Elkin Board of Education honors staff, students

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

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Elkin City Schools honored several students and administrators Monday during its monthly meeting.

Members of the Board of Education thanked the school system’s finance department employees for their work.

Jan Zachary, Amy Mason, Joy Mathis, Phyllis Hinson and Kathy Ray were recognized for helping the finance department earn the State Board of Education Award for Excellence in Financial Management.

Hinson and Ray were not present for the award.

Dr. Randy Bledsoe said Zachary, Mason and Mathis had 122 combined years in finance experience.

This was the finance department’s eighth consecutive year of winning the award.

Principal Joel Hoyle of Elkin High School recognized Nefi Aguilar for his fourth place finish in the national FBLA competition this year in Anaheim, Cali. Aguilar graduated in the spring but attended the meeting Monday night for the honor.

Hoyle then recognized Hannah Freeman, Emily Phillips and Erin Fritz for their gold medal wins for their national FCCLA presentation.

The presentation was given in Nashville, Tenn. The three were able to visit iconic Nashville attractions like the Grand Ole Opry.

Hoyle also recognized Courtney Cobler for her participation in the Leadership Initiative Internship Program. Cobler interned with the Elkin Habitat for Humanity ReStore and traveled to Raleigh for leadership seminars.

Drivers Ed

The Board of Education was asked to increase the cost for students taking driver’s education from $45 to $55.

“Drivers Ed fees started last year with the change in laws that would allow us to ask our students to chip in and help pay their drivers ed costs,” Jan Zachary said.

The cost hike comes as the state continues to pay less toward the program each year. In 2011 North Carolina paid 43 percent of the cost, and the school system paid 57 percent. In 2012 that amount fell to 41.6 percent and finally 37 percent in 2013.

Hardship cases will be referred to Principal Hoyle to determine if a need requires economic assistance.

Action was required on the motion according to the board agenda but none was taken.

Afterschool changes

Principal Anthony Davis of the elementary school addressed the board on changes to the afterschool program, which voted to approve the measures.

The school is in the process of updating and rewriting the handbook for parents with children in the program. Davis said it mainly involved removing unnecessary information in the book and cutting its page count to six pages. Davis said parents were more likely to read it if it was more concise.

The school is also looking to update prices as it tries to make the program more competitive and get “back out of the red” Davis said.

Rates for the week will cost $45 with a 5 p.m. pick-up time, doing away with the former 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. pick-ups.

The drop-in rate will be set at $15 per day.

After-school will now be available for early dismissal days, something parents had expressed interest in to Davis. The program will not be available on teacher work days and students will go home on inclement weather days to avoid a full-day staffing and lunch costs.

Staff members will no longer receive the $2 per day fee and will pay the same as everyone else. Davis said that during his review of the handbook he did not find the staff benefit anywhere in writing, saying it was merely “the way it had always been done.”

The staff price may be reconsidered at a later time.

The school is also looking at getting approval from the Department of Social Services in an effort to subsidize some of the cost.

Dr. Bledsoe said the help from DSS would allow the school program to benefit more parents.

The actions are in response to economic factors like local competition and loss of enrollment.

School Improvement Plans

The school system’s three principals spoke to the board and presented their five-year improvement plans.

Davis said the elementary school had four goals: a continuing focus on the literary program “Read to Achieve,” full implementation of STEAM and Project Based Learning (PBL), raising the physical fitness of its students, focus on PBL with Steam integration, and increasing the technology available in the school.

Pam Colbert of the middle school said the school’s goals were: producing globally competitive schools, having 21st century trained professionals as teachers, creating healthy and professional students, letting leadership guide innovation, and increasing the technology available to both staff and students.

Joel Hoyle said the high school’s goals were: increasing the percentage of students who score a 17 or better on the ACT, meet the state benchmarks for the ACT, produce globally competitive competitive students, implement STEAM, continue to implement Common Core and increase EOC scores, and improve the percentage of students scoring a 3 or better on AP exams.

To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.




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