Education is an Important Issue for Tyrrell County and Eastern Washington County.

Published 1:46 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Education needs have been and will continue to be a large issue for Tyrrell County and eastern Washington County.Washington County Schools Superintendent Joe announced a State of the District Address at Plymouth Church of Christ on April 15 at a March 28 community forum. Education issues were the planned topic of discussion.

Washington County Superintendent Joe Davis faced several questions regarding education in a March 28 community forum in Creswell.

One question directed to Davis went:
“Our elementary school needs computers. Desperately. What can we do to get them?

Davis said that more information would be provided about this issue as time went on.

“Certainly funding is always the issue,” he said.

Davis mentioned that the school system was working on getting computers in the hands of every student. He mentioned one to one computing initiatives which aim to have one computer for every student.

“One of the things we want to do is improve the feedback time when teachers give grades and give tests. If students get feedback quickly, they can learn faster,” said Davis.

Davis said at the forum that a technology plan was being devised that would in the near future put computers in every student’s hands. He mentioned that officials were always checking that funds would be distributed fairly to all schools in the system.

Davis referred to David Ashby, Director of Instructional Technology at Washington County Schools for more context on the issue.

“We purchased over three hundred and fifty computers over the last year. So it is not just about devices for us. It is also about the tools that students have once they have the devices,” said Ashby.
Davis was also included in a discussion about community development in Washington County.

The questions that Davis answered centered around whether schools can get involved in various activities like cleaning up trash in certain areas in the county that need it.

“Volunteerism is a certainly a big component of education altogether. We encourage our students to get involved with service-oriented organizations like local JROTC,” said Davis.

School transferring policies were also discussed in a written question directed to Davis:
“I currently live in Creswell, but my children go to Tyrrell County schools. I have been told that after this year, my kids will no longer be permitted to go out of the county to school.”

Davis said that reassignment issues were being discussed by the school board. A student going to school outside of the county is allowed to do so for a whole year. Then they have to reapply in the next school year.

“We will have applications online so that folks interested in reassignment can apply,” said Davis.

Davis mentioned that students have to be released from their county to go to a different county school. One of the things the Washington County school board had talked about is to increase the number of students that are in Washington County to stay in Washington County.

“We need our students here. But we want to make sure we are providing them with a high quality education. Then all the other things like economic development can happen,” said Davis.

Davis stated the reassignment issues were not necessarily new. But rather the necessary applications had just been revised.

Davis said at the March 28 forum that early college options were being considered for Washington County students for the next school year. Davis said he had met with officials at Beaufort Community College and Elizabeth City State University to talk about how to improve education options for students.