June 13, 2013
The North Carolina House passed its budget this afternoon. While the preliminary version included some similar cuts to the Senate budget, the final House version included at least 15 amendments. GCS staff is reviewing the budget closely to determine how it could impact Guilford County Schools.
On Monday, the Guilford County Board of Education joined the Guilford County Board of Commissioners during the commissioners’ budget work session. Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green explained why GCS was requesting an increase in the budget request and how important the funding is to the district’s students, staff and Guilford County. Commissioners are obligated to pass a budget ordinance on or before July 1, per state statute.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Share your opinions, whatever those opinions are, about school funding.
As an employee, you are welcome call, write or email local or state elected officials to share your thoughts on the budget – whatever those thoughts may be. You can find a complete list of contact information for elected officials on the budget website, www.gcsnc.com/2013-14budget.
Please do not use County equipment (including email system) or time to contact elected officials; use your personal accounts. Please note that these activities must not be conducted during working hours or using GCS resources.
News from our Schools
Staff, Community Come Together to Support GCS Graduations
From the staff at the Greensboro Coliseum to the district’s graduation committee to a community member who lent a graduate a pair of shoes for his graduation walk, the Guilford County community came together to celebrate Guilford County Schools’ Class of 2013.
From May 15 to June 10, more than 5,200 graduates walked across the stage in 29 ceremonies. The district’s final 15 graduations held at the Greensboro Coliseum drew more than 70,000 attendees. During many of the graduations this year, family members learned more about the graduates and about the district overall in a special fact sheet included in the program. Also new this year – a special video highlighting the accomplishments of the Class of 2013 was played before each of the Coliseum ceremonies.
The Class of 2013 earned more than $126 million in college scholarships and more than 700 graduates earned either the district’s service-learning diploma (a commitment of at least 225 service hours) or a service-learning exemplary award (a commitment of at least 100 hours).
Many of the graduates from the Class of 2013 will be honored in two events this summer. Cool to Serve on June 30 will recognize those students who made a commitment to service-learning and Cool to Be Smart on August 4 will recognize graduates who earned top scores in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams and selected college courses. Students at both events, which are supported by the business community, have the opportunity to win prizes from Apple and one lucky student at each event will drive home in a new car.
Again, congratulations to the Class of 2013. You can read more about our graduates here.
GCS Announces Reorganization of Regions
Guilford County Schools (GCS) staff presented a plan during the June 11 Board of Education meeting that reorganizes the way the district is divided into regions. The plan eliminates the Enrichment Region and moves those schools into the four geographic regions. This reorganization will mean $582,000 in immediate savings, and was necessary due to anticipated budget cuts.
GCS created five regions in 2009 as part of the Strategic Plan 2012. The regional model was created as a way to make the large district smaller by providing more targeted and individualized support and supervision to schools, as well as creating closer connections to local communities. The model has worked well, and generated more than $1.1 million in savings by streamlining central office administration.
The 2009 plan included four geographic regions: Western, Northern, Central and Southeastern, as well as an Enrichment Region, made up of three elementary, three middle and three high schools determined to need additional support. As part of the new plan, the nine Enrichment Region schools will be absorbed into the other four geographical regions.
Approximately 18 other schools will move to a new region in order to balance the regions more equitably. (Click here to see a complete list of schools by region.)
Summer Food Service Program Provides Nutritious Meals for Free
No paperwork or pre-registration is required for children who are at least 18 months old and under 18 years old to participate in the meal program. Breakfast will be available from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and hot lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cold meals are also prepared for approved community groups that provide summer programs to students and participated in required USDA training.
Meals will be served at the following schools:
In Greensboro: Alderman Elementary, Foust Elementary, Hunter Elementary, Irving Park Elementary, Jones Elementary, Peck Elementary, Rankin Elementary, Washington Montessori (starts June 24), Jackson Middle, Hairston Middle and Dudley High.
In High Point: Fairview Elementary, Montlieu Academy of Technology, Oak Hill Elementary, Parkview Village Elementary and High Point Central High.
In addition, Eastern Middle is working with the nonprofit "Race Against Child Hunger." The feeding program is working in conjunction with the school’s ESOL summer program, but is open to all students ages 18 and younger. Breakfast is served at 8:30 a.m. and lunch is served at 12:30 p.m. on the following dates: June 17-20, June 24-27, July 1-2, July 8-11 and July 15-18.
