BCS seeks church partnerships

Published 6:08 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Beaufort County Schools is continually searching for community partners.

Most recently, the school district is reaching out to local churches and their ministers in an effort to better meet the needs of its students.

Dr. Don Phipps, superintendent of Beaufort County Schools, said the district is asking ministers to sign up for a Ministerial Advisory Committee, in which Phipps said he hopes school officials can gain a better understanding of what students need from a different point of view.

“Every one of those schools, we’re really doing the same thing as far as our mission, but every one of those schools is unique,” Phipps said. “We’re constantly looking for ways to partner, to expand the services that we provide.”

Phipps said he grew up as the son of a Baptist minister, so he understands how church leaders are connected with their respective congregations and know the needs of people outside of academics.

“We’re just not cut out to meet every single need,” he said. “By working together, we can leverage resources in the community.”

At this point, the Advisory Committee is in its beginning stages, so Phipps said partnerships could range anywhere from including the schools on a prayer list and helping senior citizens learn computer skills, to organizing clothing drives and spreading the word about educational opportunities to youth groups.

“I just feel like by working together and being partners, we can better serve the communities,” Phipps said. “We really want it to work both ways.”

Similar committees have been formed in the past and some ministers are already on site councils for Bright Futures Beaufort County, which is an organization dedicated to meeting all the needs of students in the county, according to Phipps.

He said the school district isn’t looking for a big time commitment, but rather wants to hear from all of the churches in the area and discuss ideas.

By expanding partnerships, Phipps said he believes the school district will be able to do a better job of serving its students.

“We want to have that 360-degree vision,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to share with a large, broad-based group of individuals. … Hopefully, light bulbs will go on.”

To sign up for the Advisory Committee, visit www.beaufort.k12.nc.us, scroll down to “District Announcements” and click on “Calling All Ministers.”