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Notes from the November 5 Chatham County school board meeting

By Mia Munn
Posted Friday, November 15, 2013

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Pittsboro, NC - Here are my notes from the school board meeting held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

The dairy judging contest team from Jordan-Matthews High School and parents attended through the good news. Two community members were in attendance.

Good news

· NCFFA State Dairy Judging Contest – 1st place junior (freshmen and sophomores) out of 48 teams – also one individual first (Sarah Thomas – 1st of 148 competitors). Ms Fields new ag teacher. First time school had competed in years. Judge 6 classes of 4 animals (team of 4 judges). Oral presentation on reasons for judging. Sarah also competed in state dairy handler contest at state fair

· Board Retreat (January 13, 2014) – at historic courthouse 8:30 – 4:30, followed by work session at 5

· United Way 2013 Goal Report – 71% of goal, 308 staff members participated (26%). North chatham and SAGE met goal (SAGE 100% participation)

· 2014 CCS Principal of the Year – Kim Taylor, Bonlee (leader in me program)

· Other – Nov 7, state board considers 12/13 test data – received preliminary data, some bright spots. Own opportunities for improvement, and move forward. Declines statewide after standards raised.

· Introduced Nancy Moody – interim principal at Pollard.

*School improvement grant – SAGE * last year applied and awarded grant – 766k over 3 years. Focus on increase grad rate and improve instructional program. Principal Dixon presented the powerpoint he presented to to DPI first week of school on the status and plans for the grant. The presentation is here


Changes were underway before SAGE was named a Priority school after 11/12. Had 41.2% grad rate but changed to 21 credit diploma – 86.4% in 11/12. New principal in 2011, with administrative coach to support principal

Principal completed NC Pathways leadershop course.

Increased focus on improving instruction and test scores.

Staff attended Alternative program conf.

Staff trained in Project based learning and refresher on pbis.

Work on parental engagement

Individual Development plans – district flexibility in professional development focused on Alternative schools/learning.

Hired a curriculum coach.

Data analysis in PLCs and alter instruction based on data.

Use attendance data to identify alt schedules for Evening Academy.

Implement LiveSchool across school – see where students are at all times (teacher clicks for hallpass).

Students earn realbucks for behavior – healthy snacks, gift cards, etc. for lesson planning and monitoring plans.

parent engagement. Thrift store (fashion show and spaghetti dinner tomorrow night). Trained in Parental engagement strategies. School twitter and facebook plus mass calls and mailings.

Pilot evening academy last year. 3:30-.6pm – some from JM coming over as well. Students can take additional classes, or adapt to schedule (e.g., mother who can’t get childcare in the morning comes to periods 3-4 and evening school)

IT facilitator halftime to develop tech lesson plans. .

Goals for future – grad rate 88% this year – 90% 201 grad rate 88% this year – 90% 2015/16

Increase composite scores 10% per year (not 10 points)

Align with School improvement plan

Received seat time waiver (more flexibility)

*SAGE goals*

local option goals – alternative goals for alternative schools – choose of 3 of 8 local goals

· Droputs – decrease to 6.5%

· Student progress and proficiency – last year earned credit to potential credit 92%. Increase to 94% based on month 9 PMR

– Principal’s monthly report

· Parental involvement at least 5 contacts by each advisor for each students, based on month 2 PMR

State looks at how many goals met. Traditional – 5 of 5 high, 3-4 progress, 2 no recognition – alternative schools the same but different goals.

Visitation team from state – 2x this year (similar to accreditation visits) as part of progress monitoring

*Margaret B. Pollard Reporting Period *request for action – change to report card schedule – when powerschool was started over the summer, the schedule was set to 6 week grading periods (like high school) instead of 9 weeks – DPI said it is difficult process to change in powerschool. Safer (given powerschool glitches) – stay with 6 week schedule, this year only. Like HS, except last report card home June 11. Board has approved calendar (which includes grading period), so ask for a change. (motion to rescind calendar for Pollard, then adopt new calendar). Approved

*Policy 3226-4205 Internet Safety* – first reading – over summer revised policies. Wording from NCSBA policy. Follow childrens internet protection

act – makes district eligible for erate $ - approved

*Policy 6524 Network Security* (First Reading) – approved

*Resolution for Unemployment Claim Documents* – need to respond to contested unemployment claims – statute allows release of confidential info for these – resolution allows administration to release info when requested to meet statutory requirement – approved – legislature may clean up law

*25 Percent Four-Year Teacher Contracts* – legislative change. Teachers with 4 year contracts get salary increase of 500/ each year for 4 year contracts ($2000 in 4th year, total $5k over 4 years). Need to Identify criteria. Jordan met with teacher advisory committee and NCAE – work with constituents to develop list of potential criteria. May create some difficulty – challenge to identify only 25%. Attorney General said to apply most liberal definition of “teacher” – all licensed employees eligible for career status (counselors, social workers, etc, as well as teachers).

Teachers employed by this district for 3 consecutive years. Last year as 3rd year (for 3 year period) – use last year’s evaluations (this yr not done till april – tight timing) for proficiency, but multiple years for determining who offered. 62% of teachers in district have worked for district for 3 consecutive years and are eligible for consideration for 4 year contract. Supt will bring more information later.

*Policy 2300 Board Meetings* – align with practice, and give more flexibility. Approved second reading

*Policy 2330 Board Meeting Agenda *– align with practice, and give more flexibility. Approved second reading

*Policy Updates (31 Policies) *(Second Reading) – based on NCSBA recommendations. Makes recommendations based on that year’s legislative changes. (state and federal). (2 removed last mtg for additional changes) – approved

*NCSBA Policy Services *– 31 policies and technology policies are examples of what NCSBA do.

Compliance review – $8500. – hasn’t been reviewed since 2008 – determine what out of compliance. Required, recommended, optional.

Custom manual $23900 not needed since most policies are already based on NCSBA, don’t need them to write whole new manual.

Now have current update service $5500 per year. (Per question to Tony Messer after meeting, would not pay both current $5500 and review $8500 in same year – probably both pro-rated for the year)

Turner – have attorneys do review instead? Attorney – they could, but much less expensive to have NCSBA do – attorney advise on individual policy changes

Howard – eveyr year? Need review Every few years.

*2014-2015 Budget Calendar* (For Action)

Dec 2 – heads up doc due to county – that is the night it is presented to board

Feb 20 –K12 insight budget survey

March 3 – preliminary budget to board

March 20 – large presentation to public (instead of budget committee mtg)

April 7 – public hearing. Budgets approved after hearing

Due April 14 5o county

June 25 – adopt continuing budget resolution (unless state budget done)

*2013-2014 Board Meeting Calendar Revisions* (Revised Calendar) – move Feb

mtgs and beyond to 1st and 3rd Monday (feb, march, may) – allow more time

for admin and staff to do work on meetings

*Award Design NCSBA* – SFL+ architects want to submit Pollard – board endorsed.

*North Carolina School Board Action *Center – lobbying spinoff of NCSBA – move forward, table, or join

Howard – not inclined to join

Hamm – mtg a few weeks ago – 3 supts, and 8 boards, only 1 in favor, 1 tabled indefinitely.

Jordan – consensus of boards – most not joining.

Board declines to join.


Introduced Ms. Sabrina Beasley – new NCAE Chatham president – Edris Glover outgoing president, current VP.

Hamm – a week or two ago attended commissioners meeting in same room/courthouse – had trouble hearing and wished Mia Munn had been there (frequently comments on not being able to hear board members).

Mia Munn is a former educator who ran for the Chatham County school board in 2008.

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Notes from the November 5 Chatham County school board meeting
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