GCS High School Tops Nation for Safe Driving Campaign
The Middle College at Bennett has been recognized nationally for its efforts to keep teens safe behind the wheel. The school was selected as one of 10 national leader schools by Project Ignition, a safe driving program sponsored by State Farm Insurance and the National Youth Leadership Council.
As a model school, The Middle College at Bennett will receive $2,500 to fund its safe driving campaign for the coming school year. The team will also receive $5,000 to participate in the 25th annual National Service-Learning Conference in April 2014 in Washington, D.C. The school received $2,000 earlier this year to implement its campaign, "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize-Life,” which encourages teens to make a commitment to practice safe driving.
Team members traveled to other GCS schools and gave interactive demonstrations of the dangers of distracted driving, such as texting, having too many passengers in the car, playing loud music and speeding. They also encouraged their peers to sign safe driving pledges.
"Our students have made a tremendous effort to research the causes of teen driving fatalities and use that data to create an effective campaign that really speaks to young drivers," said Esther Coble, principal of The Middle College at Bennett. "The Project Ignition campaign demonstrates service-learning at its best."
This is the first time The Middle College at Bennett has reached the top 10 level in Project Ignition. In 2010-11, the school and Northeast High were among 25 schools in the country given an initial grant to launch the programs in their communities.
GCS Updating Plan for Academically Gifted Students
GCS is revising the current 2010-2013 Academically Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Plan to improve current services and introduce new opportunities for academically gifted students.
A draft of the 2013-16 AIG Plan is available online and was updated after receiving feedback from students, teachers and parents as well as meeting with various state, regional and local groups throughout the year. Any additional feedback can be submitted by emailing Dibrelle Tourret, executive director of Academically Gifted, at email@example.com until June 21.
Staff has focused on three areas of improvement in the 2013-2016 AIG Plan. These include student identification, instructional support and communication.
New Class of Educators Ready to Lead Schools
Though Guilford County Schools' graduation season has just come to a close, a new class of education leaders is preparing for a graduation of its own. The Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy (PTLA) graduated its second group of aspiring school principals and administrators on Thursday.
For many participants, the one-year program has already paid off. Of the 20 educators who will graduate on Thursday, four have taken positions as assistant principals and a fifth will assume a leadership role with the district's instructional technology department.
One of those graduates, Darrell Harris, likened the program to jumping into a pool to learn to swim. "Fortunately for us, the program provides experienced coaches that support us along the way to make sure we not only keep from drowning, but learn to swim with confidence," says Harris, who will serve Eastern Middle as an assistant principal."With the support from my cohort, coaches and district and the preparation from a rigorous school turnaround curriculum, I look forward to leading change in the schools that need it the most."
Aycock Middle Holds Summer Canned Food Drive
Guilford Soil and Water Conservation District Contests Winners
Students across GCS were recognized for their creativity in Guilford County’s Soil and Water Conservation contest. The theme for this year’s contest was “Water….the Cycle of Life.” The winning students were recognized at the Guilford County Commissioners meeting and at the Guilford Soil and Water Conservation Banquet in May. Click here for the winners.
Employees in the News
Science Teacher Sets Sail on Research Journey
The Middle College at Bennett science teacher Eric Velarde is taking to the seas this summer. Today, Velarde set sail out of Lewes, Del., aboard the research vessel Hugh R. Sharp as part of the Teacher at Sea program through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Velarde is the only teacher from North Carolina aboard the ship, which will study the abundance and distribution of Atlantic sea scallops on its 12-day journey. He will assist the NOAA scientists with their research and gain first-hand experience he can share with his students next year.
And not only will he benefit from the data and technical knowledge he acquires, he also plans to use the trip to teach his students about the importance of protecting our oceans.
“Character development will be the focus of their experience, as it is extremely important that students understand their impact on the earth and are prepared to teach others as seamlessly as they were taught,” he says.
GCS Announces Principal for Wiley Elementary
Tavy Fields will serve as the new principal for Wiley Elementary, GCS announced Tuesday. Fields has been the assistant principal at Montlieu Elementary Academy of Technology since August 2011, playing a significant role in the school’s academic turnaround. Her appointment will be effective July 1.
