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2022-23 Board Meeting Minutes » October 3, 2022

October 3, 2022

Summary of Board Meeting Minutes for October 3, 2022
The Board of Education of the Wilkes County Administrative Unit conducted a regular meeting in the Arnold and Becky Lakey Boardroom on Monday, October 3, 2022, at 5:30 PM at 613 Cherry Street, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina 28659.
Present for the meeting were Chairman Mr. Randall "Rudy" Holbrook, Vice-Chairman Mr. Hardin Kennedy III, and board members Mr. Kirk Walker, Mrs. Joan Caudill, and Mrs. Jammie Jolly. Also attending were Superintendent Mr. D. Mark Byrd, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Westley Wood, Chief Academic Officer Mrs. Callie Grubb, Chief Finance Officer Mr. Seth Prevette, Chief Technology Officer Mrs. Julie Triplett, Executive Director of Federal Programs/Career & Technical Education Dr. Joe Bullis, Director of Child Nutrition Mr. Marty Johnson, Director of Maintenance Mr. Bergie Speaks, Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education Mr. Jeffery Johnson, Exceptional Children Program Specialist Mrs. Jill Starling, EL Coordinator Mrs. Lori Holguin, Coordinator of Advanced Programs Mrs. Angie Lamb, Public Information Officer Mrs. Morgan Mathis, and Executive Administrative Assistant Mrs. Carolyn Triplett. Also in attendance was Wilkes County Law Enforcement.
Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook called the meeting to order.
Superintendent Mr. D. Mark presented to the Board that the agenda needed to be amended to add a Discussion Item not listed. On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the agenda was amended to include Roman Number X, Item A for Board Policy 3210.
On a motion by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mrs. Caudill 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, "As we move into the month of October, we have several groups of people who are to be recognized this month that we need to make sure we don't overlook. So, while I may miss someone, let me mention three groups of our most important people and some that we should say 'thank you' to every time we have the opportunity.
First, the month of October is National Principal's Month, and I can't say enough about the 22 school leaders that we have in Wilkes County Schools. Almost daily, I have a conversation or hear of a situation that one of our principals is dealing with that reminds me how important their job is to our students. Our administrators did a book read a few years back where the author stated that the principal is the one person who has the greatest overall impact on the success of a school. The author also stated that you can physically feel the impact of a principal's leadership just by walking into a school. A former superintendent told me once that a principal makes more decisions in one week than an average person makes in a month, and any one of those decisions could cost them their job. We are starting to notice a lot of principal turnover across our state and fewer and fewer are willing to take a job with this much responsibility. I would encourage everyone in this room to not only say thank you to our principals every chance you get but to also support them as well. We are very fortunate to have the 22 leaders that we do, and I personally wouldn't trade them for any others across our state.
Yesterday, October 2nd, was National Custodial Worker's Day, and I would hope that everybody in this room knows the value of the custodial staffs in our schools. All you have to do is visit a school for five minutes and you can see their contribution to the success of our schools and school system. If we don't take the time to tell our custodial staff that we appreciate them, someone else will in our current job market. In these meetings, we often talk about test scores, school success, awards, and recognitions, but we need to remember that none of this would be possible without the contributions of our custodial staff members. I don't think I have ever done this, but I also need to publicly say 'thank you' to Ava McCall, Clint Blevins, Matthew Holbrook, and Caegan Huffman for their efforts in making sure we have a clean place to meet tonight.
I also need to make sure to mention that October 10th through 14th is National School Lunches Week, and I hope that everyone associated with schools in any way knows the significance of our child nutrition staff. I know we are going to recognize some of them tonight. When the pandemic led to staffing issues, a lot of our employees had the opportunity to fill in for our Child Nutrition staff, and I believe everyone who did has a new level of respect for the job they do daily. We look forward to joining them again next week. Not only do we need to thank and support our Child Nutrition staff, but their director, seated over to my right, Mr. Marty Johnson, is one of the Unsung Heroes of this school system, and we need to recognize him as well. If you don't believe me, ask our principals what they see Marty do on a daily basis. So, to Mr. Johnson and our entire Child Nutrition Staff, we plan to use National School Lunch Week as an opportunity to celebrate your work as well. We need to say thank you to every person mentioned daily, and not just in the month of October. I am certainly proud of the work that you do!"

Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd recognized Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to recognize the 2021-2022 Child Nutrition Employee of The Year Awards. Wilkes County Schools Child Nutrition Department recently named a Manager, Assistant Manager, and Employee of the Year. These three individuals went above and beyond to support students of Wilkes County Schools during the 2021-2022 school year.
Ms. Diane Roberts, Cafeteria Manager at Mount Pleasant Elementary School, was named the Manager of the Year.
Ms. Amanda Parrish, Assistant Manager at North Wilkes High School, was named the Assistant Manager of the Year.
Ms. Kimberly Holloway, Child Nutrition Assistant at North Wilkes High School, was named the Employee of the Year.
All three recipients were recognized in the Stone Center and given an award on School Lunch Hero Day on May 6, 2022.

Superintendent Mr. Mark Byrd acknowledged Dr. Westley Wood, Assistant Superintendent, to announce the 2022 Gear Up Academic Innovation Mini (AIM) Grant Award Winners. Each year, Appalachian GEAR UP sponsors the AIM grants to support individual and school passion projects aimed at improving academic performance through innovative classroom experiences that engage, inspire, enhance, and motivate student learning. This year, three Wilkes county recipients were Jamie Minton, Susan Coleman, and Thelma Kastl, all of whom are Career and Technical Education Teachers at West Wilkes High School.
Ms. Minton and Ms. Coleman are Family Consumer Science teachers who received an award for their project "Doors of Opportunities." Ms. Kastl is a Technology Engineering and Design teacher who received an award for her project "Ocean Waves, It's Electric." Congratulations to these teachers who are creating innovative projects to engage our students.

