School board honors King, OKs calendar

The Vance County Board of Education took time at its monthly meeting Monday night at the Administrative Services Center to commemorate Black History Month and remember two of the key women of the civil rights movement, Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks.

Pupils from Pinkston Street Elementary presented a short Black History Month program, including a short skit by two children to honor King, whose funeral was last week. In conclusion, the audience was asked to stand and sing the Negro National Anthem.

Schools Superintendent Norm Shearin then paid tribute to King and Parks, who died late last year, for contributing so much. There was a moment of silence during which Shearin asked each person to think about a way that all could work together for a more united school system.

Adrienne Morton, the principal of E.O. Young Jr. Elementary School, was recognized and introduced three fifth-graders from her school who were winners in the Water Conservation Poster Contest for Vance County.

Tanaua White finished first, and her poster will be entered in the state contest. She won a bicycle and $25. Sarah Jackson won $15 for finishing second, and Hallie Orr got $10 for third place.

Once again, New Hope Elementary School won the monthly attendance award, averaging 97.9 percent attendance for January. Northern Vance High School won among secondary schools at 94.14 percent. Both schools were the winners for December as well.

June Smith from New Hope, as vice president of Vance County Educators, asked the school board for its endorsement of Read Across America. She asked each member to take a half-hour March 2 or 3 to read to a child.

Those days are set aside to honor the 102nd birthday of Dr. Seuss. There will be a countywide celebration at Eaton-Johnson Middle School on Friday, March 3, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Smith presented board Chairman Tommy Riddle a red-and-white Dr. Seuss hat.

Administrator Marty Smith presented the 2006-07 school calendar to the entire board. There was much discussion because the schedule will be later than in recent years. The school year will begin Aug. 18 for teachers and Aug. 25 for students. The last day for students will be June 7. Board members expressed concerns that the calendar includes only three designated inclement weather makeup days, but they adopted the plan on a 6-1 vote.

Chuck Odom from the accounting firm Holden, Moss, Knott, Clark, Copley & Hoyle presented the audit report for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2005, as well as a
detailed report about the fund balances, the revenues and expenditures of Vance County Schools.

Robert Duke, the chairman of the Finance Committee, presented some budget
amendments, which were approved by a vote of 6-1. It was disclosed that the state gave the school system an extra $30,000 for increased bus fuel and energy costs; the system had requested $100,000.

As chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, Riddle said Shearin has presented another facility-needs proposal to the Board of Education. The needs include two new schools and additions and renovations to other schools. Work has begun on some of the projects.

Ronald Gregory, the school system’s executive director of administrative services, has sent the state a facility-needs proposal totaling $59,700,992.

As chairman of the Curriculum Committee, Emeron Cash expressed his concerns about the state writing test to be held in March. He is especially concerned about fourth-graders and 10th-graders.

Trixie Brooks, the school system’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, said trained writing teachers have administered practice tests. Students identified as being at risk will be tutored over an eight-day period. The tutorial will be open to any student interested in additional help on writing skills.

The chairwoman of the Community Relations Committee, Margaret Ellis, said a parent forum is planned for March 14 at 7 p.m. at Henderson Middle School.

Also Monday night, the board approved two overnight field trips and one out-of-county transfer.

And Gregory introduced the Rev. Joseph Woods, who will offer a program for middle school students who are suspended or in need of extra tutoring after school. His program will be held in the old Satterwhite Furniture Store at 101 N. Garnett St.

Because there was no other public business, the board went into executive session to consider property, legal and personnel matters.