|SUMMARY OF BOARD MEETING MINUTES
|April 12, 2021
The Board of Education of the Wilkes County Administrative Unit conducted a regular meeting in the Stone Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, April 12, 2021 at 5:30 PM at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28659. COVID-19 guidelines were enforced.
Present for the meeting were Chairman Mr. Randall “Rudy” Holbrook, Vice-Chairman Mrs. Sharron Huffman, Board Members Mr. Kirk Walker, Mrs. Joan Caudill, and Mr. Hardin Kennedy, III. Also attending were Superintendent Mr. D. Mark Byrd, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, Chief Technology Officer Mrs. Julie Triplett, Chief Finance Officer Mr. Seth Prevette, Director of Maintenance Mr. Bergie Speaks, Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education Mrs. Callie Grubb, Director of Exceptional Children Mrs. Jennifer Blankenship, Director of Student Services Mrs. April Marr, Director of Middle School, Federal Programs, Interim County Athletic Director, Dr. Joe Bullis, Director of Testing and Accountability and Cultural Arts Mr. Jeffrey Johnson, Director of Child Nutrition Mr. Marty Johnson, AIG Coordinator Mrs. Angie Lamb, Public Information Officer Mrs. Morgan Mathis, and Executive Administrative Assistant Mrs. Carolyn Triplett.
Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook recognized Board Member Mrs. Huffman to lead the Invocation.
Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook called the meeting to order.
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the agenda was approved as presented.
Chairman Mr. Randall “Rudy” Holbrook recognized Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd for the Superintendent’s Welcome and Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Byrd stated that presenting his welcome for the April Board meeting is by far one of his favorite times of the year. "The month of April brings so many exciting things, beginning first with the Easter holiday. In terms of personal interests, we have the opening of trout season and the Masters Golf tournament, which are two of my favorite events of the entire year. For all educators, we have Spring Break and let me say, we could not have had a prettier week for ours than we did last week. Add in the flowers blooming, birds singing, and the weather getting warmer, and it is easy to see why so many people’s spirits are lifted during this time of year. Even with allergies, we all seem to be in a bit of a better mood during this time of year.
However, April of 2021 seems to be a bit more special, and it should be a reminder for every one of us to not take things for granted that we may have in the past. Tonight is ironic in that this is the first time we have been able to meet in this boardroom since our March of 2020 meeting. Even more ironic is the fact that the April 2020 Board Meeting was held through ZOOM, which while it worked fine, was a tremendous change for all of us just one year ago. In addition, for the first time that we have met since our March 2020 meeting, we have all of our students back in our schools. This is the first time in Mr. Kennedy and Mrs. Caudill’s terms that we have met in this room with all of our students having the opportunity to be back in school, and they have been on the Board for 10 months now.
Therefore, when we say that April is an exciting time in our world as a whole, it should be a very exciting time for Wilkes County Schools as well. I hope each of you is as excited about what is taking place in our schools as I am. In addition, tonight, as we talk about things like summer school and graduations, I hope we are all excited about what the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year has in store, and what will be accomplished over the next 32 days of school. I said at the beginning of this school year that this would not only be our hardest year yet in education but also our most rewarding. I look forward to working closely with each of you to end this school year on the strongest note possible."
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to announce the Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference Recognitions. The Mountain Valley 1A/2A Athletic Conference coaches vote on awards at the conclusion of each sports season. The awards that are given include coach of the year, all-conference, and honorable mention teams. Tonight we are proud to recognize one athlete and one coach from Wilkes County Schools that were chosen as player of the year and coach of the year for the winter athletic season.
We would like to congratulate Zack Carlton from North Wilkes High School. Zack was recognized by the Mountain Valley Conference as Men's Basketball Player of the Year.