Focus on the Curriculum was presented by Mrs. Callie Grubb, Chief Academic Officer, and Mr. Jeffery Johnson, Director of Pre-K and Elementary Education. Testing and Accountability results for the 2021-2022 school year were released on September 1, 2022. These results will include overviews of the North Carolina End-of-Grade (EOG) Tests in grades 3-8, the North Carolina End-of-Course (EOC) Tests in grades 9-12, and the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Assessments in grades 9-12.
The North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests are designed to measure student performance on the goals, objectives, and grade-level competencies specified in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCoS). The North Carolina End-of-Course Tests and Career and Technical Education post-assessments are used to sample a student's knowledge of subject-related concepts as specified in the North Carolina Standard Couse of Study and to provide a global estimate of the student's mastery of the material in a particular content area.
Wilkes County Schools ranked 20th for overall proficiency on End-of-Course/End-of-Grade tests for the 2021-22 school year out of 115 traditional school districts. All students in Math Grades 3-8 were 19th in the state, and all students in Reading Grades 3-8 were 19th as well. The state ranking district proficiency results for high school EOCs was 10th for Math 1 and 29th for Biology out of 115 traditional districts. Our lowest grade/subject district proficiency was in 8th-grade math where we placed 60th in the state.
Overall, the Northwest Region proficiency for the state was 51.4%, and Wilkes County was 57.9%. The Career & Technical Education (CTE) students earned industry credentials. The 2019-2020 total was 1,834, and we increased to 2,464 for the 2021-2022 school year.
Areas to spotlight are grounded in Experiential and Hands-On Learning and Equitable and Inclusive of Each Student. Areas of improvement include the following:
  • Balanced in Breadth and Depth Across the Curriculum
  • Integrated into the Broader K-12 Career Development System
  • Inclusive of Intentional Meaningful Employer Engagement
  • Inclusive of Dedicated Instructional Time
  • Focused on Student Growth
  • Communicated Effectively to Students and Their Families
  • Anchored in Careers 
We will continue to work on defining and clarifying Core Instruction in K-12. Currently, Wilkes County Schools is developing Math & ELA curriculum maps in grades 6-12 and supporting the implementation of newly revised curriculum maps in K-5. Also, we will implement reading research in grades 9-12 to support strong ELA instruction. Plans are to offer a district-wide literacy plan to support literacy instruction across the K-12 grade levels building on the K-5 state literacy plan.

Chairman Mr. Rudy Holbrook asked if anyone had signed up for Public Comments. Mr. Walter Vaughn shared thoughts regarding CNN 10. CNN 10 is an on-demand digital news show ideal for explanation seekers on-the-go or in the classroom.

On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mr. Kennedy and duly carried, the minutes for September 12, 2022, were approved as presented.
On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the Personnel Report was approved as presented.

Resignation(s) and/or Retirement(s)

Sessie Brown – Child Nutrition Manager – Moravian Falls Elementary School

Retirement effective – January 1, 2023, with twenty-one years and four months of service

Sherry Whitley – Child Nutrition Assistant – Mulberry Elementary School

Retirement effective – December 1, 2022, with twenty-one years and five months of service

On a motion by Mrs. Jolly, seconded by Mrs. Caudill and duly carried, the Out-of-County/Overnight Field Trips were approved as presented. The planned dates are listed below.
School Group Destination Dates
East Wilkes High School Chorus
Mars Hill, NC
West Wilkes High School Food and Nutrition 1, Apparel and Textile Production 1
Abingdon, VA and Boone, NC

On a motion by Mr. Kennedy, seconded by Mrs. Jolly and duly carried, the Memorandum of Agreement between Wilkes County Schools and Wilkes Community College Career and College Promise was approved as presented for the 2022-2023 school year.

On a motion by Mrs. Caudill, seconded by Mr. Walker and duly carried, the Memorandum of Agreement between Wilkes County Schools and Wilkes Community College supporting the Wilkes Early College High School Program was approved as presented for the 2022-2023 school year.

Discussion and Report Item was presented by Superintendent, Mr. D. Mark Byrd. Wilkes County Schools Board Policy 3210 Parental Inspection and Objection to Instruction Materials outlines a clear process and procedure for the review and challenge of educational materials used in schools. In the event that a resource is determined inappropriate, the current policy would require this process to take place at each school in the system in order for removal from all schools. This revision would allow materials or a resource determined to be inappropriate to be removed at the district level, thus preventing duplicative work at schools across the system. Per this policy, no such action would take place without receipt of a completed and signed Parent's Request for Reconsideration of Educational Materials. Any such decision would be subject to review by the Wilkes County Schools Board of Education. This item will be presented in November for final approval.

Chairman Mr. Holbrook made the following announcements:               
  • October 5, 2022 – Early Dismissal (Elementary 12:30 PM; Middle/High 1:00 PM)
  • October 26, 2022 – First Grading Period Ends
  • October 27, 2022 – Required Workday
  • October 28, 2022 – Optional Workday
  • October 31, 2022 – Second Grading Period Begins
Chairman Mr. Holbrook announced the next board meeting to be November 7, 2022. 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 Mr. Walker and duly carried, there being no further business, the Board adjourned at 6:04 PM.
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