Year-round school idea discussed

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 28, 2005

WINTON – Year-round schools will be one of many options being discussed by the Hertford County Board of Education.

During Monday night’s school board meeting here, Board Chairman David Shields asked about the possibility.

&uot;Can we investigate year-round schools?&uot; Shields asked.

Superintendent of Schools Dennis M. Deloatch said the administration would investigate that possibility if the Board wanted them to.

&uot;How would year-round schools match up with the new starting date for schools?&uot; asked the Rev. Patrick Young, a board member.

Deloatch said if the Board decided to pursue year-round schools, they would be allowed a waiver to start at a different time.

The superintendent also said it would be too late to implement a year-round program for the upcoming 2005-2006 academic year, but the Board could approve it for the following school year.

The year-round schools were just one of a plethora of options discussed by the Board to employ innovative schooling methods.

During the session, the school board also approved a plan to allow the district to continue with applying for a $350,000 grant for a &uot;Gateway to College&uot; program.

That program allows the establishment of a small autonomous school on a college campus to serve students between the ages of 16 and 20 who have dropped out or are at risk for dropping out of schools.

Dr. Brenda Tinkham, who presented the program to the Board, said the school would function in a non-traditional environment.

&uot;We’re just doing investigative work right now, correct?&uot; Rev. Young asked.

&uot;That is correct,&uot; Tinkham responded.

Vice-Chairman John D. Horton asked Tinkham if the Board was committing to the project if they approved the continuation of the grant application and she said they were not.

Horton then moved to continue with the grant application and Young offered a second. The motion carried with no objection although board member J. Wendell Hall was absent due to illness and board member Ronald Baker was away on business.

Other options looked at by the Board included a Middle College High School plan and an Early College High School plan.

Shields made it clear the Board was only looking at the innovative options and was not committed to any of them.

Horton said he was concerned about any program that moved dollars from the Hertford County Public Schools to another agency.

&uot;I don’t want to give the impression that others may be able to educate our children better than we can,&uot; he said. &uot;I am certain the staff of Hertford County Schools can do the job as well as anyone.&uot;