DATE: October 15, 2012
Billy Peaden, Chair
Ralph Love, Sr.
TIME: 6:30 P.M.
Pitt County Office Building
Chair Billy Peaden called the Board of Education to order in Regular Session at 6:30 P. M. in the Third Floor Board Room.
Mr. Benjie Forrest led the Board in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Worth Forbes followed with a Moment of Silence asking that we remember anyone who has suffered a tragedy, sickness or loss of a loved one in our Pitt County Schools system.
Superintendent Beverly Emory recognized Public Information Officer Heather Mayo for being a recipient of the "35 Under 35 Award" given by the National Public School Relations Association for her impressive work with public information. She reminded the Board that Ms. Mayo has worked with all types of campaigns and manages the district's website. Dr. Emory added that most school systems our size have a Public Information Department with several helping hands, while Ms. Mayo does it all; and we are most appreciative of her and her work performance.
Chair Peaden offered the Agenda for consideration. Ms. Barbara Owens moved, second by Mr. Benjie Forrest, that the Agenda be approved as presented. Motion passed unanimously.
There was no one present in the audience who wished to speak during Public Expression.
For the Spotlight on Teaching and Learning, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Programs and Services Cheryl Olmsted introduced Ayden-Grifton Principal Marty Baker to share with the Board the status of AVID and the program in place in his school. Mr. Baker presented a brief history for AVID stating that the ratio of students in the three smaller high schools taking Honors and AP courses did not compare with the ratio of students taking these classes in the three larger high schools. He shared that he was an Assistant Principal at North Pitt during this time period and was named the Director of AVID for the district, which he really enjoyed. The three high schools that currently have AVID are Farmville Central, Ayden-Grifton and North Pitt. AVID is the icon for Advancement Via Individual Determination, which is a national program, based out of California that started in 1980 by Ms. Mary Catherine Swanson. Ms. Swanson's goal was to help students who were in the academic middle and had no resources in place to further their academic success. Mr. Baker commented that students are studied during their 8th grade year, based on 7th grade test scores. He added that most of the students' parents did not graduate from college, and are "in the middle" sometimes getting "lost in the shuffle" so to speak. Mr. Baker stated that AVID enhances student learning and enables them to step out on a limb by taking Honors and AP courses with tutors provided. By taking Honors English I and rotating with an AVID elective during their freshman year, they feel supported and are ready to take more Honors or AP courses as they move up to their next grade. In the 8th grade, the academic average ranges from 80-85. The AVID program maintains its own data base so the students can be tracked post high school. Mr. Baker noted that when he came to Ayden-Grifton, many teachers were already using the principles of the AVID program in other classes – i.e. different types of note taking, strategies, levels of questioning – things talked about each day in education. He informed the Board that in looking at students in the academic middle, when the first four-year cohort graduated in 2007, almost 100% of the students in all three high schools graduated and most of them went on to a two-year program or four-year college. The majority of these students completed the program they entered, which is amazing. Mr. Baker added that students in AVID helped the ratio of students taking Honors and AP courses increase in the smaller high schools and revealed much better discipline results. He noted another major effect of AVID was seeing the gradual increase of African American and minority students taking Honors and AP courses in all three high schools. Mr. Baker also mentioned the family engagement involved with AVID. He added that these students visit a variety of colleges each semester, which they would probably not have the opportunity to do otherwise.
The AVID/Honors English coordinator/teacher at Ayden-Grifton Alicia Datz shared her experiences with the AVID students through the years and the progress that has been demonstrated in their academic studies. She mentioned using the Huskins Program through Pitt Community College for her senior students several years ago so they would receive two units of credit at this level. This year students were offered an Introduction to Computers course, which is required on four-year campuses, as well as other AP or dual enrollment classes as well. Ms. Datz stated the in-school academic support really makes this program distinct; though this year we have a disadvantage in that we don't have tutors, but added that students who have graduated volunteer to come back and tutor current students. She added that Mr. Baker has been very helpful in allowing her flexibility in getting the students their necessary classes for graduation. Ms. Datz discussed a new program entitled Chargers Helping Chargers Peer Tutoring which is modeled after AVID essentials and provides assistance to students who are struggling in a particular area. She commented that students are service oriented with two major community projects each year. Ms. Datz shared that one project this year will be hosting a community walk for juvenile diabetes with an added incentive that the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation gives a kick back from the donations to the organization sponsoring them, and they hope to start an AVID scholarship fund. She spoke of the long-term interest of these students, the excitement about how AVID helped them succeed through small classes and how the program worked for them.
