Board wants higher scores

Published 6:35 am Wednesday, October 17, 2007

By Staff
Students perform at below-average levels in subjects
By CLAUD HODGES, Senior Reporter
The Beaufort County Board of Education is sending facilitators to all of its schools to help improve students’ academic performances.
The board wants Beaufort County students’ scores in specific subjects to improve. Those scores, for the most part, lag behind the average scores.
This “curriculum assistance team” is designed to have at least one of its members in at least one school each week. Facilitators will look at the ways teachers are teaching and make it known they are prepared “to assist, to model and to help” teachers, Superintendent Jeffrey Moss said during the school board’s special meeting Monday.
Board Chairman Robert Belcher told facilitators that over the course of the improvement campaign they would probably have to repeatedly return to the board with reports until the board is satisfied progress is being made.
Belcher said that “not everything is bad” and school board members must take that into their thinking, too.
Belcher and Moss said that each school’s principal must meet individually with Moss for as many visits as it takes to find ways to improve the scores.
This approach is an action plan to get to the core of the problem, Belcher said.
The school system might have to take money from some programs and use it to obtain resources needed to improve students’ scores, school officials said.
The chairman said the school board members want to retain the school system’s better teachers. He said the board wants them to feel good about what they do in their classrooms.
In other business, the board voted unanimously to have Hite Associates determine an approximate cost to build a metal building that would house two classrooms and a media center at John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School in Washington and converting the existing media center into a classroom. The school serves third- and fourth-graders.
The three extra classrooms are needed to accommodate a growing population of elementary school students primarily composed of Hispanic students, Moss said. The new building, if built, would be connected with the main building with a covered walkway.
In another capital matter, the board voted unanimously to fix a leak in a pipe at Washington High School. The lowest bid for the project was $24,470.
The board meets again at 6 p.m. Oct. 22 at the school system’s central office in Washington.