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8/28/14 > 2013-2014 Read to Achieve Results

G.S. §115C-83.10 requires "each local board of education to publish annually on a Web site maintained by that local school administrative unit and to report in writing to the State Board of Education (SBE) by September 1 of each year the following information on the prior school year:"

Click here to see Brunswick County Schools 2013-2014 Read to Achieve Results

 

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5/20/14 > 2014-2015 Traditional School Calendar
5/20/14 > 2014-15 Early College High School Calendar
3/15/14 > SBHS Aquaculture Wins International Award!

 

Congratulations to South Brunswick High School aquaculture program under the leadership of Barry Bey for winning the International John Muir Envrionmental Education Conservation Award!  Read more about the award and the other recipients below. 

The John Muir Association has announced the recipients of its 36 th annual John Muir Conservation Awards, and-like John Muir's-their work has both a local and global outreach. In addition, two special recognition awards will be given for extraordinary accomplishments.

The John Muir Conservation Awards will be presented at the John Muir Birthday-Earth Day Celebration at the John Muir National Historic Site on Saturday, April 26 th . The event is free to the public and features Keynote Speaker Bruce Hamilton, exhibitors, activities and live music. This year marks 100 years of John Muir's legacy since his death and is the 50 th Anniversary of the John Muir National Historic Site.

The 2013 John Muir Conservation Awards honorees are:

Tom Rusert and Darren Peterie, Conservationists of the Year
Tom and Darren co-founded Sonoma Birding based in Sonoma Valley, California in 2004 as a volunteer "citizen science"-based conservation organization. Sonoma Birding established sustainable bird and nature-related activities and programs for all ages through a variety of partnerships in the United States and Canada. Tom and Darren hosted the California Western Burrowing Owl Consortium in 2010 and have created numerous science-based, bird-related programs for children, including Pt. Reyes Bird Festival Birdathon for Kids. In 2012 and 2013, they presented the Wine County Optics and Nature Festival, attracting more than 1,000 people each year. 

Malcolm Sproul, Conservation Legacy Award (Special Award)
Malcolm Sproul is a lifelong conservationist and naturalist who has been active in Golden Gate Audubon, Preserve Lamorinda Open Space, Save San Francisco Bay, and in 1993 joined the Board of Save Mount Diablo. Malcolm was elected president in 1998 and for 12 years presided over the organization as it became a leader in land conservation in Contra Costa County. He also served as an advisor for the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservation Plan and is a leading expert on predatory birds. Malcolm works for LSA Associates, where he focuses on endangered species and wetlands issues. 

South Brunswick High School Aquaculture Program, Environmental Education Conservation Award
The South Brunswick High School Aquaculture Program in Brunswick County, North Carolina is a saltwater and freshwater hatchery program that provides students with hands-on experience with fisheries management science, environmental awareness and community support. Under Byron "Barry" Bey's leadership, the students rose to the challenge to "go green" by using solar energy to power the aerators for fish production ponds. Students plan to use pond waste water to fertilize an eco-friendly putting green, pitching and driving range on the fish farm. The program prepares students to succeed in post-secondary education in aquaculture and related fields.

The Regal Swan Foundation, Nonprofit Conservation Award
The Regal Swan Foundation, Inc., based in Florida, is recognized as a world leader in swan research, veterinary care and conservation. The goal is to provide humane treatment and veterinary care of swans through research, education and swan product development. An all-volunteer team of veterinarians, scientists, college professors and other professionals have made strides in medical research and care of swans, developed handbooks and educational curricula, and unique veterinary swan products, such as slings and temporary, fold-up pens for the care of sick or injured swans, and created a 24-hour website for swan consultation.

Simran Vedvyas, Youth Environmental Conservation Award (Special Award) Simran, who lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, established the youth group SynergY to provide opportunities for young people to participate in environmental events, such as clean up drives and tree-planting initiatives. In 2011, she was a speaker at the Eye on Earth Summit in Abu Dhabi has since promoted the Eye on Environmental Education. In 2013, she was the youngest panelist at the United Nations headquarters to celebrate International Youth Day 2013. Simran was also selected to be trained by former Vice-President Al Gore at the Climate Reality Corps in Chicago in August, 2013.

Since 1978, the John Muir Association has honored those who work has made significant contributions to environmental preservation, action and advocacy in the spirit of John Muir's legacy.

The John Muir Association works to celebrate the life, share the vision, and preserve the legacy of John Muir through education, preservation, advocacy and stewardship, in partnership with the National Park Service at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California. The John Muir Association is a nonprofit organization established in 1956.

 

3/03/14 > 2013-14 Make-Up Calendar

SCHOOL MAKE-UP CALENDAR ANNOUNCED

Click the link to view the revised calendar!

2013-2014 Revised Traditional Calendar

NOTE: New schedule is effective March 3, 2014 The old adage of being stuck between a rock and a hard place is exactly where Brunswick County Board of Education members found themselves today as they contemplated alternatives for the unexpected additional make-up days caused by last week's winter storm. Staff presented several options for the Board's consideration during today's regular scheduled curriculum committee meeting.

As promised by Superintendent Edward Pruden, none of the recommendations included attending school on Saturday or interrupting spring break. After a lengthy and thoughtful discussion the Board approved a make-up plan adding 12 minutes of instructional time to the school day for the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year.

The new instructional day schedule reflecting the 12 minute addition, 5 minutes added in the morning and 7 minutes added in the afternoon, will begin Monday, March 3 and end on the last day of school which is Thursday, June 12.

 Brunswick County's New Instructional Day Effective March 3-June 12

Elementary 8:40 a.m.-3:52 p.m.
Middle 7:50 a.m.-3:02 p.m.
High 7:40 a.m.-2:52 p.m.
Brunswick County Academy & Early College High School* (*schools follow alternative schedule)
Monday-Thursday 7:55 a.m.-3:27 p.m. Friday 7:55 a.m.-3:07 p.m.

Debunking Myths About Instructional Hours:
The make-up day scenarios playing out in our area over the past few weeks have raised questions about the number of instructional hours schools are required to have versus how many instructional hours are built in to Brunswick County's calendar.

Students in North Carolina are required to attend school for 185 days or 1025 instructional hours. Brunswick County calendar provides the potential for 1080 instructional hours or 6 instructional hours each day for 180 days. They key to understanding this complicated system is the understanding the importance of the word potential. Putting 1080 potential hours in the bank allows the system flexibility when it is necessary to have an early release day or a late start. It also accounts for non-instructional school-based events such as assemblies or awards programs. Every time instructional hours are lost it is necessary to deduct these hours from our bank of 1080.

The cushion of the potential hours allows system and school officials the ability to say with confidence that Brunswick County students earn the necessary instructional hours prescribed under state law to receive grade level or course credit.

Some individuals have asked why Brunswick County is making up the missed time at all if we have some hours in the bank? School officials and Board members believe that instructional time is imperative in improving student outcomes and that our schools simply cannot afford to lose any of that valuable teacher and student time.

Let's Hope Punxsutawney Phil Got It Wrong... If only school officials and Board members could predict the weather, but alas they are only left to clean up the mess of how to make up missed days. Given the limited options, none of which were particularly good and some worse than others, the Board of Education ultimately selected the plan they felt would be best for the students, families, and staff of Brunswick County.

Here's to sunny and warm days ahead!

2/20/14 > Head lice policy revised-no nits reinstated

Head lice do not discriminate and can be a real pain to eradicate once they find a new home. While certainly not a pleasant topic it was one the Brunswick County Board of Education members addressed tonight during their regular scheduled meeting. Board members recently reviewed and discussed the system's lice policy after the topic was raised at a Parent Advisory Council meeting.

During tonight's meeting Board members heard from parents, staff, and county health department officials as they considered a revision to the existing policy which allowed students to return to school with the presence of nits (eggs) in hair as long as no live bugs were detected.

The existing policy was revised on December 7, 2010 to align with the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) recommendation to allow students with nits to remain in school. The CDC's findings indicated that while lice are a nuisance, they are not a disease and do not cause health problems.

Ultimately, the Board voted to adopt a "no-nit" revision to the policy. Under the revised policy students cannot return to school until after they have been treated for lice and there are no nits present in their hair. The adoption of the revised policy came with a request for health department officials to work with school nurses to provide necessary treatments on site to share with families upon request. The Board also directed staff to collect information on the number of students who have been identified with live lice and of those cases which students have accumulated multiple absences as a result of not being permitted to return to school due to the presence of nits. This information will be shared with Board members at the end of the school year to help determine the impact of the revision. The policy also provides for referral to the school social worker for those students accruing multiple absences.

The new policy went into effect immediately which will require schools to revisit their internal procedures and potentially retrain staff to assist in managing this pesky problem.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REVISED-CONTROL OF HEAD LICE POLICY

2/20/14 > Teachers Teaching Teachers

Teacher Teaching Teachers... How Brunswick County Teachers are Blazing a Trail

Brunswick County teachers recently spent a day teaching each other and collaborating on best practices. This new model is the first of its kind in North Carolina...customized face-to-face professional development.

Just as teachers differentiate instruction based on the needs of our students, teachers asked district leaders for the same consideration.

Superintendent Edward Pruden told teachers in an email, "Brunswick County has 800 teachers and no two are in exactly the same place regarding experience, facility with subject matter, and other factors. It is our expectation that you were included with your administration in the process of determining the 'best fit' PD for you."

The system recognizes there are four prerequisites for effective professional learning:
•Educators must share a commitment to all students;
•Educators much come to PD ready to learn;
•Educators must listen to one another, respect each other's experiences and perspectives, trust each other, and share a common vision and goals;
•Educators must recognize that we, like all learners, learn in different ways and at different rates.

Teachers and instructional assistants could choose from 160 different 90 minute sessions. The sessions were directly linked to developing a comprehensive understanding of curriculum to support the system's goals. Based on feedback...it appears the new method was a hit!

2/19/14 > Free Breakfast for All Elementary Students

FREE BREAKFAST OFFERED TO ALL BCS ELEMENTARY STUDENTS!

Elementary students in Brunswick County can start the new year with full bellies thanks to the implementation of universal free breakfast. The program, which was approved by the Brunswick County Board of Education at their October meeting, went into effect January 2.

The program offers breakfast at no charge to all elementary students regardless of household income. Brunswick County's Director of Child Nutrition Tina Ward knows the importance of breakfast and its connection to learning, "We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and we now have the data to back it up. Research indicates that students who eat breakfast everyday perform better in the classroom physically, mentally and socially. By making breakfast available free of charge to all elementary school students we are providing them with an additional tool to enhance the learning process."

Current breakfast participation in Brunswick County elementary schools is 37%. Ward hopes the new program will increase that rate, citing that schools in North Carolina offering universal free breakfast have seen an average 25-30% increase.

"It's the right thing to do for the children," said Ward. it is the goal to expand the program to secondary schools later this school year.

For additional information about universal free breakfast contact Tina Ward at tward@bcswan.net or 910-253-1091.

2/18/14 > JMMES needs your vote for $10,000!

JESSIE MAE MONROE ELEMENTARY WOULD LIKE YOUR VOTE!
JMMES is in the running for a $10,000 prize that would be used to purchase additional adaptive technology tools designed specifically for students with disabilities. The school entered the... contest after two dedicated fine arts teachers submitted a video about the school and how the funds would be used.

The contest is sponsored by UCT...a community organization that supports individuals with cognitive and developmental disabilities.

Voting is online through the UCT Facebook Page where you can watch the video and vote once each day. Hurry! Voting ends March 14!
 
 

CLICK HERE TO VOTE THROUGH FACEBOOK
(Please note...due to filtering, Facebook cannot be accessed through the Brunswick County Schools network.  If you are interested in voting it will need to be done through an outside network.)

2/01/14 > Elementary Science Olympiad-Saturday!
Brunswick County students will show off their skills by competing in a series of STEM (science-technology-engineering-math) activities during the second annual Elementary Science Olympiad Tournament this Saturday, April 5 at West Brunswick High School.
 
The all day event will feature stimulating competitions between fifteen teams representing all ten Brunswick County elementary schools. In addition to the tournament, students, parents, and spectators can participate in a variety of STEM exhibits from the Museum of Coastal Carolina/ Ingram Planetarium and Ocean Isle Beach Sea Turtle Protection Organization. Don't miss the reptile display and a Lego Mindstorm Robotics demonstration!
 
The fun will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the awards ceremony wrapping up the day at 1:30 p.m. The event is open to the public...all are welcome!
 

More Information about NC Science Olympiad (NCSO):

NCSO is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to attract and retain a pool of K-12 students entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers in North Carolina. The tournament itself is a rigorous academic competition full of hands-on, interactive, inquiry-based events that cover all areas of science and technology. Full details about North Carolina Science Olympiad and the Brunswick County tournament, including a tournament schedule, can be found at www.sciencenc.com .


 

For more information about the event contact Amanda Richardson at arichardson@bcswan.net  or 910-253-1061 .

1/13/14 > 2014-2015 Calendar Survey-CLICK HERE!
Brunswick County Schools is seeking input on the 2014-2015 traditional school calendar.

Parents, community members and staff are asked to complete the brief online survey and select their preference between Draft A or Draft B. The drafts were created by the system's calendar committee which is comprised of one parent and one staff representative from every school. Both drafts comply with all state calendar laws.

The survey will be open through the close of business Monday, January 20, 2014. The link will be also be placed on the Brunswick County Schools homepage at www.bcswan.net . Results will be shared with the Board of Education at an upcoming curriculum committee meeting.

  2014-2015 Traditional School Calendar Feedback Survey

10/04/13 > SBMS Students Inducted into AVID

What better way to start October than by watching South Brunswick Middle School students accept enrollment in AVID, a college preparatory program?

Following a format similar to athletic scholarship signings, on Tuesday, October 1 at 8:00 am, forty-five sixth, seventh and eighth grade students signed agreements that stated each student accepts enrollment into the AVID enrichment class. In the agreement, students acknowledged they must take individual responsibility for their own success, they agree to a one year commitment, and will be allowed to remain in AVID only if they meet student responsibilities.

AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination is designed to increase school-wide learning and performance through academic support that prepares students to attend a four-year college upon high school graduation. Parents, administrators, and representatives of the Superintendent's Office of Brunswick County Schools attended the event. Guest speaker for the event was Veronica Edge, AVID coordinator at West Brunswick High School.

 

10/04/13 > ECHS Honored for 100% Graduation Rate

 

Congratulations to Early College High School for achieving a 100% graduation rate in 2013! The school's efforts were honored at a luncheon in Durham. State Superintedent June Atkinson presented Principal Cheri Skaggs and Superintendent Edward Pruden a plaque and offered her congratulations.

North Carolina and Brunswick County's graduation rates are at all-time highs.

Since 2007 the graduation rate for the system has increased from 72.5% to 85.7%, a gain of 13.2%. More impressive is a closer look at the data which disaggregates the rate of graduation by subgroup. The newly released data indicates Brunswick County not only exceeds the overall state graduation rate of 82.5% but also exceeds the state average in 10 of the 13 subgroups reported for the system.

"The Brunswick County Schools graduation rate has steadily been on the rise. This reflects hard work by students and teachers, and great support from parents and guardians," said Superintendent Edward Pruden.

Board of Education Chairman Charles Miller agrees, "The dedication of staff and benefit of family support systems are paying off. Graduation is a major accomplishment and students in Brunswick County are realizing with hard work they can achieve this goal." Pruden says while the system's trend is heading in the right direction that, "It is important the work and the support systems necessary for students to achieve success continue so that all children can graduate college and career ready."

Pictured: (left to right) State Superintendent June Atkinson; ECHS Principal Cheri Skaggs; Superintendent Edward Pruden

10/03/13 > SMS Awarded Customer Service Award

Congratulations to staff at Shallotte Middle School for winning the first annual "Courtesy Cup for Outstanding Customer Service." 

Last year, Brunswick County Schools participated in an external audit of customer service practices.  Using a "secret shopper" model individuals contacted schools by phone, visited schools to enroll their child, and emailed principals for information about the school.

Based on a combined score of phone and site evaluations, Shallotte Middle School was tops. The "Courtesy Cup" is a traveling award and will up for grabs again at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

 

 

10/03/13 > Students Attend International Festival

Students from Shallotte Middle School recently attended the Intercultural Festival held at Brunswick Community College.  According to trip sponsor and teacher Holly Borden the students, "Learned a lot about different countries and had a great time."

The Intercultural Festival is a collaborative event sponsored by the Brunswick County Arts Council and several other community agencies. 

9/05/13 > Start Your Engines! School Buses Roll Monday!!!

School buses will roll again in Brunswick County Monday morning as students return for the first day of school. Safely and efficiently operating a mass public transportation system with over 7,000 daily riders is something members of the Brunswick County Schools Transportation Division take very seriously.

Transportation Director Bobby Taylor says his team is up for the challenge! Taylor agrees that while his team is well prepared for the first day of school that the first few days are their most challenging due to route changes and new enrollees. "Many parents have questions or concerns about their child's bus route or perhaps need to request extra transportation services," Taylor said. "We work as quickly as we can to review, respond, and resolve these situations. Our goal is to provide excellent customer service." Parents/guardians who need to request a change or additional transportation services should complete a "Transportation Service Request Form" or "Extra Transportation Form." These forms are located at schools, central services, or just click on the link. Taylor reminds parents approved last year for route changes or extra transportation that a new form must be completed for consideration each school year.

At the heart of the transportation program is Taylor's passion about school bus safety. He reminds parents to talk with their children about bus stop safety, "Walk, don't run to the bus stop, never walk in the roadway, and stay at least 12 feet away from the edge of the road." He also advises students to always look both ways before they step into the roadway to board the bus or when getting off the bus. With buses back on the road throughout North Carolina Taylor reminds drivers to pay attention and obey traffic laws pertaining to school buses. North Carolina law requires motorists to stop and remain stopped while the bus has its stop sign and flashing red lights engaged.

For additional information about transportation services contact Bobby Taylor at btaylor@bcswan.net or 910-253-1009.

6/04/13 > Don't miss pre-registration for CIS program!

Brunswick County Schools will operate on a staggered schedule when the school bells ring August 26. Elementary school students throughout the county will start their instructional day at 8:45 a.m. with doors open for breakfast service at 8:15 a.m. The new schedule has many working parents asking about child-care alternatives.

Communities In Schools is partnering with Brunswick County Schools to offer fee-based before and after-school care at all elementary schools next school year (excluding Waccamaw School) starting as early at 7:00 a.m. Program availability will be based on need which is why pre-registration for the program is required.

Pre-registration will take place Monday, June 10, 2013-Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Registration for all sites will take place between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in the cafeterias of Belville Elementary, Southport Elementary, Supply Elementary, and Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary Schools.

Click here to review the informational flyer and fee schedule.

For more information contact Kathy Smith at 910-253-5327 ext. 1432 or visit www.cisbrunswick.org.

6/01/13 > Jump Start Your Heart ropes national recognition for 5th grader!

Tyler Ferrell, an 11 year old 5th grade student at Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School can check being a nationally published artist off his to-do list. Ferrell is the winner of the Jump Rope for Heart National Art Contest!

Let's put this award in perspective. Ferrell competed with students from 33,942 schools throughout the United States that are participating in Jump Rope for Heart events! He is first winner in history from the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, and his design will be printed on 600,000 t-shirts to be worn nationwide! Even more impressive...Ferrell, his parents, and Theresa Reiter, Jessie Mae Monroe art teacher have been keeping the award secret for over 3 weeks, awaiting the official announcement made last Friday.

Ferrell explained his inspiration for participating in the art contest was his grandfather who died from a serious heart condition in 2010. He shared he has always had a love for art and that his teacher, Ms. Reider is "a lot nicer than other art teachers" he has had at other schools. Ferrell is also a member of the Jessie Mae Monroe Art Club.

To create the entry he used a mixture of original computer generated graphics and hand drawing. He also developed the slogan, "Jump Start Your Heart" which is incorporated in design. As far as how he is handling the news, Ferrell says when he first found out he ran in circles around his house. He shared he appreciates his fellow students congratulating him when they see him in the hall and added he felt that, "a lot of people respect me."

The Jump Rope for Heart Association will honor Ferrell at the Jessie Mae Monroe 5th grade transition ceremony Thursday, June 6 at 1:00 p.m. He will also be recognized at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m.

5/30/13 > BCS Celebrates Retirees!

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Brunswick County Schools celebrated the accomplishments of its 2013 retirees this week. Employees were treated to dinner, dancing, and reflection on jobs well done.

