By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer
Monday, November 19, 2012 —
The Tri-City Mayors of New London, Misenheimer and Richfield had a town-hall-style meeting with Dr. Terry Griffin, superintendent of the Stanly County School (SCS) system, at the North Stanly High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Among those in attendance were the school board staff, members of the board of education, parents and teachers.
At the meeting, Dr. Griffin updated the parents on her goals and explained the challenges she has with the future of SCS.
Dr. Griffin identified the following as areas to focus on: the new curriculum; the N.C. Common Core and Essential Standards; new accountability standards; unfunded mandates, such as CPR certification for 2015 graduates and beyond, as well as reading boot camp for elementary students starting the summer of 2014; textbooks; course offerings, including advanced courses and credit recovery; technology to student ratio; and declining enrollment vs. efficient operations.
After the update on the SCS system, Dr. Griffin opened the floor to questions.
“With all of the new jobs out there to be filled, they expect the schools to do the training and have students prepared. Are we working towards a technology based school system?” asked Misenheimer Mayor Michael Riemann.
“We’re going deeper with our computer technology instead of going wider.
“We have a five year refreshment system in place with the technology, but even with that it’s still hard to keep up with changes. This is one of the reasons why we did the Bring Your Own Device to school program at North Stanly Middle and at South Stanly High.
“Students are wired outside of the classroom; they already understand how to use the media.
“We received a series of mini-grants that we allowed our media coordinators to use. Most of them ended up getting e-readers for their schools. However, equity wise, our schools have different technology across the district,” said Dr. Griffin.
“How much emphasis is being placed on above-average versus below-average students? We have all of these programs for students who are behind, but what’re we doing for the above-average students?” asked a concerned citizen.
“I would like to see additional course offerings for the advanced placement students. We have an issue with students chasing standard courses instead of taking the honors classes. We need to push them to try their hardest and accomplish as much as they can,” said Dr. Griffin.
“Those all sound like programs for high school students, but what are we doing for the elementary students? Badin [Elementary] has AIG once a week, but kids who can’t read well get help every day. What can we do about this?” rejoined the same citizen.
“We spend all of the state and local dollars on AIG program that we can. I agree, I think it would be wonderful to have AIG classes every day,” said Dr. Griffin.
“Do we have any after school programs put in place for high achievers?” asked Mayor Riemann.
“One school offers a Spanish Club, but the district does not have a full-spectrum plan,” said Dr. Griffin.
Richfield Mayor Jim Misenheimer spoke up towards the close of the meeting, expressing his gratitude that so many staff from the central office were there at the meeting, in addition to the new school board members present.
“I believe if we have more meetings, more people will come. It’s good that everyone is here tonight. I believe this is the start of something wonderful and maybe we can keep on having these types of meetings. The citizens of Stanly County care about there kids. That’s evident tonight,” said Misenheimer.