During Monday’s meeting of the Elkin City Schools Board of Education, members began work to determine topics to be discussed at their March retreat, a grant presentation was made and other business items were presented
In addition to recognizing Elkin’s school board members for School Board Appreciation Month, the good news item on the agenda for the meeting was a $1,000 grant presentation from Duke Energy.
The $1,000 grant was provided by the Duke Energy Foundation and Jerry Stroud, construction and maintenance supervisor for Duke Energy, presented the award at Monday’s meeting.
Investing in education is one of the priorities of the Duke Energy Foundation. Stroud said, “We strongly believe that bright futures begin in the classroom and that every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. That’s why we support high-performing, sustainable programs and initiatives that contribute to our goal of building a diverse workforce of the future. We appreciate the excellent job that Elkin City Schools does educating our future leaders.”
Student leadership roles are provided through the election of officers to each school’s student council at the beginning of each school year. “The student council officers are provided opportunities for leadership roles that are valuable for a lifetime,” according to Dr. Randy Bledsoe, superintendent of Elkin City Schools.
Being a leader in the school student council involves planning, decision making, communicating, and working as a team which are skills needed for the future workforce and community/state leaders, said school officials.
Duke Energy and Elkin City Schools have had a longtime partnership which continues to impact teaching, learning and helping students to reach their future goals. A loyal member of the Elkin City Schools Business Advisory Council, Duke Energy continues to look to ways to invest in the education of youth.
After some discussions earlier in the meeting about school calendar options for the 2016-17 school year, this became one of the topics board members will likely discuss during their board retreat March 11 and 12. The retreat will be held at the city schools administrative offices from noon to 6 p.m. March 11 and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 12.
Other topics will include work on budget items and topics which the school board members are to let Chairman Dr. Richard Brinegar know they interested in discussing between now and time for the retreat.
Bledsoe took time to recognize the school board members — Brinegar, James Freeman, Frank Beals, Dr. Jane Riley and Haley Sullivan, who was unable to attend — for their service to the students and the community for National School Board Appreciation Month.
The students and staff have been working on gifts for the school board members, but with the inclement weather canceling classes, some of those gifts will be coming at a later time, noted Bledsoe.
Also, Bledsoe pointed out that while National School Choice Week tends to focus on private and charter school options, for many of Elkin City Schools’ students, attending public school is a choice as well, because they come from outside the Elkin district.
In other business:
• The board approved the consent agenda, which included approving two field trip requests for events in February and declaring replaced cafeteria light fixtures, an ice machine and a 45-year-old metal sink as surplus property so it can be auctioned on govdeals.com.
• Cynthia Altemueller reported that first semester testing is completed and was done prior to the winter weather moving in. The school system awaits the state Department of Public Administration’s validation of the tests, 16 which were end-of-course tests and 32 North Carolina final exams, numbers which do not include make-ups due to illness.
• The board approved second readings on a number of policy revisions recommended by the North Carolina School Board Association, as well as a second reading of the revised policy on staff and student relations so it will be in compliance with the social media policy, which had previously been approved.
• The board discussed developing a policy on the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones. While Bledsoe said it would still allow the school system to utilize drones for video and photography, the policy would regulate use of drones by people outside the school system.
Already this issue has arisen at one of the system’s schools. Pam Colbert, principal at Elkin Elementary School, said the office got a call that a drone was flying over the playground while students were playing, and the teachers did what they should have and had all students move inside. When Colbert investigated, she learned it was employees of the roofing company take aerial shots of the work they had done.
• The board approved the City Schools Consortium agreement, which includes a payment of $4,034 to be part of the group, which lobbies for city school districts and monitors issues which might arise in the Legislature about merger.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.