GCS Names Director of Guilford Parent Academy
Guilford County Schools announced Lindsay Whitley would be the new Director of Guilford Parent Academy. The Guilford County Board of Education approved the appointment at its June 11 meeting.
Whitley is the current Director of Communications and Family Engagement for Montgomery County Schools in Troy, N.C., a department he created when he started with the district in 2007. In that role, he oversees all district communications, as well as working to engage parents and families. He also leads the district's version of Parent Academy, called Your Schools 101, which has reached thousands of parents through workshops, seminars, classes and events.
Board of Education Updates
McIver Project Named for Children’s Advocates
The Board of Education voted Tuesday to name the Hairston Middle-Falkener Elementary site the Sarah Walden Herbin-Dale J. Metz Education Center. The Hairston-Falkener site is one of two that will replace McIver Education Center, with the second site located at Ragsdale High.
Two School Calendars to be Extended for 2013-14
Parkview Village Elementary and Allen Middle will start school two weeks sooner in order to give students more opportunities to master skills and teachers more time for in-depth training. On Tuesday, the Board of Education voted to approve the extended-year calendar for the two schools.
Under the changes, Parkview Village Elementary and Allen Middle will add 10 instructional days to the 2013-14 calendar. The first day for those schools will be Aug. 12, 2013, and the last day will be June 10, 2014.
Board Approves Contract for Site Work at Simkins Elementary
On Tuesday, the Guilford County Board of Education approved three contracts for construction and maintenance projects in GCS.
The board awarded a contract in the amount of $3,245,894 to Samet Corporation/SRS to perform early site work at Simkins Elementary, including grading and clearing the land, preparing the building pad and installing the parking lot, roadways, curbs and gutters.
The school will be located at 3511 E. Lee St. in Greensboro and will serve approximately 700 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It will relieve congestion at Alamance Elementary and potential overcrowding at Sedalia Elementary and McLeansville Elementary.
Also Tuesday, the board:
· Approved awarding a construction contract to Greensboro Roofing Company in the amount of $515,170 for a classroom and gym roof replacement at Penn-Griffin School for the Arts.
· Approved awarding a construction contract to Bar Construction Company, Inc. in the amount of $346,000 to improve the accessibility of entryways, replace lockers and upgrade lighting at Allen Middle.
Board Recognizes Accomplishments of Staff, Students and Community Partners
During its June 11th meeting the Guilford County Board of Education recognized the employee of the month, advocates for public education and congratulated student athletes and coaches for the positive effect they have had on GCS.
The board recognized Dr. Margaret Arbuckle, the retiring director of the Guilford Education Alliance for her tireless support of public education. Dr. Arbuckle began serving as director of the Guilford Education Alliance in 2005 and has worked hard to increase business and community support for GCS.
Dr. Arbuckle helped to organize programs such as "Principal for a Day" which allows community members the opportunity to get into a school to better understand how it operates. In addition she helped to establish the Teacher Supply Warehouse, which provides teachers with much needed supplies free of cost.
What’s New on GCSTV
The GCS television channel broadcasts throughout Guilford County on Time Warner Cable channel 2, on AT&T U-verse, and around the world LIVE on the GCS website.
Want to know what’s on GCSTV and when? Check out our on-line Daily Programming Guide.
The Latest News from GCS:
Playground Toys Donated to Bessemer Elementary
Principal John Lawrence’s last day at school
"Operation Finish the Race" at Archer Elementary
Ribbon Cutting at the new Grimsley High cafeteria
Graduation from Weaver Academy 2013
Twilight School Graduation 2013
Graduation from The Middle College at GTCC - High Point
Graduation at The Middle College at N.C. A&T
Graduation from Greensboro College Middle College
Graduation from The Middle College at GTCC-Greensboro
Graduation at The Academy at Smith
Graduation from The Middle College at Bennett
Watch Guilford County Board of Education meetings live. Encore presentations of board meetings are telecast the day following the meeting at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and the following Saturday at 1 p.m. You can also watch Board of Education meetings at your convenience. The meetings are now archived and available online anytime on the GCS website.
About GCS News Briefs
GCS News Briefs is produced every week by the District Relations staff. To share your news with us, send details to firstname.lastname@example.org