Retirees this year have given a total of 1,400 years of service to the students and families of Brunswick County. We salute you!!!

Check out pictures from the event by clicking on the FACEBOOK PHOTO ALBUM.

 

5/15/13 > 10th Annual JMM Gotta Have Art Show!

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Throughout the year Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary students have explored the life and culture of children in Africa, Australia, and Asia.

Through artistic impression, their learning was brought to life and community members and parents came in masses to experience their work at the 10th annual Gotta Have Art show! Participants crawled through a student-made cave and experienced student art work lining every hallway. Guest were even treated to handbell and musical presentations by 3rd and 5th grade students.

This one of a kind art show is a true feast for the senses! Congratulations to all students who participated! Kudos to Theresa Reiter, art teacher extraordinare whose love of teaching and her students is evident in everything she does!

Check out the all of the action through the PHOTO ALBUM on the Brunswick County Schools Facebook page!

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5/14/13 > 2013 Excellence in Education Awards
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Congratulations to the 2013 Excellence in Education award winners! The Excellence in Education awards are sponsored by the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce and planned by the education committee. 

Students from Belville, Lincoln, Town Creek, Leland Middle, North Brunswick High, and Charter Day School are selected for the award. Students then select a teacher that has made a difference in their life to honor. Students write letters to their teachers which are framed and presented at the awards dinner.
Belville student Caden Cook and his teacher Heather Broderick
Lincoln student Dulce Castillo and her teacher Lori Johnson
Town Creek student Clemente Gonzalez and his teacher Latania Edge-Mcgee
Leland Middle student Brooke Piatak and her teacher Lorraine Beamer
Leland Middle student Nalani Ballard and her teacher Meggen Calderwood
North Brunswick High student Dyquan Robinson and his teacher Mary Maroudis
North Brunswick High student Julia Ganey and her teacher Garry Bishop
Charter Day student Madison Toney and her teacher Allison Munsford
Charter Day student Kaitlyn Brooks and her teacher Bradley Hodges
 
Learn more about the winners by checking out the Excellence in Education Awards Dinner program and check out the event photo album on Facebook.

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5/13/13 > Meet our Teachers of the Year!
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5/07/13 > 2013-14 School start schedule set by Board

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After receiving input from the community and a conducting a thorough discussion at their regular called meeting, the Brunswick County Board of Education decided secondary schools will start first and elementary schools will start second when the school bells ring to start the 2013-14 school year.

The decision reflected the overall community survey results which indicated 54% of the respondents favoring secondary schools starting first to 46% favoring elementary starting first.

Transportation Director Bobby Taylor and staff will now begin working on the revision of routes for the new school year.

Summary of 2013-14 start times: (Bell times based on high school feeder patterns)

North High 7:45-2:45
Leland Middle 7:55-2:55 
Elementary 8:45-3:45

South High 7:45-2:45
South Middle/Cedard Grove Middle 7:55-2:55 
Elementary 8:45-3:45
 
West High 7:45-2:45
Shallotte Middle 8:00-3:00 
Elementary 8:45-3:45

*Note:
Waccamaw School will start at the same time as secondary schools in 2013-14
Brunswick County Academy and Early College High School will keep their current start time.

5/06/13 > Boliva claims title at Science Olympiad!
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Brunswick County students participated in the inaugural Elementary Science Olympiad tournament on Saturday, May 4th at Cedar Grove Middle School.
 
Over 150 students from the following elementary schools participated: Bolivia, Southport, Supply, Town Creek, Union, Virginia Williamson, and Waccamaw.  This is an exciting opportunity to support our students with STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) education.

 

"We are thrilled to host the Elementary Science Olympiad Tournament in Brunswick County. In the past, three of our schools traveled to New Hanover County to compete. The New Hanover tournament started to reach capacity, thus inspiring us to start our own! We are proud of the commitment of our students and staff who are participating. We feel certain that it will continue to grow each year." - Amanda Richardson, Co-Director of Brunswick Co. Elementary Science Olympiad.

 

North Carolina Science Olympiad is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to attract and retain a pool of K-12 students entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees and careers in North Carolina. The tournament itself is a rigorous academic competition full of hands-on, interactive, inquiry-based events that cover all areas of science and technology. Full details about North Carolina Science Olympiad and the Brunswick County tournament, including a tournament schedule, can be found at www.ncso.org .

 

Click here to check out more photographs from the event on the Brunswick County Facebook page.  Thanks to Spring Richardson and Acacia Dixon for the great pictures!

 

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5/01/13 > Watch Graduation LIVE!

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!

Click here to watch a live stream of commencement ceremonies.

When? Saturday-June 15, 2013

North Brunswick High School-9:00 a.m.
South Brunswick High School-12:30 p.m.
West Brunswick High School-4:00 p.m.

 

4/28/13 > Brunswick County students rake in the honors!

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SBHS student to attend North Carolina School of Science and Math

SBHS student, Savanna Michaux is packing her bags and getting ready for a new adventure. Michaux has accepted a highly prestigious invitation to attend the North Carolina School of Science and Math, the first public residential high school established for STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

 

According to Michaux's teachers she is a dedicated student who shows a strong passion and aptitude for science, math, and leadership. She is actively involved in the 4-H Club and serves as a counselor for summer programs. She is also a member of the SBHS swim and tennis teams.All agree she is well respected by her peers as well as her teachers.


Michaux is following in the steps of previous Cougars to attend the North Carolina School of Science and Math and will certainly represent the South family and Brunswick County Schools with pride as she prepares for her future.

 

Picutred-Savanna Michaux

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SBHS students sweep Odell Williamson Oratorical Contest

Eight Brunswick County students from Early College, North Brunswick, South Brunswick, and West Brunswick High Schools participated in the Odell & Virginia Williamson Oratorical Scholarship Contest These talented young men and women presented speeches on a wide range of topics.

 

At the end of the evening judges had the difficult task of naming one male and one female winner. This year, South Brunswick High School swept the competition!Kaitlyn Haman's "Surviving the Social Media Apocalypse" and Tyler Piette's, "Which Music Genre is Best?" wowed the judges!

 

Both winners walked away with $2,500 college scholarships!

Pictured-(left to right) Marnie Williamson Pigott, Kaitlyn Haman, Virginia Williamson, Tyler Piette

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Changing of the guard…

At a recent ceremony, North Brunswick High School welcomed new JROTC Battalion Commander Danisha Melvin-Beatty.

The official transfer of command was commemorated by the presentation of a ceremonial battalion flag given Melvin-Beatty from the outgoing commander, Aaliya Cavender.


Pictured-NBHS Changing of guard ceremony

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Six Brunswick County students to attend Governor's School
Congratulations to the following students who will represent Brunswick County this summer atGovernor's School: R ebecca M. Kronebusch, SBHS, instrumental music-clarinet; Noah L. Pieper, SBHS, instrumental music-percussion; Amber N. Fulford, WBHS, natural science; Austin G. Anderson, SBHS, social science; Lindsay K. Gilliland, NBHS, social science; Kiya A. Khalil, NBHS, Spanish.

Governor's School, a five week program from June 16 - July 20, is the oldest and most prestigious academic summer residency in the United States. It will be held on the campuses at Salem College in Winston-Salem and Meredith College in Raleigh.Brunswick County Schools provides any tuition related costs associated with Governor's School which is administered by the Public Schools of NC, the State Board of Education, and the Department of Public Instruction.

Pictured-(left to right) Lindsay Gilliland, Amber Fulford, Kiya Khalil, Noah Peiper, Rebecca Kronebusch (not pictured-Austin Anderson) with Board of Education members and Superintendent Edward Pruden

4/24/13 > Schools to operate on staggered bell schedule 2013-14
 

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School refocused every school system on the safety of students and school throughout the United States.Brunswick County is no exception.


Brunswick County leaders responded swiftly to community concerns about school safety following the Sandy Hook tragedy.School officials placed resource officers in every elementary school and continue to upgrade security systems including additional cameras and electronic door locks.These expenses were not part of conversations during last year's budget cycle…but they are now.Upgrades to building safety and security constitute $1.8 million or 44% of the $4.1 million 2013-14 capital budget proposal.Maintaining resource officers in elementary schools is a local annual recurring expense of $497,000.

 

Boards of Education are charged with many responsibilities.Two primary duties include establishing and enforcing policy and adopting an annual budget that demonstrates fiscal responsibility of taxpayer dollars while supporting the strategic priorities of the school system.

 

Faced with increasing budgetary needs and challenged revenue streams the Board of Education today made the fiscally sound decision to operate on a staggered bell schedule beginning with the start of the 2013-2014 school year.The decision came during the Board's budget workshop this afternoon.A major factor in the decision was that expenses related to maintaining the safety and security of schools are equivalent to annual savings provided by operating on a staggered start schedule.

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO THE BRUNSWICK COUNTY SCHOOLS
2014 CURRENT EXPENSE BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

 

"We know our community places safety of staff and students above all else and believe they will support this decision" said Board Chairman Charles Miller. "The staggered bell schedule is the only fiscally responsible decision since our revenue streams are challenged at the federal, state, and local levels.The Board realized it could not overlook $1 million dollars a year also knowing that amount will continue to increase annually.We need community and staff involvement to help craft the schedule but the decision to operate on a staggered bell schedule beginning in 2013-14 was inescapable."

 

The funding formula for transportation expenses is complicated.The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction recently announced Brunswick County's transportation efficiency for this school year is 89%.Last school year Brunswick County received a 100% efficiency rating.The system achieved the 100% efficiency rating last year because it operated on a staggered schedule.The system reaps financial benefits this school year for last year's 100% efficiency rating.The impact of this year's 89% efficiency rating must be factored into the 2013-2014 budget.Brunswick County Schools will receive state reimbursement for 89% of this year's (2012-2013) transportation expenses.This reimbursement will be the system's transportation budget for 2013-2014.Based on this information Brunswick County will be required to use local funds to offset the remaining 11% of transportation costs for the 2013-2014 school year, estimated to be approximately $1 million dollars.


CLICK HERE FOR A THREE YEAR ANALYSIS OF TRADITIONAL SCHEDULE (89% EFFICIENCY) COMPARED TO STAGGERED SCHEDULE (100% EFFICIENCY)

 

Local funds are the only source of system-wide safety and security efforts.The local cost of operating an inefficient transportation system is estimated to be a minimum of $1 million dollars annually.This amount continues to compound and grow each year creating an ever-increasing fiscal gap that if left unaddressed will incrementally and negatively impact quality of services throughout the system.


Superintendent Edward Pruden expressed great admiration and appreciation for the Board's action stating, "With today's actions, the Board has ensured that teaching positions will not be sacrificed as a result of providing safe learning environments for our students and staff.Their actions demonstrate great fiscal responsibility and a deep understanding of the school system's long-range financial standing."


While the decision to operate on a staggered schedule has been made, there is one key decision that not been determined…which schools will start early and which will start late…elementary or secondary?


To help shape the Board's decision, Chairman Charles Miller directed staff to conduct a paper survey of every family served by Brunswick County Schools as well as all staff members to gather input on preferred starting options.

 

The goal is to complete the survey for a final decision on the start schedule during the Board's May meeting.

4/22/13 > Healthy Active Students!
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Schools throughout Brunswick County are promoting healthy-active lifestyles. Many schools offer running clubs which involve students, staff, and parents.

The SEARCH 5K is a free event held twice annually under the Holden Beach bridge. This event gives everyone a chance to join in the fun!

Don't miss the next fun run on Saturday, April 27, 2013! The event starts at 9:00 a.m.!

4/21/13 > School Security Efforts Didn't Start After Sandy Hook...
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Sandy Hook Elementary forever changed conversations about school safety.This horrific act of terror has left the nation divided on issues of gun control and mental health.It has left taxpayers on both sides of the debate wondering who should ultimately bear fiscal responsibility for "fixing" the problems. While the nation focuses on options for enhancing the safety and security of schools, what do you know about school security efforts before December 14? Before resource officers were placed in all Brunswick County Elementary schools on December 17?Before we thought it couldn't happen? You may be surprised.Let me tell you about Brunswick County…

 

The foundation of safe and secure schools begins with adequately trained personnel.Brunswick County principals and central office administrators participate routinely with Brunswick County Emergency Management, Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, and Federal Emergency Management Agency in disaster preparedness training.These training efforts provide hands-on simulations. Schools perform lock-down drills and often involve local law enforcement.Classrooms are equipped with emergency procedure quick reference guides developed by the operations division that outline action steps for any disaster situation.While contents of these guides are sensitive and not accessible to the public, staff members receive periodic training to carry out these procedures in case an actual emergency occurs.

 

Structural preparedness provides additional lines of defense.Schools have fenced boundaries. Surveillance cameras are strategically placed on every campus. Video monitors allow routine review of tape for security risks. Exterior doors have electronic keyless locks requiring a security card swipe to gain access, and visitors must sign in the main office and receive a pass which includes the individual's picture and destination.Individuals without county badges or visitors passes are treated as trespassers.Anything out of the ordinary is reported to the principal and/or SRO immediately.Schools have specific communication plans including radios and /or phones in every classroom.

 

Emergency plans are carefully designed and reviewed annually.Drills are monitored for the quality of execution and schools are held accountable for conducting them in a serious manner.Unique to Brunswick County are preparedness plans and training for nuclear disaster and mass evacuation.These carefully orchestrated collaborative plans are a result of collaboration among valuable economic partners located in our community; the Brunswick Nuclear Plant and Sunny Point munitions terminal.

 

Before December 14, 2012, Brunswick County Schools operated under established, effective safety protocols and procedures.As of December 17 Brunswick County operated under established, effective, revised protocols and procedures, and as a result added a new tool to the toolbox, armed and trained officers in all elementary schools, joining those in all secondary schools.This new measure of security serves to strengthen an already robust system.

 

While there are critics of the fiscal commitment by the Board to place a trained, armed resource officer in all elementary schools (their presence has been in middle and high schools since the Columbine tragedy in 2000), this additional support was deemed a non-negotiable requirement of the times. The officers' presence alone serves as a deterrent to those with evil intentions and gives every school a good guy with a gun in case a bad guy with a gun shows up.

 

While this latest effort has been the topic of much conversation, it will not be the last adjustment in ongoing, coordinated efforts to keep our children and staff safe.

4/15/13 > SBMS students make All-State Band

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South Brunswick Middle School has two students representing Brunswick County at the North Carolina All-State Honors Band. 

Elizabeth Kronebusch of Southport and Will Dock from Boiling Spring Lakes, were selected from competitive auditions and will join 115 other middle school students at UNC-Greensboro May 1-3.  Kronebusch has been playing tuba for 3 years and also plays the baritone.  Dock is a snare drummer who began his instrumental career in sixth grade.  He also plays baritone, trumpet, french horn and baritone sax.

The two eighth grade musicians will participate in workshops and rehearsals. A final concert will be presented at 2:00 p.m. on May 3rd.

4/14/13 > Westfall-Subway School Health Champion
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Encouraging children to lead healthy-active lifestyles is Nick Westfall's passion.

Westfall is the physical education teacher at Virginia Williamson Elementary and the brains behind free SEARCH 5k races that take place at least twice annually under the Holden Beach bridge. These races bring families from all over Brunswick County out to run, walk, and support the movement. Just last weekend over 321 racers participated...a new record!

For his efforts Westfall has been named a Subway School Health Champion! The Department of Public Instruction is pleased to partner with Tarheel Sports Properties and Subway to sponsor this project.

He will be recognized with a plaque prior to the first pitch of the UNC- University of Virginia baseball game, Friday, May 17. In addition, he will receive $500 to support the INTENSITY and Sole Sisters running clubs, programs he established at Virginia Williamson. Students and staff at his school will also receive buy one/get one Subway coupons.

Westfall is now in the running for Subway School Health Champion of the Year and $5,000 for to support a health-related project. The announcement will be made in December.

4/12/13 > Don't miss the All-County Honors Chorus concert!
Don't miss the sweet sounds of Brunswick County's Honors Chorus. This year 300 chorus students from the elementary, middle, and high-school levels will participate and showcase their talents.

The concert will be held at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 16 at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College.

There is no admission charge; however, those attending are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for local food pantries.

Please come and support our talented student singers!

4/08/13 > School start surveys to be mailed April 15

The Brunswick County Board of Education is seeking input on the 2013-14 school start times.


One survey will be mailed to each household within the system's student database Monday, April 15, 2013. Directions are included on the one page survey which should be returned to the child's school. If the family has multiple children who attend different schools in Brunswick County, the survey can be returned to the school of their choice.

 

It is important all families have the opportunity to participate in the survey. Because the survey will be mailed, parents who are uncertain if their mailing address is properly recorded in their child's records should contact the school by Thursday, April 11. Mailing labels for the surveys will be printed Friday morning.

 

In addition to the household surveys, staff will also be asked to provide input. Staff surveys will be managed by school administrators.

 

The deadline for all survey responses is Friday, April 26, 2013.


Results from all of the returned surveys will be tallied and shared with the Board as they make the decision as to which schools, elementary or secondary, will start earlier and which will start later.This decision is anticipated to be made at the Board's regularly scheduled May meeting.

3/22/13 > Finance Officer Cahill discusses BCS budget

When a school system has a $108 million dollar budget it is understandable that people are curious about where the money comes from and how it is spent.

Brunswick County Schools Finance Officer Freyja Cahill sits down for a conversation about the budget and also addresses three common misperceptions.

Public School Budgets: A Conversation with Finance Officer Freyja Cahill.

Want more information about the BCS budget? Check out the presentation made at the March 19, 2013 Budget Worksession.

2/27/13 > Pruden advocates for public education

Superintendent Edward Pruden traveled to Raleigh this to participate in a discussion with lawmakers about the needs of K-12 public eduction. This unique opportunity is the result of an invitation by Speaker Tillis and members of the House Education Committee to all North Carolina superintendents. Similar invitations for future meetings were issued to school system principals of the year and teachers of the year as part of the General Assembly's Education Week.

Pruden was one of nine superintendents designated speak during the meeting. He  addressed the assembly on the topic of tax credits and vouchers. Other topics discussed were the A-F grading of schools, charter schools, regulatory reform, teacher evaluation and tenure, school calendar, budget, and technology.

Message from Board of Education Chairman Charles Miller:

Dear Brunswick County Residents,
Yesterday, Superintendent Edward Pruden was one of nine superintendents selected statewide to address the North Carolina House of Representatives abo... ut issues facing K-12 public education. To my knowledge we have never had our superintendent address the General Assembly. I am very proud to be able to say Dr. Pruden is our superintendent. He is a true champion for education, not just for our 12,300 children but for all children in North Carolina.

Charles Miller, Chairman
Brunswick County Board of Education

Pruden's Letter to Speaker Tillis and Members of the House Education Committee
 
 
 
 
2/27/13 > Bolivia Elementary and Cedar Grove Middle receive Green Ribbon PBIS status!

 

Congratulations to Bolivia Elementary and Cedar Grove Middle School for being named North Carolina PBIS Blue Ribbon Schools! PBIS is short for Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports.  Schools practicing PBIS are committed to teaching students desired behaviors and consistenly reinforcing them. Bet you didn't know...Supply Elementary School was one of the first two schools in North Carolina to successfully implement PBIS in 2000. 

2/26/13 > Love the Bus 2013!
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We salute the men and women who ensure the safe transport of Brunswick County students each day! February 11-15 is Bus Driver Appreciation Week.

A special thanks to Cedar Grove Middle School art students, under the direction of Sarah Persaud, art teacher for creating a special thank you for our transportation staff!

2/26/13 > Lincoln Elementary Gets a Facelift!
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Lincoln Elementary is one of Brunswick County's older school buildings. Recently, the Brunswick County Board of Education allocated funding to spruce up the school. The results are amazing! What's new? The beautiful white fence that replaced chainlink in front of the school, new blacktop, a new school marquee, and landscaping. The school is also getting a new roof.

 

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2/19/13 > Board Brief-February 19, 2013

The Brunswick County Board of Education operates under a committee structure.  Prior to the regular called meeting of the Board of Education each month, Board members chair and serve on a variety of committees. Committees include operations, curriculum, finance, human resources, and policy.

The purpose of the committees is to allow administration to present items for discussion, consideration, and action.  Many of the items discussed in committee are used to build the agenda for the full Board meetings.

Check out what the Board is discussing this month by reading the  Board Brief-February 19, 2013 .

2/18/13 > Facilities master planning continues
 
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Residents in Brunswick County attended community focus groups to weigh in on the future of programming and facilities to support those programs.  Feedback from those meetings will be used to shape conversations and decisions of the Board of Education. 

