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Board of Education Meeting Summary


Wilson County Board of Education

Volume 16, Number 7, January 11, 2016


The Wilson County Board of Education met in regular session on Mon., Jan. 11, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. in the Central Office Boardroom.

Board of Education Appreciation Month

Every January, WCS celebrates Board of Education Appreciation Month. During the meeting, Hailey Bissette, a sophomore at Hunt High and one of the five students featured nine years ago in the WCS Seeing the Dreams marketing campaign, stepped behind the podium to thank the Board members for their service and to share with them a special video. Board members were presented with Thank You cards created by students at different schools.   

Good News Award

Dr. Vernita Williams
Principal at Barnes Elementary
Principal Vernita Williams recently earned a doctoral degree.  Dr. Williams successfully completed her dissertation on Nov. 23 and graduated Dec. 18 from East Carolina University. Dr. Williams has been employed with Wilson County Schools for 19 years. During this time she served as a math teacher at Toisnot Middle, an assistant principal at Speight Middle and the principal of Stantonsburg Elementary. She has been the principal at Barnes since 2009.

Character Education Award
Malaysia Howell (2nd grade), Queen Howell (3rd) and Jada Howell (4th)
Barnes Elementary
Malaysia, Queen and Jada are very close as sisters. They attend Barnes Elementary and show great responsibility in the way they look out for each other. They make sure they are all in class on time and ready to start their day. When the school day ends, they wait for each other to board the bus and have been known to go back into the building to look for each other if too much time passes without one of them coming out to the bus. Their close bond as sisters is admired by staff members and other students at Barnes.

Chair’s Report
Board Chair Dr. Christine Fitch updated the Board on the Rightway Café lunches and thanked the recent restaurant partner, Brewmasters, for providing lunch at Fike. The following Board members agreed to attend the upcoming lunches: Jan. 27 at New Hope (Henry Mercer), Jan. 28 at Rock Ridge (Beverly Boyette), Feb. 11 at Forest Hills (Velma Barnes), Feb. 17 at Darden (Dr. Fitch) and March 2 at Springfield (Mr. Mercer). Dr. Fitch also wished everyone a Happy New Year and asked the Board members and audience to consider donating clothes to Wilson Chapel Church Winter Wear Giveaway in support of a clothing drive.

Superintendent’s Report
Dr. Bulson echoed Dr. Fitch’s wishes for a Happy New Year. He shared that he attended the State Board of Education meeting on Jan. 7 to support Dr. Fitch in her first meeting as a member of the State Board. This month he also started meeting with groups of students to find out what they think schools should be doing to meet the needs of students in 2016. In the meetings he’s held so far, students agreed that while technology is important, the quality of instruction delivered by a qualified teacher is even more so.

He also thanked BB&T for supporting schools through its Lighthouse Project initiative; advised the Board that it would be involved in several meetings when the team from AdvancED visits in February; informed the Board that the bid process for the WCS Wide Area Network would begin soon; reminded everyone of next week’s holiday and teacher workdays as high schools prepare for a new semester; and encouraged everyone to attend upcoming community events celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Committee Report

Instructional Services
Accreditation and Artifacts: Every five years, school districts must go through the accreditation process to ensure that schools are setting goals and improving. During the process, an accrediting agency conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of the individual schools and the entire district. WCS is currently going through reaccreditation by AdvancED. More than 700 artifacts documenting adherence to five main standards have been loaded into the LiveBinder to be reviewed by AdvancED. The standards cover stable governance, management and leadership; a coherent course of study; a reliable system by which to assess students’ progress; instructors who have a clear understanding of what is taught and why; and access to necessary resources. The LiveBinder will be available on the WCS website once it is reviewed by AdvancED. In February, a team from AdvancED will visit several schools for site visits and interviews.

Discussion/Action Items

Budget Amendments

The Board approved amendments of the State Public School Fund, Current Expense Fund, Federal Fund and Local Special Revenue Fund.

2016-2017 NCSBA Legislative Committee Service

The North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) is inviting each local Board to nominate one of its members to serve on NCSBA’s Legislative Committee. Board Member Beverly Boyette expressed interest and submitted an application. The Board approved Ms. Boyette’s nomination.

Final Approval of School Improvement Plans for Wilson County Low-Performing Schools

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction recently released the list of Low-Performing Schools identified for the 2015-2016 school year. These schools received a “D” or “F” School Performance Grade coupled with a growth status of “met expected growth” or “not met expected growth.” Nine WCS schools were identified as low performing.  School districts had 30 days to notify the community of the designations and 30 days to present School Improvement Plans to the local Board of Education and receive input. That time frame was met, and the Board voted to approve the plans and sent them to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) for feedback and revisions. At Monday night’s meeting, the Board voted to approve the revised plans, and the plans will now be submitted to the State Board of Education. The final plan should then be available on the WCS and NCDPI websites.

Proposed Revision of Policy 6311, Access and Challenges to Records, Second Reading
The Board approved policy revisions to more fully align the policy with federal and state requirements regarding the amendment of student records. 

Proposed Revision of Policy 5701, School Improvement Teams, First Reading

The Board reviewed Policy 5701 and let it stand as a first reading. This policy covers the school-level development of School Improvement Plans and School Improvement Teams. The revisions bring the policy into alignment with state requirements.

Grant Proposals

The Healthcare Foundation of Wilson is currently accepting grant proposals to benefit the health and wellness of community members. The Foundation encourages governing Boards to approve the proposals. The Board voted to approve a proposal to install walking tracks at the elementary and middle schools that do not have one. The total cost to install eight tracks is approximately $48,000. 

Committee Report
Human Resource Services
The Board approved personnel recommendations as presented. 

Upcoming Meetings
Board of Education Regular Meeting
Mon., Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., Central Office Boardroom

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