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2019-20 Board Meeting Minutes » November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019

Summary of Board Minutes

November 4, 2019

The Board of Education of the Wilkes County Administrative Unit met in a regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, November 4, 2019 in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28659.
Present for meeting were Chairman Mr. Randall “Rudy” Holbrook, Vice-Chairman Mrs. Sharron Huffman. Board Members Mr. Kirk Walker, and Mrs. Leslie Barnes. Mr. Darren Shumate was absent. Also present were Superintendent Mr. D. Mark Byrd, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, Chief Technology Officer Ms. Julie Triplett, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Donna Cotton, Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education Ms. Callie Grubb, Director of Athletics and Healthful Living Mr. Chris Skabo, Director of CTE Mr. Wayne Shepherd, Director of Child Nutrition Mr. Marty Johnson, Director of Maintenance Mr. Bergie Speaks, Director of Middle School, Federal Programs, and Cultural Arts Dr. Joe Bullis, Director of Transportation Mr. Eric Barker, 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 Mrs. Leslie Barnes to lead the Invocation.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the agenda was approved as presented.
Chairman Mr. Randall “Rudy” Holbrook recognized Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd for the Devotion and Pledge of allegiance. Mr. Byrd announced to those in attendance that the Wilkes County Hall of Fame hosted a leadership breakfast or our student leaders, and Ms. Morgan Mathis along with Mr. Chris Skabo worked hard to make this a success. Based on the performance from our students, the future is bright in Wilkes County. Just as impressive, there will be several Veteran’s Day Assemblies held in many of our schools this week prior to the Veteran’s Day Holiday. Mr. Byrd personally wanted to say “Thank You” to every veteran in Wilkes County and across our nation for all they have done to protect our freedoms so we can do the things that we do every day. Also, we officially celebrate Thanksgiving at the end of the month, but there is nothing that says we have to wait until then to say “Thank You” to those who have made a difference in our lives, and to those who make our world a better place every day. Mr. Byrd challenged every person in this room to say “Thank You” to one person prior to the holiday season. It will make the holidays more meaningful for those who say it, as well as those you say it to.

Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd, along with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, recognized the Wilkes County Schools’ ESL Department who hosted the fifth annual English Learner (EL) Family Night. On October 1, 2019, Wilkes County Schools ESL Department hosted the fifth annual English Learner Family Night to celebrate the graduation of EL students who, due to their performance and progress in English Language acquisition, no longer need the service of the ESL department. This is determined by their progress on a state mandated assessment that measures language acquisition through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Each year during EL Family Night, a student is recognized for having the largest growth in Wilkes County Schools on the state mandated assessment which was given in the spring of 2018. Congratulations to Kelsey Rosales-Gonzalez! Kelsey is a fifth grade student at Mountain View Elementary.

Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd, along with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, recognized the Winners of the Litter Mascot Contest. The Clean-Up Wilkes Committee is made up of community members from Wilkes County who work to make a difference in litter prevention. They recently announced a countywide litter campaign to inspire generations of environmental stewards in Wilkes County. As part of the campaign, they created a contest for the most creative hand-drawn litter prevention mascot. The contest was open to all students of Wilkes County Schools as well as home school children of Wilkes County. These are the students that won from Wilkes County Schools.
  • Third place winner was Shalyn Bare, a fifth grade student at Traphill Elementary School.
  • Runner-up was Andrew Winkler, a ninth grade student at North Wilkes High School. 
  • First Place winner was Brooklyn Settle, a ninth grade student at North Wilkes High School.
Congratulations to these students!

Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd, along with Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, recognized the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. President Lyndon Johnson established the Presidential Scholars Program in 1964, which has honored almost 7,500 outstanding high school seniors since that time. The mission of the program is to recognize and honor superior high school seniors and thereby encourage high attainment among all students. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction will submit the names of 20 nominees (10 males and 10 females) in the General category to the Commission on Presidential Scholars by November 20, 2019 and 5 nominees will be added to the larger pool of nominees announced, and then invited to apply in mid-January 2020. Completed applications will be due in February, and Scholars will be announced at the beginning of May 2020.
Wilkes County Schools has selected Hanna Rollins, a senior at North Wilkes High School, as the nominee for Wilkes County Schools in the General category and Isaac Edminston, a senior at East Wilkes High School, as the nominee for Wilkes County Schools in the CTE category. Congratulations to these students of Wilkes County Schools!

Focus on the Curriculum was presented by Dr. Joe Bullis, Director of Middle Schools, Federal Programs and Cultural Arts. Wilkes County Schools receives federal funding that supports many program areas in our schools such as Title I, Title II, Title III, Title IV, and RLIS. Title I funds are given to districts and schools to ensure all children meet state standards. A lot of this information is based on poverty data (CEP). Title II funds help districts to ensure effective instruction for all students and can be used for activities to attract and retain highly effective teachers. Title III funds help to support students with English as a second language. Title IV is a student support and academic enrichment grant. This grant supports a well-rounded education and helps improve school conditions for student learning. Also, this grant supports the use of technology for academic and digital literacy.  RLIS (Rural Low Income Schools Grant) funds ensure the unique needs of rural districts such as teacher recruitment/retention, teacher professional development, educational technology and parental engagement activities. These funds are also used in our middle and high schools. At the Central Services level, federal funds are used for our district plan, school plans, and monitoring visits (four year cycle). These programs are essential to Wilkes County Schools.