Senior Quinten Kensey shared with the Board that during his first two years of high school, he was not in AVID. After participating in AVID during his Junior year, his academic average shot up, his confidence grew and his mental outlook improved. Through discipline and time management skills, his study habits improved, his homework was turned in on time and his motivation to further his education changed with hopes of receiving a scholarship.
Senior Annie Dixon told the Board that AVID has helped her become more organized and perform better academically. She shared that they have attended college fairs and visited different college campuses. Ms. Dixon added that her self-confidence has increased and just knowing that someone was advocating for her to succeed academically made a huge difference in her life. She commented that AVID helped her select her four-year career path and reinforced her desire to continue her education.
Senior Kelley Pressey shared that through AVID she has taken courses at Pitt Community College in preparation for her goal of becoming a Communications Major at East Carolina. She did a comparison of classes that ECU requires in this field with what classes Pitt Community offers and can proceed with the dual enrollment process. Currently, she's taking the Introduction to Computers and a Public Speaking class which will benefit her Major when she attends ECU. Ms. Pressey added that AVID is like a family – in that you spend four years with many of the same people.
Mr. Marc Whichard asked Mr. Baker if it is difficult to schedule these students in a small school in terms of AVID electives, AP and Honors Course requirements, and other demands. Mr. Baker responded that flexibility is vital and focusing on individualized needs is important in the upper level students. Ms. Datz added that each year she rewrites many schedules, and the counselors and Mr. Baker have always been very flexible in following a student's four-year plan.
Mr. Whichard asked was there a reason for not having tutors this year. Mr. Baker responded that tutors were not budgeted as before, but there are tutors available through returning students, upper classmen and other creative interventions, i.e. AmeriCorps furnishing tutors to help their students receive scholarships.
Mr. Whichard asked if Ayden-Grifton is using the AVID program funded by the district. Mr. Baker answered that Ayden-Grifton is continuing AVID-like activities. Mr. Whichard commented that AVID is in place in the high school where he is principal, and it's been very, very successful. He stated that it's a strong program for supporting students that are in the middle with dedicated staff who work the program. Mr. Whichard added that he would be very disappointed if we had to cut or scrimp on a program that is basically AVID-like with any sacrifice made for students on terms of what type of program they could have. He asked that the Board revisit or perhaps go through EPS to look at the program as he truly believes it supports the students in the middle and minority students getting into Honors and AP courses.
Mr. Baker stated he noticed as an Assistant Principal that there were students in the middle who had no discipline issues and were not failing but dropped out of school. He feels the support of AVID keeps these students in school. Mr. Worth Forbes asked to see the budget for the last three years in regards to AVID. He felt it should not be decreasing, but increasing. Mr. Forbes felt a big part of the program was the tutors who supported the students and the extra sections provided for the small high schools. Dr. Emory stated the positions were not affected by the allotment and are actually above and beyond the allotment.
Mr. Forbes commented that if we have a program that works and is successful, this is where our funds need to be going. He added that in seeing these students tonight who are now planning to attend a four-year college, we know their SAT scores as compared to the regular middle of the road students' scores are higher.
Ms. Christine Waters had questions for one of the students who presented regarding his high school experience with and without AVID. Ms. Datz explained that there is an open enrollment period for AVID. She added that there is not a freshman AVID class this year as she did not want to make a four-year commitment to the students that could not be followed through with as there were concerns that the program might be cut. Mr. Baker stated that the plan is to pick up the students in tenth grade next year because we know it works. Mr. Whichard expressed hope that the program will be supported, especially with a dedicated teacher/principal on board.
