By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Superintendent John Farrelly brimmed with enthusiasm as he talked about the start of the new school year at Monday evening’s board of education meeting.
“We’re excited about the start of the school year and just thrilled to have our students coming back…” Farrelly said.
Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) will serve 6,100 students this school year. The new school year begins Aug. 26.
“One thousand employees are committed to providing students with outstanding instructional programs,” Farrelly said.
He shared with the board that the district has had a “busy summer” preparing leaders for the upcoming school year.
“We’ve really provided a slew of professional development for our district leaders and tried to put them in a position to be successful to move our instructional programs forward.
“The thing I’m most excited about is the new leadership in several positions in the district,” Farrelly said. “Our principals and our assistant principals are difference makers.”
Teachers are coming back to their classrooms with the support of “exemplar lesson plans” created this summer, said the superintendent. New teachers in the district attended a three-day training session at Tarboro High School this week.
“It’s been a good week,” said Paula Flythe, director of elementary schools for ECPS. On Wednesday the new elementary school teachers received training on “Read to Achieve,” “Guide to Reading” and “Reading 3D Assessments,” which all students in kindergarten through fifth grade must take.
District administrators and a cohort of teachers also have been trained in the latest technology over the summer.
“Technology is one of our tools that can impact learning,” Farrelly said.
ECPS has strengthened its relationship with Teach for America this school year. A dozen teachers from the organization will be part of the district’s team in several different schools, Farrelly announced at the board meeting.
The district is expanding its partnership with Edgecombe Community College this school year, as well. ECC faculty will provide direct instruction to students on site at the county’s high schools, and the students will receive community college credit for the courses.
As a kick off for the new school year, parents and students are invited to “open house” on Aug. 22. All elementary, middle and traditional high schools will have open house from 2 to 7 p.m. that day.
“Open House is designed to meet and welcome back students and parents in preparation for the 2013-2014 academic year,” states Associate Superintendent Karen Dameron. “This is an opportunity for our stakeholders to meet their teachers, administrators, and school staff.”
Some schools are hosting special events in conjunction with open house. C. B. Martin and Phillips Middle School will host official “Meet the Principal” opportunities to introduce parents and students to the schools’ new administrators.
C. B. Martin’s administrative team will serve light refreshments for its event from 2 to 3 p.m.
W.A. Pattillo School will host informational sessions at 2, 4, and 6 p.m.
Stocks Elementary School will sponsor a Community Expo so parents and students can learn about available resources in the community. Door prizes will be awarded.