A year after making a conference-best five presentations to educators and elected officials from across the state, LCPS is equaling its own record in providing a major chunk of the programming at this week’s annual conference of the North Carolina School Boards Association.
The five presentations from LCPS district and school administrators at the conference, which runs through Wednesday in Greensboro, cover a range of LCPS initiatives, from reducing student suspensions to developing a K-12 computer coding curriculum.
“Last year we have more (presentations) than any other district in the state and it looks like that will be the case for two consecutive years,” Superintendent Brent Williams said. “We’re very proud of that.”
Williams, Associate Superintendent Frances Herring, Assistant Superintendent Nicholas Harvey II and members of the Lenoir County Board of Education are attending the conference, along with a number of LCPS staff involved in the presentations.
School districts submit proposals for presentations to conference organizers, who decide which to schedule. Half of LCPS’s proposals were accepted. Together they constitute about 10 percent of the total number of presentations on the calendar for the conference’s breakout sessions.
Here are thumbnails of the presentations:
High School Transformation – Changing the Mindset without Sweating the Small Stuff: South Lenoir High School dramatically reduced student suspensions while raising academic performance – a double benefit that school administrators and faculty view as connected. In 2013-14, 288 students were suspended; in 2017-18, 64 students were suspended. At the same time, test scores for the school have continued to rise, resulting in a “B” school performance grade. Significant changes in nearly all aspects of school life have helped to create a “whatever it takes” with “no excuses” family atmosphere among staff members and students. Presenting are principal Steve Saint-Amand, assistant principal Daphne Pollock, school counselor Candi Tyndall and math teacher Hope Woolard.
Recording Our Future – Bringing Computer Science to Students in Rural Communities: One of the first Coding and Mobile App Development Grant recipients awarded by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, Lenoir County Public Schools utilized funding to design coding and computer science experiences for all LCPS middle school students with plans to extend this exposure to elementary students. In addition, newly designed online coding courses are now available to every LCPS high school student. Presenting are Amy Jones, director of high school education; Katie Martin, an N.C. State student and future LCPS teacher who helped design the coding curriculum; and Stephanie Harell, STEM lab facilitator at Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School who teaches the online coding courses.
Career and College Promise in Lenoir County – Not your Average Partnership: A spirit of cooperation between LCPS and Lenoir Community College has created new opportunities for LCPS’s college-bound students and made the district a leader in dual enrollment programs that give high school students a head start on college. In a blend of online and face-to face-classes, nearly 600 LCPS students are enrolled in classes for college credit. Half of the Class of 2018 graduated with some college credits. A third of LCC students are currently enrolled LCPS students. Presenting are Dr. Deborah Grimes, LCC’s vice president for instruction; LCPS Associate Superintendent Frances Herring; and Amy Jones.
From the Boardroom to the Classrom – “Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind”: “Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind” served as a central theme for our School Board Retreat and Administrative Retreat. Aligned conversations about engagement promoted a deeper understanding of the supports necessary to allocate resources to meet the needs of children of poverty. As a result, schools embedded professional development to provide focus and encourage intentional integration of strategies to grow cognitive capacity. Presenting are Dr. Amelia McLeod, director of middle school education; Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School principal Rhonda Greene and CSS math instructional coach Nicolette Morgan.
Road to Recovery the Fourth Time Around – How Floyd, Irene and Matthew Influenced Florence Response: Lessons learned from prior hurricanes informed the planning and preparation for Hurricane Florence. Meeting student, staff, and family needs was the primary focus of school system efforts. LCPS is sharing strategies for proactive planning with Emergency Management, media, health and human services and relief agencies. Presenting are Assistant Superintendent Harvey and South Lenoir principal Saint-Amand. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, when flooding once again separated the south of the county from the north at US 70, South Lenoir’s campus served as the site of an emergency medical center and a feeding site for volunteers and others.