The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Local News

February 13, 2013

ECPS students face 185-day school year

ROCKY MOUNT — The Edgecombe County Board of Education unanimously approved the school calendars for 2013-2014 at its Monday night meeting.

“This calendar does reflect the guidelines set by the state department. We did choose to have 185 instructional days and also 1,025 instructional hours – not one or the other, but both,” said Dr. Renee Franklin, assistant superintendent of educational program services for Edgecombe County Public Schools.

“I would like to thank our school system for going with the 185 days and the maximum number of hours,” said Board Chair Ann Kent. Taking into consideration the district’s current (below-average) test scores, she said having a calendar with the maximum amount of instructional time sends the message that the district is making efforts to get student achievement levels “back on track.”

The school year begins Aug. 26 and ends June 12 for students, with June 13 designated as a staff planning day. Spring break is the week following Easter – April 21-25. Eleven holidays and eight planning days are built into the calendar.

The Edgecombe Early College High School’s school year aligns with Edgecombe Community College’s schedule, beginning Aug. 5 and ending May 23.

In another unanimous vote, the board approved support of a five-year North Carolina State University STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) grant. If the district receives the grant, “Linking Informal Experiences to STEM Industries,” it will impact 120 eighth- and ninth-grade students in its first year, through three one-week summer camps, said Superintendent John Farrelly.

“This is a fantastic opportunity presented to the board tonight for approval,” Farrelly said. The program will teach students skills in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries. One such local industry, Keihin Carolina System Technology, has already agreed to participate in the project. The district will receive notification regarding its receipt of the grant in July.

In other business:

The board approved a budget amendment for the current school year and heard an item of information on the budget for next school year, as presented by Laurie Leary, the district’s director of finance. The district is facing a $1,542,840 budget reduction for the 2013-2014 school year, in part because of the opening of the charter school, North East Carolina Prep School, which created a reduction of $880, 030, which the district absorbed in the current school year. As the budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year develops, Farrelly stated that he would make an effort to minimize the impact of budget cuts on classroom teaching positions and instructional programs while striving to meet the district’s increasing technological needs.

Kent nominated and the board approved vice chair Evelyn Shaw Wilson’s appointment to the Strategic Twin Counties Education Partnership (STEP), a board working collaboratively to improve education in Edgecombe and Nash Counties.

The board approved G.W. Bulluck Elementary School’s annual spring carnival, slated for March 23, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The carnival is a fundraiser for the school.

The board recognized Yanisha Mann as the new principal of W.A. Pattillo Elementary School and Ava Cofield, administrative assistant to Dr. Karen Dameron, as the district’s employee of the month.

The board approved a second reading of technology-related policies, including employee use of social media and technology responsible use. The board also approved a second reading of its 2000 series policy manual, governing the board’s operation.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. March 11 in the central office board rooms at 412 Pearl St. in Tarboro.

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