The Alexander County Board of Education met Tuesday evening:
Alexander Early College Facility Plans Approved
Harry Schrum, school board member and chairman of the facilities committee presented a recommendation to build a facility for the early college on the property behind the Board of Education building. Locating the early college in close proximity to the high school will provide students more opportunities to participate in elective courses at the high school.
The recommendation indicated that the facility would be funded with the capital outlay fund which is half-cent sales tax and lottery money. The school board members approved the recommendation.
School Meals Prices Increase for the 2018-2019 School Year; Universal Breakfast Program Ends
The board of education members voted to increase the school lunch prices to $2.75 which is a ten cent increase over last school year. Breakfast prices will be $1.45 for all paying students. School nutrition programs are required to increase lunch prices each year as a result of the Paid Lunch Equity regulation. All programs are required to work toward charging prices that are equal to the difference in the federal reimbursement rate for paid and free students at all schools.
The board also voted to discontinue the Universal Breakfast Program. The school system lost $153,822 in reimbursement for paying students utilizing the program. Taylorsville Elementary School will remain in the Community Eligibility Program allowing free meals for all students at the school regardless of income. Families are eligible to apply for free and reduced meals.
School Nutrition Bid Updates for 2018-2019
School Nutrition Director Kathy Caudle presented an updated list of vendors which included Pet Dairy as the milk vendor. SYSCO will be the vendor for food, and Correction Enterprises will be the chemical supplier. The bid for pizza products will be opened on July 24, 2018. Caudle will present a vendor recommendation at the August school board meeting.
Student Success Center Update
Student Success Center Coordinator Dr. Angie Charles presented an update to the board during the regular monthly meeting. All the students from the center were promoted this year including the seven seniors who graduated. Charles reported the center served 39 students throughout the year.
Charles indicated the students had 21 fewer suspension days than last year and attendance improved by approximately 50%. Students were able to connect with the school resource officer in a positive atmosphere at the center. Students also participated in career-focused field trips as a part of the program. The center partnered with Communities in Schools, the high school and both middle schools to provide an anti-drug course for 31 students. Charles announced upcoming goals including students working with the Head Start reading program, artist internships, and a workforce development course.
Alexander Central High School Freshman Academy Coordinator Bre Williams began her presentation with an overview of the reasons for the program. She cited that freshman have the highest rates of absences, failures, retention, and discipline. She went on to indicate that research shows between 70-80% of students who fail in their first year of high school will not graduate. The academy provides more resources and support within a smaller school environment.
Williams presented a chart indicating approximately 23% of incoming 9th graders were considered at-risk for dropping out of school. The academy had a 5.3% course failure rate.
The academy will hold special events during the high school’s open house. Last a separate event was planned on an alternate day. This change will allow students to meet with elective teachers who typically would not attend academy events. They will streamline teacher team meetings and have more opportunities to include elective teachers.
Williams also announced plans to offer potential college or post-secondary training visits for students.
Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hefner announced workdays for 10-month, non-certified employees for the 2018-2019 school year which are August 21-23 and June 10-11. This will be five of the fourteen teacher workdays scheduled.
All school and central office leaders will be attending the annual leadership retreat at Appalachian State University beginning July 31 and ending August 2, 2018.
New teacher orientation is scheduled for Monday, August 13, beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Board of Education. Opening session for the 2018-2019 school year will be held on Tuesday, August 21, in the Alexander Central Auditorium at 8:00 a.m.
Hefner ended her report by congratulating Dr. Angie Charles for successfully defending her
dissertation and receiving her doctorate.
School Board Policy Revisions Approved
The board approved the following school board policy revision on the second reading.
Policy No. 4370 – Student Discipline Hearing Procedures
Policy No. 4700 – Student Records
Policy No. 6420 – Contracts with the Board
Policy No. 6421 – Pre-audit and Disbursement Certifications
Policy No. 6430 – Purchasing Requirements for Equipment, Materials, and Supplies
Policy No. 6440 – (This policy has been deleted – information moved to policy 6430)
Policy No. 6442 – Vendor Lists
Policy No. 6450 – Purchase of Services
Policy No. 6520 – Use of Equipment, Materials, and Supplies
Policy No. 6560 – Disposal of Surplus Property
All Alexander County Board Policies are available for review by the public at www.alexander.k12.nc.us or the Alexander County Board of Education Office on Liledoun Road, Taylorsville, NC.
Public Information/Communications Office Renee Meade, Director