario had students going to classes they would have the following semester and getting an early look at the classes there. Officials decided against that idea because students would have a partial day in the new classes followed by a three-day absence.

Eventually the school administration decided the students would be better off being let out early. Board members voted unanimously to allow the early release.

The Feb. 27 day was allowed to be an early release day in order to let high school teachers prepare for the new semester.

“The 28th is already a workday,” Bledsoe said. “We have established professional development on that day … It will give teachers on the 27th an afternoon that they can focus on the academics, the grades, any student who may be having initial problems in that course for the spring semester.”

“For our middle school and our elementary schools, it’s a time that we can actually help our teachers to have some time to analyze our reading, our math , our science, and here again, we want to have a little time that we can focus on those so that it’s not at the end of the third nine weeks,” that teachers are contacting parents with updates on their child’s performance, Bledsoe added.

Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 or at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.