KBR consultants are currently working with Board of Education to share recommendations based on community input. 

2/11/13 > Brunswick County celebrated American Education Week!
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OPERATION THANK-A-TEACHER

Voices of our students tell the most powerful stories about the impact of teachers, administrators, and countless other staff members who provide quality educational experiences, guidance, and support on a daily basis.  Visit the link above to read over 800 student written thank you notes. Notes are authentic student work and are printed unedited. The online survey program does not include edit features for the student to review and correct spelling and grammatical errors.  

 

 

Public education is the gateway for attainment of dreams and the foundation of our nation's prosperity. As citizens it is our responsibility to ensure our nation's children have access to a world-class education. 

 

American Education Week, November 11-17, 2012 provides opportunities for educators, parents, students, and community leaders across the nation to raise awareness and unite around the theme, "Great Public Schools:  A Basic Right and Our Responsibility." 

 

According to Superintendent Edward Pruden, "We have much to celebrate during American Education Week.  Only in the United States do we try to educate every child to career and college readiness.  There are over 50 million children in 100,000 public schools, taught by 3 million teachers - a massive commitment by the citizens of our country.  While politicians and pundits discuss what might be wrong with American education, most people express positive feelings about their children's teachers and the schools in their neighborhoods.  Our graduation rates have never been higher and our dropout rates have never been lower.  Standards are higher.  Schools are in a constant cycle of improvement."

 

Brunswick County Teacher of the Year and public education advocate, Laura Hunter views the weeklong celebration as a much needed opportunity to change the dialogue with the public about public schools.  "The public," as she shared at a recent Board of Education meeting, "who trust us with their kids and their money." 

 

Hunter believes the key to changing the dialogue is to re-engage citizens and invite them to experience the realities of today's public schools; hence, her creation of the "Education Engagement Project."

 

She states, "Our schools are an integral part of our communities - it is time that we put the 'Our' back in the conversation about 'Our Schools'. How do we do that?  I believe the first step is to invite our community leaders in to experience learning with teachers and students in a classroom in 2012.  Hopefully those experiences will help us all to have informed, productive conversations about the true successes and challenges facing public education in Brunswick County and North Carolina. We are partners in this venture and I am eager to get started in the engagement!

 

The first annual "Education Engagement Project" which corresponds with American Education Week offers everyone opportunities to think about our personal responsibility to support public education and celebrate the individuals who are dedicated to providing quality educational experiences for all students who enter the doors.

 

Twenty-nine community and educational leaders from Brunswick and New Hanover counties answered the call to shadow teacher leaders and participate hand-in-hand in a typical work day.  These partnership experiences begin Tuesday, November 13 and conclude Friday, November 16, 2012.  Community participants agreed to complete anonymous pre- and post-perception surveys as well as engage in a reflection interview with their teacher leader at the end of the experience.  Participants will be recognized at the December 4, 2012 Board of Education meeting along with a presentation of findings.  Click here for a calendar and list of community and teacher leader assignments.

 

The Education Engagement Project also honors public education in Brunswick County through the voices of students.  "Operation Thank-A-Teacher" provided students throughout the system the opportunity to write a thank you note to a teacher or staff member who made a difference in their life.  When the online survey closed over 800 thank you notes were submitted! Notes are authentic student work and are printed unedited.  The online survey program does not include edit features for the student to review and correct spelling and grammatical errors.

 

American Education Week and the Education Engagement Project provide a perfect opportunity to reconnect, unite, and celebrate as we work together to support and change the dialogue about public education.

1/30/13 > Congratulations Retha Rusk! Brunswick County Principal of the Year!
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Pictured above (left to right):  Charles Miller, Board of Education; Catherine Cooke, Vice-Chair Board of Education; Retha Rusk, Principal of the Year; Superintendent Edward Pruden

 

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Congratulations to Retha Rusk, Brunswick County Schools 2012-2013 Principal of the Year!

Rusk's service to students and families of Brunswick County Schools spans 37 years!  In addition to many years as a classroom teacher (recognized twice as Bolivia  Elementary Teacher of the Year) and computer support specialist, Rusk served as assistant principal at Southport Elementary and Lincoln Elementary before taking the reins at Lincoln four years ago from Helen Davis.  Davis left Lincoln to open Town Creek Elementary.

Rusk considers Davis her mentor and
expressed appreciation for her
guidance and friendship. SchoolCenter PictureShe finds
recognition as principal of the year incredibly meaningful because it is granted by her peers.

When asked her feelings about the biggest challenge facing public school administrators Rusk shared, "Establishing strong home-school relations.  These relationships are critical to the success of students and the school.  We must take care of our students.  Their emotional and physical needs cannot be ignored.  If we do not address these issues the child's readiness to learn can be compromised."

Rusk entered administration to serve as a mentor and support vehicle for classroom teachers. She is a champion for children and building positive environments for learning.  She was a member of the original PBIS (positive behavior interventions and support) team at Supply Elementary School; the first official PBIS site in North Carolina!  She is an advocate for "Habits of the Mind" which promote the development of higher order thinking and problem solving.  During her leadership at Lincoln Elementary the school has continued to make extraordinary growth and student achievement in the areas of reading and math continue to climb.

She is the mother of three boys, two of which are teachers in Brunswick County and one who works in sales. Paul, her husband of 37 years is a nurse who also serves on the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

 

1/30/13 > Digital Books for Digital Natives!
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As part of its "Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader" reading initiative, Brunswick County Schools has officially launched its ebook collection for students and teachers.  Students and teachers have access to a variety of ebooks including engaging fiction and informational text to support Common Core/Essential Standard content areas.  Throughout the districts there are more than 3100 ebooks available! Individual school collections range from 50 ebooks to more than 300.  Every school in the district has access to at least some of these titles. 

 

Titles were selected by the individual school library media coordinators based on student needs, device access, and support for classroom content areas. 

 

Ebooks are accessible via most web browser enabled devices via www.bcswan.net/ebooks .  Students can also access the ebooks by following the Destiny link under "Student Resources"  at www.bcswan.net and searching the school library catalog.  In addition, Follett Reader App is available for both Android tablets and ipads.An iPhone and Android phone app is expected to be released in the next several months. 

 

Students and teachers are provided logins to allow them to access the books.  Books are circulated like regular library books with one person checking them out at a time, except for those available for purchase with an unlimited license.  Books with this unlimited license are available to all students and teachers within that building at the same time.  Unlimited or limited licensing is determined by the book publisher.

 

Ebooks provide the opportunity to display text and engage it in a new way.  The Follett Shelf allows users to save digital notes, search the document, and quickly access an online dictionary.  In addition, many of the books include a read aloud feature. 

 

Acacia Dixon is the systems' Instructional Technology Coordinator who oversees library media centers.  She is excited about the variety of options available for students and staff and knows these options are here to stay,  "As we continue to grow our print collection, we will also grow our digital collections."

1/29/13 > Calabash VFW Post 7288 Visits Waccamaw School
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Calabash VFW Post 7288 were at Waccamaw on January 15th to conduct a flag education with all 5th grade students.  They regularly visit Brunswick County Schools to instill in today's youth an appreciation of Old Glory, proper respect for the flag and its history.  After they demonstrated how to properly fold the flag, the student were given time for questions and answers.  All branches of the service were represented.

 

 

 

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Pictured students from Catheryn Robertson's 5th grade class

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Pictured Veteran Willie Richardson, Waccamaw Assistant Principal Dr. Dwight Willis,
and Brunswick County Superintendent Dr. Edward Pruden 

1/28/13 > Spotlight on Talent-Saturday night at OWA!
If you are looking for quality family entertainment--our own rendition of American Idol--save Saturday, February 2, for a special fun time! 
 
Spotlight on Talent, Brunswick County School's annual high-school talent show, will be held at 7:00 PM at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College.  The outstanding student acts come from South Brunswick High School, North Brunswick High School, West Brunswick High School, and the Early College High School. 
 
There will be no admission charge; however, donations for the county's choral music program are always appreciated.  We also encourage those coming to bring non-perishable food or beverage items so that we can help restock our local food pantry. 
 
Join our Master of Ceremony, Jon Evans from WECT, and come prepared to be amazed as we showcase our very talented students!
 
For additional information contact Connie Enis at cenis@bcswan.net or 910-253-1013.
1/25/13 > Don't miss family math night at SBMS!

Place:  SBMS Cafeteria, 5:30-7 p.m., Tues. Jan. 29

Family Math Night is a fun-filled time where parents and care-givers can experience hands-on math and learn from their child's teachers.  By participating in Family Math Night parents may serve as models of motivation, persistence and competency to their children, while at the same time learning new knowledge themselves or revising their previous knowledge about math.  The night's activities, presented by the SBMS math faculty and math interns, will include computer-based math programs to use at home, real-world math activities, and a short journey through algebra and geometry and other fun activities.  Dinner will be served at 5:30pm and sessions will begin shortly after. 

For additional information contact Principal David Ruth at druth@bcswan.net or 910-845-2771.

1/12/13 > 2013-14 traditional school calendar approved

Parents and students can begin planning for 2013-2014 as the Board of Education approved the traditional school calendar at their regular called January meeting.

Please note the Early College High School calendar will be presented and approved at an upcoming meeting.

2013-2014 Traditional School Calendar

 

1/08/13 > Funding approved for elementary SROs

The Brunswick County Board of Education approved the appropriation of $245,838 from fund balance to retain school resource officers in all elementary schools for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year. Resource officers have been a presence at all elementary schools in Brunswick County following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Superintendent Edward Pruden was also directed by the Board to examine continued funding for 2013-2014 as administrators prepare for upcoming budget work sessions.

School resource officers are provided by the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.

1/07/13 > County leaders meet to discuss security

Brunswick County leaders met today to discuss ongoing efforts to provide additional school security for students and staff and peace of mind for the community.

Members of the Brunswick County Board of Education will review a proposal at their regular called meeting Tuesday, January 8, 2013 to allocate $245,838 from fund balance to offset costs for additional deputies in elementary schools for the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year.

During the liaison meeting Superintendent Edward Pruden requested continued discussions between the Boards of Education and Commissioners regarding renewal of the longstanding funding agreement which provides the school system 36.5% of the local tax rate. Estimated salary and benefits for adding 9 additional school resource officers in 2013-13 are $491,679. Pruden indicated the school system is willing to locate funding for the additional officers pending approval of the funding agreement. Equipment costs, estimated to be $332,462, would be negotiated between Brunswick County Schools and the Sheriff's office.

County Manager Marty Lawing indicated the funding agreement will be reviewed for final approval but at this time does not anticipate changes for 2013-14.

1/07/13 > Community focus groups held for master plan input

Planning for the future was the catalyst which prompted the Board of Education to commission an updated master facilities plan. Now it is the community's turn to weigh in.

 

 "This facilities plan update is not just an update," said John Thompson, board member and operations committee chairman. "The Board has elected to use the update process at least every five years to engage the community in shaping how we use our facilities including what areas of instruction will best prepare our students to be college and career ready.  We want to hear from business and industry, parents, students, and anyone interested in shaping our future.  This is an exciting time in the history of education as we adapt to a changing world around us that will prepare every child for their future."

 

Background:

Following the commission of the study in October, 2012 a Master Facility Plan Task Force comprised of community members, representatives from community agencies, and school personnel convened to make a recommendation to the Board of the firm to lead the process.  KBR Building Group based out of Charlotte, North Carolina was awarded the contract and immediately began working with the task force, Board, and superintendent's cabinet.

 

The task force quickly and collaboratively developed the mission of the project: 

Establish a community driven collective vision of the future to identify the new and existing educational programs best suited to produce college and career ready high school graduates and determine the learning environments and facilities to support them.

 

The project is divided into four phases: 

Phase 1:  Project Initiation (complete)

Phase 2:  Information Gathering (in-process)

Phase 3:  Solutions

Phase 4:  Final Master Plan and Report

 

The information gathering phase of plan development is near completion. In November and December, KBR conducted individual interviews and small focus groups with approximately 275 individuals; including teachers, staff, students, parents, and other members of our community…now we need the rest of our community to weigh in!

 

Community Focus Groups:

The public is encouraged to attend community focus groups to share opinions about how Brunswick County Schools can best support the educational needs of our students;  the more participation the more accurate the report. 

 

Meetings are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013   North Brunswick High School   6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013South Brunswick High School   6:30 p.m

Thursday, January 24, 2013   West Brunswick High School6:30 p.m.

 

Everyone interested in our school system and facilities should attend and be part of the future of Brunswick County Schools.

 

Presentation of the updated facilities master plan report is anticipated later this spring.

1/04/13 > Jenny Webber named national science fellow!

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National conversations about skills needed by America's future workforce often include references to "STEM" or science, technology, engineering, and math. Forecasters believe if we are to remain competitive globally, schools will need to emphasize skill development in these areas through curriculum and hands-on learning opportunities. Students who are taught by teachers highly skilled and excited about their subject matter have even better opportunities to be successful and choose STEM related careers.

Brunswick County Schools is pleased to announce Jennifer "Jenny" Webber is 1 of 8 North Carolina teachers and 1 of 244 nationwide selected as a Fellow in the 2012-2013 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) New Science Teacher Academy.

Webber teaches science at Cedar Grove Middle School. Her selection as a member of this prestigious group is a tremendous honor. The 2012 Fellows were selected based on several criteria, including a solid science background and displaying a strong interest in growing as a professional science educator. Webber will participate in a year-long professional development program and receive financial support to attend and participate in NSTA's 2013 National Conference on Science Education in San Antonio.

The program is sponsored by leaders in the STEM industry including The Dow Chemical Company, The American Honda Foundation, Amgen Foundation, Astellas Pharma US, Bayer USA Foundation, and Lockheed Martin.

Review the complete NSTA press release.

1/03/13 > WWAY recognizes Teachers of the Week!

Two outstanding Brunswick County teachers were recently recognized as WWAY Teachers of the Week!

Karen Babson, South Brunwick High Occupational Course of Study teacher, was nominated by a student.  Watch Karen's surprise by visiting http://www.wwaytv3.com/2012/11/20/teacher-of-the-week-karen-babson

Amy Brinker, Belville Elementary kindergarten teacher, was nominated by a parent. Watch Amy's surprise by visiting http://www.wwaytv3.com/2012/12/18/teacher-of-the-week-amy-brinker.

Both teachers received a check for $300.00 to be spent at Teacher's Aide!

Many thanks to WWAY for recognizing outstanding teachers in our region.

If you would like to nominate a teacher visit http://www.wwaytv3.com/teacher-of-the-week.

1/02/13 > Alana Guevera wins North Carolina Lions peace poster contest!

Congratulations to Alana Guevera who won the North Carolina Lions peace poster contest!

Alana will receive a $250 prize from the NC Lions in May. Her poster was judged best by Waccamaw School, the Shallotte Lions Club, and Lions District 31-H before going to the state. Her work is on the way for judging in the Lions Clubs International contest.

1/01/13 > Officials committed to safety

The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office and Brunswick County Board of Education continue to collaborate for the safety and security of all students and staff in light of the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Ongoing conversations have resulted in an agreement to continue providing a law enforcement presence for each elementary school.

A liaison meeting with members of the Brunswick County Commissioners and Brunswick County Board of Education is scheduled for January 7, 2013. It is anticipated funding for the additional officers will be discussed.

12/18/12 > Pasier named executive director of human resources
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Brunswick County Schools welcomes new administrative leadership as Mark Pasier was named executive director of human resources.  The announcement was made during a special called meeting of the Board of Education earlier today.
 
Pasier has over 15 years experience in public school human resources administration. He currently serves as director of human resources for the Montgomery County Public Schools in Virginia.  In his career Pasier has served as a captain in the United States Army, public school teacher, assistant principal, and principal.
 
"Once again, Brunswick County Schools has attracted a strong applicant pool and has identified an outstanding, experienced HR professional to fill the position of executive director of human resources.  We eagerly await the arrival of Mark Pasier," Superintendent Edward Pruden said.   
 
Pasier is filling the vacancy created after Dr. Deanne Meadows was named Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer in November.  Pasier is expected to begin his new assignment at the end of January.
12/16/12 > Community asked...officials responded

The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office and Brunswick County School officials are responding actively to community feedback as a result of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Through a powerful partnership, and as an additional precautionary measure to relieve some of the anxieties students, parents, and staff might have about safety in our schools, an officer from the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office will be on site at each elementary school until further notice.

12/12/12 > REVISED! Calendar Drafts & Survey

The Brunswick County Calendar Committee reconvened Monday, December 10, 2012.  Based on stakeholder feedback the group narrowed the focus to two draft calendars.  Draft 2 offers 180 instructional days and Draft 3 offers 182 instructional days.  The committee invites you to provide feedback on the revised draft proposals of the 2013-2014 school calendar. 

The calendar committee is comprised of parent and staff representatives from each of the 19 schools.  The committee adheres to calendar law as established by the North Carolina General Assembly and to generate drafts for public review and feedback.  The calendar law was amended this year to require 185 instructional days or 1025 instructional hours.

The calendar committee will use the feedback gleaned through the online survey below to help inform their recommendation to the Board of Education.

View the drafts by clicking the link below:

REVISED! 2013-2014 Calendar Drafts
(Note: Does not include Early College High School)

Provide feedback and rank order your preference of calendars by participating in the REVISED CALENDAR FEEDBACK SURVEY! (Survey has expired.)

 

 

11/30/12 > Students compete in champions challenge!

 

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(Pictured) Belville Elementary fourth grade students get ready to participated in The First Tee of Brunswick County Champions Challenge at Cinghiale Creek.

 


Congratulations to all students who participated in The First Tee of Brunswick County Champions Challenge October 17, 2012 at Cinghiale Creek.

The First Tee teaches the Nine Core Values as students learn golf skills.  The Nine Core Values are: sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, integrity, honesty, and judgement.

Bolivia Elementary School took top honors this year, followed by Southport Elementary in second, and Supply Elementary in third. Way to go!!!

To learn more about The First Tee of Brunswick County visit www.thefirstteebrunswickco unty.org.

11/29/12 > BCAE hosts employee training 12-1-12

Attention BCS employees!

BCAE invites all staff (particularly classified employees) to attend an Educational Support Personnel (ESP) training Saturday, December 1, 2012 at Lincoln Elementary School.  The training will begin at 10:00 a.m. and last until 2:00 p.m.

Instructional assistants, bus drivers, clerical staff, cafeteria workers, and custodial staff, etc. THIS WORKSHOP IS FOR YOU.

NCAE staff from Raleigh will be on hand to provide such information as:
Your Professional Rights and Responsibilities, Organization Membership, Transportation issues, Employment/Payroll, and so much more.
 
Take this opportunity to learn what the organization can do for you.  Bring a friend and talk to Raleigh representatives about your concerns and important issues affecting your employment.
 
A light lunch and door prizes provided.  You receive a gift just for attending.  Teachers and non-members welcome also.  This is a chance to learn about NCAE.
11/12/12 > Meadows named assistant superintendent and chief academic officer
On January 1, 2013 Brunswick County Schools will welcome a new assistant superintendent/chief academic officer; although she is no stranger to the system!
 
Dr. Deanne Meadows has served students, families, and staff in Brunswick County for 13 years.  She is highly qualified and ready for the next step in her advocacy for students and staff in Brunswick County.
 
"Dr. Meadows' appointment as assistant superintendent is the result of a rigorous national search process," stated Superintendent Edward Pruden. "Her experiences as teacher, principal, and in several key central office leadership positions have prepared her well for this new responsibility."
 
Meadows'SchoolCenter Picture career includes 9 years as a mathematics teacher before beginning her administrative career in Brunswick County in 1999.  She served as assistant principal for 4 years before being named principal at North Brunswick High School. Her district leadership includes service as director of secondary programs and executive director of 6-12 instruction and accountability services.  She currently serves as executive director of human resources.
 
Those who work with Meadows characterize her as a smart, fair, and straight-shooting.  She is an instructional leader who is not afraid to face new challenges. She strives for excellence in all aspects of her work. 
 
Meadows states, "I went into administration to support teachers.  Teachers and administrators are making drastic changes with the implementation of the Common Core and Essential Standards.  I want to support their efforts and provide resources to not only respond to the change in curriculum but also influence changes in their instructional practices and assessments.  Brunswick County is  moving in a positive direction. I am excited to be part of a dynamic team to foster that momentum which will lead to growth in public education." 
 
Meadows' appointment follows the retirement of Bob Grimes on December 31, 2012. 
11/11/12 > BCS & BCC land national honors!
Brunswick County Schools & Brunswick Community College
Career Pathways Partnership Lands National Honors! 
 
