Board hears concerns, school improvement plans

The Moore County Board of Education met with school improvement teams Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 at special meetings to review plans on how to achieve academic success and meet cultural needs.

Each of the 12 district’s school improvement teams reviewed target areas, data, mission statements, achievements and plans.

The improvement teams are elected by school staff, as required by School Board Policy 5910.

On a two-year renewal cycle, improvement teams’ plans are voted on by school staff, and the superintendent and the Board review plans for possible approval.

School board member Robert Levy said he wished he could wave a magic wand to remove educational gaps between subgroups. He said he wants to know what effectively worked in the past, and the plans for lessening gaps at Pinecrest High School.

Pinecrest High School is B-performance graded, and administrators said they were looking at data on other North Carolina A-schools to build plans to lessen learning gaps in subgroups.

Aberdeen Elementary School is F-performance graded with aggressive and disruptive behavior issues along with learning gaps.

“Issue is not just about the color of our skin,” Aberdeen Elementary School Principal Dante Poole said about students not entering school prepared to learn and needing intervention.

Moore County Board of Education Chair Pam Thompson said discipline was nonnegotiable in the learning environment.

Levy said the board needed to make small learning groups and lowering class size a budget priority because the two environments showed positive results.

“We as a board should look at data and not at emotions,” Levy said about teams reporting on mission statements, achievements, problems, and goals.

Pinecrest High School, B graded, targeted increasing Grade Level Proficiency (GLP), partnering with Sandhills Community College, technology internships, student accomplishments and community partnerships.

Slides 9-18 share data and highlights. View here

This school’s goal is to raise the English proficiency from 68.4% to 80.4%, raise math from 32.4% to 52.4% or better, and meet needs for students with disabilities by June.

Elise Middle School has a D grade and aims to increase overall GLP from 44.7% to 54.7%, as evaluated by EOG assessments, and to exceed expected growth needs by June.

There are plans to improve core instruction while analyzing data for implementing lessons to close learning gaps, specifically for students with disabilities and subgroups.

Slides 20-31 share further details. View here.

West Pine Middle School’s slides 31-40 share the achievements, data, and goals. It has a C grade.

This school aims to improve from a C school to an B school by increasing overall proficiency by 11.3%, from 68.7% to 805, as evaluated by EOG/EOC tests by June 2024.

Concerning the teacher’s level of support from school administrators to keep discipline in the classroom, the goal is to increase the teacher’s support from 60% to 70% by 2024.

Carthage Elementary School has a C grade and plans to raise overall GLP from 56.3% to 70%, as evaluated by the EOG by June, and to raise fifth-grade science scores from 60.9% to 70%.

Slides 43-50 share further details. View here

Highfalls Elementary’s slides 53-62 share the strong community support, the 83.3% proficiency in grade three math, 90.5% proficiency in grade six math, and data sheets. It has a C grade.

The school aims to raise the reading and math GLP from 60.9% to 70% and raise fifth and eighth-grade science from 66.2% to 75% by June.

Slides 53-63 explain data and achievements. View here.

Pinehurst Elementary School has a B grade and targeted raising reading from 68.8% and math from 72.5% to 80% proficiency by June.

The school wants to raise science scores from 81.1% to 85% by June.

Slides 64-75 share highlights and data. View here.

Low-performance schools, under General Statute 115C-105.37, received a performance grade of D or F and did not meet the expected growth.

Licensed staff are evaluated for the development and implementation of a mandatory improvement plan and to consider contract renewal in low-performance schools.

Cameron Elementary School has a grade of D and suffered from chronic absenteeism and targeted an incentive plan to increase attendance.

The elementary school plans to raise overall and subject GLP by 10 percentage points by June 2024, which would raise the overall from 39% to 49%, and English GLP from 41.7% to 51.7%, math from 38.3% to 48.3%, and science from 31.3% to 41.3%.

Slides 83-90 share further details. View here.

Southern Pines Elementary School has a grade of D and aims to raise reading proficiency from 46.1% to 56.1%, math from 44% to 54% and in subgroups by 10% by June 2024.

Slides 93-100 share further improvement plans, including how it plans to decrease discipline referrals, and it shows highlights and data. View here.

Westmoore Elementary School’s primary goal is to raise overall GLP by 10%, which would raise math from 35.5% to 45.5%, reading from 46.7% to 56.7%, and science from 53.3% to 63.3%. It has a D grade.

Slides 102-110 share an increase in reading scores and a decrease in discipline office referrals, and further data. View here.

Recurring low-performance schools are deemed “recurring low-performing” if low-performing for two of the past three years. General Statute 115C-105.37 B approves recurring low-performance schools to operate as a charter school.

Robbins Elementary School is a recurring low-performance school with a history of being a D grade since 2015 and is now an F-grade school.

This school has a large population of students who do not know English.

At the 2:02 time mark on the Board’s video from Nov. 3, the Robbins Elementary School Principal Christine Laurita said the dual language immersion program was successful, especially for students who do not know English.

School board member David Hensley said the dual language immersion program was illegal and that it took five to six years to academically master a second language.

Hensley said the evidence the dual language immersion program was ineffective was in the reading performances of other schools which did not implement the dual language immersion program.

Robbins Elementary School is 18 to 30 percentage points behind other elementary schools in reading.

“It is retarding English and Spanish-speaking students,” Hensley said about the dual language immersion program.

Levy said the Board needs to use its resources to bring in an expert who has experience in turning around recurring low-performance schools.

This school has a goal of raising reading from 29.3% to 39.3%, math from 35.9% to 45.9%, and science from 26.2% to 36.2%.

Another goal is to decrease absenteeism from 42.46% to 22.45%.

Slides 114-123 share data and plans. View here.

Aberdeen Elementary School is an F-grade school and plans to decrease incidents of aggressive and disruptive behavior by 50% from 188 down to 94 by June 2024.

On the same time frame, it plans to raise reading from 34% to 44%, math from 32% to 42%, and science from 41% to 51%, and increase teacher’s working conditions on the measure of trust and mutual respect from 58.3% to 75%.

Slides 125-135 share further details. View here.

Southern Middle School has a history of being a D-graded school and is now up to a C.

It has plans to pressure students accordingly to encourage Saturday school, according to Principal Shaun Krencicki.

Levy said he applauded Krencicki’s inventive idea of Saturday school.

Slide 145 from the Board of Education’s special meeting presentation Nov. 3, 2022, shows Southern Middle School’s plan for improving learning.

This school has a primary goal of improving positive school culture by increasing the rate of students following the rules of conduct from 44% to 60%, and by administrators enforcing rules from 42% to 70%.

Slides 137-146 share further data on population, highlights and plans. View here.

A spreadsheet with each school improvement team’s plan is available here

At the 1:28 time mark in the Board’s video on Nov. 2, Hensley discussed the proficiency levels among the varying races. At the 6:08 time mark, Hensley discussed learning gaps again, and at the 1:56 time mark, Hensley discussed the growing Hispanic community’s concerns.

At the 6:08 time mark in the Board’s video from Nov. 2, Levy discussed learning gaps and after-school programs. He said he wondered if the Board should provide resources for after-school programs and let teachers earn extra income instead of sending students to the Boys and Girls Club.

“The gap at Southern Pines Elementary is very, very, very concerning,” Levy said about there being no learning gap for Hispanics, and the school having a gap for African American students.

Here is the link to the special meeting’s video on Nov. 2. 

Here is the link to the special meeting’s video continued on Nov. 3. 

The Board will vote on the improvement plans during the regular business meeting on Nov. 7.

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

~Feature photo of Carthage Elementary School by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer Melissa Schaub.

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