Ms. Mary Williams thanked the presenters for coming to speak to the Board. She added that she's fortunate to have a daughter who went through the AVID program under Mr. Baker at North Pitt, and it was most successful as she went on to a fouryear institution. She asked a question relative to Ayden-Grifton, North Pitt and Farmville Central being SIG schools, could some of the SIG funding be used toward the AVID program. Ms. Williams also asked about the Huskins program. Ms. Datz responded that when Ayden-Grifton does not offer a course on campus, the community college could come into the school and teach the class on campus or on line. Now, she added, we've moved away from Huskins as the students are able to take on-line courses that serve the same purpose. Ms. Williams commented that Ms. Datz works as a regular English Honors teacher and the AVID English Honors teacher. If funding was not a problem, she asked would Ms. Datz continue in both positions. Ms. Datz explained that she has teacher and team support in the school, and that two more teachers were sent to Summer Institute so they have been trained and are ready to teach the AVID program. She added that there is also a biology teacher in the school who has been using AVID strategies for a couple of years now. Ms. Datz commented that for several years she gave up her planning period so that the extra sections in AVID could be in place. Ms. Williams stated that her daughter only had one AVID teacher, and with all the kids coming through, it can become a lot of work for one individual.
Mr. Baker added that Ayden-Grifton is not a SIG high school. Dr. Emory explained that South Central is the other SIG high school. She commented that AVID was geared toward the three small high schools because of the desire to increase enrollment in the AP and Honors courses. Dr. Emory stated that this was also part of the high school plan including the 1% rule, which would help the small high schools with course offerings. She commented that if we revisit this program and the classes are offered on-line now, we need to consider the other three high schools as there are many students who would greatly benefit from the AVID program. Superintendent Emory informed the Board that the cost to participate and bear the name AVID is very expensive. She explained that this involves local dollars and we had significant reductions, so the plan was to keep the local dollars in the staffing. The problem with this thought is that if you run out of trained personnel who knows what they're doing, then you don't have a program. The only way to get the training is to be a part of the licensed AVID program. Dr. Emory added that this is the last year of the SIG grant, and we're really trying to move away from anything that would make us dependent upon it. She commented that if we find funding for AVID, we should find a source where we can sustain it. Ms. Williams feels AVID is important in looking at our graduation and dropout rates.
Ms. Mildred Council stated that she's impressed with AVID and has always felt that there needs to be a program to help the kids in the middle. She stressed that kids need to be in the highest classes offered and thanked parents for encouraging their children to take the AP and Honors classes. Ms. Council advised Ms. Dixon that she can attend a four-year college, and she gets to choose that college and apply for scholarships to attend.
Ms. Barbara Owens commented to the presenters that this has been the most positive Board meeting she's attended in probably a year and thanked each of them for their input. She did ask how the AVID programs are doing at Farmville Central and North Pitt. Dr. Emory responded that they still have the staff allotted and that North Pitt is still very strong as Mr. Baker started this program. She stated that it looks a little different at Farmville Central, but each of them has a uniqueness suited to that particular school. Dr. Emory commented that the targeted students and determination of the staff are present at each site. Ms. Williams added that getting ready for AVID starts at the eighth grade level and continues through high school.
Mr. Forbes expressed that as a Board, we need to commit to AVID and make sure that it stays successful with teachers attending the Summer Institute to be trained because we have the data to backup what the students, teacher and administrator are saying. He added that we need to find funds to support this program and feels the on-line courses will help sustain AVID. Mr. Forbes also mentioned a possible grant at Wellcome Middle and asked did it come to pass. Dr. Emory stated there was an AVID middle school dropout prevention grant spread over a three-year period which was a feeder for North Pitt. Once the grant money was gone, the program ended. Mr. Forbes commented that he too would like to know how the program at Farmville Central has progressed.
Under Consent Items, Ms. Jill Camnitz, second by Ms. Barbara Owens, moved that the Board approve the Minutes from the Regular Meeting held October 1, 2012, the Second Personnel Report for October and the Property to be Declared Surplus List. Motion passed unanimously.
Under New Business, Associate Superintendent of Operations Aaron Beaulieu introduced Mr. Len Hoey with the State Energy Management Office in Raleigh to share with the Board the findings from their four-day study of about one-third of our schools.
Mr. Hoey presented a brief history of the Utilities Savings Initiative for which he is the Director as well as the Engineering Manager for the office. The program was created in 2002 and only served state agencies and UNC institutions initially. In 2007, the legislature passed a law and codified what we were trying to accomplish, which is a 30% reduction in BTUs per square foot by 2015 from a 02-03 baseline. Mr. Hoey commented that their purpose was expanded, and they now serve all state agencies, universities, community colleges, county governments and municipal governments. He informed the Board that the program has surpassed one-half billion dollars in energy cost avoidance over 100 counties with a staff of four.