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Pictured above: (front row-left to right) Amy Sanders, BCS Career Ready coordinator; Dr. Sharon Thompson, BCC vice president of academic and student affairs
; Dr. Susanne Adams, BCC president; Dr. Edward Pruden, BCS superintendent; Darrell Cheers, BCS career and technical education director; Sylvia Parker, BCS career technical education curriculum coordinator; Dr. Latoria Fleming, Brunswick County Academy counselor (back row-left to right) Jerry Smith, BCS/BCC Center for Advanced Studies coordinator; Jennifer Schumacker, BCC dean of arts and sciences; Gina Robinson, BCC dean of professional and technical programs; Bob Grimes, BCS assistant superintendent; Stephanie Smith, Brunswick County Academy principal; Sheila Grady, North Brunswick High School principal;  Belinda Green, North Brunswick High School counselor 

 

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National honors were bestowed on Brunswick County Schools (BCS) and Brunswick Community College (BCC) during the 2012 National Career Pathways Network Conference in Richmond, Virginia.  Jerry Smith, BCS/BCC Center for Advanced Studies coordinator accepted the 2012 National Level Award for Innovation in Career Pathways. The award recognizes the unique and innovative components of career pathways efforts within a consortium in cooperation with business partners and stakeholders. 

 

The career pathways initiative is a joint effort between Brunswick County Schools, Brunswick Community College, and local businesses to ensure students establish clear and realistic career goals.  Efforts are made to prepare students for successful transition from secondary to postsecondary education and ultimately the workforce.  This is accomplished by building a seamless educational system that offers career pathway opportunities.  The career pathway opportunities include a rigorous program of study focused on students' attainment of academic and technical knowledge and skills that are required for continued education and for career and workplace readiness.

 

The national recognition is a direct result of the Brunswick County Schools and Brunswick Community College Career and College Promise program efforts, local curriculum articulation agreement, Career Ready program activities, as well as other career pathways and Career and Technical Education (CTE) activities.

11/06/12 > SBHS aquaculture program earns back-to-back honors!

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The South Brunswick High School aquaculture program is once again making waves with back to back honors as students prepare for one of the most exciting events of the year...the annual flounder release!

While removing their 22nd "Best in Show" award winning exhibit from the 2012 Cape Fear Fair and Expo, Instructor Barry Bey and students received notification the program was awarded top honors by the "Fish for Tomorrow" Conservation group.  The group's annual Kay Crocker Award is given to an individual or group who exemplifies service to the community and dedication to coastal resources.

With little time for celebration classes were back to work on final preparations for the annual founder release into Davis Canal at Oak Island. One major step in the process was achieved November 5, 2012 when two groups of flounder housed in the tanks at South Brunswick High School were certified "healthy and suitable for release into the waters of North Carolina" by local veterinarian, Bill Rabon. 

Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace will join Bey and his students for the annual flounder release at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, November 16, 2012. .

 

10/24/12 > Congratulations Star News Media Teachers of the Year!
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Left to Right: Superintendent Edward Pruden; Lisa Barnes, Assistant Principal-Shallotte Middle School; David Cupolo, Principal-Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary; Jennifer Parton, Teacher-Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary; Margaret Arrowood, Teacher-Shallotte Middle School; Wayne Price, Principal-South Brunswick High School; Laura Hunter, Teacher-South Brunswick High School

Three very special teachers were recognized by Star News Media.  A reception in their honor was held September 25, 2012.  School Superintendent Edward Pruden and school administrators accompanied the teachers to the special event.

Each winner received $500.00 for classroom supplies and a goodie bag!

Congratulations to Jennifer Parton, Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School; Margaret Arrowood, Shallotte Middle School, and Laura Hunter, South Brunswick High School. 

These ladies are exemplary teachers and leaders among their peers! 

 

 

10/10/12 > Jessie Mae Monroe students read for the record!

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Jumpstart's Read for the Record®, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, took place at Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School on October 4, 2012. Jumpstart's Read for the Record is an annual reading celebration that highlights the need for quality early education in America by mobilizing adults and children to set a record for the largest shared reading experience.

 

On October 4, 2012, 253 students in kindergarten through third grade listened to Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad in their classrooms. In an effort to promote an excitement and love for reading, the students received an "I broke a world record" sticker and the teachers received a classroom certificate for participating.

 

"Jumpstart's Read for the Record is a call to action to Americans to recognize the importance of quality early education, especially for our most vulnerable children," said Lindy Hylton, literacy teacher.

 

David Cupolo, Principal is proud to support this campaign at Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary.

 

Since the campaign's inception in 2006, more than seven million people have joined local Jumpstart's Read for the Record reading celebrations; Jumpstart has raised more than $7 million to support its year-round work.

 

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10/05/12 > Millie Venegas-WBHS receives Paul Harris Fellow award

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Ms. Millie Venegas, foreign language teacher at West Brunswick High School, has been recognized by Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow Award recipient. The award, named after the Rotary founder, was presented to Ms. Venegas by the South Brunswick Island (SBI) Rotary at their September 28, 2012 meeting.  

In addition to teaching Spanish, Ms. Venegas is the faculty advisor for the Interact Club, Rotary International's service club for young people ages 14 to 18. The Interact Club helps develop leadership skills and personal integrity in students. The club also teaches students to understand the value of respecting and helping others.

 

Working closely with the SBI Rotary, Ms. Venegas and the Interact Club has made a significant impact on the lives of many West Brunswick High School students. Others that have made important contributions to the program include Guidance Counselor and Head Football coach Rotarian Jimmy Fletcher and former Interact Club advisor Brandi Wilson.

 

According to the Rotary International website, "Patience, organization, and the desire to work with young people are essential qualities of effective advisers."

 

Not only does Ms. Venegas possess the "essential qualities", she goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to her students. Because of her dedication and the love she has for all of the children in her care, someone donated $1000 to the Rotary Foundation in her honor and she has been recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.

 

Ms. Venegas is a credit to West Brunswick High School and we are proud she is part of our Trojan family.

10/03/12 > Matilda Scott-SMS teacher-going abroad!

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Matilda Scott, 7th grade social studies teacher at Shallotte Middle School is ready for the trip of a lifetime.

Scott was recently selected to participate as a guest teacher in the UNCW Watson College of Education faculty-led international field experience.  On October 29, 2012, she will board a plane headed for Port Elizabeth, South Africa to begin a 4 week experience working at Emphaweni K-8 Township School. 

Dr. Richard Huber, coordinator of international programs at UNCW stated "The primary purpose of this cultural experience is for the participants and South African teachers to learn from each other and to develop lasting professional relationships." 

While at the school, Scott will not only teach students but also conduct professional development for South African teachers.  Through the power of technology, she has arranged live web-casts from her class in South Africa with her students at Shallotte Middle School.  Scott will also blog about her experiences. 

In addition to being a phenomenal social studies teacher, Scott is the Shallotte Middle girls' soccer coach.  Team member Hope Simmons was inspired to action by her coach's trip to Africa.   Simmons and other teammates are collecting gently used soccer cleats and balls for Scott to distribute when she gets to the school. "Hope for Africa" is collecting items through mid-October and plans to ship them before Scott leaves.

Scott was responsible for securing her travel arrangements and received assistance from many clubs, churches, and community organizations.   The overwhelming support has meant the world to Scott who shared,  "Many people in the community have opened their arms and embraced this international experience that I will take part in this school year."

Certainly these community members and Scott's Shallotte Middle School family will be anxiously awaiting her return to hear first-hand accounts of this amazing adventure! 

10/01/12 > Laura Hunter named Woman to Watch
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Brunswick County Teacher of the Year Laura Hunter is on a mission to create life-long learners and reignite the teacher's voice in local and national conversations about education and the teaching profession.  Apparently, others have noticed.
 
Wilma magazine just announced Hunter's selection from 237 nominations as one of six 2012 Women to Watch. One of the main criteria for the selection of winners was the potential impact the women would have on their communities within the next 10 years.
 
9/28/12 > SMS Teachers R-O-C-K-E-D Spelling Bee!

 

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Shallotte Middle Teachers R-O-C-K-E-D Spelling Bee!

Congratulations to Ginnie Pridgen (left) and Kelly Hansen for an impressive 3rd place finish out of 17 teams competing in the Brunswick Literacy Council Adult Spelling Bee last week. Pridgen and Hansen are teachers at Shallotte Middle School. 

Also represented at the competition were Heather Menzel and Greg Bland, South Brunswick; Wayne Price and Allison Anderson, South Brunswick High; Cathy Milligan and Becky McDowell, Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary; Brad Lewis and Mary Kayler, North Brunswick High; Sue Lennon and Beth Zettlemoyer, West Brunswick High,a dn Zelphia Grissett and Kim Hawkins, Waccamaw School.

On hand to help judget the competiton was Superintendent Edward Pruden.

9/27/12 > Invitation-Building Bridges to Support Our Schools

 

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BUILDING BRIDGES TO SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS
Please Join Us for a Community Event Celebrating the
Work of Brunswick County Schools, Parents & Partners

Friday, October 5, 2012
6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
St. James Community Center
4136 Southport-Supply Road SE on Route 211
St. James, North Carolina 28461
Coffee & Dessert-Casual Attire

Do you know your Board of Education Members?
Have you had the opportunity to meet and talk with the superintendent?
Do you know what is working in Brunswick County Schools?
Have you considered the many ways community partners help our students?
Do you know how to get involved?
Join us on this special evening and help us build bridges to support our schools!

This event is free and open to the public-everyone is welcome to attend!
Sponsored by Community Members who Care about Public Schools
9/24/12 > SAT results mark increases in performance and participation
The SAT is widely accepted as a tool to assess academic readiness for college and is voluntarily taken by students seeking admission to post-secondary institutions.  No longer voluntary in North Carolina is the ACT, also an academic readiness assessment, which was administered at no charge to all juniors for the first time during the 2011-12 school year. Annual administration and results of the ACT are part of the new high school accountability model.
 
County-wide 27 additional students voluntarily took the SAT in 2012.  It is unclear how the participation rate will be affected over time in light of the required ACT administration. Participating Brunswick County students scored an average of 977 on the combined critical reading and math scores which is up 13 points from 2011.  Overall increases were achieved at three of the four high schools.  The system is slightly below the state average of 997.
 
Superintendent Edward Pruden commented, "Increasing student participation and system-wide combined performance on the SAT are two of our system's strategic priorities.  These gains are good news." 
9/24/12 > Laptops open doors for students and teachers at BCA!
Students at Brunswick County Academy (BCA) are excited to bring their laptops to classes throughout the school day.  Thanks to funding from a Federal School Improvement Grant (SIG), each student now has an issued laptop and carrying bag.  At the beginning of the day, students report to their homeroom teacher to check-out their assigned laptop.  Students keep the laptop with them throughout the day for use in each of their classes.  At the close of each day, students return the laptop to their homeroom teacher for a quality check. 
 

Teachers are equally, if not more, excited about the lessons and activity options available through technology.  Meeting students' individual needs, tailoring lessons, projects, and assessments to keep each student engaged through technology is a marvelous opportunity.  Students can instantly access assignments from teachers using Edmodo, ClassScape, Study Island and other web-based instructional programs.  Most of these programs are used to tutor students in need of extra attention as well as challenge students who seek more stimulation.  Students will now be able to learn, research, analyze, and present information at a more individual pace and interest. 

The school is pleased to offer this mode of instruction to the learning community at BCA.  Staff anticipate growth in not only student achievement, but individualized instruction and learning skills.

Contributed by:  Kristi Swain, BCA communication liaison
9/19/12 > Bob Grimes retiring after 46 amazing years

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After serving students and families for 46 years, Robert "Bob" Grimes announced his retirement yesterday to the Board of Education and administrative staff.

In what has truly been an epic career, Grimes has served as teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and most recently assistant superintendent for Brunswick County Schools.  His leadership and love of reading ignited the system's "Today a Reader-Tomorrow a Leader Initiative" and expansion of schools' library collections. 
 
According to Superintendent Edward Pruden, "Whereas reading is the gateway skill to all other academic learning and career success, Bob's work will benefit our students for a lifetime.  Bob Grimes models what he espouses, as he is the most prolific reader in the county!"
 
It is without a doubt this commitment contributed to Grimes' selection as the 2012 North Carolina School Library Media Association (NCSLMA) Administrator of the Year.  Grimes will receive the award on October 5, 2012 at the NCSLMA conference luncheon in Winston-Salem. 
 
Upon learning about the award Grimes stated, "I am honored to receive recognition from the NCSLMA as the Administrator of the Year.  This award represents the efforts of  our principals and most importantly the media specialists at all 19 of our schools. They are the ones who truly lead by example and work each day to create libraries that are irresistible to our students.  In our schools,"Today a Reader--Tomorrow a Leader," is not just a saying, it is our culture."
 
Throughout his career, Grimes has served as mentor to countless teachers and administrators.  Those fortunate to work with him know at the core of his commitment to public education is his love and advocacy for students. 
 

According to Superintendent Edward Pruden, "Bob Grimes is one in a million: nationally recognized school turnaround specialist;  award-winning high school principal and leader of effective practices to promote literacy as the foundational skill to all other learning; mentor and coach to hundreds of teachers and school administrators; caring advocate for students.  His career spanning four decades is the model of the student-centered, excellence-driven public school leader.  We will fill his position, but Bob Grimes cannot be replaced."

Grimes will retire December 31, 2012.

9/14/12 > Michael Rahal-National Merit Semifinalist!

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Congratulations to Michael Rahal, Brunswick County Early College (BCECHS), a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. Michael is the only semifinalist from Brunswick County. This marks three consecutive years that...BCECHS has been represented in the National Merit Scholarship program. Read more about this honor by checking out the link to portcitydaily.com!

http://portcitydaily.com/2012/09/12/eight-local-high-school-students-named-national-merit-semifinalists/

 

9/14/12 > The Dennis Walters Show visits Brunswick County

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Dennis Walters, spokesman and national ambassador for the First Tee, visited Brunswick County Schools Friday, September 14th. He and his best friend, "Super Dog, Bucky," who was rescued by Canine Castaways, demonstrated to 4th grade students from Brunswick County's 10 elementary schools and Roger Bacon Charter Day School, a one hour combination show of "precision golf lessons, life lessons, and the nine core values of the First Tee School Day Program.

 First Tee is an international youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. The show is also about reaching for dreams and Dennis is not talking about a dream you have at night. To him a real dream is having a positive thought in your head and in your heart and doing whatever it takes to make that come true. "You're never too young to have one and there certainly are no expiration dates on dreams. Also, "if you have a dream and it doesn't work out, never stop dreaming ... get a new dream!"

Dennis' dream was always to play successfully on THE PGA TOUR. He had an accident in 1974 that left him paralyzed from the waist down. After his accident it was looking pretty bleak for that dream. The first thing Dennis had to figure was a way to play golf again. Since he could not stand, he started by hitting golf shots from his wheelchair. He then progressed to a swivel seat mounted on the passenger side of a golf cart and since 1977, he has made over 3,000 appearances, performed in all fifty states, Mexico, Canada and The UK. He and his dog Bucky usually do about 90-100 shows per year. Dennis uses his own personal experience as an example to challenge each person in the audience to do something in their life that perhaps they thought was impossible, for with hard work, dedication, perseverance you can achieve success at anything.

Dennis' theory is that if you have a good swing you can hit good shots with almost anything and he proves this by hitting precise shots with clubs made from a fishing rod, a crutch, a radiator hose and a cell phone. He also has a club with 3 universal joints on the shaft and a club with 3 heads (his 3 iron). Dennis hits shots blindfolded, through fire and let's not forget the 200 yard putt. Other highlights you will see in the show are shots hit off 3 foot high tees, off a watch and with an egg balanced on the ball. Dennis also hits a shot with Bucky's favorite club which is shaped like a dog biscuit. Woven throughout the show is Dennis's powerful motivating message that dreams can come true for with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. Dennis concluded the show with his famous rapid fire machine gun shot, where he hits 5 consecutive shots while they roll down a ramp, the last one being a special exploding ball.

For more photos visit the Brunswick County Schools Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bcs.nc.

9/10/12 > Don't miss 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony at SMS!
What began in 2009 as a a unique opportunity for students at Shallotte Middle to learn about the United States Constitution has turned into a very special tradition for the school and community.
 
Students, staff, and community members are invited to attend the 2012 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 11 on the front lawn of the school.  According to Principal Paul Price, the event was moved to the evening to accommodate requests of community members who could not attend during the school day. 
 
This year's ceremony will feature speaker Lt. General Kinser.  Lt. General Kinser retired from the United States Army after 39 years of service and now resides in Brunswick County.  Additionally, members of local law enforcement, fire and rescue, and military units will be on hand to honor those who have fallen.
 
Shallotte Middle School dedicates the first two weeks of students' enhancement block to the United State Constitution, culmininating with the 9/11 commemoration ceremony. 
 
This emphasis is very important to the school's leadership and explained by Principal Paul Price.  "As principal, I believe that public schools are the 'temples of democracy'. They area place were individuals of all heritages and faiths come together to learn what it means to be Americans " Price said.  "It is in our public schools that we learn to respect those who are different from us, while learning to appreciate the common American belief in Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as stated so well in the Declaration of Independence. Our belief in freedom led to the creation of our current constitution, to protect rights that are given by our Creator and won by so many who have fought to preserve these ideas. September is a great time to pause and think about who we are as Americans and to remember those Americans who have died defending these beliefs.
 
A poem by Langston Hughes, The Kids in School With Me states very poetically the value we at Shallotte Middle School try to instill in our students.
 
The Kids in School with Me
When I studied my A-B-C's And learned arithmetic, I also learned in public school What makes America tick: The kid in front And the kid behind And the kid across the aisle, The Italian kid And the Polish kid And the girl with the Irish smile, The colored kid And the Spanish kid And the Russian kid my size, The Jewish kid And the Grecian kid And the girl with the Chinese eyes-- We were a regular Noah's ark, Every race beneath the sun, But our motto for graduation was: One for All and All for One! The kid in front And the kid behind And the kid across from me-- Just American kids together The kids in school with me."
 
As a reminder, the Brunswick County Board of Education meeting regularly scheduled for September 11, 2012 has been moved to Shallotte Middle School.  The meeting and live stream will begin tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. 
9/01/12 > School Leadership Teams Come Together!
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Pictured:  Lincoln Elementary's School Improvement Team

School Improvement Teams from all 19 Brunswick County Schools gathered August 1-2, 2012 to reflect and plan for the year to come. 
 
North Carolina General Statute requires every school in North Carolina to have a School Improvement Team and generate a School Improvement Plan.  By statute, teams must include an administrator, teachers, classified staff, and a parent representative.
 
Brunswick County Schools has four overarching improvement goals for every school in the system. Schools individualize their plans by writing strategies specific to their schools that will help them attain the goals. 
 
The four goals for school improvement are:
1.  Students will be educated in a safe, nurturing environment that fosters parent and community involvement and support.
2.  Students will be proficient readers and develop a lifelong love of reading.
3.  Students will receive research based instruction and intervention.
4.  School will operate as effective professional learning communities.
 
The Brunswick County Board of Education will review and approve all School Improvement Plans in the fall; after approval, the plans will be placed on both the system and schools' websites.
 

8/29/12 > 2012-13 School Volunteer Training Schedule

CIS (Communities In Schools), in partnership with BCS (Brunswick County Schools), is pleased to offer the following volunteer trainings

 

Volunteer opportunities available in Brunswick County Schools through working as a tutor, mentor, lunch buddy, classroom assistance, class projects and more. 

Training workshop (2 hrs.)    

 

Volunteer Training Dates  

Supply/Bolivia Area -- September 11, 2012

Virginia Williamson Elementary - Training 9:30 am

 

Leland Area -- September 13, 2012

Belville Elementary - Training 9:30 am

 

Southport Area -- September 19, 2012

Southport Elementary - Training 9:30 am

 

Winnabow Area -- September 25, 2012

Town Creek Elementary - Training 9:30 am

 

Supply Area -- September 27, 2012

Supply Elementary - Training 9:30 am

 

Shallotte Area - October 2, 2012

Union Elementary - Training 9:30 am

 

For additional information, contact Linda Rumsey, CIS Dropout Prevention Director

@ 910-253-5327, ext 1434.  Your involvement in the schools is appreciated.

8/28/12 > The new year has begun...what went right?

Some school stories that did not get reported…

 

We humans have a bad habit. We sometimes find ourselves focusing on the negative things in our lives and fail to recognize the positives.

