School board sets new goals

The Moore County School Board reviewed goals and programs at its Sept. 6 work session.

Superintendent Tim Locklair said he recommended the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan, which Chief Officer for Academics and Student Dr. Mike Metcalf presented.

The new mission reads: All students will graduate with the skills, knowledge, character and education to be successful citizens.

The plan has six goals:

  1. Increase the number of schools meeting or exceeding growth from 14 to 23.
  2. Increase Grade Level Proficiency in all subjects by 10% (from 56.6% to 66.6%).
  3. Increase ranking for Grade Level Proficiency in all subjects from 23rd to within the top 5% in the state.
  4. Tenth grade students reading at or above grade level will increase by 10% (from 81% to 91%) as measured by the End-of-Course Lexile reading level.
  5. Close the achievement gaps of Black, Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities by 10% from their respective 2021-22 achievement scores.
  6. Increase the number of students who complete a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Cluster (a student who has taken at least four CTE courses within the same career pathway) by 15% from 441 to 510.

Metcalf said the wording for goal five needed to be revised. He said it was important to reduce gaps while increasing performances of all groups. He said it was important to work with wording to prevent it from suggesting a reduction in overall performance.

The achievement gap is 29.9%, and Metcalf wants to reduce it down to 19.9% or less.

School board member Robert Levy said a goal should be to raise F-rated schools. He said the K-8th Grade Level Performance should include English II, especially since the government made it a requirement.

Board member David Hensley said he liked goal six because it is important to have students graduate career ready with vocational education.

The vocational education pathways carry different certifications or completions, such as accounting or business management, and construction or architecture. There are 23 pathways.

The board will vote on the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan on Monday, Sept. 12 at its regular meeting.

Executive Director of Operations John Birath presented an update on the Driver’s Education Program. The state program began in the 1960s and is a requirement and is open to all Moore County school students, including home-schooled students.

The program requires 30 hours of classroom instruction, 12 hours of instruction in a car, six hours of observing and six driving hours.

There are 20 to 25 students per classroom, and the fee is $65, with free and reduced fees based on household income, so everyone is eligible as long as students pass a vision test.

The new virtual hybrid classes allow larger class sizes up to 50 and have the same success rate as in-person instruction.

The state pays $257,415 for the program, averaging $195 per student.

The program has 18 vehicles and replaces a couple each year.

Hensley said the program was one of the most important programs because all students will be on the road. He suggested the purchase of a driving simulator to teach how to drive on ice and other problematic realities. He said it was more important to have the driving simulator than to buy a new car for the program because it increases public safety.

Students must complete the program by age 18.

Dr. Mike Metcalf, Chief Officer for Academics and Student Support Services, presented a review on transportation. He said the Aug. 2 registration deadline helped coordinate the 251 routes.

For the first two weeks of school, a call center to assist with transportation questions was set up and had a 19-second response time.

Moore County Schools is hiring bus drivers and welcomes retirees. Read the job description here. Call 910-947-2976 for more information.

Director for Student Support Services Dr. Seth Powers shared a proposal for 13 additional full-time police officers, which would bring the total to 27.

Powers said the number one goal was to educate, but that could not be accomplished without safety in place.

The presence of police vehicles was stressed as a visual deterrent to crime.

The initial cost, including salaries, training, vehicles and equipment, was estimated at $1,446,758, with a yearly cost of $980,562. Read the cost breakdown here

The proposal will review the Board’s feedback and present the proposal again in Oct. to the Board before presentation to county commissioners.

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

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