DOBSON — The Surry County Board of Education honored four of its schools for being named Title I Reward Schools and heard a presentation by the North Surry High School Junior Officers Training Corps (JROTC).
Director of Communications, Instructional Media, and Teacher Quality Sonia Dickerson told the board Cedar Ridge, Dobson, Pilot and Rockford elementary schools are the only schools in Surry County, Mount Airy City or Elkin to receive the Title I honor.
She quoted State School Superintendent June Atkinson when Dickerson spoke to the board. She said Atkinson’s message to the board said the honor indicated the schools showed “that given the right tools, they help students meet their academic goals.”
Director of Federal Programs Brenda Whitaker presented school representatives with framed certificates.
Principal Alison York and Title I Reading Teacher Shannon Slate represented Cedar Ridge. Dobson Elementary Principal Sharia Templeton accepted the certificate; Principal Angela Carson, Assistant Principal Carla Coble and Title I Reading Teacher Beth McCauley-Jewel accepted on behalf of Pilot Mountain Elementary and Principal Molly Anderson represented Rockford Elementary.
Lt. Col. John Bowes discussed the JROTC confidence obstacle course and sought board approval on conducting a 30 gifts in 30 days fund raising raffle, a field trip to an indoor skydiving facility, making Airsoft an official NSHS JROTC cadet activity and gave the board an update on Military Appreciation Day.
“In this environment, I know it (Airsoft) is a sensitive subject,” Bowes told the board. He explained the reasons the sport was a part of the program’s curriculum. Bowes’ summarized the sport as similar to paintball with the exception of weapons which shoot low density, plastic BB’s designed to loose velocity once they leave the weapon’s barrel.
He said typically ROTC programs nationally use the sport as a training exercise to develop critical thinking, collaboration and creativity as they solve task scenarios. Bowes said each group in the game has a leader in charge and undergoes a debriefing to critique how well their strategy worked. He stressed that the guns are never on school grounds and agreed public perception in the matter must be considered. Bowes also explained to the board the safety measures followed by participants.
The board approved all of Bowe’s requests on a 4-1 vote, contingent on the system’s insurance provider reviewing all procedures and course for the sport. Member Sue Stone said that while she supports JROTC she would vote no on the proposal because she was not comfortable with the Airsoft exercise. Bowes said a competition is planned Nov. 16 with all four local JROTC units on the confidence course.
Bowes told the group cadets wanted to shift the emphasis more toward veterans on the Oct. 25 Military Appreciation Day. Fund raising efforts will help support special medallions for veterans who attend the football game as well as a special ceremony including a balloon release in memory of deceased veterans.
The board approved the 2012-2013 financial audit by the accounting firm of Dixon Hughes Goodman. Representative April Bell said the audit showed the board had a total of $6,090,968 in June of 2013 in its general and special revenue funds compared to $6,922,381 in June of 2012. Revenues for June 30, 2013 were reported at $12,182,766 with total expenditures set at $12,761,019 for a difference of $578,253.
In other action, the board approved a fundraiser request by North Surry Senior Brittany Andrews. The fundraiser will be Andrew’s senior project. She has designed a t-shirt to sell at the Nov. 8 football game with a Prescription Drug Awareness theme. All proceeds will go to the Surry County Schools Education Foundation.
The board also approved a county request to grant the right-of-way for sewer line construction in connection with the Interstate’s Water and Sewer District sewer project.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-719-1952.