 

Yesterday was the first day of school for more than 10,800 Brunswick County School students (our kindergarten students started arriving today-how precious!), and admittedly a few things did not go perfectly. Some student IDs were incorrectly printed, a few buses ran behind, and no doubt almost every student, parent and teacher had something not go right. Heck, even today Cedar Grove Middle students dismissed early due to a blocked sewer line leading to the school's pumping station which just shows that sometimes the pipes get a little clogged (both literally and figuratively).  But what about the other side of the story?

What went right?

· 7,193 students had a safe school bus ride to and from school thanks to the 167 bus drivers who work as part of the most dedicated transportation team in North Carolina.  Our buses cover an average of 11,500 miles each day (everyone knows our district is geographically huge - 1,050 sq. miles).

· 1,208 students ate a nutritious breakfast to start their day.  6,950 ate a full lunch and there were an additional 2,000 ala carte sales.  There were healthy choices available for everyone and for some students these were the best meals of their day. For some students these were the only meals of the day. Our child nutrition staff members are amazing.

· Our 773 teachers and 879 support and classified staff eagerly awaited the arrival of our students.  Staff greeted students, helped them find their classes, began the teaching process and in general did an exceptional job. This did not happen by accident. Most teachers spend much of their summer preparing for the next school year so that things start right. 

· Schools were clean and grounds were manicured.  Our maintenance and custodial staffs spent the summer making sure windows were fixed, roofs were repaired, floors were waxed, and, in general, getting schools ready for our students.

· Secretaries and other office staff greeted students, and we all know that as the year goes along, these individuals will handle thousands of jobs and virtually every one of those jobs will in some way impact students.

· District administrators, principals and Board Members spent much of their time making sure the district is focused on doing what is right for students. The coordination of what is projected to be 12,300 students during the 2012-2013 school year, 1,652 staff, and 19 school buildings does not happen by accident, and it won't happen at all if someone is not minding the switch.

 

We are fortunate to live, work, and go to school in this wonderful county.  We have outstanding schools. Are there occasionally problems? Of course there are.   Are they insurmountable? Absolutely not (although some are tougher to solve than others). The main thing we need to do as a "community of lifelong learners" to ensure a successful year is to keep our focus on doing what is in the best interest for every individual child in our system.  This year is riddled with change.  For the first time in 30 years the doors opened yesterday with every teacher delivering a revised curriculum.  We must keep our focus on the ultimate goal which is to prepare college and career ready high school graduates.  We must support each other.

 

Please feel free to share "what went right" with us from time to time. It is our goal this year to expand newly developed lines of communication.  We have entered the social media world!  Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (links to our pages are right on the homepage of our system website www.bcswan.net .)  When teachers and staff do a great job, tell them (this goes for all of us: parents, colleagues, bosses, etc.). When your children experience success, celebrate!  When you see something that needs to be improved, tell those involved, and be part of the solution. Here's to a great school year! 

 

(Adapted from David Luther, NSPRA and submitted by Jessica B. Swencki, director of quality assurance and community engagement jswencki@bcswan.net ).

8/28/12 > Become a foster parent!

Foster & Adoptive Parent Training Dates:

Thursday Evenings 6:00-9:00 pm

September 13 through November 15

 

Brunswick County Department of Social Services

60 Government Center Drive, Bolivia, NC 28422

To Register for MAPP/GPS Training

Contact:  Tamela Jones, SW III

910-253-2112


BRICKS & MORTAR MAKE A HOUSE....

THE LAUGHTER OF CHILDREN MAKES A HOME!

8/25/12 > Welcome New Principals!
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Left to Right: Shirley Williamson, Virginia Williamson Elementary; David Ruth, South Brunswick Middle; Walker Constantinesco, Town Creek Elementary; Kelly Andrews, Supply Elementary; Brock Ahrens, West Brunswick High 

 

SchoolCenter Picture Virginia Williamson Elementary School
Principal Shirley Williamson

Why did you choose education?

I was inspired by my aunt a retired teacher, my Sunday School Teachers, and my first grade teacher.

Why administration? 
Administration provides an opportunity for me to give back to a community that has given so much to me.

How would your former teachers describe you as a student?
My former teachers would describe me as hard working, highly motivated, and destined to succeed.

What type of student were you?
I was an honor student willing to share my knowledge with others.

When thinking of starting the new school year...what are you most excited about?
I am truly excited about welcoming students to a new year and all the learning that will occur as we move forward in implementing the Common Core Standards.

What (if anything) gives you butterflies?
I like to start my week with Sunday worship. If I miss it I don't sleep well on Sunday nights.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
When your head is in a lions' mouth don't let the lion bite it off.

Finish this sentence:
I am proud to be a STINGRAY because …I agree with the mission of Virginia Williamson Ele mentary School to "Do Whatever It Takes" to reach and teach every child.

 

SchoolCenter Picture South Brunswick Middle School
Principal David Ruth

Why did you choose education?  Why administration? 
I always wanted to be an accountant like my dad.  Then I served a church mission for two years and had the opportunity to work with young people.  I decided at that time that I liked accounting, but I loved teaching.  I chose administration as a way to help and work with more than just the students in my classroom each year. 

How would your former teachers describe you as a student?  What type of student were you?
I was a talkative student who procrastinated (drove my mom crazy).  I got to spend a lot of time after school with my teachers because of my socializing in class.

When thinking of starting the new school year...what are you most excited about?
My new position and the opportunities and challenges that we will go through as a school family.

What (if anything) gives you butterflies?
The weight of the new responsibilities.

What is the best advice you have ever received? 
"Be quiet, listen, think, then answer."

Finish this sentence: 
I am proud to be a COUGAR because.... I am/have been a parent, employee, and member of the community of the best middle school in Brunswick County.

 

SchoolCenter Picture Town Creek Elementary School
Principal Walker Constantinesco

Why did you choose education? 
I did not particularly enjoy being in school but I had one particular teacher, Ms. Kim Lee whose biology class I did enjoy.  Ms. Lee took a particular interest in me and looked for ways to challenge me and keep me engaged.  My lack of interest in school impacted my grades with the exception of this class.  This teacher saw the potential I had and realized it was going to waste.  Ms. Lee was very persistent in encouraging me throughout high school.  Needless to say, this is why I have a good understanding of some of our students.  I try to remember Ms. Lee and I tell myself daily that I am going to be that one person who gives the extra push a student needs to be successful in school.

Why administration? 
When teaching school I was given the opportunity to be an advocate for the parents and students in my class.  I tried very hard to establish relationships with students and their families so I could have a better understanding of my students when they came into my classroom.  Situations presented themselves that indicated to me I could be an advocate for a larger number of students and parents serving as an administrator.  I wanted to be an administrator that would stand up for what is best for students and their education.  I wanted to be the voice for the parents who do not realize they have a voice.  I understood what it was like not to enjoy school.  I want to foster a place that students want to come and learn.

How would your former teachers describe you as a student?  What type of student were you?
I was the student on the class list you did not want to see.  When I was in school the usual method of instruction was lecture and I just don't sit still well.  It was challenging for my teachers to keep me engaged and interested in coming to school.  Today, I am excited when I go into classrooms and see students are moving while learning.  I always think to myself, that I may have enjoyed school much more if I had been afforded that kind of experience. 

When thinking of starting the new school year...what are you most excited about?
I am most excited for the students to return.  The building is too quiet!

What (if anything) gives you butterflies?
I always want to do what is best for students and sometimes it is hard for others to understand the rationale behind the decision.  Prior to making any decision, I try to talk to stakeholders to get their viewpoints to give me an understanding of their perspective so that I am prepared to consolidate all the information and make the best decision for all involved.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I ever got was from my dad who always reminded to "not waste my horsepower."

Finish this sentence:
I am proud to be a GATOR because....
I get to come to school every day and be surrounded by staff that wants to provide the best educational experience for their students and understand what it takes to get that accomplished! 

SchoolCenter Picture Supply Elementary School
Principal Kelly Andrews

Why did you choose education?  Why administration? 
I have a love for helping others learn.  I felt I could touch more lives as a principal.

How would your former teachers describe you as a student?  Focused

What type of student were you? Inquisitive


When thinking of starting the new school year...what are you most excited about?
The challenge before us that we will embrace with strategy, and skill, and focus.

What (if anything) gives you butterflies?
Seeing blue lights behind me!

What is the best advice you have ever received?
To never, never, never, never give up!

Finish this sentence: 
I am proud to be a STARFISH because.... we Stop Think and Act Responsibly!

SchoolCenter Picture West Brunswick High School
Principal Brock Ahrens

Why did you choose education?  I enjoyed teaching/coaching and working with young people

Why administration?  The opportunity to affect change!

What (if anything) gives you butterflies?
Watching a group of individuals coming together for a common purpose and accomplish great things.

What is the best advice you have ever received? 
"Touch people by the heart before you take them by the hand."

Finish this sentence: 
I am proud to be a TROJAN because.... of rich history and tradition of academic and athletic excellence!

 

8/22/12 > Video: Welcome back!

Welcome back to the 2012-2013 school year!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKBZIkIG1gk&feature=plcp

 

8/21/12 > Video: Teachers Address Teachers

Two outstanding teacher leaders are championing a renewed teachers' voice in the affairs of Brunswick County Schools and public schools throughout the state. 

Laura Hunter is the 2012-2013 Brunswick County Teacher of the Year and Melissa Warren is the 2012-2013 North Carolina Southeastern Region Teacher of the Year.  Together, these dynamic instructional leaders issued an inspirational call to action for educators through a five minute video narrative entitled, "Teachers Address Teachers." 

Superintendent Edward H. Pruden, Ed.D., in his back to school staff welcome letter commended Hunter and Warren for their ongoing leadership and advocacy for the teaching profession.  He shared, "

We must do a better job telling our story, and we must all be effective ambassadors for our system and for public schools.  Only public schools can educate the vast majority of the millions of children in the United States." 

Watch their inspiring message by visiting: h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wz6cyj6x5U&feature=channel&list=UL

8/21/12 > Superintendent receives contract extension
The Brunswick County Board of Education gave Superintendent Edward Pruden the nod of approval during his annual evaluation by offering him a 2-year contract extension. 
 
Based on the evaluation of 21 competency goals within the new North Carolina Standards for Superintendents, the Board's overall opinion of Pruden's work was an A-.  
 
School Board Chairwoman Shirley Babson said, "We applaud the work you have done and admire the work you have done.  Our schools have grown significantly.  Graduation rates have never been higher and the dropout rate is steadily decreasing.  We have a new website and are sharing more information. People are responding." 
 
Board member Charles Miller congratulated Pruden on his contract extension and stated, "We look forward to the next four years of working together."
 
Pruden expressed appreciation of the Board's evaluation.  "I am humbled by the Board's support and vote of confidence.  They are great partners in our work," he said.
8/20/12 > Ready for school? Answers to frequently asked questions
School starts in less than one week!  To help everyone be in the know, here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions.  This information will also be shared on the district website under "News" at www.bcswan.net .
 
What day do students return?
Students return to school Monday, August 27, 2012. 
 
What time do schools start and end classes?
Students are expected to in school ready for class to begin at the following times:
Elementary Schools:  8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Middle Schools:  8:10 a.m.-3:10 p.m.
High Schools:  7:50 a.m.-2:50 p.m.
 
*Note:  Brunswick County Academy and Brunswick County Early College follow a different instructional day schedule:  Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-3:20 and Friday 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
 
When is open house?
Prior to the first day of school everyone is invited to attend open house.  Open house is a great way for parents and students to connect with school staff and become familiar with school building.  This is a great way to ease any pre-school jitters. 
 
Open House-Thursday, August 23, 2012
Elementary Schools:  4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Middle Schools: 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
High Schools:  5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

How will I know what bus my child will ride and what time it will pick them up and drop them off?
Brunswick County Schools has a great tool to help parents identify their child's bus number and route times.  To access the online tool visit www.bcswan.net and at the bottom of the homepage select "Quick Links" and "School Zones/Buses". Simply by entering a home address, parents can learn what school their children should attend and information about bus routes.
 
Click here for a direct link to the online system:
 
How can I make a change in my child's bus stop or what do I do if I have another transportation request?
Each year transportation officials utilize information from the first 10 days of school to assess route designs and the capacity of the buses to ensure that all students can be served and provided proper to and from school transportation. 
 
Change request forms are available at the school and online.  It is very important to understand there will be no changes made to bus stops or other transportation change requests for the first 10 days of school.
 
This is not a change in procedure; however, it may not always have been clear why change requests were not being addressed during the first 10 days.
 
How much is lunch?
School Meal Prices Elem
Middle High
Adult
Breakfast* $ 1.15 $ 1.15 $ 1.15 a la carte
Lunch $ 1.80 $ 1.95 $ 2.10 a la carte
Lunch Reduced $ 0.40 $ 0.40 $ 0.40 N/A
Extra Milk  $ 0.50  $ 0.50 $ 0.50

a la carte

*If your child qualifies for Reduced Price Meals, BREAKFAST is FREE. 

Do not forget to complete a meal application to see if your child qualifies for free or reduced meals.  Visit http://www.schoolnutritionandfitness.com/index.php?sid=2207100023468136  for more information!
8/16/12 > NBHS JROTC particiate in Panthers/Dolphins match-up!
Are you ready for some football?  Members of the North Brunswick High School JROTC color guard sure are! 
 
Six members of the North Brunswick High School JROTC color guard and two instructors will travel to Charlotte Friday, August 17 to present the colors for the National Anthem prior to the Carolina Panthers exhibition football game against the Miami Dolphins.  Game time is 8:00 p.m. 
 
Members of the JROTC program traveling to Charlotte are:
 
1SG (Ret) George Williams (instructor)
SFC (Ret) Timothy Washington (instructor)
 
Cadet First Sergeant Joshua Evans
Cadet Captain Garrett Williams
Cadet Staff Sergeant James Tosches
Cadet Staff Sergeant Julien Cruz
Cadet Staff Sergeant Cameron Harrelson
Cadet Major Jonathon Rand
 
8/15/12 > Board approves budget recommendations
 
The Brunswick County Board of Education approved 2012-2013 budget recommendations during their retreat on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. 
 
Approval of the budget recommendations came after a lengthy discussion of the fiscal impact for providing a one-time employee bonus or revising the existing supplement schedule. Due to the absence of one member, the Board opted to table the discussion until such time all members could participate.
 
8/14/12 > Updated uniform policy provides flexibility
The Brunswick County Board of Education voted to amend the system's school uniform policy allowing families more flexibility with no added cost.  The policy revision came today during the Board retreat. 
 
All students in Brunswick County are required to follow the system's dress code policy; however, a separate school uniform policy only applies to four schools: Belville Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Town Creek Elementary, and Leland Middle School. 
 
Highlights of the uniform policy revision:
 
Students at Belville, Lincoln, and Town Creek Elementary are now permitted to wear any solid color polo shirt.  Previously, students were limited to three different color polos designated by the school.
 
Students at Leland Middle School are still permitted to wear any color solid or striped polo shirt.
 
Polo shirts at all four schools are now permitted to bear a logo no larger than a quarter or the school insignia.
 
As an added option, students at all four schools can choose to wear blue or black jeans or the standard khaki, navy blue, or black pants every Friday.
 
The Board of Education's policy review and revision was in response to feedback from parents and administrators within the four schools. The policy revision does not pose any additional cost to parents whose children attend one of the four schools already required to comply with the uniform policy. The changes simply allow these families more flexibility.
8/05/12 > 2011-2012 Accountability Results Released

School systems throughout North Carolina got a first-hand look at 2011-12 outcomes as the ABCs/AMOs Accountability Report results went live Thursday, August 2, 2012.

Most notable, Brunswick County Schools, whose purpose is to produce college and career- ready high school graduates, saw another considerable increase pushing the overall graduation rate to 83.8%!

To view a complete summary of Brunswick County's results visit 2011-2012 BCS Report Card.

Click the link learn more about the ABC Accountability Report.

Additional system and school performance information can be accessed online at http://abcs.ncpublicschools.org/abcs .

8/03/12 > Summer meal program enters last two weeks
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Come and get it!
 
Thanks to a collaborative agreement between Brunswick Family Assistance and Brunswick County Schools, children through the age of 18 can receive breakfast and lunch daily at service sites throughout the county...FREE! 
 
Brunswick Family Assistance is sponsoring the summer food service program and will receive reimbursement from the USDA for program costs. Brunswick County Schools Child Nutrition Department will prepare the meals. 
 
Meals will be served for 8 weeks, Monday through Friday from June 18, 2012 through August 17, 2012.  Doors will open for breakfast from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the following service sites throughout Brunswick County:
 
School Sites:
Belville Elementary School
Lincoln Elementary School
Supply Elementary School
Union Elementary School
Waccamaw School
 
Community Sites:
Bible Baptist Church
Creative Solutions
Davis Chapel
Planet Fun Family Center
St. John's Missionary Baptist Church
The Kids Connections
Families are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity as underutilized sites may be forced to close. This program is open to every child through the age of 18 in Brunswick County. 
 
For more information contact Brunswick Family Assistance Program Manager Lora Moree at 910-754-4766 or lorabfa@gmail.com .
 
Click here to see the summer menu! (Weeks will alternate.) 
8/03/12 > Today a reader-tomorrow a leader-all summer long!
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Visit our school libraries during the summer to check out books. Book checkouts will run from June 18th through August 10th. All Media Centers will be closed the week of July 4th.

 

Day

School

Times

Monday

Waccamaw School

9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Tuesday

Bolivia Elementary

9:00 am - 11:00 am

Southport Elementary

9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Cedar Grove Middle

9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Wednesday

Belville Elementary

9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary

9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Lincoln Elementary

9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Supply Elementary

9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Town Creek Elementary

9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Union Elementary

8:00 am - 12:00 noon

Virginia Williamson Elementary

9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Thursday

Bolivia Elementary

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Leland Middle School

9:00 am - 12 noon

Virtual Library Access

South Brunswick Middle

 

Online 24/7

 

Libraries will be open for circulation only and parents are expected to attend with their children.  Schools may be offering additional onsite programs as well.  Please contact your school media coordinator for more information.

 

 

Talk about What You're Reading -  Online!

 

In addition to checking out books, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of online discussions about what they are reading!  Edmodo groups are available for grade 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and even adult readers!  Contact your media coordinator to receive your access code and join the conversations.

 

Middle and High School Students can participate in a special summer reading program.  Booklists and discussion forums are accessible at www.bcswan.net/SummerReading .  Each grade level has a suggested reading list as well as a discussion area for each book!

Win prizes for you and your school!   The school with the greatest circulation and online participation in each category will win $250 worth of ebooks.  Participating students will have names included in drawings for individual prizes including t-shirts!

 

Don't forget to visit your public library as well!  The Brunswick County Libraries are offering summer programs as well.  Contact your public library or visit their website, http://library.brunsco.net . 

8/01/12 > FREE Back to School Health Fair-FRIDAY!

Soon the school bells will be ringing!  Send students back to school with confidence they are healthy and ready to learn by visiting the FREE Back to School Health Fair sponsored by CommWell Health of Ocean Isle Beach.

 

This FREE event provides parents and children an opportunity to learn more about community health through free immunizations, health and dental screening, and preventative health information.  Students of all ages, accompanied by their parent or guardian, are welcome to participate and can even play games to win school supplies and other prizes!

 

Don't miss this great opportunity on Friday, August 10, 2012 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  The Back to School Health Fair will take place at the CommWell Health Medical office at 6934 Beach Drive, Suite 1, Ocean Isle Beach.

 

For more information about this event please call 910-579-1300.

7/23/12 > AdvancED report provides guidance for district

Public schools nationwide are facing increased scrutiny regarding student performance and system effectiveness. In its continuous pursuit of excellence, Brunswick County Schools welcomed members of the AdvancED organization to conduct an external quality assurance review in April.

The purpose of the external review was to affirm the quality practices occurring in the system as well as provide a framework for continuous improvement through the identification of opportunities and required actions. During the 3 day review the 7 member team interviewed 36 administrators, 108 teachers, 14 support staff, 46 parents and business partners, 56 students, and 5 Board of Education members for a total of 265 stakeholders. The team also visited 6 schools where they interviewed school stakeholders, observed classrooms, and reviewed relevant school artifacts. As a result of the extensive review Brunswick County Schools was awarded continuing Systems Accreditation with a status of Accredited on Advisement.

The final QAR report was scheduled to be released and discussed during the Board of Education retreat on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Due to unforeseen circumstances the retreat has been postponed and will be rescheduled. However, the final report can be viewed by visiting the link AdvancED Final QAR Report-Brunswick County.

