Board announces news on senior honors

The Moore County School Board reviewed seniors’ honors programs at its Feb. 6 work session.

A newly formed Fire Team, Dr. Mike Metcalf, chief officer for academics and student support services; Kate Faw, director for planning, accountability, and research; and Dr. Lisa Scott, director for federal programs, career and technical education and grant administration, reported the plan for senior recognitions.

The Board reinstated the valedictorian and salutatorian recognitions for high schools and approved recognized top Career and Technical Education students at the Dec. 12, 2022 meeting.

Valedictorian and salutatorian selections are based on the highest weighted grade-point average. They calculate numeric grade averages from ninth through twelfth grades in the case of a tie. The student with the highest ACT score wins the honor when there is still a tie. If there is still a tie, multiple winners are honored.

A point system weighs the honors of the career and technical education students. It evaluates the number of completed courses, leadership roles, and memberships.

“This is groundbreaking,” Vice Chair David Hensley said. “We honor them all.”

During the Board discussion, Faw presented a list of new courses for the 2023-2024. New course selection was based on input from principals, counselors and the Academics and Student Support Services team.

The courses have no additional costs because they are included under a grant.

Courses are taught when enough students register.

New courses include pre-calculus, available for tenth and eleventh graders. Other courses are Advanced Placement European History, Teacher Cadet, Sales II, Law and Justice I and II, and Sustainable Agriculture I and II.

The Moore County Course Guide is available online and is a pivotable part of student career paths.

Dr. Mike Metcalf, Tracy C. Metcalf, director for student support services, and Chief Hardy, Moore County Schools chief of police, presented the first semester 2022-2023 data on discipline referrals.

The team said reestablishing good behavior after the pandemic when students were not in school was paramount to a positive learning environment.

The team reviewed bus behavior and is investigating bus monitors.

Bus infractions need higher discipline because bus accidents could be fatal, so anything a student does that causes a distraction is a cause for higher discipline.

Concerning fighting on school property, a student may use self-defense when no adult is present, and the only way to escape an attack is to fight. Students who instigate fights are treated the same under the disciplinary rules as those who physically fight.

Discipline referrals increased from last year’s first semester. In-school suspensions saw the highest increase.

Graph provided from Moore County School Board Feb. 6, 2023, presentation.

Police consequences rose from 43 in the Second Chance Program’s previous school year to 50 in the first semester of 2022-2023.

Bus suspensions decreased by approximately 3% due to out-of-school suspensions, and fewer students riding the bus.

Moore County Schools has three referral choices for offenders. The Department of Juvenile Justice serves students who commit crimes. The Second Chance Program serves first-time offenders. Teen Court is an aversion process with students acting as court officiates and juries with outcomes of life-skills courses and or community service.

A list of first semester 2022-2023 offenses is available here.  

The first semester 2022-2023 assault chart is viewable here.

It is not easy to determine whether a student is fighting or assaulting.

In the 2021-2022s first semester, there were 15 assaults, and 2022-2023 had 25 assaults.

Middle schools saw the highest increase in assaults.

The Board discussed coding aggressive behavior instead of fighting and said they need to review coding for different grades because elementary students do not always intend to hurt others. The Board said a separate code of conduct for elementary students needs to be considered.

Jenny Purvis, executive officer for operations, presented data on operations.

Under transportation, communication was listed as a primary concern.

Bus drivers feel they are not heard.

Purvis scheduled community input meetings to address concerns on mapping, driver retention, pay, and efficiency.

The meetings are on Mar. 7, 6:30-8 p.m. at Robbins Elementary School’s media center, on Mar. 14, 6:30-8 p.m. at New Century Middle School’s media center, and on Mar. 22, 6:30-8 p.m. at Southern Middle School’s multipurpose room.

During the committee reports, Hensley presented a PowerPoint on school facilities and saving money with a committee approach.

Image provided by Moore County School Board on Feb. 6, 2023.

Image provided by Moore County School Board on Feb. 6, 2023.

Hensley said if they save $5 million in gym projects, they can eliminate the trailers and build classrooms. He added Track 5 after the attack on the power grid because some schools may serve as emergency shelters, and some civil defense funds may be available from the 1960s.

To save funds, Hensley said to use engineers and architects only when needed.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. Contact her at [email protected].

Photo of school board via Moore County Schools.

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