Students at Elkin Middle School will enter the 2018-19 school year with a new daily schedule which better aligns with the schedule the high school followed during the previous year.
When Elkin High School’s daily schedule was approved last year with the addition of a time for Smart Breakfast, it meant those students who needed remediation, wanted to participate in clubs or other activities and teachers needing to have school-wide staff meetings had a dedicated time without taking away from the instructional day.
The middle school, which shares a campus and busing with the high school, didn’t change its schedule, so middle-schoolers were counted tardy after 8 a.m., while high school students had until 8:30 to get to their first class, if they were participating in Smart Breakfast activities.
With the new schedule for Elkin Middle approved unanimously by the school board Monday night, seventh- and eighth-graders will have Smart Breakfast from 7:50 to 8:25 a.m., and the tardy bell to first period will ring at 8:30 a.m.
The Smart Breakfast will rotate what students and teachers will be doing each morning during that time, whether it be tutoring and enhancement, staff meetings on Wednesdays, or other activities administrators decide to schedule.
Administrators said it also will give additional time for students to get breakfast in the cafeteria or work in the maker space area of the media center.
Another change will be the lack of time for students to go to lockers during the day. Instead of visiting lockers between classes, the middle-schoolers will go at the beginning of the day and will be allowed to carry their bookbags from class to class, visiting their locker at the end of the day.
In addition, none of the core classes (math, English, science or social studies) will have to split its time with lunch. Lunch will be from 12:10 to 12:35 for seventh grade, and 12:45 to 1:10 p.m. for eighth.
Buses will continue to run on their normal schedule.
Also, with Wednesdays set as staff meeting days for seventh through 12th grades, it also will allow vertical planning meetings when needed between grades, such as seventh-grade math teachers meeting with high school math teachers.
New band instructor introduced
Elkin City Schools officials also are preparing for the new school year by making sure policies and contracts are updated and ready, and hiring new staff, including a new band instructor.
At the school board’s July meeting Monday, Eliza Shepherd was introduced as Elkin Middle and High schools’ band instructor. The Rockingham County native is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Joel Hoyle, principal at Elkin High School, made the announcement of Shepherd’s new role during the board spotlight portion of the meeting. “We are very thrilled to have Eliza on board,” he said. “She has extensive experience.”
Shepherd has worked with marching and concert bands and has some symphony experience as well, Hoyle said.
“She’s going to bring a lot of energy to our program. She has a very vibrant personality and a lot of energy and is raring to get going,” he said.
Shepherd took the introduction as a time to thank the interview committee and the school board “for giving me the opportunity to enrich the lives of the students at Elkin City Schools, enrichment for music as well as the unique privilege of being about to plant a seed of passion in the minds of the sixth-graders and watch them grow all the way to graduation from high school.
“I’ve always had a strong passion for teaching and working with others to help them develop and grow,” she said. “My goals are to build strong leaders and help students grow life-long career skills, and I have no doubt I’ll continue to grow to loving Elkin.”
In other business, the school board approved an agreement with Yadkin County Schools for a second year to employ Cindy Marion part-time as school nutrition director. Marion works as full-time director for Yadkin’s school system.
They also approved food supply contracts for the school year, as well as several revised policies.
The next meeting of the school board will be Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. The same day, at 9 a.m., school staff will gather for convocation for the new school year.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.