The final report provides relevant information regarding each of the seven standards and evidence to support the assigned ratings. The commendations and required actions in the report are designed to focus the school system on those areas that will have the greatest impact on student performance and system effectiveness. The strength of the report lies in the system's commitment to using the findings. Brunswick County Schools is committed to using the report as a call to action and a tool to sustain momentum in the ongoing process of continuous improvement.

A progress report detailing the actions and progress made by the district must be submitted for state and national review by 2014. This update is to ensure the system is addressing assigned required actions.

For additional information about the AdvancED organization visit http://www.advanc-ed.org.

7/01/12 > Congratulations Graduates!

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Congratulations Class of 2012!

 

View a slideshow from graduation ceremonies by clicking on the school name below.  You can save any image by right clicking on the image and selecting, "save picture as."

 

Brunswick County Academy

 

Early College High School

 

North Brunswick High School

 

South Brunswick High School

 

West Brunswick High School

 

Just a reminder that i ndividuals in Brunswick County who subscribe to ATMC cable service can watch a replay of the graduation ceremonies.  The individual school ceremonies will be broadcast on ATMC-TV Cable Channel 3 every Saturday beginning June 16, 2012 and ending July 17, 2012.  The ceremonies will be broadcast on the following schedule: South Brunswick High School 11:30 a.m., West Brunswick High School 1:30 p.m., and North Brunswick High School 9:00 p.m.  Can't catch the Saturday broadcasts?  No problem!  ATMC customers can also watch the ceremonies on demand! 

 

6/20/12 > School's Out for the Summer!

School's Out for the Summer!  

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Students at Supply Elementary bid farewell to staff.
 

 

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Principal Dwight Willis parades Supply Elementary retirees.
Front Seat: Ann Hicks (2nd grade teacher) and Principal Dr. Dwight Willis (not retiring)
Back Seat: Belinda Carter (Curriculum Specialist), Theresa Rhodes (Teacher Assistant), Sarah Leatherman (Speech), and Laura Scharper (Assistant Principal)

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Town Creek Elementary staff wave goodbye.

 

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SchoolCenter PictureFifth grade promotion exercises at Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary.

The final buses roll off the lots and just like that...the school year ends.
 
Students and staff in Brunswick County said farewell today marking the beginning of summer vacation.  Throughout the system schools celebrated the end of the year with special traditions including promotion ceremonies for those moving to middle and high schools. 
 
Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary celebrated the successes of 5th grade students in front of a packed house of friends and family yesterday.  The promotion celebration was sponsored by the school's PTA. 
 
Supply Elementary and Town Creek Elementary students, in steadfast tradition, saluted departing 5th graders today by lining the halls, shaking hands, and sharing hugs as they walked one last time to their elementary school buses.  
 
Staff members throughout the system also celebrated the students' last day, wishing them a safe summer vacation and reminding them to keep reading!  Added to the end of the day celebration, retirees at Supply Elementary were paraded through the empty bus parking lot by Principal Dwight Willis.
 
Lots of smiles and even a few tears...here's to the summer!
 
6/08/12 > NC Teaching Fellows Hit the Road!
 

 

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The last class of North Carolina Teaching Fellows hit the road this week for the annual Discovery Bus Tour. 

The North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program was established in 1986 to provide high school seniors who wanted to enter the teaching profession a scholarship/loan to make their dreams reality.  Students repay the debt through service in a North Carolina public school system. The program, recognized as the most ambitious teacher recruitment program in the nation, was eliminated through state budget cuts last year.

The Discovery Bus Tour allows all rising sophomore Fellows the opportunity to explore North Carolina School systems from the mountains to coast.  Bus 2, which visited Brunswick County on Monday, started its journey at East Carolina University and will end the trip Friday at Western Carolina University.

Fellows were greeted in Brunswick County by Board of Education Chairwoman Shirley Babson and Vice-Chairwoman Catherine Cooke.  Joyce Beatty, Executive Director of Student Services, coordinated the tour stop which included visits to Supply Elementary, West Brunswick High School, and the Ingram Planetarium. 

 

6/07/12 > Checkpoint Charlie monitors fleet safey
SchoolCenter Picture
 
 
The Brunswick County Transportation Department executed Operation Checkpoint Charlie Thursday, June 7, 2012 for all fleet vehicles and drivers.
 
According to Executive Director of Operations Steve Miley, the exercise is designed to monitor vehicle condition, ensure proper paperwork is maintained in the vehicle, and verify assigned drivers hold valid license.  The annual checkpoint is conducted in addition to routine maintenance performed on the vehicles throughout the year.
 
Photo:  2012 Checkpoint Charlie
 
6/07/12 > Sweeping Up the Competition!
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It could be the combined 37 years of experience of the South Brunswick Middle School (SBMS) custodial department or perhaps just their desire to be the best that propelled the team to victory in the Saffelle Clean School Award contest.  The SBMS team edged out the other 18 schools for the third quarter victory, taking the award from co-winners Cedar Grove Middle and Lincoln Elementary who both have impressive track records!

Supervisor Larry Smith expressed his pride in the SBMS team stating, "They took ownership of the school and it shows.  I couldn't be more proud of the work they have done."

Saffelle is the contractor for all custodial supplies used in Brunswick County Schools.  The group conducts independent quarterly inspections as part of a quality assurance process, providing feedback to the departments on areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.  Saffelle names a quarterly "Clean School Award' winner at the conclusion of these inspections.  The traveling award includes a banner for the school, a $25.00 gift card for each custodial staff team member, and, of course, bragging rights!

Head Custodian Kenneth Hardy has been leading the charge at SBMS for 2 year and believes the team just continues to get stronger.  He is also quick to credit Principal Brock Ahrens for fostering an environment of respect.  Hardy believes Ahrens has established expectations for students to help maintain their learning environment and as a result, students demonstrate more responsibility. "Kids feel better when schools are clean and when they come into a clean environment.  It sets the tone for learning and builds confidence in parents.  If there is effort and pride taken to keep the school clean it means we are also taking care of your kids," Hardy said.

Veteran team member Penny Whitlock feels teamwork and communication are other key reasons for receiving the quarterly recognition.  Because every team member is assigned a specific area of the school to maintain, Whitlock says their team is quick to share ideas in order to increase efficiency.  Whitlock also believes teachers play a very important role in the custodial team's ability to maintain high standards, particularly when they encourage students to pick up items off the floor and monitor students during transitions and restroom breaks.

Team member Joel Tutson has another theory on what brought the award to SBMS, "We got tired of losing!"  Tutson's competitive spirit is personal; his wife is on the custodial team at Lincoln Elementary. Tutson also shared this message for his colleagues in other schools, "We are planning to keep this for awhile."

Congratulations to the South Brunswick Middle custodial team for a job well done!

Pictured: (left to right) Luis Lopez, Penny Whitlock, Joel Tutson, Paul Bass, Kenneth Hardy, Patricia Brown, Lenny Forsman (not pictured)

6/04/12 > SBHS Students Get On-The-Job Training!
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South Brunswick High School students are getting on-the-job training by assisting with USDA commodity distribution. 

 

Commodity distribution is managed through Brunswick Family Assistance (BFA) and is done several times each year at the Brunswick County Democratic Headquarters.  Students assist by pulling items to fill orders and assist individuals in loading the items in their vehicles. The help is greatly appreciated and according to BFA Executive Director, Carol Phelps, "These kids are fabulous!"

 

Students are enrolled in the North Carolina Occupational Course of Study (OCS), a rigorous pathway focused on job readiness skills that ultimately leads to a high school diploma.  Student are required to complete in-school, out-of-school and paid employment experiences.  All 3 Brunswick County traditional high schools offer the program. South High students work under the supervision of Karen Babson, OCS instructor and Vernessa Hankins, job coach.  

 

Babson and Hankins are actively seeking community based job opportunities for their South High students.  Businesses interested in working with the Occupational Course of Study should contact kbabson@bcswan.net or 910-845-2203. 

 

Photo:  Job Coach Vernessa Hankins provides instructions to SBHS students.

 

5/22/12 > Brock Ahrens named WBHS Principal!

SchoolCenter Picture

 

 

Brunswick County Schools is pleased to announce the selection of Brockton B. Ahrens as principal of West Brunswick High School.  The decision was announced today during a called meeting of the Board of Education.

 

Ahrens currently serves as principal of South Brunswick Middle School where he has provided outstanding leadership since 2010.  Under his direction, the school has made great strides in the development and implementation of professional learning communities and has incorporated a daily literacy focus.

 

Prior to moving to North Carolina, Ahrens served 16 years as a health and physical education teacher at Patterson Elementary School in the Freemont Unified School District in California.  Additionally, he served as administrative intern/principal's designee in his school for 4 years and summer school principal in the district for 3 years.  Ahrens and his family moved to North Carolina in 2005 where he served as assistant principal at West Brunswick High School for 5 years before his principalship at South Brunswick Middle School. 

 

 "I am excited about an opportunity to return to West Brunswick High School where I began my administrative career in North Carolina," Ahrens shared late Tuesday afternoon after learning about his selection.  "I want to thank the staff at South Middle for allowing me to walk through the doors, work with them, and grow professionally. I am looking forward to exciting times ahead at West!"

 

Ahrens will take the helm July 1, 2012, replacing Principal Jamal Woods who resigned in April. 

 

Photo:  Principal Brockton Ahrens

 

5/21/12 > Excellence In Education Awards 2012
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Students and educators from 6 Brunswick County schools were honored at the 4th Annual Excellence in Education Awards Dinner, Thursday, May 10, 2012.  The unique awards dinner is sponsored by the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and is held annually to correspond with National Teacher Appreciation Week.

 

Nine students from northern area schools are nominated by their administration for excellence, in turn; each student identifies one teacher who has had the greatest impact on their lives.  Students and his/her identified teacher both receive recognition during the awards dinner. One special highlight of the evening are students reading original letters written to the teachers they have selected to honor.  Melissa Warren, North Carolina Region 2 Teacher of the Year, was the guest speaker for the event while Superintendent Edward Pruden presented the awards.  

The event was held from 5:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Thalian Hall Ballroom.

Pictured:
(front row-left to right) Chairwoman Shirley Babson, Juan Guevara-Luevano (LMS-student), Salma Torres (LMS-student), Nona Baker (BEL-teacher), Lorraine Beadore (Charter Day School-teacher), Kimberly Nowlin (TCES-teacher), Lauren Wujtewicz (LES-teacher), Bryan Hayes (NBHS-teacher), Christopher Diaz (NBHS-student), Geoff Gorski (Charter Day School-teacher)

(second row-left to right) Kirsti Meador (LMS-teacher), Meggan Calderwood (LMS-teacher), Hope Hosford (BEL-student), Robert Knapp (Charter Day School-student), Benjamin Lindsey (Charter Day School-student), Ariana Dudley (TCES-student), Kaylee Shope (NBHS-student), Mary Leigh Robertson (NBHS-teacher), Superintendent Edward Pruden

5/19/12 > Sweeping Up the Competition!

 

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It could be the combined 37 years of experience of the South Brunswick Middle School (SBMS) custodial department or perhaps just their desire to be the best that propelled the team to victory in the Saffelle Clean School Award contest.  The SBMS team edged out the other 18 schools for the third quarter victory, taking the award from co-winners Cedar Grove Middle and Lincoln Elementary who both have impressive track records!

Supervisor Larry Smith expressed his pride in the SBMS team stating, "They took ownership of the school and it shows.  I couldn't be more proud of the work they have done."

Saffelle is the contractor for all custodial supplies used in Brunswick County Schools.  The group conducts independent quarterly inspections as part of a quality assurance process, providing feedback to the departments on areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.  Saffelle names a quarterly "Clean School Award' winner at the conclusion of these inspections.  The traveling award includes a banner for the school, a $25.00 gift card for each custodial staff team member, and, of course, bragging rights!

Head Custodian Kenneth Hardy has been leading the charge at SBMS for 2 year and believes the team just continues to get stronger.  He is also quick to credit Principal Brock Ahrens for fostering an environment of respect.  Hardy believes Ahrens has established expectations for students to help maintain their learning environment and as a result, students demonstrate more responsibility. "Kids feel better when schools are clean and when they come into a clean environment.  It sets the tone for learning and builds confidence in parents.  If there is effort and pride taken to keep the school clean it means we are also taking care of your kids," Hardy said.

Veteran team member Penny Whitlock feels teamwork and communication are other key reasons for receiving the quarterly recognition.  Because every team member is assigned a specific area of the school to maintain, Whitlock says their team is quick to share ideas in order to increase efficiency.  Whitlock also believes teachers play a very important role in the custodial team's ability to maintain high standards, particularly when they encourage students to pick up items off the floor and monitor students during transitions and restroom breaks.

Team member Joel Tutson has another theory on what brought the award to SBMS, "We got tired of losing!"  Tutson's competitive spirit is personal; his wife is on the custodial team at Lincoln Elementary. Tutson also shared this message for his colleagues in other schools, "We are planning to keep this for awhile."

Congratulations to the South Brunswick Middle custodial team for a job well done!

"
5/19/12 > School Nurses-We Salute You!
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012 is National School Nurse Day. 
 
School Nurses support students and staff. They are the health specialist in our buildings. They provide medical support, emotional support and oftentimes are the ones to notice those
unusual behaviors and injuries that indicate abuse and/or neglect.  Their skills and actions
save lives.
 
Brunswick County School Nurses-We Salute You!
 
Jennifer Lucas - VWE, BCA
Diane Sibley - Moody - JMM, ECHS, Union
Misty Houser - Supply
Amelia Monroe - Belville and Leland Middle
Wanda Willis - Lincoln and North Brunswick
Donna Williamson - Bolivia and South Middle
Beth Baldiga - Southport and South High
Carolyn Robison - Shallotte and Waccamaw
Sue Cozzolino - Town Creek and Leland Middle
Kate Williamson - Union and Cedar Grove
Mary Lawrence - West High and BCA

5/17/12 > Don't miss Kid's Health and Fun Day!

Attention all parents! Are you looking for something fun and free to do this weekend? Well look no more! Load up the kids and take them to the Kid's Health & Fun Day!

This free event will be held at Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School on Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend to learn more about children's health issues while having fun!

Children can receive free pediatric dental exams, eye exams, and spinal screening and scoliosis checks. Check out local vendors, fire trucks, and monster trucks. Get your face painted, visit the petting zoo, and even take a pony ride!

The event is held rain or shine. For more information contact 910-755-5483.

5/15/12 > Students turn knack for public speaking into college cash!
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Photo 1 (contributed): (left to right) Heather Borton, Christina Tolley (county female winner), James White (county male winner), and Michael Borton
 
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Photo 2 (contributed): (left to right) Megan Mauldin (WBHS), Jacob Hill (WBHS), Kenneth Shadid (SBHS), Christina Tolley (SBHS), Joseph Denman (NBHS), Taylor Benson (NBHS), James White (ECHS), Erin Phelps (ECHS)
 
 
 
The 41st annual Odell and Virginia Williamson Oratory Scholarship Competition was held at Brunswick Community College on Thursday, May 3, 2012.  Eight seniors representing North Brunswick, South Brunswick, West Brunswick, and Early College High School competed for top honors.
 
Congratulations to Christina Marie Tolley, SBHS and James Daniel White, ECHS! Tolley and White both walked away with $2,500 scholarships and engraved plaques!  Presenting the awards were Michael and Heather Borton of the Williamson family. All 8 participants advancing from the school competition to the county competition received an attractive framed certificate and check for $100.00.
 
The following students competed in the county competition:
Joseph Riley Denman (NBHS)--"The Illusion of an Institution"
Taylor Elizabeth Benson (NBHS)--"Wouldn't You Want to Know?"
Erin Brooke Phelps (ECHS)--"Retaining the Resurrection"
James Daniel White (ECHS)--"My Houseguest, Cancer"
Christina Marie Tolley (SBHS)--"Society's Serial Killer"
Kenneth Casey Shadid (SBHS)--"Abused by Alcohol"
Megan Elayne Mauldin (WBHS)--"Filling in the Blanks:  What School Really Teaches"
Jacob Hamilton Hill (WBHS)--"Capacity for Evil"
 
Serving as Master of Ceremonies was Mike Sapp, Director of the Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College and a theatre professional.  Judges included Donald Byrum, former Director of the School of Art and Design at Wichita State University and Brunswick Arts Council Board Member; Dr. David Corley, retired secondary director and principal for Brunswick County Schools; Tiffany Fullwood, Assistant Clerk of Superior Court for Brunswick County; MaryAnn Nunnally, retired principal and former New Hanover County Board of Education member; and Dr. Edward Pruden, Superintendent of Brunswick County Schools.

 
5/14/12 > WBHS theatre arts present Fahrenheit 451
When technology rules and society is mindless, what happens when you begin to think?
 
The West Brunswick High School theatre II - IV classes are proud to present the stage version of Ray Bradbury's classic novel FAHRENHEIT 451.The story is set in a futuristic world governed by technology and shock entertainment; books are illegal and its the job of firemen to burn them. Guy Montag a fireman, is content with his job until he begins to realize he's burning more than just letters on a page...
 
This show is a must see as it challenges the role of technology in our lives and the value we place on our culture and education.
 

Show times:  Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. and Friday, May 18, 2012 

7:00 p.m.  

 

Location:   West Brunswick High School - "Little Theatre"

  550 Whiteville Road NW,  Shallotte, NC  28470

Admission is FREE.  Donations will be accepted to support the WBHS theatre arts program.

For more information contact Jennifer Negron at 910-754-4338 ext. 1337 or jcreighton@bcswan.net .

5/11/12 > CGMS AVID students...on their way to Barton College?

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Yes, you read it correctly!  All CGMS AVID students from Mrs. Harmon, Mrs. Jinwright, and Mrs. Rogerson class spent a day this month at Barton College in Wilson, NC.  For these AVID students, this was one of many college tours they participated in this year as middle school students.  The AVID program mission is to prepare students for college readiness and success in a global society. 

Cedar Grove AVID students visited student dorms, the student center, classrooms, study facilities, library, ate lunch with college students, toured the art museum on campus, and was escorted throughout the day from members of the Student Government Association of Barton College.  The AVID students were given special treatment for the day as they were the only middle school students on campus.  Presentations from the admissions office and several Barton freshmen engaged and enlightened the AVID students in a collaborative setting.

5/10/12 > School start times set for 2012-13
School start/end times for 2012-13 have been established. 
 
Elementary: 
Instructional day begins at 8:00 a.m.  Instructional day ends at 3:00 p.m.
Middle:  
Instructional day begins at 8:10 a.m.  Instructional day ends at 3:10 p.m.
High:  
Instructional day begins at 7:50 a.m. Instructional day ends at 2:50 p.m.

Early College High School and Brunswick County Academy follow a different start/end schedule.
5/09/12 > NC Primary not the only election in town!
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The NC Primary isn't the only election in town!  Students at Town Creek Elementary School excercised their right to vote in a historic election of the very first Student Government Association (SGA) officers in the school's 3 year history!
 
Fifth grade teacher and SGA sponsor, Michael Gifford said the time was right to encourage more student involvement.  "Every year we are trying to evolve as a school.  We feel this is something beneficial for our students," Gifford said.  Principal Helen Davis agreed, "We had been talking about clubs and Mr. Gifford did a great job marketing the idea of the SGA to promote student leadership."
 
The students agree.  Newly elected SGA president, Grace Tucker felt the opportunity would be a good responsibility.  Vice-president Kevin Hardee said, "I wanted to help people, take notes on what students want and try to get them."  Secretary Melaysia Graham is looking forward to, "Writing a lot, keeping track of time, and taking notes at every meeting."  Spoken like a true treasurer, Summer Robinson said she is prepared to, "Keep the money safe."  Historian Emma Bordeaux, who admits she has always wanted to be the President of the United States, said she thought it would be a good learning experience.
 
Students shared their parents encouraged them to take the risk and throw their hat in the ring, which was no easy task.  To be an eligible candiate students had to receive an endorsement from their teacher based on grades and conduct, run a campaign, and record a speech which was broadcast on 2 separate occassions to the entire student body!  With all of these requirements, Gifford was pleasantly surprised the inagural candidate pool consisted of 30 students!
 
What's next?  As with all newly elected officials, there will be an induction cerermony in June.  The real work for the officers will start in the new school year when each homeroom will elect representatives to fill the association.  Gifford hopes the SGA will lead community service projects and raise awareness to issues within and outside of Town Creek's community. 
 
