Wilkes County Schools

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2017-18 Board Meeting Minutes » August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017

Summary of Board Minutes
August 7, 2017

The Board of Education of the Wilkes County Administrative Unit met in a regular meeting at 5:30 pm, Monday, August 7, 2017, in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina  28659.
Present for the meeting were Chairman Mr. Randall “Rudy” Holbrook, Vice-Chairman Mrs. Sharron Huffman, Board Members Mr. Darren Shumate, Mr. Kirk Walker and Mrs. Leslie Barnes. Also present were Superintendent Mr. D. Mark Byrd, Associate Superintendent Ms. Anna Lankford, Executive Director of Personnel Dr. Westley Wood, Chief Technology Officer Ms. Julie Triplett, Chief Finance Officer Mr. Seth Prevette, Director of Maintenance Mr. Bergie Speaks, Director of Development Mr. Dennis Huggins, Director of Athletics and Healthful Living Mr. Chris Skabo, Director of CTE Mr. Wayne Shepherd, Director of Child Nutrition Mr. Marty Johnson, Director of Student Services Ms. April Marr, Director of Transportation Mr. Eric Barker, Director of Foreign Language and Title I Dr. Joe Bullis, Director of Testing and Accountability Dr. Donna Cotton, Director of Pre-K & Elementary Education Dr. Susan Blackburn, Director of Exceptional Children Ms. Jennifer Blankenship, AIG Coordinator Ms. Angie Lamb, Public Relations Officer Ms. Morgan Mathis, and Executive Administrative Assistant Ms. Carolyn Triplett.
Prior to calling the meeting to order, Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook recognized Board Member, Mr. Kirk Walker, to lead the Invocation.
On a motion by Mr. Shumate, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the agenda was approved as presented.
Chairman Mr. Randall “Rudy” Holbrook recognized Superintendent Mr. D. Mark Byrd for the Devotion and Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Byrd thanked all staff for their hard work in preparing and getting ready for the students of Wilkes County. A lot of work goes into being prepared and ready for the first day of school, and it does not go unappreciated.

Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd, along with Dr. Westley Wood Executive Director of Personnel, recognized Mr. Craig Barker, winner of the 2017 NCDPI State Conference Bus Inspection Contest which was held June 26, 2017, at Sunset Beach, North Carolina. The contest is composed of a written section and hands-on procedures. Mr. Barker received a $500.00 cash prize and will compete in the nationals in the fall in Ohio. We are proud to have Craig represent our county and state.

Focus on the Curriculum was presented by Associate Superintendent Ms. Anna Lankford. As the new school year begins, there are several updates in the Instructional Services area in which a brief overview was provided. They are as follows:
WCS Teaching and Learning Framework
A new framework for teaching and learning in the Wilkes County Schools has been adopted for the 2017-2018 school year. The new framework is being introduced by administrative instructional teams in each school during workdays prior to the first day of school. This year, during our Academy for New Teacher Success, 55 teachers attended. Ms. Lankford stated that out of her ten years of working with the beginning teachers how she was so impressed with how professional, attentive, and respectful this group was. The theme this year is “Empowering all Learners to Reach their Greatest Potential.” This means all staff will work for this from assistant teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria, clerical, etc. This framework consists of several components such as connecting, planning, teaching, assessing, and transforming. All of these make growth for all learners. This is what teaching and learning looks and sounds like.
CTE Grant
This year we received a CTE Grant in the amount of $75,000.00 called Catalyzing Career and Technical Education through Enhanced Career Pathways. This grant will help with training expenses for our middle school and high school teachers to complete computer science and digital media training ($50,000.00). Plans are to hire a part-time ESL specialist to bridge the gap, and also partner with WCC ($25,000.00) to have additional CCP instructors and laptops.
Leader in Me (Year 2)
We are seeing wonderful things happening in our middle schools. This is year two with Leader in Me. The community has been very supportive by giving donations in support. Upon visiting West Wilkes Middle, you will see a TV that runs attendance and goals for students and teachers. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand then to be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw) are displayed on a tree in the hallway as well as motivational quotes throughout the school. A Community Lead/Career Day took place in which student ambassadors were involved with showing parents what they had learned. We are seeing a difference in the schools that are participating in Leader in Me and are excited about the positive results we will continue to see in the future.
NC Check-Ins
Central Wilkes Middle School was a pilot for the 6th Grade English Language Arts Test, an NC Check-In. This test was given three times during the school year. The data was given back to the teachers immediately. This could take the place of the Benchmark Assessment. The data was used to guide instructional practices. Mr. Johnson was skeptical at first but saw how well this program worked. Plans are to test Grade 5 ELA, Grade 6 in ELA and Math, and Grade 7 ELA. This will be a pencil-paper test.
Instructional Specialists and Digital Learning Facilitators
We have restructured instructional support for the 2017-2018 school year. We now have thirteen elementary instructional specialists, four middle school instructional specialists, four high school instructional specialists, and five digital learning facilitators. We will not have Instructional Technology Facilitators (ITFs) this year.
Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Pilot
WCS is one of eleven school systems to participate in this program. The model works hand in hand with our framework. Community Systems involvement is essential to our success. Ms. Ann Absher attended to give Board Members data from the Wilkes County Health Department that demonstrates the connection we have for coming and working together for the success of our students.
Revision of Standards in ELA and Math
New revisions are taking place in K-12 English Language Arts and  K-8 Mathematics. Teachers will be taking training during the 2017-2018 school year. The Implementation will begin in the 2018-2019 school year.
Wilkes Virtual Academy
The fall of 2017 is a pilot program with a Spanish II Honors Class. Teachers created course plans this summer and will facilitate this course during the semester. There will be two face-to-face meetings with students. The teacher will have office hours two times each day for these students. The course is delivered through the Canvas System.
Project ADMIT Update
WCS is working to align the pathways to better meet the needs of our students and to meet the future workforce needs. This year, we had 412 students take coursework in advanced engineering, 220 in computer technology integration, and 9 students that did an internship. Those numbers will continue to grow. We will continue to seek other grant opportunities, and as you can see, we have a lot going on in Wilkes County Schools.