In Pitt County, the schools inspected showed the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were well maintained to include temperature and humidity. There is also a replacement plan in place for all equipment to be exchanged with the most efficient equipment available. Wiring and electrical equipment have been upgraded for the most part to the more efficient T-8s. Mr. Hoey stated there is a need to look at the plug load, especially for space heaters and mini-fridges – which is not always controlled by the maintenance department, but makes a large difference in costs. Regarding weatherization, along the exterior doors the weather stripping could be replaced to prevent air penetration from outside and many single pane windows need to be replaced if possible. Mr. Hoey stated in the cafeterias, the refrigerator and freezer gaskets were leaking air and not solid. Regarding plumbing, the fixtures are being systematically replaced. He reported that good maintenance procedures are in place, and the system is doing a good job.
Mr. Hoey stated the next step recommended is to formalize a strategic energy plan – goals - where you want to go and how to get there. Each year, a list of activities to accomplish should be made to take the system toward its goals. This plan should be smart, specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic and time dependent – and we will help in this effort. Mr. Hoey explained that data collected will be entered into an analysis program. He added that information from 11 of our 34 schools was entered into the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, which is a free web-based software tool offered by EPA. Based on this ranking program, the eleven schools are in pretty good shape. He reported that we need to input the remaining schools into this system, which is currently in progress. Once all the information has been entered, Mr. Hoey recommended school competition – Earn the Energy Star – a nice plaque that is presented to the schools who meet the set criteria. Mr. Hoey believes that nine of the eleven schools entered into the system may qualify already for the plaque – scoring 75 or higher, with most of our scores being in the 80-90 range.
Mr. Hoey explained that Performance Contracting provides capital, engineering and design work, construction management, and post-project measurement and verification to be sure you are receiving the energy reductions you were guaranteed. The reductions have a monetary value which is calculated each year; and if there is a shortfall in dollars beyond what you were guaranteed, the contractor makes up the difference. Mr. Hoey stated Performance Contracting is most beneficial when a system has large capital projects that need doing. He added that this will not help our budget as the Board, with the superintendent's signature, will borrow money. Mr. Hoey explained that the Board will go into debt to complete a capital project; then move funds from the utility budget into the debt retirement account so the project can be paid off. A bond is not necessary as the system will be using a fully funded line item in the expense budget – the utility account – to pay off the loan with guaranteed backing.
Mr. Hoey stated the analysis needs to be done on the energy values to see where all your schools rate before making a recommendation to move forward. He added that this is a big step and requires a lot of work – schedules for people in and out of the building have to be made and facility folks need to be present.
Mr. Benjie Forrest stated he's still receiving calls from constituents about the timers on the lights for the athletic fields. He asked would this be part of the whole system being discussed or had this been straightened out. Mr. Beaulieu commented that this continues to be a work in progress. He gave two accounts during the fall when the lights went out at JV and Varsity football games – the Varsity game was associated with a power outage in the entire community and the JV game occurred because of faulty equipment. Mr. Beaulieu stated there have been less than a dozen incidents since the process was implemented through the ADs, coaches, schools and facility services with schedules in place. Mr. Forrest commented that it could be dangerous during play of a given game with Mr. Beaulieu responding that setting light switches for different times so all the lights will not go out at once has been implemented on the fields and in the parking lots. Mr. Beaulieu explained further details regarding buffer time, remote access, an on-call person, etc. related to the athletic fields' lighting.
Mr. Hoey stated the program provides an Energy Management Training Class at no cost. He added that during implementation of the programs he has discussed, assistance will be provided in all phases by his colleagues.
Mr. Forbes asked who helps to write the strategic plan discussed. Mr. Hoey responded that Mr. Beaulieu will write the plan with his assistance. Mr. Forbes asked regarding the start up cost for the Performance Contract. Mr. Hoey answered that we would be required to have a professional engineer review the RFP responses which could be set up with DPI and the only cost would be travel.