What advise would the first elected officers of the Town Creek Elementary School SGA offer those who will follow in their footsteps? 
"Never give up, even if you don't win."
"Congratulate others."
"Agree that no matter the outcome, it won't ruin your friendship."
"Be happy for each other."
 
Sounds like advise we can all use.
 
Pictured (left to right):  Michael Gifford (teacher/SGA sponsor), Grace Tucker (president), Kevin Hardee (vice-president), Summer Robinson (treasurer), Melaysia Graham (secretary), Emma Bordeaux (historian), Helen Davis (principal)
5/08/12 > Join the BCS Transportation Team!

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Join the Brunswick County Schools Transporation team!

Brunswick County Schools needs school bus drivers! Free training, license fees reimbursed, competitive wages, and flexible hours.

The next class begins Monday, May 14, 2012. For more information contact Veronica Simmons at 910-253-1087 or visit Become a Bus Driver!

5/08/12 > WBHS Show Choir wins state honors!

The West Brunswick High School Show Choir traveled to Atkins High School in Winston Salem on Saturday, May 5th to compete in the North Carolina Glee Competition.  The competition was sponsored by the North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities. 

West represented Brunswick County and the eastern district well with a superior rating and second place overall in the state!  The winners from Wesleyan Christian Academy edged out West by only one third of a point! The WBHS show choir is directed by Mrs. Annette Harton.

The West Brunswick Vocal Music spring concert, including the award winning WBHS Show Choir will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday,  May 10th at the Odell Williamson Auditorium.  Admission is free.

 

5/07/12 > SBHS Aquaculture Program Nets Sea World Honor!
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Just one meeting with Barry Bey, aquaculture instructor at South Brunswick High School, and you just can't help but like all things fish.  His knowledge and enthusiasm is simply contagious and the program has gained yet another place in the national spotlight by a group who knows a thing or two about fish.  Sea World has just named the South Brunswick High Aquaculture School program as 1 of only 3 recipients nationwide of the 2012 Sea World/Busch Gardens Environmental Excellence Award!


The award, officially announced last week, grants $10,000.00 to support the advancement of the program and allows Bey and three students to receive the honor in person and experience behind the scenes access later this summer at Sea World in Florida. 

Bey has been at the helm of the program for 25 years but is quick to credit his students for making this award possible. "They did 99% of the work," said Bey.   Seniors Kayla Hux and Robert Capps, and sophomores Ashley Sloup and Olivia Huntley were instrumental in the development of the extensive application and required submission video.  Hux, whose responsibilities included editing of the final application in accordance with the application rules, shared the experience made her more attentive to details, most recently when completing her own college applications.  Capps said he is more aware of the importance of time management.  Students unanimously agree Bey places trust in his students and as a result, they rise to the challenge.

The program's enrollment continues to increase which according to Sloup is partially due to South Brunswick High's Smart Lunch and Bey's open door policy that encourages students to walk through the indoor lab. Huntley added, "It is important there is something unique in school.  This program is really cool to have."

One of the key components in the aquaculture program is students' involvement with local community service projects which include volunteering at local fishing tournaments such as the US Open King Mackerel tournament held in Southport and the Small Fry Fishing Tournament.  These opportunities provide students hands on experience with marine biologists and other individuals in the field.  Students also serve as resident experts and help educate the public about the program and the importance of estuarine health.

Most notable, and what provided the backbone for the Sea World award, is the FFA community service project of stocking southern flounder back into NC Marine Fisheries designated nursery areas that have declining southern flounder populations.  Annually since 2006, students release southern flounder into Davis Creek in Oak Island, North Carolina. Students hatch and raise the flounder at the South Brunswick High School indoor aquaculture lab before the big release in the fall of each year.  Bey notes this project makes students and the public aware of how fragile our estuarine nurseries are and how we are facing declining stocks from overfishing, coastal development, and pollution.  Bey feels that replacing fisheries resources through stock enhancement done under the direction of NC Marine Fisheries makes everyone more environmentally aware and increases the buy-in for developing state saltwater hatcheries.

Environmental consciousness is something Bey stresses to his students and demonstrates through his program which boasts the nation's first high school solar powered fish farm.  By using solar power to generate their own electricity, South Brunswick High's Aquaculture Program is able to provide power to the four aerators in the outdoor fish production ponds. The solar conversion was done thanks to school and community support including Progress Energy.

Bey says the program's success has always been due to overwhelming community and agency support. The following organizations and/or individuals are credited for their ongoing support in the award application:  Fish for Tomorrow, Tim Barefoot/Royce Potter; Oak Island Fishing Club, Jerry Dilsilver; Lady Anglers' Fishing Club; Rotary Club;  Bill Rabon, DVM; Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem Saltwater Fishing Club; US Open Mackerel Tournament; St. James Fishing Club; Long Bay Artificial Reef Association, Bob Black; CCA of NC, Bob Mudlak; Myrtle Beach Fishing Club;  Southport Oak Island Chamber of Commerce; Towns of Oak Island, Southport, and Boiling Springs Lake; NC Wildlife; NC Marine Fisheries; NC State University; UNCW; Brunswick Community College; Brunswick County Schools; Mose Lewis and Judge Ola Lewis; Bonner Stiller; Robert Morgan; and Knights of Columbus.

Producing college and career ready students is not only a district and school goal, but a personal one for Bey who feels the exposure students get to aquaculture in high school can lead to multiple career options including, but certainly not limited to, marine biology, water quality assessment, and commercial/retail pet stores.

Learning of the grant award was sweet music to Bey, as annual program costs typically run about $10,000.00.  The award will be used to buy classroom technology and program essentials such as bird netting, salt, algae paste, fish feed, rotifers, artemia, and dechlorinators.  Bey hopes there will also be funds available through the award to continue the program's efforts to go green.

The lasting impact of the aquaculture program is significant and one thing is abundantly clear, Bey is revered by his students.  In addition to the program award application, students nominated Bey for the outstanding educator award which will be announced during the summer ceremony at Sea World. The following excerpt from an email included in the award application illustrates the impact of a great teacher. 

"I have thought about you a lot over the past 10 years.  You were such an inspiration to me. This semester I was introduced to my Bio Prof who has a Ph.D. in Marie Bio.  We did water quality, took out the nets, and he lectured the class with that same passion I remember seeing in your eyes so many years ago.  I just wanted you to know, thank you, from the bottom of my heart…without you I wouldn't have made it through high school as long as I did,  you made me believe in myself, made the roughest part of my life seem ok.  You made a lasting difference in me, as small as an hour a day seems, it changed my life forever.  You are the reason why I want to teach, why I want the chance to do that for my students.  I hope to be down next summer for the reunion, and I will stop in.  Who knows maybe I will be writing you for advice on how to start my own Aquaculture program in the school I teach at!!! The hands on and spark you showed us made everyone interested even if we didn't like fish!"    Jaylyn Yuhas, Class of 2000

Pictured: (left to right) Robert Capps, Ashley Sloup, Olivia Huntley, Instructor Barry Bey, Kayla Hux

5/07/12 > Annual Flower Launch Commemorates Child Abuse Prevention Month
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Pinwheels for Prevention Poster Contest Winners: 
(Front row-left to right)  Kaden Floyd (K-2 division-3rd place-Belville Elementary); Hailey Malpass (K-2 division-2nd place-Lincoln Elementary); Pa'shaye Guillory (K-2 division-1st place (tie)-Lincoln Elementary); Cesar Aguilar (K-2 division-1st place (tie)-Lincoln Elementary)
 
(Back row-left to right) Abigail Loy (3-5 division-2nd place-Bolivia Elementary); Tamaira Moss (3-5 division-Honorable Mention-Bolivia Elementary); Jillian Oliver (3-5 division-3rd place-Bolivia Elementary) (Not Pictured-3-5 division-1st place-Phoebe Marie Fraser-Town Creek Elementary)
 
Posters will be on display for the next year at the Brunswick County Courthouse.
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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
 
Neighbors and local community leaders gathered at Waterfront Park in Southport on Wednesday, April 18 for the 5th Annual Flower Launch.  The short program and symbolic flower launch is sponsored by the Brunswick County Community Child Protection Team.
 
Speaker Rudy Rampahl, Pastor at Southport Oak Island Interfellowship of Churches, shared with those in attendance that child abuse awareness and prevention is not just an issue in April.  "What will you do when you leave this place?  Will you do your part?" Rampahl asked.
 
It is estimated over 1500 lives are lost each year in our nation due to child abuse and neglect.
 
South Brunswick High School JROTC Color Guard, under the supervision of Chief Terry Gile, posted colors, and the Bolivia Elementary School chorus, under the direction of Donna Long, provided a muscial tribute.    
5/07/12 > May 7-11 Staff Appreciation Week-You Make A Difference!
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"Thank you for helping us learn math."
"Thank you for the love that you give us."
"Thank you for giving us strategies for the questions we will have in our life."
"Thank you for treating us nice and respectful."
"Thank you for talking us through our problems."
"Thank you for keeping our schools clean!"
"Thank you for teaching us how to read."
"Thank you for bringing us to school and taking us home!"
"Thank you for helping us when we do not feel well."
"Thank you for feeding us breakfast and lunch."
"Thank you for supporting us and loving us."

Students are the customers of public schools and if you ask how they feel about the adults who work to support them they are not short on words of appreciation.  This week we celebrate all Brunswick County School employees.  Every employee plays an important role to ensure students have valuable experiences which foster a love of school and the desire to be lifelong learners.  

Representing Brunswick County students in saying "Thank You" are 3rd graders from Bolivia Elementary School.

Pictured: (from row-left to right) Ari Bonello, Pearce Quinn, Sarah Cribb, Joshlyne Graham (second row-left to right) Miguel Morales, Cody Asbury, Antonio Randolph, Trista Turner, Charlie Madden

5/04/12 > Get Your Dancing Shoes On...It's Prom Time!
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Tuxedos and fancy dresses, dinner on the town with friends, and lots of dancing!  Students throughout Brunswick County are preparing for what many feel is the most highly anticipated event of the spring, prom!

The official prom season kicks off this weekend as North Brunswick High School hosts "La Bella Notte" (A Beautiful Night) on Saturday, April 28 at the Warwick Center Ballroom on the campus of UNC Wilmington.

West Brunswick High School will celebrate "Nautical Nights" at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher on Saturday, May 12.  Students at WBHS got a jump start on prom planning in February when the WBHS Student Government Association (SGA) sponsored the first annual Prom Vendor Fair.  This creative win-win situation enhanced the prom experience for students and provided a fundraiser for SGA to purchase the 2012 Senior Class Gift.  Vendors which included, Coastal Florist of Shallotte, Coastal Formal Wear of Shallotte, Coastal Knot Bridal and Formal Wear Boutique of Shallotte, Foxy Lady Boutique of Myrtle Beach, Hair on Main Day Spa (Stylist and Make-up Artist Amy Howie) of North Myrtle Beach, and Easy Way Transport Limousine Service of Sunset Beach contributed a donation to SGA in exchange for their participation in the vendor fair. Students enjoyed getting to explore options and resources for their prom needs.

Also hosting prom on Saturday, May 12 is Early College High School as the Brunswick Community College Student Activity Center is transformed into a "Moroccan Oasis."

Rounding out the 2012 prom season is South Brunswick High School on Saturday, May 19, 2012.  "Twilight in Paris" will occur at the Brunswick County Association of Realtors building also known as 101 Stone Chimney Place.

In an effort to raise awareness about student safety on prom night, the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department partners with all traditional high schools to demonstrate "The Keys of Life," a visual reminder of the consequences of drinking and driving.

Here's hoping Prom 2012 is memorable and safe for all Brunswick County students!

5/03/12 > Students compete for college cash!

The 41st annual Odell and Virginia Williamson Oratory Scholarship Competition will be held tonight (Thursday, 5.3.12) in the Brunswick Community College Teaching Auditorium A.

Eight and male and female school winners from South Brunswick High, North Brunswick High, West Brunswick High, and Early College High School will compete for $5,000 in college scholarships!

Please come support our students as they deliver oratories that reflect their individual passions and values from our society.

The program begins at 6:30 p.m. Teaching Auditorium A is located across from the media center in the main administrative building.

5/03/12 > Sweet music at the Waccamaw Spring Concert!
Don't miss the Waccamaw School Band and Chorus Spring Concert tonight (Thursday 5.3.12)!

The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College.

Admission is free and the talent is priceless!
5/03/12 > LMS Student 6th in Nation for World Maths Day!
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Pictured (left to right): Robert Hege (Father); Hunter Hege (student); Nancy Hege (Mother); Nannie Dunn (Grandmother) 

 

Eighth grade Leland Middle student, Hunter Hege competed with over 1.57 million students throughout the world on March 7, 2012 through an online competition of global proportion!  His results were not too shabby! Hege's outstanding mathematical skills landed him 6th overall in the United States through the World Maths Day competition!

 

Hege competed in a total of 50 games comprised of 5 levels each with 10 games.  Students were matched in real time with up to 3 other students of similar age and ability in exciting live on-line challenges. Math challenges lasted 1 minute.  Students earned points for correct answers and monitored their performance.

 

Hege admits his favorite competition was multiplication. At one point he was responding to 60 problems per minutes or 1 second per problem! He admitted when he first began practicing for the competition his goal was to beat his Algebra teacher, Michael Garrette, who could respond to as many as 52 problems per minute.  "I made it my goal to beat him.  You have to start setting goals somewhere," Hege said.

 

When asked what he had learned from the global competition he stated, "It makes me think I have good potential for a math career."  Hege is interested in becoming a computer programmer and has his sights set on attending Early College High School next year as a freshman.

 

Hege offers the following advice for students who are not as excited or struggle with math, "Think it out.  Math has to do with everything.  Math will be included in every part of your life.  If you get used to doing you will get better at it."  He admitted initially he even struggled with Algebra and relied on his teacher, Mr. Garrette to help him strengthen his skills.  "We have great teachers at our school." 

 

World Education Games, March 6-8, 2012, allowed Brunswick County School students to compete against students from countries around the world. Students tested their skills in the area of math, spelling, and science.  Wednesday, March 7, 2012 was World Maths Day.  Exposure to the World Education Games was the work of Michael Garrette, 8th grade math teacher at Leland Middle School, who has led the charge to involve all grade levels in his school through these online competitions. 

 

Students in several schools throughout Brunswick County participated in the competitions along with the anticipated that 5.5 million students from 200 countries and territories.

 

For more information on World Education Games visit http://www.worldeducationgames.com/ .

4/27/12 > VWES Stingray Dads Challenge BC Sheriff's Department
The Stingray Dads of Virginia Williamson Elementary School (VWES) will challenge the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department on the basketball court this Friday, April 27, 2012. The epic battle will take place at Cedar Grove Middle School at 6:00 p.m. There will be face painting, a concession stand, t-shirts, 50/50 raffle, and much, much more! Don’t miss the half-time performance by VWES students and staff!

All proceeds from the evening will benefit the American Cancer Society. This year the VWES is “Team Angelina.” Angelina is a 2nd grade student battling cancer and has not been able to attend school this year. Just last week, school staff received news that a 3rd grade student has just been diagnosed with leukemia. Both students are receiving treatment at Duke Children’s Hospital.

Please join VWES in this special fund-raising event for “LIFE.”

For additional information contact Principal Caryl Fullwood at cfullwood@bcswan.net or 910-754-8660.
4/26/12 > Bullying Stops Here Fun Fair at LMS
Leland Middle School students will have an extra special after school activity option tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, April 26) as the school in partnership with Communities In Schools (CIS) hosts the inaugural "Bullying Stops Here Fun Fair."

CIS Service Learning Coordinator and project facilitator Nicole Rocco says she hopes the opportunity will increase awareness and equip students with important life skills. Rocco and 14 Leland Middle students responsible for planning the fun fair have hosted several activities leading up to this culminating event including asking students to sign an anti-bullying pledge.

Tomorrow's afternoon activities will begin immediately after school and run until 5:30 p.m. Students can expect to participate in games geared at increasing their knowledge about bullying as well as build team building skills which center around effective communication. Informational 5 minute videos will be shown in the gym and students can enjoy popcorn and drinks.

The fun fair also serves as a community service project as proceeds from the admission charge of $3.00 will be donated to the Hope Harbor Home. Students also have the option of paying a $2.00 admission (benefiting Hope Harbor Home) and bringing one can of dog food which will be donated to Paws Place.

For more information about the event contact Principal Patricia Underwood at 910-371-3030.
4/24/12 > Don't Miss Kindergarten Roundup!


 

It is that time of year...kindergarten registration!  Parents/guardians of children who will be 5 years old on or before August 31, 2012 are invited to register at their neighborhood elementary school between 8:30 a.m and 2:30 p.m.  April 16-27, 2012.

 

To enroll a child, parents must present the following:

  • Proof of residence in Brunswick County (utility bill, rent or mortgage receipt)
  • Certified birth certificate (may be obtained from the Register of Deeds in the county of birth)
  • Up to date Immunization Record
  • Completed Kindergarten Health Assessment form on or before the first day of school. The form must be completed no more than 12 months before the date of school entry.  Kindergarten Health Assessment forms are available at the local schools and/or local health department.  *Note:  The Brunswick County Health Department will be at each school for one day to do physicals and immunizations.  The schedule is included in the link below or you can contact your neighborhood school for more information.

Don't miss Kindergarten Round-Up Night!

WANTED:  The best rootin'-tootin' upcoming kindergarteners in town for the 2012-13 school year!

Where?  Your neighborhood elementary school!

When?  Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.

What?   Cowpoke dinner, tours, classroom visits, and a wagon load of FUN!!! 

All little cowpokes will receive FREE EDUCATIONAL materials to prepare for the upcoming school year! 

For more information contact 910-253-1080.

 

Click here for additional Kindergarten Registration Information!

 

 

 

 

4/24/12 > Principal of the Year Helen Davis Believes in Every Student

Getting to know…Principal of the Year Helen Davis

Q: What type of student were you?
A: I was a good, average student. I worked very hard and was determined to get good grades in school. It was an expectation in my family.

Q: Describe the journey that led you to the principalship.
A: Based on my upbringing and observing my 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Annabelle Williams, I knew I wanted to become a teacher. After I became a teacher, Ms. Faye Nelson and Ms. Christine Hall encouraged me to become an administrator. I completed the North Carolina Principal Fellows Program.

Q: How many years have you served public school students?
A: This is my 28th year in education. I started in 1983.

Q: What about Ms. Williams was inspirational to you?
A: It was her demeanor. She was such an inspiration to students. She always encouraged you and did not like the word "can't". You also saw her in the community, which was nice to know your teacher outside of the school environment. She always encouraged you to do the best you could do. Then, when you went away to college, she would come up to you in church and put her hand in your hand and give you something. She would say, "It's not much, but it will help you along the way."

Q: When you walk into a classroom at TCES what signs do you look for to know it is a healthy learning environment?
A: I look for student engagement and I let my eyes walk around the classroom to see word walls and different print rich environments. Then I listen so I can hear the dialogue going on in the classroom. I love to hear students engaged in collaborative discussions and the teacher right in the middle. I love not just seeing a teacher standing up and delivering instruction, but actually seeing students fully engaged in the learning process.

Q: Do you think the implementation of Common Core State Standards will shift instructional practices?
A: Yes, I do. I believe it will increase collaborative instructional design and overall quality of instruction, period. We've already started the shift at TCES. Our K-2 teachers have really delved into it and our 3-5 teachers are ready. It is awesome to watch them do the transition, engage in learning, set those learning targets and provide descriptive feedback to students as they engage in different types of learning. The staff at TCES are instructional leaders. I am fortunate to work with such talented and dedicated educators.

Q: What message do you want TCES to convey to the community?
A: We are the place to be. This is where great learning takes place. We are engaged in 21st century learning here. We get our students engaged in global instruction. I believe we are off to a good start.

Q: Do your teachers understand their role in promoting the system's vision of producing college and career ready high school graduates? When a kindergarten student enrolls, do they see him/her as a high school graduate or as a little person? A: I think years ago they saw little people, but now they see graduates. As a staff, and in our professional learning communities, we discuss the importance of preparedness not only for the next grade level, but also for college and career readiness. We believe our students will be great citizens in our society. Some will go away and do great things and some will come home and serve their community. We talk about college and try to make that abstract concept something they can understand.

Q: What is the most important characteristic of a strong instructional team?
A: Becoming a professional learning community (PLC), collaborating, and knowing how to agree to disagree. Making students the #1 priority has to be our focus. If we consistently do that, we will make the right decisions. Teams have to make sound decisions based on data.

