By ANGELA FARR KING
The Alexander County Board of Education met on Tuesday, July 19, for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The leadership for the school system was excited to share the many and varied activities happening for students during the summer months.
Dr. Betsy Curry, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, shared the Superintendent’s Report on behalf of Dr. Jennifer Hefner.
In her report, Hefner noted that Alexander County Schools recently hosted a Summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Camp for elementary students.
This camp was a huge success and was expanded due to the high interest from students. There was a waiting list of students who wanted to participate, so there are plans to expand it even further next summer.
Melinda Glenn, the Alexander Virtual Academy Principal, led this camp and was assited by Jessica Esposito, Liz Cronan, and Marnie Wills.
Summer Reading Camps are scheduled to begin Monday, July 25, at all of the elementary schools in Alexander County. Summer Jumpstarts will begin on the same day for middle school students.
Students working below grade level have been invited to participate in these three week remediation programs. School personnel have been contacting parents and incentivizing participation with game tickets, athletic wear, raffles and more. Transportation and meals for these summer programs are provided free to students.
Dr. Hefner offered a “shout out” to two schools in which more than 80% of the eligible students have already committed to attending. Those schools are Taylorsville Elementary and Stony Point Elementary.
Superintendent Hefner noted in her report that “when students take advantage of tutoring opportunities and the school summer programs, the likelihood of retention is decreased.” Students who have been invited are highly encouraged to attend.
These summer programs can also lessen the “summer slide” that often happens when students aren’t academically engaged during the summer months.
There are Career Accelerator Camps being offered to older students in Alexander County. A Junior AC Academy will be held for rising 7th and 8th graders at Alexander Central High School Monday-Thursday for the weeks of August 1-4 and August 8-11. These camps will take place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
There are currently 28 students scheduled to participate, with a waiting list.
During this camp experience, middle school students will be exposed to a different career pathway while completing hands-on projects each day.
In the first week, students will learn about Carpentry, Fire and Public Safety, and food services.
In the second week, students will learn about health science and basic first aid, wood working, metal working, equipment driving, greenhouse operation, animal production, and coding using newly purchased drones.
There are two field trips planned for these students. One will be to CVCC in Hickory to tour the Workforce Complex and the other will be to tour local businesses.
There will also be a Senior AC Academy held August 1-4 for rising 10th-12th graders at Alexander Central High School.
There are currently 15 students signed up for this camp. The students will focus on Skilled Trades with hands-on projects in Carpentry, Public Safety/Fire Tech, and Electrical Trades. These students will also tour the CVCC Workforce Complex in Hickory.
Several local businesses have agreed to sponsor these summer career camps by helping with snacks and giveaways for students. Superintendent Hefner extended her thanks to Mitchell Gold, Taylorsville Savings Bank, and Custom Educational Furnishings. The Board of Education also extended their heartfelt thanks to Taylorsville True Value Hardware for securing a paint grant for three schools: Sugar Loaf Elementary, East Alexander Middle School, and Alexander Central High School.
The grant was awarded to these three principals on Monday, July 18. Dr. Hefner said that “True Value Hardware continues to be a wonderful partner to the Alexander County School System.” A special “Thank You” was extended to Jeff Davis, owner/manager, Joey Cothren, owner, and Assistant Manager Tenaye Goehring for writing and submitting this grant application.
PAINT DONATED TO ALEXANDER COUNTY SCHOOLS — Jeff Davis (far right) and his crew at the Taylorsville True Value are appreciated for their ongoing support of Alexander County Schools. True Value donated paint for Sugar Loaf Elementary, East Alexander Middle School, and Alexander Central High School at an estimated value of $3,500. (ACS photo.)
The following policies were put forth for second readings with no changes:
• #2121 Board Member Conflict of Interest
• #2210 Duties of Officers
• #2400 Board Policies
There were three policies submitted for first readings:
• #2410 Policy Development
• #2430 Dissemination and Preservation of Policies
• #2600 Consultants of the Board.
It was noted that during the next Board of Education meeting, beginning of the year activities will be reviewed.
The board then moved into a closed session.