Board gets updates on several issues

Erin Smith Staff writer

March 11, 2014

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Board of Education heard an update regarding the school uniform policy from Sup’t. Robert Taylor on Monday.

Bladen County Schools Public Relations Director Valerie Newton said the school system is completing its first full year with uniforms mandated at all schools.

“Dr. Taylor talked about shoes, jackets and some of the more frequently asked questions,” said Newton.

She added that, after listening to Taylor’s presentation, the board moved the matter to an action item and requested some flexibility.

Newton said the item will be brought back to the board in the near future for clarification and further direction from the board.

The board also took up the matter of teacher tenure. Newton said the state legislature has done away with teacher tenure and Patricia Faulk, Bladen County Schools personnel administrator, made a presentation to the board regarding the new teacher contract selection rubric that will be used by principals and the superintendents to determine the top 25 percent of teachers in the district.

Newton said the results will be presented to the board, once completed.

“This process will take the place of teacher tenure,” said Newton. “The district is required to identify the top 25 percent of teachers and to offer a four-year contracts to them.”

She added that those teachers who accept the four-year contracts will also receive a bonus of $500 per year for four years.

The board also heard an update on Reading to Achieve altnerate assessments, said Newton. This is also new legislation.

“All third-grade students must be reading at grade level before they can be promoted to the fourth grade,” said Newton of the new legislation.

Newton said the N.C. Board of Education has given the school systems some flexibility to put in additional measures and assessments whereby students can be given additional opportunities to achieve proficiency. Newton said that here locally, the school sytem uses the Star Testing Assessment as part of the process to help determine proficiency.

The board approved the measure.