Ms. Jill Camnitz stated this sounds like the first step in a continuing process with Mr. Hoey stating yes, there are many steps to implement the process and he will work with Mr. Beaulieu to reach the goal. Mr. Beaulieu commented the state energy office has been great in sharing their knowledge and information as we're able to break down data related to energy by school, by provider, by charges, etc.
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Programs and Services Cheryl Olmsted shared with the Board a report following the EPS Committee Meeting held October 4, 2012. She first introduced the 9-12 Director David Jenkins to the Board. Ms. Olmsted commented that four items were discussed during the meeting with the first being a continuation of the scholarship statistics. She informed the Board that Student Services Director Pokie Noland provided requested scholarship data from all six high schools. Following the data presentation, ways to increase the amount of scholarships received, input from counselors regarding a program from Pitt Community College relative to support and guidance for students who are first generation college students and EVAAS training for counselors were discussed.
The second item discussed was a concern regarding field trips. Ms. Olmsted shared that ramifications from budget cuts in local funding in 2010 are beginning to surface. Travel guidelines implemented in 2010 included: stopped local travel for staff, each grade level was permitted to take one curriculum related field trip per year, and the use of charter buses was discouraged because of expense. She added that we did sponsor Math Masters, Battle of the Books, competitions, Construction/Career Day and other system designated trips. Each high school based curriculum area was allowed one curriculum related field trip each year, and other allowed travel was explained by Ms. Olmsted.
In 2011 when we received the Race-to-the-Top money, we changed the guidelines at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. Some of these changes include: for adult travel – all travel required by Race-to-the-Top, EC, Title I funding or any type of federal dollars requesting that teachers and staff go for training would be able to go. Ms. Olmsted added that adults could travel for other conferences if they were willing to pay for the travel, registration, rooms, etc. themselves. Student travel stated each grade level is permitted to take one curriculum related field trip each year. Charter buses on an approved list are allowed now as schools using activity buses have to fund the full price for the trip – which is almost the same cost as the charter bus. Other field trips discussed above remained in place. High school guidelines stated that each curriculum based area was permitted to take a curriculum related field trip each semester. Ms. Olmsted stated she asked CTE Director Beth Ann Trueblood to pull together a team of folks to investigate what will be allowed for CTE field trips. She added that concerns arose as students involved with field trips were out of their classrooms for considerable amounts of time. In our attendance policy, if a student misses eight days of class then they fail that course; and we had students missing more than eight days due to field trips. Ms. Trueblood asked the principals to recommend teachers for this team and then pulled one teacher from every program area. The team decided on a limit of five days for club travel. In reaching a balance between supporting club travel and not missing core classes, the team came up with guidelines for CTE travel as follows: CTE money would not fund curriculum field trips; five days of travel for CTE clubs - fall leadership, regional competition, national competition and state competition details were included. Questions followed by members of the EPS committee with a request of getting input from the agricultural teachers as they were not included on the team.
The third item discussed was AVID. Ms. Olmsted informed the Board that if our system has not paid the contract renewal totaling $10,000 per school for AVID, but say we have the AVID program in our schools, we are legally incorrect. She explained that we still have the AVID positions, but we do not have the AVID training. Ms. Olmsted added that the tutors were funded through ECU Project Heart which was cut through ECU, not by us. During the meeting, we were asked by the EPS Committee how we are using the programs at Farmville Central and North Pitt High Schools. Ms. Olmsted commented that this program is great for Unitary Status. She stated that we have to choose to follow the program or not – if we can't train people, then we start to lose part of what has been effective. As a side note, Ms. Olmsted added that Second Life is dwindling because of student interest.
The last item discussed was the School Improvement Plan template as this is the year for writing new SIPs. Ms. Olmsted informed the Board that the template is coming from the DPI website and is pretty expensive. Presentation of the SIPs to the EPS Committee is changing to shorten the amount of time involved. Ms. Olmsted stated that all six high schools and all K-8 schools which are below 70% proficiency will be shared, instead of every school presenting as in the past. Any other schools will be able to request a review if they believe it is indicated. Ms. Olmsted explained that this change will be lining up with the new legislation that may start identifying schools with A, B, C, D, F. If a school is A, B, or C, we will support the school with their needs, but our focus will be on the other schools.