Chairman Mr. Holbrook asked if anyone had signed up for public comments. No one had signed up.
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mr. Shumate and duly carried, the minutes for June 5, 2017 and June 30, 2107 were approved as presented.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Ms. Barnes and duly carried, the personnel report and blue sheet were approved as presented.
Resignation(s) and/or Retirement(s):
Brenda Lyon – Data Manager – East Wilkes High School
Retirement effective October 1, 2017, with 17 years and 5 months of service
Thomas Vitale – Custodian – North Wilkesboro Elementary School
Retirement effective September 1, 2017, with 10 years of service
Jennifer Blankenship – From Principal – Mount Pleasant Elementary School

To Director of Exceptional Children – Exceptional Children Department

Elizabeth Hubbard – From Assistant Principal – Mountain View Elementary School
To Principal – Boomer Ferguson Elementary School
Blue Sheet                                             
Resignation(s) and/or Retirement(s):
Doug Faulkner – Assistant Principal – Wilkes Central High School
Retirement effective September 1, 2017, with 32 years and 7 months of service

On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mr. Shumate and duly carried, the revisions to Policy 4400 – High School Attendance was approved as presented.
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mr. Shumate and duly carried, the revisions to Policy 6140 – Student Wellness was approved as presented.

On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the Exceptional Children’s Department Contracts for the 2017-2018 school year were approved as presented. They are as follows:
  • Wilkes Adult Development Activity Program, Inc.
  • BAYADA Home Health Care, Inc.
  • Donna R. Key
  • Health & Home Services, Inc.
  • “I CAN” Pediatric Therapies, LLC
  • John E. Sexton & Associates, Inc.
  • Linda Love
  • Lingo Therapy, PLLC
  • Lisa Pruitt
  • Carol Pulley
  • Soliant Health, Inc.
  • Staffing Options and Solutions, Inc.
  • Wanda Griffin
  • Wilkes Day Care Association, Inc.

On a motion by Mr. Shumate, seconded by Ms. Barnes and duly carried, the Out of County/Overnight Field trips were approved as presented. They are as follows:
School Group Destination Dates
West Wilkes High JV Cheerleaders Concord, NC 07/24/2017-07/27/2017
West Wilkes High Dance Team ETSU, TN 07/24/2017-07/27/2017
West Wilkes High Yearbook Staff Charlotte, NC 08/03/2017-08/06/2017
Wilkes Early College Outdoor Adventure Club Roaring Gap, NC 10/27/2017-10/28/2017
Wilkes Early College Eleven Grade Cullowhee, NC; Gatlinburg, TN; Asheville, NC 11/09/2017-11/10/2017
Central Wilkes Middle Eighth Grade Washington, DC 03/08/2018-03/10/2018
West Wilkes Middle Eighth Grade Washington, DC 03/25/2018-03/27/2018

On a motion by Ms. Leslie Barnes, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the Memorandum of Agreements with Wilkes Community College was approved as presented. Wilkes County Schools and Wilkes Community College have a strong partnership and these agreements set the parameters of the operations of each program area.
On a motion by Mr. Shumate, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the Schedule of Fees was approved as presented.
On a motion by Mr. Shumate, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the Budget Resolution for all fund sources was approved as presented.

Associate Superintendent, Ms. Anna Lankford, presented for discussion the new policy 4270/6140 Concussion and Head Injury. This policy complies with the legal requirements of G.S. 115C-12(23) as amended in the Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act of 2011. This allows us to implement and follow all concussion safety requirements set forth in State Board of Education rules and policies.
Ms. Anna Lankford, Associate Superintendent, presented the Cooperative Agreement. This is a partnership between Wilkes County Schools and the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. The purpose of this agreement is the successful transition of students with disabilities from school to post-secondary institutions of higher education and the workplace.
Ms. Anna Lankford, Associate Superintendent, presented the Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission Agreement. The purpose of this agreement is to identify and provide services for children with disabilities enrolled in daycares throughout the county.

Director of Athletics and Healthful living, Mr. Chris Skabo, presented the 2016-2017 School Health Advisory Report. North Carolina requires that each school district establish and maintain a local school health advisory council (SHAC) to help plan, implement, and monitor health education programs. This report highlights major initiatives and gives an overview of success from the 2016-2017 school year.
Director of Athletics and Healthful living Mr. Chris Skabo presented the 2016-2017 High School Athletic Summary Report. During the past school year, Wilkes County Schools had varsity teams with 1,521 participants. Out of these, 40% were multi sport athletes. The average GPA for all of these varsity teams were 3.360 (GPA). Wilkes County had five varsity teams with the highest GPA in their particular sport across North Carolina. Wilkes County had 676 individual scholar athletes qualify for the NCHSAA scholar athlete award. To qualify for this award, an individual must achieve at least a 3.5 weighted GPA. Wilkes County Schools had at least 12 scholar athletes participate in athletics at the college level. Most of these athletes will receive academic and/or athletic money.

Chairman Mr. Holbrook had the following announcements:
  • August 15-17, 2017 - Optional Workdays
  • August 18, 21-25, 2017 - Required Workdays
  • August 28, 2017 - First Grading Period Begins
  • September 4, 2017 - Labor Day Holiday
Chairman Mr. Holbrook announced the next meeting to be September 5, 2017. This meeting will be held in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom located at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
On a motion by Mr. Shumate, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, there being no further business, the board adjourned at 6:23 pm.