The Moore County School Board met in a special work session Monday. The agenda included a presentation of the third and final draft of the school reassignment plan for the new school being built on Camp Easter Road. The guiding principles for the reassignment plan are Balance, Efficiency, Planning, and Community.
The plan’s primary emphasis is to alleviate overcrowding at Sandhills Farm Life and Vass Lakeview Elementary Schools. The current reassignment plan, which will be presented to the School Board at the November 5 regular meeting, is the result of a great deal of planning, public input, and planning sessions.
A public commit period will run from November 6 – 15 online followed by a special work session also scheduled for November 15 to allow public input on the plan. This will be followed by a December 3 work session to review community input with the final vote on the plan scheduled for the December 10 regular meeting.
Currently, the only school affected by the reassignments are Farm Life and Vass Lakeview. The long-term plan includes additional schools in Aberdeen, Southern Pines, and Pinehurst which will require larger scale reassignments, but these are several years in the future and the same rigorous planning, and community input will be part of the process.
Additionally, the school on Camp Easter Road has not been officially named. The public was invited to comment over a two-week period with 504 submissions being received. Out of the input, 66 were unique suggestions to which the school staff added some additional recommendations for a total of 108.
It has been Moore County Schools’ policy not to name schools after individuals but only buildings such as gyms or other ancillary structures. Extensive research was also done on the names including local heritage, copyright, and trademark as well as public interest. These efforts resulted in a curated list of five names.
McDeeds Creek Elementary School
Fairway Elementary School
Pine Meadows Elementary School
Camp Easter Elementary School
Piney Woods Elementary School
The School Board will act on this list at the November 5 meeting. Once the shortlist is finalized, an online public comment period will open November 6 – November 23 followed by the adoption of the name at the December 10 School Board Meeting.
In other business, a plan was presented to address two schools that were identified as low performing. Both Robbins Elementary and Southern Middle Schools were classified by the state as low performing, resulting in a state-mandated improvement plan. This plan will also be voted on at the next school board meeting.
Also presented to the board was a proposal to conduct a Social Emotional Learning Survey (SEL) in January of 2019. A SEL survey is helpful in improving both student outcomes and safety in school.
The SEL survey attempts to describe the mindsets, skills, attitudes, and feelings that help students succeed in school, career, and life. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes and is voluntary. Parents can review the questions on the MCS website from November 6 through the 16 and have the option of opting out of the surveyThe declaration by the Federal Government of Moore County as a disaster area following Hurricane Florence allows the state to forgive the 38 hours of educational times that was missed during the storm. This will allow teachers and staff to be paid for missed time and allow a reserve to deal with any winter related closures.
In addition, an addendum to the current budget proposal for 2019 was presented with an increase of just over $100,000 reflecting changing state funding.
To close out the meeting, a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for November 27 at 10 a.m. for the new Aberdeen Elementary School. More detailed information is available on the Moore County Schools’ website.
Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter, Chris Prentice.