Board hears of education improvements

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2005

WINTON – School administrators presented updates on several education improvement programs during the Hertford County Board of Education meeting Monday night.

According to school administrators, the State Board of Education approved a policy in May defining academic rigor, along with recommendations for increasing rigor in the classrooms.

In an effort to encourage the three R’s, Rigor, Relevance and Relationships, a team from Hertford County Public Schools attended the National Model Schools Conference in June and planned their school opening around the concept.

During the first two days of school, a representative from the International Center for Leadership in Education worked with Hertford County teachers and staff. Teams from each school were trained along with central office personnel and each team left with a plan for training their staff.

The National Research Council defines academic rigor as challenging instruction and support for meeting high standards. Relevance is defined as providing choices for students and making curriculum and instruction relevant to adolescents’ experiences, cultures, and long-term goals. Relationships are defined as promoting a sense of belonging by personalizing instruction, showing an interest in student’s lives and creating a supportive, caring social environment.

&uot;How is this program going to help,&uot; Hertford County Board of Education member Rev. Patrick Young asked.

&uot;This program is about setting higher standards and making sure courses are not watered down,&uot; Hertford County Superintendent Dennis Deloatch said. &uot;This makes sure the courses are relevant to today’s world and has been a very productive program.&uot;

School administrators also presented information on the &uot;Take Ten&uot; program to the board.

&uot;Take Ten&uot; will be implemented in the schools to tackle the issue of childhood obesity. &uot;Eat Smart, Move More&uot; is the motto of the program. The Hertford County Public Health Authority (HCPHA) received a $20,000 grant from the North Carolina Community Grant Program to start the program.

&uot;The goal of the program is to provide 30 minutes of physical activity daily for all elementary students and incorporate 10 minutes of exercise into the classroom setting,&uot; Carol Cooper of the HCPHA said.

&uot;There is a high rate of childhood obesity in Hertford County,&uot; Cooper said. &uot;We are expecting great things from this program.&uot;

Six thousand classrooms in 46 states across the country are participating in the &uot;Take Ten&uot; program.

School administrators also presented an update on the Ahoskie Elementary after-school tutorial plan, which will begin October 3 and continues through December 13 for the first semester.

According to information provided by school administrators, the program provides extra assistance for students in reading and mathematics every Tuesday from 3:30 – 5pm. The program uses direct teacher instruction and demonstrations, hands-on activities, peer tutoring, and small group collaboration to assist fourth grade students in succeeding academically. The tutorial sessions will enable students to become better prepared and perform with greater proficiency on the End of Grade test.

Hertford County High Schools have also created an SAT Prep plan and formed an SAT committee to tackle the challenge of improving SAT scores.

The plan calls for SAT prep classes, media center, on-line and R-C Community College resources to be utilized and a consultant to assist with the plan. Counselors will assist students with goal setting to increase their scores.