The Mount Airy Board of Education continued the process of preparing for the new school year Tuesday night by nailing down some details in its regular business meeting.
The board assigned Olivia Byerly as assistant principal of Mount Airy High School, named Emily Goins as K-5 curriculum facilitator for literacy at J.J. Jones Intermediate School and assigned Patricia Burgess as K-5 curriculum facilitator for mathematics.
Dr. Gregory Little, schools superintendent, proposed a series of linkage topics for the board to consider in the upcoming school year. The monthly topics included looking at the new school accountability system, a follow-up report on the “leader-in-me” program in schools, looking at the school calendar (in November or December), and examination of school and district partnerships, conversations about the 1:1 initiative and the Bring Your Own Device program and focusing on the school budget (in April).
Board member David Rowe brought up some concerns as well.
“We’ve made a big deal of collecting data for many years, but we rarely see the results,” said Rowe. “I would like to see data on the 2011-2012 year to see if the system is getting the job done.” He suggested that each school could make a presentation on their progress because they would already be tracking data.
“We’ve always heard (with data) that we’re not at a place where we can talk about this. By now, we should have plenty to discuss,” agreed board member Kate Appler.
Board member Ben Cooke suggested that principals from the schools could report on plans, goals and objectives at the board’s Aug. 7 meeting.
Little said that a certain amount of this would automatically be happening through the strategic planning initiative. He also said that a “culture of technology” needed to be nurtured within the school system. He said that technology had become second nature in education and life — much like a writer not feeling the need to consider his pen because he is so comfortable working with the tool. He stressed that modeling of this behavior must start at the administrative level.
“We are very excited about new technology coming in but if we don’t (become savvy of technology) how can we expect our teachers to be,” said Little. He said principals in the system will be focused on becoming more comfortable with technology in a year-long effort.
Chairperson Wendy Carriker urged the board to visit Jones Intermediate School and see the ongoing summer feeding program in action. She said the effort is up to providing 900 meals daily. Carriker expressed an interest in recognizing the program. She said the program, which also delivers meals, has slightly more than three weeks left. The board appeared to favor recognizing the program, but no formal plans were announced.
The board agreed that individual members should visit schools in the system on Aug. 8, the first day of school. Traditionally board members’ school visits begin at 6 p.m.
Convocation will be held on Aug. 3 beginning at 8 a.m. at Mount Airy High School, and school open houses have been set for Aug. 6. Open house times may be different, so interested persons are encouraged to contact the school or check for specific times on the school’s website.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.