DOBSON — Celebrations of achievements and partnerships marked the Surry County Board of Education’s regular meeting on Tuesday night.
Anna Windsor was honored for her third grade art design that was printed in the 2012-2013 North Carolina Farm to School Calendar. This contest was open to all state public school students in grades kindergarten through six. A total of 2,370 entries from 43 counties were received. The Farm to School program has been supplying school cafeterias statewide with local produce since 1977.
North Surry High School student Riley Fillius was recognized as the president-elect for the North Carolina Association of Student Councils. Fillius will be responsible for running the state student council elections this year. Next year, she will be the president of the North Carolina Association of Student Councils, and North Surry will host the state convention.
It was announced that Jenny Barnes has been selected as the Surry County School district’s Outstanding Elementary Mathematics Teacher. She was recognized for her commitment to improving student achievement in her classroom and for her determination to make a positive difference in the lives of students.
Both Dobson Elementary and Rockford Elementary schools achieved outstanding performances in all areas in a Title I monitoring visit by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The visit occurred last spring and was a quality review to evaluate the use of Title I funds, quality of instruction and intervention in the district’s schools.
Dobson Elementary was recognized by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and State Superintendent June St. Clair Atkinson as a Title I Reward School for 2012-2013. This means Dobson was one of the top performing Title I schools in the state. It was the only school in Surry County, Mount Airy or Elkin City school districts to receive this honor. A total of 117 individual schools across the state were named Reward Schools. Dobson Elementary students have achieved high academic performance ratings for three consecutive years.
Participants in the first ever Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Camp for girls at Gentry Middle School this past June were honored as well. The participants were selected for their achievement in math, science and technology. All the camp’s activities were designed to incorporate problem-based learning, critical thinking and engineering and design.
The board also briefly discussed a comprehensive five-year strategic plan for STEM emphasis and development throughout the system. One component of the program will be to further improve teaching and learning by teaching how scientific knowledge, comprehensive skills and consistent performance and the production of students prepared for college and careers is all connected.
The board praised the efforts of the Golden LEAF Foundation and the NC Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center for their support of the Surry County Schools.
“It truly has been a partnership,” said Gold LEAF Foundation Senior Vice President Mark Sorrells. “We have bought into the winning attitude that is going on here. Surry County does a good job and we are proud to have you as our partner.” He also said the progress has just been sowing the seeds. It was reported that $900,000 has been directed to the school district over the last four years to benefit STEM.
In other matters, the curriculum committee’s recommendation to remove the 32 course limit was approved because of advanced in virtual learning opportunities for students.
The board also approved a plan by School Nutrition Officer Sherri Parks to the local fruit and vegetable snack program for prekindergarten and kindergarten students in the district. One snack a week will be provided at an estimated cost of $11,145. The United States Department of Agriculture chose to change its emphasis on the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced meals which left only Flat Rock Elementary School qualifying to participate in the program.
School Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson said that funds were already in the budget that would cover the costs of the program being continued in the remainder of the schools. Parks said that volunteers prepare the snacks so there would be no additional labor required.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.