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Board of Education Meeting Recap

The following is a brief recap of the January 4, 2021 Board of Education Monthly Meeting:

Following a few minor adjustments to the agenda, the Board approved its January 4, 2021 Meeting Agenda. Assistant superintendent for human resources, Dr. Yvette Smith Mason, kicked off the meeting with a presentation about the Beginning Teacher Support Program Monitoring Instrument and Work Plan. Dr. Mason shared details from a North Carolina Department of Public Instruction five year monitoring report, which highlighted areas of concern, recommended opportunities for improvement, and accomplished/distinguished areas that are working well within the district’s Beginning Teacher Support Program. Click on Link to view all report and work plan.

Dr. Mason presented the following policies which had been reviewed by the Board Policy Committee with little to no changes and/or were First Readings:

Policy 1000 - Legal Status of the Board and School District (Policy Committee Reviewed)  

Policy 1730-  Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability (Policy Committee Reviewed)  

Policy 1010 - Board Authority and Duties (First Reading)  

Policy 1100 - Governing Principles (First Reading)  

Policy 1200 - Smoking and Tobacco Products (First Reading)  

Policy 1510 - School Safety (First Reading)  

Policy 1760 -  Prohibition Against Retaliation (First Reading)  

Under Board Action, much discussion was had regarding transfer and reassignment language in Policy 7440 specific to beginning teachers and lateral entry teachers. Board members expressed a need to make language within the policy more clear that there is an expectation beginning teachers and lateral entry teachers remain at the same school worksite for at least three years before requesting transfer to another school. Henderson motioned to approve the policy with clearer language added. Seconded by Strickland, the motion passed unanimously.

Following public comment, interim superintendent Dr. David Lewis presented a draft 2021-2022 academic calendars for the traditional and non-traditional schools. Dr. Lewis shared that both calendars were developed collaboratively with stakeholders, and adhere to applicable state school calendar law requirements. Henderson motioned to approve both 2020-2021 academic calendars. Seconded by Burden, the motion passed unanimously.

Dr. Lewis shared information about student enrollment and reassignment. He presented trends and concerns, as well as the impacts of the moratorium on student transfers that was adopted by the Board in September 2017. Dr. Lewis shared that the moratorium had greatly reduced the number of transfers, reducing enrollment at some schools and increasing it at others.  It was noted that changes in enrollment were not proportionate across the district because some families are choosing other education options rather than sending their child to the school they are districted to attend. Following the presentation and some discussion, Strickland motioned to suspend the moratorium on student transfers; specified that WCPS administrators will strictly follow Policy 4130 beginning the 2021-2022 school year for student transfer requests; and required that  the Board receive an annual report at its regular meeting in January about student transfers and reassignments. Seconded by Leatham, the motion passed unanimously.

Assistant superintendent for support services, Dr. Tim Harrell, presented information about the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Facility Needs Survey. He shared information about school capacities and needed facility updates, renovations, and school buildings in 0-5 year and 6-10 year ranges. Dr. Harrell shared that some needs in the previous 2015 Facility Needs Survey had been addressed, but noted that many facility needs still need to be addressed. He also reminded that many of the needs are the same as what the Wayne County Board of Education and the Wayne County Board of Commissioners agreed were a priority to address had the quarter cent sales tax referendum passed (and which were not funded due to the sales tax referendum being rejected on the March 3, 2020 Primary Election). Much discussion followed, including about potential funding streams. Henderson expressed concerns that there were no Southern-end schools listed under the priorities to be addressed in the 0-5 years range. Strickland motioned to approve the Facilities Needs Survey and required that Dr. Harrell physically present the survey information to the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. Seconded by Democko, the motion passed 6-1 [Voting in Favor: Burden, Leatham, Sanders, Strickland, Vice-Chair  Democko, & Chair West / Voting Against: Henderson].

The following agreements and MOUs were passed unanimously with minor wording adjustments to make it clear the agreements were with the Wayne County Board of Education:

University of Phoenix Affiliation Agreement

Hiring our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program Host

Attorney Schwartz explained to the Board that State law requires that the Board must first authorize the use of a facsimile signature for interim superintendent Lewis in order for his signature to be used to sign district checks, contracts, purchase orders, etc. Henderson made the motion to authorize Dr. Lewis to use a facsimile signature. Seconded by Letham, the motion passed unanimously.

Dr. Mason and Board member Henderson shared information about Policy 1725- Title VI Grievance Procedure and why the Board’s Policy Committee requested that it be repealed. Henderson shared that the current grievance procedure is covered under Policy 1726 and Policy 1710. Henderson motioned to repeal Policy 1725. Seconded by Burden, the motion passed unanimously.

Before moving to closing comments, the Board approved its consent agenda, which included past meeting minutes, a personnel report (which included the naming of the new Mount Olive Middle Principal), and student reassignments/transfer requests.

The full meeting can be viewed by clicking on Video Link. This meeting and past meeting videos can be viewed by clicking on the following Board Meeting Videos Link. The full January 4, 2021 Meeting agenda can be viewed by clicking on Meeting Link.

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