We would like to congratulate Coach Allie Greene from West Wilkes High School. Coach Greene was recognized by the Mountain Valley Conference as Coach of the Year in Women’s Basketball.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to recognize the Northwest Regional Science Fair Winners. The Northwest Regional Science Fair was held virtually by Appalachian State University from February 8-11, 2021. Each student presented their project via Zoom to judges. Eight Wilkes County Schools’ students were selected to represent the Northwest Region at NC State University held virtually on April 17, 2021 and April 24, 2021.
Congratulations to the following winners:
- Campbell Adams, Mountain View Elementary School
- Bailey Laws, Mountain View Elementary School
- Kinsley Reeves, Mountain View Elementary School
- Hayden Anderson, Mountain View Elementary School
- Eli Shepherd, Mountain View Elementary School
- Peyton Brown, Mountain View Elementary School
- Eli Bare, Traphill Elementary School
- Ralee Bare, North Wilkes Middle School
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to recognize the North Carolina School Hero Award. The NC School Heroes program was created by the NC Education Lottery to display the positive impacts teachers, principals, and other school workers have in public schools every day. Parents, teachers, and community members submitted more than 4,900 nominations for individuals making a difference in their schools, and ten heroes were ultimately selected from public schools across North Carolina.
Mr. Jeff Atwell, a teacher assistant at Central Wilkes Middle School, was selected as a 2020 NC School Hero! Rodney Graham, principal at Central Wilkes Middle School, said that Atwell shows endless patience and compassion at his job, giving parents of his students "peace of mind." He stated, "When the children know that they are loved and cared for, I think they can accomplish some pretty amazing things far beyond what we even thought they would be capable of."
Mr. Atwell was awarded $10,000 for both himself and his school. Atwell says he plans to use his award to move into his new house and pay off some medical bills. Graham says the school will use some of the award money to buy appliances for Atwell’s classroom and the rest to support classrooms throughout the school.
Congratulations to Mr. Jeff Atwell!
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to recognize the National Board Certifications. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) released the latest number of teachers to receive National Board Certification for both states and the nation. Working to establish a professional career continuum for teachers, the National Board is at work across the country, setting the expectation that all teachers should demonstrate accomplished teaching via National Board Certification and become leaders in their schools and communities. Created for teachers, by teachers, National Board Certification is a voluntary, performance-based peer-review process that recognizes the complex nature of teaching. National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) are having a significant impact on student achievement.
Congratulations to the following Wilkes County Schools teachers who were recently awarded National Board Certification:
Lori Holguin, Millers Creek Elementary School
English as a New Language/Early and Middle Childhood
Martha Peller, Wilkes Early College High School
Science/Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to recognize the North Carolina Senior Beta Club Convention Winner. The North Carolina Senior Beta Club Convention took place virtually on March 8, 2021. Beta holds annual state conventions in 18 states, both for Senior and Junior Beta divisions, and winners of these state events go on to compete on a national level. Activities range from academic contests to quiz bowls to talent competitions. Conventions give members the opportunity to interact, share project ideas, and display their academic and leadership abilities.
Wilkes Early College High School had one student place in the top of their competitions at the North Carolina Senior Beta Club Convention. Congratulations to Adrian Shoemaker for winning first place in 10th Grade Language Arts! Adrian will advance to the national competition in June.
Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to recognize the Lighthouse Certified Schools. East Wilkes Middle and Central Wilkes Middle were both recently announced as "Lighthouse Certified Schools" by the Franklin Covey Organization after an extensive review process. Lighthouse Certification is the highest honor the Franklin Covey Organization bestows on a school. Becoming Lighthouse Certified is a recognition schools earn from producing outstanding results in school and student outcomes by implementing The Leader in Me with excellence. The Leader in Me is an integrated approach to leadership development that helps the school fulfill its mission to help students develop the knowledge, skill, and character necessary to achieve their highest potential and to be productive members of an ever-changing society. It helps students learn how to become self-reliant, take initiative, plan, set and track goals, do their homework, prioritize their time, manage their emotions, be considerate of others, resolve conflicts, find creative solutions, value differences, and live a balanced life.