Ms. Glendora Yarbrough gave a presentation on Communities in Schools and the programs they offer to our students of Wilkes County Schools. They have programs such as Lunch Buddies, New Century Scholars, DanCIS, Sight for Students, and Site Coordination. The lunch buddy program serves all thirteen elementary schools. Volunteers are recruited, screened, and trained in each program they serve. Currently, sixty-five students are in the lunch buddy program with sixty-two volunteers. By the end of the school year, the projected students that will be served is around one hundred students. In The New Century Scholar Program, rising 7th grade students are selected and awarded a $1,000.00 scholarship to Wilkes Community College. Four hundred and thirty scholarships have been awarded since 2001. Scholars give ten hours of community service per year. Currently, Communities in Schools serve one-hundred and forty three scholars in Wilkes County Schools. The DanCIS Program offers dance classes to Wilkes County School students. This program serves twenty to thirty students each year. Communities in Schools provides all shoes, costumes, leotards, etc. for the recitals. The instructor donates all of her time, and the studio is inside the Communities in School office. Also offered is Sight for Students. This program provides glasses to students that qualify. We have five optometrists in Wilkes County that honor a voucher from the CIS office. We currently have three Site Coordination Sites, and they are North Wilkesboro Elementary, Moravian Falls Elementary, and North Wilkes Middle Schools.  Ms. Yarbrough invited all Board Members to a Lunch and Learn Session on November 18, 2019 to gain more of what Communities in Schools offers to the Wilkes County School System.

Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook asked if anyone had signed up for public comments. No one signed up.
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mrs. Barnes and duly carried, the minutes for October 7, 2019 were approved as presented.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the Personnel Report was approved as presented.

Resignation(s) and/or Retirement(s)

Deborah Avery – Teacher Assistant – Millers Creek Elementary School

Retirement effective – January 1, 2020 with thirty years and nine months of service

Kenneth Lyall – Behavioral Specialist – Exceptional Children Department

Retirement effective – January 1, 2020 with thirty years and two months of service

Kerry Miller – Teacher – Central Wilkes Middle School

Retirement effective – February 1, 2020 with twenty-eight years and five months of service

On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mrs. Barnes and duly carried, the Out-of-County/Overnight Field Trip list was approved as presented and are listed below.
School Group Destination Dates
Wilkes Central High School Various Students
Austria, Germany, and Switzerland

On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mrs. Barnes and duly carried, the Wilkes Community College Board of Trustee Appointment was made to appoint Mrs. Kimberly S. Walker. Wilkes County Schools appoints members to the Wilkes Community College Board of Trustees for terms of four years. Due to the unfortunate passing of Mr. Tracy Walker, Wilkes County Schools will need to appoint someone to complete Mr. Walker’s term on the Wilkes Community College Board of Trustees, which ends June 30, 2020. Mrs. Kimberly S. Walker was appointed to the WCC Board of Trustees. Mr. Kirk Walker abstained and excused himself from voting.

Mr. Chris Skabo, Director of Athletics and Healthful Living, brought a discussion item to the board regarding a new policy for Dual Enrollment for Athletic Participation. Recently, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) passed a policy to allow home school students that were dually enrolled in their local LEA to participate in high school athletics. Basic requirements were set in the NCHSAA policy, but each local LEA has the authority to add local requirements. This item was presented for discussion only.

Chairman Mr. Holbrook had the following announcements:               
  • November 11, 2019 – Veteran's Day Holiday
  • November 25-26, 2019 – Optional Workdays
  • November 27, 2019 – Annual Leave Day
  • November 28-29, 2019 – Thanksgiving Holiday
Chairman Mr. Holbrook announced the next meeting to be December 2, 2019. This meeting will be held in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom located at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina beginning at 5:30 PM.

Board Member Mr. Kirk Walker thanked all in attendance for their support, prayers, calls, cards, etc. of the unfortunate passing of his father, Mr. Tracy Walker. Mr. Walker’s first elected position was on the Wilkes County School Board. He was a great leader and an advocate for Wilkes County Schools. He will be greatly missed.

On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mrs. Barnes, the Wilkes County Board of Education voted unanimously to meet in closed session at 6:14 p.m. to consult with its attorney (by phone) in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11(a)(3).

With no further business and upon a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Huffman, the Board of Education adjourned from closed session to return to open session at 6:43 p.m.

On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mrs. Barnes and duly carried, there being no further business, the Board adjourned from open session at 6:45 p.m.