Board discusses options

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 1, 2007

WINTON – When is progress too much?

That’s the question the Hertford County Board of Education wrestled with briefly last week during their monthly meeting.

After board members received an update on the Talent Development High School and the Early College High School, at least one of the members had questions.

“Are we doing too many things to do any of them well,” asked board member Ronald G. Baker.

He said he was concerned that eventually 40 percent of the high school students will not be located at the high school if the board moves forward with Early College High School.

The ninth grade students have already been moved to their own academy on the campus of Hertford County Middle School.

“I don’t want to be so fragmented that none of it is done well,” Baker said.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael G. Basham said he had struggled with the same question.

“I understand your concern,” he said. “I wrestled with the same thing from January to June. I think the staff has though this through.

“My opinion is that we can do this and no more,” he said.

Baker said he was only one board member, but he could promise that he would not vote for any more new programs.

Board member J. Wendell Hall said he shared the concerns and was monitoring the situation as well.

The discussion came after board members heard that the Talent Development High School plan which has been adopted for Hertford County High School was in its preliminary stages.

Dr. Erdeen Britt from Johns Hopkins University, who will facilitate the change, gave a report to the school board focusing on what HCHS would look like after this year.

According to the plan, the school will go through organizational reforms, curriculum and instruction innovations and professional development.

The goal is to make smaller academies within the school that are not necessarily grade-level, but more subject based.

The board also heard that the movement toward the Hertford County Early College High School was moving forward.

Plans have been set in place to work to secure grant money to begin the planning for the new high school that would be located on the campus of Roanoke-Chowan Community College.

According to plans, the school would open with 50 students next year and then add 50 students each year until there is a total student population of 200.