Principals update school board

Published 9:22 pm Monday, November 26, 2012

Seven principals working for Beaufort County Schools gave their versions of a “State of the Union” address at Monday’s special-called Beaufort County Board of Education meeting.
Another seven principals will follow suit this evening.
Once a year, principals are tasked with offering school improvement and accountability updates to the board. In 15 minutes or less, a principal covers demographics and accomplishments in the previous year as well as needs and goals for the current year.
“This was a chance for principals to showcase what’s going on,” said BCS Superintendent Don Phipps. “All accomplished a lot of good.”
The board learned the secret to Southside High School’s reduction in its dropout rate — a principal who refuses to give up on students.
Northside High School Principal Charles Clark discussed an initiative in which teachers “adopted” at-risk students, showing interest by recognizing birthdays or holding students accountable by asking to see their progress reports.
P.S. Jones Middle School Principal Tracey Nixon reviewed individual achievements of her student body, adding her school needs more cameras.
“You can never have too many cameras,” Nixon said.
John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School’s Bubs Carson shared his concern that there is a discrepancy in the number of students who qualified for reduced-price or free lunches and the 65 percent of the school population that received free or reduced-price lunches.
“That’s 65 (percent) who have returned the forms. I am confident we have more than 65 (percent),” he told the board.
He also stressed a need for more teaching assistants. With the current shortage, each assistant helps in three or four classrooms.
Over a two-day period, the board will hear from every school principal in the district.
At Monday’s meeting, principals of the district’s four high schools, P.S. Jones Middle School, Northside Elementary School, John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School and Chocowinity Primary School made presentations. At tonight’s 5 p.m. meeting, the board will hear from the remaining schools.