Congratulations to East Wilkes Middle School and Central Wilkes Middle School!
Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education, Mrs. Callie Grubb, presented Focus on the Curriculum. Mrs. Grubb gave an update on the status of Pre-K screenings and enrollment, Kindergarten enrollments, and plans for Kindergarten screening. Mrs. Grubb reported that NC Pre-K awards slots to each contracting agency on a yearly basis. Our current slot allocation for the 2020-2021 school year is 377 student seats. The slots have not been announced for the 2021-2022 school year but is anticipated sometime in May. In regards to Pre-K Funding, Wilkes County Schools receives a monthly allotment of $521 per student based on the student’s attendance record. For example: 10 months = $5,210 per student. This money is used to fund Pre-K teacher and teacher assistant salaries.
In March, we conducted twelve face-to-face screenings and screened three hundred and three students. Twenty-seven additional applications have been submitted. Wilkes County Schools Kindergarten Fun Times and Screenings are normally conducted in March and April, but due to COVID, the process was modified last year and this year. For 2021-2022, the process is a two-part procedure for registration and screening. Wilkes County Schools opened kindergarten registration in March and four hundred thirty have already registered. Face-to-face screenings will be conducted in early August at each elementary school by appointment.
Chief Academic Officer Dr. Donna Cotton provided information regarding the Wilkes County School Virtual Academy. The number of students that have applied to date is forty-four. The current student application deadline has been extended to Monday, April 19, 2021. The application for students who are not currently enrolled in Wilkes County School is posted on our website and will be open until Monday, April 19, 2021.
Dr. Cotton also provided information regarding the Summer School Session Law 2021-7. The following information is a quick overview of the Summer School law approved on April 9, 2021.
- 150 hours or 30 days of instruction, not including lunch, transition time, physical activity; cannot be on Saturdays
- WCS is planning Summer School: June 14-July 29 (4 day weeks, a full day)
- Meal service and transportation will be provided
- K-3: must offer in-person instruction in reading, math, and 3rd science; one enrichment activity (LEA discretion)
- 4-8: must offer in-person instruction in reading, math, science, one enrichment activity
- 9-12: must offer in-person instruction in end-of-course subjects (Math 1, Math 3, English 2, Biology); if offering an elective, it must be in-person; access to credit recovery modules
- Time built in the day for small group or individual instruction for at-risk students
- Must include a period of physical activity during the day
- This is a voluntary opportunity; parents make the decision
- Students who are not at risk may participate if space is available
- Outreach to families to increase participation (fun, positive environment)
- Teachers compensated as contract workers (is not part of their retirement)
- Retired teachers as of March 1 may participate without impact to retirement
- Sign-in bonuses available for some teachers
- Summer Reading Camp will be integrated into Summer School
- Using ESSER II funds
Required to report the following to NCDPI by October 15, 2021:
- Results of competency-based assessment given to students in grades K-8 at the beginning of the program.
- Results of competency-based assessment given to students in grades K-8 at the conclusion of the program.
- The number of students who progressed to the next grade level after participating in the program.
- The number of students who were retained in the same grade level after participating in the program.
- The number of students who received credit recovery in high school.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the Personnel Report was approved as presented.
