AEC students win the region and place second in the state in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Competition
Five Alexander Early College students placed second in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Competition held on February 7 and April 15, 2022. The team of Jeffrey Deal, Blaine Hartness, Kevin Martinez, Anna Coxey, Jose Casteneda, and Emily Carson placed 1st in the western region out of 214 teams and 2nd overall in the state. Mr. Dan Fincannon was the coordinating teacher for the competition.
Each semester the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association sponsors statewide competitions throughout the U.S. in stock market investing. This past semester, the Alexander Early College senior class fielded ten teams and placed 2nd out of 19 competing schools in the North Carolina High School/Early College Division based on team average percent return on investment.
Other AEC teams included:
Jose Santamaria, Landon Reese, Katilyn Walker, Layna West, Hiedi Morrow, and Gavin Roupe (7th)
Laney Wike, Mallary Roosa, Elisabeth Pinnex, Hana Vang (12th)
Colby Clark, Mitchel Cook, Jonathan Grimes, Joe Maroulis, Nathaniel Sloan (22nd)
Amity Miller, Sage Teague, Calem Moreno, Faith Zirkle (34th)
Hefner recognized for induction into the Rhododendron Society
The Alexander County Board of Education members recognized Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hefner for her recent induction into the Appalachian State University Rhododendron Society.
The Rhododendron Society recognizes graduates of Appalachian whose service as teachers, librarians, human service professionals, or administrators has reflected great credit on themselves, the field of education, and the University.
Alexander Central High School Update
Alexander Central High School (ACHS) Principal Mr. Jacob Lail identified his guiding principles and plans for the high school in the upcoming year. Mr. Lail has been the principal at ACHS for just over one month. He indicated he will work with staff to build on current successes. He plans to use momentum with collective teacher efficacy to influence student outcomes.
BOE committee reports
School board member Scott Bowman reported that the ACHS booster club raised over $19,000 on the steak dinner fundraiser.
Excellent Public Schools Act: Senate Bill 387
Associate Superintendent Dr. Betsy Curry presented Alexander County Schools’ reading instruction and achievement results associated with the Excellent Public School Act – Senate bill 387. Dr. Curry gave data points comparing Alexander County with other school systems in the region.
Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hefner gave the following report.
The second retention bonus will be paid on June 30 to employees in pay status on May 27, 2022. All employees working in permanent positions for 20 to 40 hours per week will receive $1,000. Employees working in a permanent position less than 20 hours per week will receive a $500 bonus. Rules for ESSER funds do not allow substitutes and temporary employees to receive this bonus.
The NC General Assembly appropriated funds to eligible LEAs to provide salary supplements to teachers and instructional support personnel. Alexander County Schools received $911,784 to cover the supplement cost and corresponding benefits. Approximately 360 employees will be eligible for the bonus. Teachers with twenty-five plus years of experience will receive a bonus of $2091 each. The remaining funds will be divided equally among the remaining teachers and instructional support personnel. The estimated amount of their bonus is $1,800.
Dr. Hefner reported that she attended the United Way Donor Appreciation Luncheon on
behalf of the school system. The school system was recognized as the only gold-level donor, with employees donating between $5,000 and $9,999 during the past school year. She thanked all system employees that made a United Way contribution this year.
Alexander Virtual Academy will not be offered to kindergarten through 3rd-grade students due to a lack of interest. The virtual academy will continue for students in grades 4-8 for the 2022-2023 school year.
Summer School graduation for Alexander Central High School students is set for Thursday, June 23, beginning at 6 p.m. in the courtyard at the school.
School board policies revision approved
The board approved the following policy revisions presented by Chief Financial Officer Ms. Sharon Mehaffey.
Policy No. 7262 – Communicable Diseases-Employees
Policy No. 7530 – Military Leave
Policy No. 7820 – Personnel Files
Policy No. 8305 – Federal Grant Administration
Policy No. 8310 – Annual Independent Audit
Policy No. 9000 – Planning to Address Facility Needs
Ms. Mehaffey presented three policy revisions for the first reading.
Policy No. 2121 – Board Member Conflict of Interest
Policy No. 2210 – Duties of Officers
Policy No. 2400 – Board Policies
Alexander County Board Policies are available for review by the public at www.alexander.k12.nc.us or by appointment at the Alexander County Board of Education Office on Liledoun Road, Taylorsville, North Carolina.
Vendors approved for the 2022-2023 school year
School board members voted to approve the recommended vendors for Child Nutrition Services.
Meal prices approved for the 2022-2023 school year
School board members approved meal prices for the upcoming school year. Breakfast will be $1.45, and lunch will be $2.85.
AIG plan approved
School board members voted to approve the Alexander County Schools Local Academically or Intellectually Gifted Plan for 2022-2025, presented by Mrs. Melinda Glenn, Alexander Virtual Academy Coordinator. The plan includes some minor changes from the previous plan.
A universal screener will be added in 7th grade in addition to the current screener in 4th grade. Achievement data will be used from EOG testing and Iready benchmarks. Student placement will be integrated into the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) process.
Based on feedback from parent surveys, a communication plan will be developed for parents, teachers, and administrators. Acceleration options for all students will be included in the plan.
Career and Technical Education plan approved
School board members approved the Career and Technical Education (CTE) plan presented by CTE Director Crystal Hoke.
The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) provides annual funding for career and technical education (CTE) programs. This law continues to expand opportunities for every student to explore, choose, and follow CTE programs of study and career pathways to earn credentials of value.
Mrs. Hoke identified six focus areas:
Performance on federal accountability indicators
Alignment to labor market needs
Size, scope, and quality of programs offered
Progress toward implementing Career Pathways/Programs of Study
Recruitment, retention, and training of faculty and staff
Progress toward improving access and equity
The program serves students in the 6th – 12th grade.
Alexander County Head Start COLA approved
The Alexander County Head Start Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) application for 2022-2023 was approved by school board members for year three of a five-year project period. The application included a program narrative, the COLA budget, and a quality improvement plan.
The COLA budget is $46,803, including $36,803 to support the 2.28 percent adjustment. Head Start will use the remaining $10,000 for playground and outdoor equipment for quality improvement. Alexander County Head Start has invested 58 years of preschool services in Alexander County.
Alexander County Schools and Crosspoint Church Contract
Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Hefner presented board members with a copy of the current facility contract with Crosspoint Church and asked for feedback from board members. School board member Harry Schrum requested that a 120-day notice to cancel the contract be added if the school system can sell the building located at 5860 US Hwy 64-90, Taylorsville, NC.
Mask policy ends for the 2021-2022 school year
The required mask policy ends for the 2021-2022 school year.