Mr. Marc Whichard expressed concern regarding AVID and why the Board did not receive a presentation relative to problems with financing. He stated that when a program is going to be cut, it should either come through a committee (EPS) or should be presented to the full Board for discussion of the issues involved. Mr. Whichard commented that we have heard about a substitute program in the schools after the fact. He feels AVID is a significant program that has a major impact on our middle students, enlarges our AP and Honors Programs and has a strong impact on minority students receiving an extra push for taking advanced classes. Mr. Whichard stated that not knowing about this cut makes one wonder what else is out there that the Board may or may not know about.
Mr. Worth Forbes stated that he's very disappointed that AVID has been cut in that he believes it was most worthwhile to have the "middle of the road" students in a program that helped them be successful. He commented that he would really like to see EPS look at this situation again, especially upon hearing Ms. Olmsted discuss legal issues. Mr. Whichard also mentioned the teacher who is giving up her planning period brings up statutory requirements in terms of teachers being allocated a planning period with the principal being aware of what she's doing.
Ms. Mary Williams stated that during the EPS Committee meeting, she did not understand that cutting AVID was a done deal, but that other options would be discussed. She believed funding was going to be explored and dedicated personnel for AVID would be sought. Ms. Williams is very interested in bringing AVID back to the system. Ms. Barbara Owens and Ms. Christine Waters had questions about students missing five days for field trips and being monitored. Ms. Olmsted responded that this is monitored through CTE, which is how we found students who missed 18-20 days and failed a core class. She stressed that this is why we are striving for a balance between club field trips and missing core classes. Ms. Williams felt that you have to ask which is more important and reach a needed balance. Ms. Olmsted commented that the team who discussed field trips felt good about the five days.
Mr. Benjie Forrest asked regarding CTE field trips, could CTE dollars be spent on field trips. Ms. Olmsted asked was he referring to curriculum related field trips and said she would have to check to give the correct answer. He added that he would like to see a survey of the CTE teachers in general regarding the opportunity to go on field trips as CTSO are integral in nature, not extracurricular. Mr. Forrest commented that he would like to see more teachers involved in making the decisions as he feels if a student is failing English because of being away from school on field trips, then he shouldn't be allowed to go on the field trip in the first place. He stated that CTE is all about applied learning and project learning – and the best way to accomplish this is including field trips within the framework. Ms. Waters added that if you include sport events in this scenario, the number of absences accelerates.
Mr. Whichard shared that in most schools, a teacher will send out rosters stating what students are going on a field trip and ask others if someone is not academically performing or has a disciplinary issue to please notify him/her prior to the trip. Ms. Olmsted stated this issue could be discussed further. Under Comments by the Superintendent, Dr. Beverly Emory stated that we want to support AVID and the reduction of $30,000 was to essentially not call it by name. The other local investment in the program, which is much more costly, was left for the positions in the program. In the budget process, we look at where we can trim and this decision was not made in isolation. We took the $10,000 per school that we paid the AVID program, but kept the positions working with the students in place. She thanked Ayden-Grifton for their presentation and commented that we see the passion of the people who make it work for kids.
Dr. Emory informed the Board that she placed a handout used at the Education Summit last week at each one's seat. She stated it was very well attended and thanked Board members for going. Dr. Emory commented that the United Way is the primary sponsor and added that a plug for the Race-to-the-Top district grant application was given as Under Deputy Secretary Michael Yuden was in attendance. She also stated that Russell Knight's jazz band from J. H. Rose High school did an awesome job and played their final number on iPads. Dr. Emory commented that Mr. Tim DeCresie had given the students iPads to work with during the summer to be ready to perform at Tech Fest, but the iPads had to be returned. Later Mr. DeCresie came back with a classroom set for the students to use throughout the day enforcing that when you have good teacher leaders – they will use technology to really impact student instruction. She informed the Board that the jazz band is one of two in the state that has been selected to perform November 12 at the State Music Educators' Conference in Winston-Salem.
Superintendent Emory closed by saying it's been really exciting to get out and visit classrooms in our district. She stated with all the changes being implemented this year and the uncertainty about how the 2012-13 school year will end, you would never know it when you visit classrooms and see quality instruction and feel excitement in the air.
Mr. Sean Kenny mentioned several fights have occurred in some of our schools and stressed his belief that if someone comes to our schools and acts in a violent way, then he/she is out. He stated he supports any principal or teacher in making a decision in this regard.
