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Numbers increase at county schools

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By Dave Taylor

Enrollment and attendance are up over past school years, according to a report given to the Carroll County Board of Education last week by Larry Curell, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Pupil Personnel for Carroll County schools.

With 1,929 students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12, Curell said there were 23 new students in the system as the school year began.

Attendance during the first weeks of school has been good. Curell noted that the Alternative Learning Center has been a bright spot with 90.65 percent attendance. ALC attendance has often been in the neighborhood of 65 percent in the past. Attendance at the high school has averaged 94.30 percent. Cartmell Elementary’s daily attendance has averaged 95.41 percent. Attendance at Kathryn Winn Primary is 96.06 percent to date. The facility with the best attendance is Carroll County Middle School with 96.32 percent daily attendance.

Bill Hogan, Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, told board members that all teaching vacancies had been filled prior to the start of school. “We started school with all personnel in place,” he said.

Superintendent Lisa James made presentations of “A Champion for Kids” awards to several school personnel and members of the school administration team. Also honored was volunteer coach Chris Kozenski, a Dow Corning employee who has run the school’s junior league basketball program.

    “Coach K has put in a lot of extra work for our kids and the community,” James said in presenting the award.

    “It takes a team to build a school district,” James said, presenting certificates of recognition to Curell, Hogan, Sheila Anderson, Director of Special Education; Jon Conrad, Chief Financial Officer; Sharon Haun, Principal, Kathryn Winn Primary; John Leeper, Principal, Carroll County High School; Ed Nelson, Principal, Alternative Learning Center; Dana Oak, Principal, Carroll County Middle School; Doug Oak, Principal, Richard B. Cartmell Elementary; and Pam Williams, Elementary Instructional Supervisor.

    Hahn told the board she is attempting to develop positive behavior among her students at Winn and said she has already recognized 10 students for positive things they have done.

    Doug Oak invited board members to visit Cartmell’s Web site “and view our daily news show.” He said the program has a different theme every day. Representatives from te community come in on certain days to talk about their work and answer questions.

Dana Oak said she has only had to deal with nine disciplinary issues among students so far, compared to 47 at this time in the school year a year ago.

    Leeper said the recent high school open house saw “a better turnout than in the past.” He said the school will start student-produced public address announcements on Sept. 1.

    Nelson said the ALC has “had a great start to the year so far! We have three of our students enrolled at the tech school.”

    Hogan made a brief presentation about a new Rigor and Relevant Framework program being implemented in the schools.

    “School isn’t about what it used to be,” he said. “Education is more than taking tests.”

    The Rigor and Relevant Framework approach to education has the student comprehending and analyzing information being taught, then developing application of that knowledge to everyday situations. “It involves high-level thinking to come to a solution” rather than simply memorizing information to pass a test.

    “Rigor means we’re going to teach students to find ways to do more with their knowledge,” Hogan said. “Relevance is the purpose of the knowledge and how to apply it.” The process takes students “from simple recall to application of knowledge on a high-level basis. It is challenge-Based learning, or thinking out of the box on complex issues,” he added.

    The board voted to schedule one meeting during the month of October. The October 22 meeting will also be held earlier than normal at 5 p.m. at the CCMS library.

    The next meeting of the board of education will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10, at the CCMS library.