Resignation(s) and/or Retirement(s)
Kelly Allison – Teacher – West Wilkes High School
Retirement effective –July 1, 2021 with twenty-one years and four months of service
Tonya Beck – Teacher – Central Services
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with thirty years and ten months of service
Belinda Benton – Teacher Assistant – Mulberry Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with twenty-two years of service
Randall Brewer – Bus Driver/Custodian – Ronda Clingman Elementary School
Retirement effective – May 1, 2021 with ten years and five months of service
Charlotte Brooks – Teacher – Roaring River Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with twenty-five years and nine months of service
Carol Canter – Teacher – West Wilkes High School
Retirement effective – June 1, 2021 with twenty-nine years and five months of service
Susan Caudill – Digital Learning Facilitator – Technology Department
Retirement effective – June 1, 2021 with twenty-six years and four months of service
Walter Caudill – Custodian – Traphill Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with twenty-one years and seven months of service
Wanda Church – Teacher Assistant – Mulberry Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with twenty-six years and six months of service
Beth Hodges – Counselor – East Wilkes Middle School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with thirty years and seven months of service
Teressa Johnson – Teacher Assistant – Millers Creek Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with twenty years and two months of service
Sandra Kilby – Teacher Assistant – Millers Creek Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with twenty-one years and two months of service
Lori McNeill – Teacher – West Wilkes Middle School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with thirty years and six months of service
Nona Owens – Teacher Assistant – West Wilkes High School
Retirement effective – June 1, 2021 with eighteen years and five months of service
Donna Richardson – Teacher Assistant – Mulberry Elementary School
Retirement effective – June 1, 2021 with seven years of service
J. Wayne Shepherd – Director of Career & Technical Education – Central Services
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with thirty-five years of service
Shelley Somers – Teacher – East Wilkes Middle School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with forty years and one month of service
Christine Waller – Teacher – Moravian Falls Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with fifteen years and one month of service
Melanie Wilcox – Teacher Assistant – Mountain View Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with twenty-five years and two months of service
Reggie Wiles, Jr. – Teacher – Mount Pleasant Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with twenty-seven years and six months of service
Elaine Younger – Secretary/Bookkeeper – Wilkesboro Elementary School
Retirement effective – July 1, 2021 with sixteen years and one month of service
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the Out-of-County/Overnight Field Trip list was approved as presented. This trip was for one student to attend the following destination:
|East Wilkes High School
On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the revision to Board Policy 1610/7800, Professional Development and Assistance was approved as presented. This policy has been revised to align the content of the policy with statutory requirements. The revision has been discussed with school board Attorney Mr. Fred Johnson.
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the Budget Amendments were approved as presented.
State Public School Fund: Increase $281,885.00
Capital Outlay Fund: Increase $223,836.00
On a motion by Mrs. Huffman, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the Bid Renewal for the Child Nutritional Department was approved as presented. All suppliers agree to the same or reduced cost to the Child Nutrition Program as in the previous year.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Caudill and duly carried, the Direct Efficiency Lighting Master Service Agreement was approved as presented. This agreement is only to conduct an audit of our schools' existing lighting.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Huffman and duly carried, the Wilkes County Schools 2021 Commencement Ceremonies were approved as presented. We will cooperate with our local health officials to address any concerns, and our attorney to make sure that we comply with all Executive Orders that must be followed (March 25, 2021, Executive Order 204). The outdoor graduation ceremonies are scheduled at each of our five high schools for Friday, May 28, 2021, with a rain date of Saturday, May 29, 2021.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood submitted for discussion the Revision to Board Policy 7240 Drug-Free and Alcohol-Free Workplace. This policy has been revised to consolidate employee-reporting procedures and to include updated federal reporting requirements. This policy will be presented for approval at next month’s Board of Education Meeting.
Director of Testing and Accountability Mr. Jeffrey Johnson submitted for discussion the Wilkes County Schools’ Summer Program for 2020-2021. The Department of Public Instruction has approved that all districts may administer the End-of-Grade (EOG) and End-of-Course (EOC) tests during a summer program. The scores from the tests will be included in the proficiency calculations for school accountability within the current accountability year, which ends on July 6, 2021. Wilkes County Schools has elected to provide a summer program, called "WCS Success Academy," immediately following the last day of school. It will extend the school year for qualifying students by up to four days.
Chairman Mr. Holbrook announced the next meeting to be May 3, 2021. The 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.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Caudill and duly carried, there being no further business, the Board adjourned at 6:17 PM.