Mr. Kenny also commented that a man jumped from outer space yesterday which substantiated years of education in the works. He reported that the news commentator did a good job, but added that he didn't come near the fine job that Ms. Mayo does in a "one-man" show.
Mr. Marc Whichard thanked the students from Ayden-Grifton who presented tonight. He added that many times you will note that the students in AVID are very polished individuals from their contact with upper level courses and teachers constantly watching them in terms of how they are performing academically. He voiced support of AVID as a district.
Mr. Whichard expressed his complete and total dissatisfaction with the North Carolina High School Athletics Association in terms of their response to D. H. Conley. He added that the organization increasingly finds ways to fine and penalize as opposed to building up students and supporting programs – which is quite concerning. Mr. Whichard stated at a time when Conley's program was on the mend and building, it was disappointing in terms of the athletic association's actions and hopes it can be revisited. He commented that Dr. Burns is an outstanding individual and hopes he can investigate the issues and help the Board reach a solution.
Ms. Barbara Owens commented that she had hoped Dr. Del Burns would be present tonight and that she would like to see a formal job description, timeline and/or budget for him.
Ms. Mary Williams congratulated Ms. Mayo and stated that she works hard. She thanked staff members for their outstanding job on keeping us updated regarding committees. Ms. Williams welcomed Ms. Jackson back.
Ms. Williams stated she supports the AVID program and knows it's instrumental for helping our students making the best of themselves and being more independent. She commented that like Ms. Owens, she's disappointed that she didn't get to meet Dr. Burns. Ms. Williams thanked Dr. Emory for the gift and stated she and Ms. Robin Dailey did a great job at the Education Summit.
Ms. Mildred Council shared that our 4-H students won Honorable Mention this year at the county fair and some took Second Place at the state fair.
Ms. Jennifer Little congratulated Ms. Mayo on her award stating it was well deserved. She asked had we looked into the many foundations available in Pitt County as far as the AVID program submitting a grant to help offset the cost of the contracts.
Mr. Worth Forbes thanked Dr. Emory for the Bosses' Day gift. He stated he had also heard of several fights and for him, there was zero tolerance for such action in the schools as it disrupts learning, not only for the participants, but for others in the classroom.
Mr. Forbes congratulated Ms. Mayo and stated he appreciates what she does. He stressed the importance of finding funding to implement AVID back in our schools as the data backs up the program. Mr. Forbes added that when we have a program this strong producing positive results, we need to keep it.
Again, Mr. Forbes emphasized what Mr. Forrest stated earlier regarding the CTE field trips that are part of the curriculum stating it's very important that those field trips are funded without cost to the school or teacher. He commented that a master list can be sent around the school for students who are failing as he did it when he was principal at Farmville and South Central High Schools.
Ms. Christine Waters stated with all that went on last week, her lack of appearance was not because of lack of interest or concern but rather that she took personal time and visited her son in Texas. She commented that tomorrow morning, a committee is meeting relative to the employee and student dress code which will be at 9:00 a.m. if anyone is interested in attending.
Mr. Benjie Forrest congratulated Ms. Mayo and stated sometimes being a one-person department wasn't all bad as you get all the glory too.
Mr. Forrest stated he tremendously supports any program that will target the middle kids academically. He added that there are programs all around, but it seems there is a void when it comes to the middle kids. Mr. Forrest commented that he would like funding sources for the AVID program added to the Agenda for the Finance Committee Meeting scheduled for Thursday.
In closing, Mr. Forrest feels Dr. Emory had a great idea regarding surveying all the CTE teachers relative to field trips and seeks a process to make sure that we do provide the field trips needed for these programs.
Chair Peaden asked that all Board members who have not returned their evaluation in for Dr. Emory, to telephone Administrative Assistant to the Board Brenda Pippin and she will be glad to take call in evaluations.
Chair Peaden stated that after speaking with Dr. Emory and In-House Attorney Rob Sonnenberg, that within a 48-hour time frame, he would like to have a Called Board Meeting so the full Board can hear the information obtained at the same time together.
Ms. Barbara Owens moved, second by Mr. Worth Forbes, that the Board adjourn. Motion passed unanimously. Time was 8:25 P. M.