LORNA CLACK: Behind Recent Decisions by School Board
By Lorna Clack
Special to The Pilot
As chairwoman of the Moore County Board of Education, I would like to clarify some information and impressions left by recent letters to The Pilot.
First, the Board of Education is extremely supportive of its superintendent, Dr. Susan Purser, her cabinet, and our hard-working team of principals and the faculties in our 22 schools. They have our confidence and total support. This cadre of educators has in the last four years helped our students toward marked growth and achievement.
Our 12,334 students are each unique individuals; we have no unimportant children in Moore County Schools. Every child's education is of the utmost concern to this board. Our goal is to have each student leave our school system as an able, prepared high school graduate.
Secondly, our board studies each issue for many months, sometimes years before acting. We do not act hastily or without prudent thought and careful study. At the November school board meeting, the Board of Education supported Dr. Purser by passing a motion covering these precepts:
-- Class sizes are to be no more than 24 students in core classes and in courses with end-of-grade exams for all three high schools.
-- A high school class must have a minimum of 12 students.
-- We highly encourage all AP students to take the AP exam to secure college credit.
-- The AP International Diploma will be initiated in all three high schools.
-- The honors courses will be expanded to all three high schools.
-- Only mathematics courses will be blended for the AP and IB programs at Pinecrest.
-- At Pinecrest, revisions to the honors program in grades 9 and 10 will integrate global approaches to learning to allow students to pursue AP, IB or Honors as high school juniors and seniors.
-- Certified curriculum coordinators will be assigned to assist each of our three high schools with these areas: AP, IB, Senior Graduation Project and Technology.
As a board we believe that a program must maintain its student numbers for us to be financially accountable to our public. The school board has recently put some constraints on the IB program in an expectation that we have a minimum of 24 students enrolled seeking the IB diploma to continue the program.
Out of 2,010 students at Pinecrest, surely 24 juniors and 24 seniors will come forth to be IB scholars, or perhaps hundreds will want this IB opportunity. It is available to them. The Board of Education has not eradicated the IB program. That may or may not happen as the students themselves select courses at Pinecrest.
On another note: Just recently, the Moore County schools have received word that we must return roughly half a million dollars to the state because of the tax shortfall. Our superintendent and principals will be meeting to carefully consider what we can trim in these dire economic times to cause the least harm to program efforts for our children. We try to be frugal stewards of the taxpayers' dollars.
Hopefully, this explanation will inform the careful reader that indeed the Board of Education, working closely with Superintendent Purser, is providing a quality education for the children on Moore County.
Lorna Clack is the outgoing chairwoman of the Moore County Board of Education.
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