Q: How does TCES do to use data in making instructional decisions?
A: We use data to make instructional decisions. Our staff participate in routine "data days". During this time, each grade level team comes together to discuss the progress of every student. We drill down to the individual student, small groups, and examine the entire class. Based on the data analysis, we may flex our groups. Students are in flexible groups from kindergarten through 5th grade. It is just wonderful.

Q: So teachers really know the individual needs of their students?
A: Yes, we have several types of formative assessments. We try to implement interventions, as well as enrichment, prior to any major needs emerging.

Q: So if a parent is curious about their child's individual needs then you could have a conversation with them about the specific skills the child has mastered and those that perhaps need additional intervention?
A: Absolutely! We are working towards having our students share this information themselves. Because students have their own data notebook, student led conferences are quite possible. It is already occurring in some upper grades. It is very impressive.

Q: What do you think is the single most important quality a teacher should have? A: People skills.

Q: A student?
A: A desire to learn.

Q: A parent?
A: The desire to be a partner.

Q: A principal?
A: The ability to wear many hats.

Q: What do you feel is the role parents and community should play in the operation of the school?
A: I think parents and community should be integral parts of the school, in that they should be involved in student learning. As far as parents, volunteering and being involved in their child's learning, it enhances communication and builds relationships. The community is working with the schools to help us understand what skills we can help students develop so that we will be better able to prepare and groom our own students to come back and work in this area in order to meet the needs of our local businesses and industries. Develop partnerships.

Q: This is your third year of operation. Do you feel there are community misperceptions about your school?
A: Just minor misperceptions in the beginning because families from several schools had to come together to build TCES. Many people did not want to leave their old schools. Over time, those misperceptions have faded. We have come together by making this a great environment. We are excited about the teaching and learning that happens here. Time is actually taking care of this as we are continuing to build and shape our culture.

Q: Is it true that when TCES opened there was at least one staff member from all other schools in Brunswick County that came together to form your team?
A: That is true.

Q: Tell me something that your staff has implemented that has had the most impact on student learning and how do you monitor those results?
A: I think the flexible groups and data days have had the greatest impact. I monitor those by us working as a team, reviewing data, collaborating and doing classroom observations. Visibility is key in making sure the programs are running smoothly and teaching and learning is happening from bell to bell.

Q: "At-risk" is a term frequently used by educators to define a population of students. How do you define this term? What strategies are TCES staff using to address their needs?
A: I prefer the Larry Bell term, "At-promise" and I also like to use the terms "Wonderful ones" and "Gifted Gators". I feel like all of our students are "Gifted Gators". To combat their differently-abled needs we provide interventions and enrichment. I am happy to cover a class or teach a DI (direct instruction). I like being involved in the learning environment. It is all about the students. We need to make them believe in themselves.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
A: Just to be myself.

Q: For people in the education field considering administration, what advice would you give them?
A: Know thyself. If you know who you are you can become whatever you want to be.

Q: In thinking back to your school days, how would your classmates remember you?
A: Somewhat talkative. In the high school years, probably talkative, very talkative. Overall I think they would remember me as a positive person, always friendly and trying to help someone.

Q: How was the Gator chosen as the TCES mascot?
A: It was chosen by the students. I visited with the students at each freeder school and gathered ideas from them. I went back a different day and conducted a survey. I told them we could not have what other schools in Brunswick County had. It came down to the Beavers and the Gators. When they voted, the Gators won.

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: Probably that I am learning to play the guitar. I love music. I have tried my hand at the piano and wanted to try to something else.

Q: Uniforms, good decisions?
A: Yes, very much so. Students have a lot of color choices even when wearing their uniforms.

Q: What is the last book you read?
A: The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey. I like nonfiction because I like to know facts.

Q: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to play the lead role as Helen Davis?
A: Alfre Woodard

Q: What do you want your legacy at TCES to be?
A: That I made the difference in the lives of my students.

Q: Finish this sentence, "I am proud to be the principal at TCES because…"
A: I have had the opportunity to help build it from the ground up and I work with an outstanding group of professionals.

4/19/12 > JMM student art show is a must see!

Mark your calendars! The 9th annual Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary student art show will take place Monday, April 23, 2012 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. 

Enjoy the beautiful artwork of students at Jessie Mae Monroe as you take a gallery walk through the school. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. in the media center with a brief introduction by art teacher Theresa Reiter. Throughout the floating event refreshments, which include a chocolate fountain, will be available for all to enjoy.

A special feature at this year's show is the commitment by the students to "go green" by using recycled materials in 2 and 3 dimensional pieces.  In preparing for the show students studied pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein which provided a great deal of inspiration for their work.

The show is open to the public and is truly an exhibition of the talent of Brunswick County students and the commitment of outstanding teachers!

For more information contact Principal David Cupolo at 910-287-4014.

4/05/12 > Hats on parade at Waccamaw School!

 

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Students in grades K-2 at Waccamaw School participated in the annual spring hat parade Thursday, April 5.  The parade tradition began several year ago and is always an exciting day for the students who design and decorate their own hats!  Students and their teachers parade through the school bringing smiles to everyone they see.

Students wish everyone a happy and safe spring break which will occur April 9-13, 2012.

 

4/05/12 > Spring has sprung at Leland Middle!

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The students in the Action for Success Program at Leland Middle School have been working this year on a community service project to help make their school courtyard more beautiful.  This fall some of the students planted bulbs, weeded and put down pine straw.  This spring they have been repotting flowers, planting perennials in a new garden area and putting out bird feeders with fresh seed.  The students and staff of the school have also enjoyed watching a mother dove who built her nest on top of a window squeegee that was leaning on the outside wall.  Her two eggs have now hatched and she is tending to her babies, flying to the opposite side of the courtyard flapping her wings for distraction when someone walks nearby. 

 

The project helps all the students take more pride in their school and feel an ownership in part of the school.  The Action for Success Program is sponsored by Communities In Schools of Brunswick County and Brunswick County Schools.

 

4/05/12 > Cedar Grove students plan for their future

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The Exploring Careers and Business Technology classes of Mrs. Harmon and Mrs. Jinwright, CTE Teachers at Cedar Grove Middle School, hosted a guest speaker from Brunswick Community College.  Mr. Jerry Smith is the Coordinator for the Center for Advanced Studies at the community college and spoke on March 13th about high school pathways. 

 

As the 8th grade students prepare this month to enroll in their high school courses at either West or South Brunswick High Schools, they learned about many courses they can take in high school that will earn them college credits.  The TECH PREP program at the college saves students time and money towards a degree.  The students learn through technical programs that lead to a pathway of various industrial and vocational trades. 

 

Mr. Smith also spoke about the Career and College Promise program where high school students can take college courses, tuition free on the college campus during their 11th and 12th grade year.  The students learned about the many vocational and technical pathways they can enter into, towards their future careers and work goals.

 

Cedar Grove Middle School 8th grade students received brochures and valuable information to take home to share with their families on helping to choose the right path for each of them.

4/03/12 > Principal Helen Davis honored at luncheon

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Principal of the Year Helen Davis was honored during a luncheon on Friday, March 23. The annual luncheon is hosted by Communities In Schools of Brunswick County. 

Board of Education Chairwoman Shirley Babson welcomed the group of county leaders, fellow Board members, Communities In School staff, and Brunswick County School administrators.  Dr. Vicky Snyder, the system's 2011-12 Principal of the Year, provided the keynote address prior to Superintendent Edward Pruden's introduction of the 2012-2013 Principal of the Year, Helen Davis.  Davis is the principal at Town Creek Elementary School.

Pictured (left to right):  Representative Frank Iler; Board of Education Chairwoman, Shirley Babson; Early College High School Principal Vicky Snyder; Principal of the Year Helen Davis; Communities In Schools Executive Director, Cynthia Tart; Superintendent Edward Pruden

 

4/01/12 > Watch a live stream of BOE meetings!

Citizens of Brunswick County will have an additional way to watch proceedings of the Board of Education through a live-stream located on the system's new website. Currently, ATMC customers can view a televised replay of the monthly meetings on Tuesday and Friday evenings.  

Live-streaming will expand accessibility by allowing individuals with internet access the opportunity to watch the meetings live. Board of Education meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Individuals who wish to watch and/or listen the live stream should visit www.bcswan.net, click "School Board" on the home page then "Watch Live Stream of Board Meeting" on the left navigation bar.

The stream will continue through the entire meeting; however, it cannot be archived.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Education is Tuesday, April 3, 2012.

3/22/12 > ECHS students perform service project

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Students from the Early College High School STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) group, led by math teacher Becky Willis, recently participated in a service project to help Supply Elementary School.
 
STEM students collected more than 200 juice boxes that were donated to Supply Elementary for use in the school's weekend backpack program.  The program serves approxiamately 70 students.
 
Pictured are STEM students, Early College Principal Vicky Synder and Supply Principal Dwight Willis.
3/22/12 > NASSP-Breaking Ranks spotlights NBHS

SchoolCenter PictureNorth Brunswick High School was one of only 17 high-performing middle and high schools in the nation and the only school from North Carolina invited to present at the Breaking Ranks 2012 School Showcase as part of the NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) Breaking Ranks K-12 Conference recently held in Florida.

School are chosen to present on the basis of their outstanding reputations for quality and innovative practices with challenging populations. 

Assistant Superintendent Bob Grimes led the North Brunswick High School team which included Principal Sheila Grady in presenting, "Continuum of Student Support:  High Academic Success" to an audience of 170 participants.

Grimes and team know a thing or two about school improvement and have certainly practiced what they preached to conference participants in Tampa.  Just five years ago, North Brunswick was classified as a "turnaround school" and was one of the state's 66 lowest performing high schools with only 49% of students scoring at or above proficient on state end-of-course assessments.  Fast forward to the 2010-2011 school year when 86% of North Brunswick High students scored at or above proficient on end-of-course assessments.  Additionally, the school has seen dramatic increases in graduation rates from 77.1% in 2007-08 to 84.7% in 2010-11.

What contributed to this success?  According to Grimes, "A group of dedicated and hard working teachers, administrators, and staff that committed themselves to doing 'whatever it takes' to ensure that every child is successful every day."

Pictured is Bob Grimes, Assistant Superintendent presenting at NASSP conference.

3/22/12 > SMS raises money through mathathon

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Shallotte Middle School students recently demonstrated compassion through action for community and the world around them. For several years students have participated in "Mathathon" a fundraising event for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Once each year during a two week period students are provided with math fun books.  Students complete math problems for donations. Even during these difficult economic times Shallotte Middle students raised an astonishing $4,614.00, the most to date.

Pictured is Principal Paul Price showing his "Pirate Pride" with t-shirts donated for every student by the PTA. 

3/19/12 > School cafeterias receive sanitation awards

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On the evening of March 12, 2012, the Environmental Health Section of the Brunswick County Health Department recognized fourteen Brunswick County Schools cafeterias for maintaining food safety and sanitation scores of 95% or greater for the year 2011.

Each of the following schools received the Golden "A" Award for achieving a sanitation grade of 95% or higher for one calendar year (four inspections):
 
Cedar Grove Middle Mattie Bryant, Cafeteria Manager
Lincoln Elementary Anita Twigg, Cafeteria Manager
Town Creek Elementary  Connie Gregory, Cafeteria Manager
Union Elementary Minnie Solano, Cafeteria Manager
West Brunswick High Katie Hill, Cafeteria Manager
 
Each of the following schools received the prestigious Platinum "A" Award for achieving a sanitation grade of 95% or higher for a minimum of five consecutive years:

Bolivia Elementary Joann Vaught, Cafeteria Manager
Brunswick County Academy  Georgette McCracken, Cafeteria Manager
J.M. Monroe Elementary  Sonya Poston, Cafeteria Manager
Leland Middle   Becky Norris, Cafeteria Manager
North Brunswick High Cynthia Bryant, Cafeteria Manager
Shallotte Middle   Catherine Jernigan, Cafeteria Manager
South Brunswick Middle  Donna Winecoff, Cafeteria Manager
South Brunswick High Steve Yandian, Cafeteria Manager
Waccamaw   Linda Atkinson, Acting Cafeteria Manager

All Brunswick County Schools Cafeteria Managers and Assistant Managers are required to participate in a rigorous twelve hour class and pass a comprehensive exam in order to become ServSafe® Certified. Currently, with the ServSafe® Certification an additional two points is added to a facility's overall health score. However, when calculating the minimum score of 95% for the Golden and Platinum "A" awards these two extra point are not included.

It takes the entire staff at all of these schools to maintain this level of excellence and they are to be are to be commended on a job well done!

3/19/12 > Barbie's Bad Hair Day Inspires VWES Students

 

Eleven year old, fifth grade Virginia Williamson Elementary classmates and science partners Danielle Varnam and Hailey Anderson toyed with several ideas for their science project.  The girls were searching for something that had not been done before.Hailey shared, "We thought about the potato and lemon batter thing but we thought about it and decided it has been done so many times and everyone knows what happens.  We decided this would be interesting and unique since no one has ever done it before."

 

So, what was their final project idea?  Danielle said, "When you get a Barbie, after awhile their hair gets messed up. We decided it would be cool to see if we could fix it." 

 

Using Hailey's younger sister's Barbies, the girls subjected the dolls to four different experiments in hopes of taming the fly-away hair.  The experiments included regular shampoo and conditioner; a concoction of baking powder, water, and baby shampoo; steam from boiling water; and shortening.  Danielle said the shortening made Barbie hair, "Feel like grass in the winter."Both agreed they proved their original hypothesis which was that regular shampoo and conditioner would be the most effective.

 

What happens next proves that we never know just how powerful activities like the annual district science fair can be in sustaining student interest and promoting higher order thinking skills. 

 

According to Danielle, "During this process we thought of an actual product idea.  Because the shampoo and conditioner worked so well we thought, why not make a Barbie repair kit or first aid kit?  Like the white boxes with the red cross, maybe a hot pink one. They could have their own brand of shampoo and conditioner and put it in there with a brush. They wouldn't be thrown away as much and fill up landfills."

 

So, the girls put fingers to keys and wrote a letter to Mattel, the world's largest toy company and the maker of the iconic Barbie doll.  Much to the girls' surprise, Mattel wrote back!

 

Hailey recounted their original reaction, "We were really excited to get something back from them!" Both girls admitted their skepticism about receiving a response.

 

The letter from Mattel thanked the girls for their letter and their product idea.  Officials from the company acknowledge how difficult it is to come up with a good product idea and shared some of the company's history.  In explaining why they could not could not accept the girls' idea representatives shared, "We hope you realize that just because we can't consider your product idea doesn't mean it doesn't have promise, and we certainly hope that you'll continue to develop your creative talents throughout your life.  In doing so, perhaps you'll look to Mattel's own values for inspiration:  Play with Passion, Play Together, Play Fair, and Play to Grow.  Perhaps you'll even become a professional toy designer yourself!"

 

Both girls have thought about future careers and have interest in becoming science teachers.  According to the girls, their inspiration is in large part due to Virginia Williamson Elementary science teacher, Tara Cumbee. 

 

What did this experience teach Danielle and Hailey?

 

Without hesitation they said, "We didn't think we could do this." "Our ideas can lead to big things." "Just because you are small or in elementary school like we are doesn't mean you can't do things."  "We can do important things."

 

Yes you can girls, yes you can.

3/19/12 > Local Pilot Club Grants Teacher Wish Lists

Local Pilot Club Grants Teacher Wish Lists


The Pilot Club of South Brunswick Islands generously granted the wish-lists of seven exceptional children teachers in Brunswick County Schools. Individual teachers received items off their wish lists totaling $700.00 equating to a donation of $4,900.00 district-wide. 
 
Representatives from The Pilot Club of South Brunswick Islands recently presented teachers with their items at during a celebration in the Supply Elementary School media center.
 
Pilot Clubs throughout the world work to improve the lives of those affected by brain disorders. March is brain-disorder awareness month.
 
The following teachers who received funding provide services to students in Brunswick County with multiple disabilities.  Students served through these specialized programs often require adapted materials and equipment.
 
Betty Hux-North Brunswick High School
Donna Mooneyham-South Brunswick High School
Elizabeth Simmons-Southport Elementary School
Jenny Hunnicutt-Leland Middle School
Kathy Green-Supply Elementary School
Susan Carr-Supply Elementary School
Susannah Roberts-Union Elementary School
 
 Many thanks to the generosity of a wonderful community partner!
3/19/12 > Student Safety is Transportation's Top Priority

 

 

Getting to know….Transportation Director Bobby Taylor

 

Transportation Director Bobby Taylor recently sat down with Community Engagement Director Jessica Swencki for a candid interview about transportation services, common transportation misperceptions, and shared a few things that may surprise even the folks who know him.

 

Q:Where did you grow up and attend school?

A:I attended Northern Nash High School in Rocky Mount, NC.  I also attended the community college after graduating from high school and attended Mount Olive College.

 

Q:What kind of student were you?

A:I actually was a fairly good student.  I was one of those students that did what I needed to do to get by, but could have definitely could have done better. 

 

Q:Did you like school?

A:I did like school.  I was a student that had to work while in high school and also played sports so I always stayed busy. I played football and basketball.

 

Q:What positions?

A:Tight-end in football and forward on the basketball team.

 

Q:What other things were you involved in?

A:I drove a school bus and also worked at Hardees.

 

Q:There was actually a time when students could drive a bus???

A:Yes, students could drive a school bus while they were in high school.

 

Q.What changed this in North Carolina?

A:They felt that adults would be safer and could create a safer environment for the students.

 

Q:Were there lots of accidents back then?

A:I really do not think so.  Buses were driven at 35 miles per hour.

 

Q:What is the speed now?

A:Forty-five miles per hour

 

Q:What journey brought you here?  Tell me about your career up to this point.

A:I have spent my entire career in some form of transportation.  I have worked with Carolina Freight and the School Bus Transportation Department in Nash County Rocky Mount, NC. 

 

Q:What did you do in the School Bus Transportation Department?

A:There isn't anything that I have not done in this department from a fuel truck driver, then a mechanic, a cost clerk, office manager, TIMS (developed bus routes), etc.

 

Q:  So, there is nothing in this department that you have not done?

A:Nothing. 

 

Q:You could jump in any position and not miss a beat?

A:That's right.

 

Q:What brought you to Brunswick County?

A:Ten years ago I received a call from Mr. Don McCurley, former Director of Brunswick County Schools Transportation Department.  I had worked with Mr. McCurley previously in Nash County Rocky Mount.  He offered me that opportunity to see Brunswick County.  Apparently, it was a perfect fit.  I moved my family here, and have lived and worked in this county for 10 years.  Don McCurley was committed to the transportation of exceptional children and made great changes in service delivery for exceptional children in Brunswick County. 

 

Q:What message would you like to send to the community regarding the Transportation Department?

A:My message to the community is that your child or children are safe.  The Transportation Department provides the safest means of transportation, even safer than they can provide in their own provide vehicles. Statistics support this statement, not only state-wide, but nationally.

 

Q:What is our ridership like in Brunswick County?

A:We transport 7,200 students over 10,000 miles each day.

 

Q:What is the single most important quality a bus driver should have?

A:They should care about the students they transport and must believe that they are providing an important service.

 

Q:How do you foster the belief in school bus drivers that they are a part of this educational system and have an impact on our students?

A:First, we have to make believers in our own department.  We share information every Monday.  The first thing I had to do was sit down with them to let them know what is expected as a school bus driver and employee.  We are providing a service, and the customers are the students of Brunswick County Schools.

 

Q:What types of duties do employees that report directly to you perform?

A:They report issues, go to sites they are needed in any capacity and handle the situations.  We communicate at all times and make quick and responsible decisions.  When buses are on the side of the road we make decisions either to fix it there or if it cannot be fixed at the site, we get the students out of harm's way.  We have processes and procedures in place. 

 

Q: Speaking of processes and procedures, what processes and procedures are you bound to follow by state law or policy?  There may be some confusion in the public.

A:The school bus is just an extension of a classroom on wheels.  The principal of that school is still responsible for the student until we get the child to their home.  Therefore, the principal is the only legal person who can release that child to a parent/guardian.  The transportation department CANNOT release a child if a parent or relative sees the bus on the side of the road.

 

Q:Are there any other rules or laws that may be confusing to the public?

A:Yes, the biggest issue is to pick up or take the child to their legal residence.  Some parents may write a note to drop their child off to a relative's house.  By law, we are required to pick the child and take the child back to their legal residence.  The documentation has to be legal.

 

Q:What is that process?

A:You must fill out the transportation form.  It has to be approved by the school and the transportation department.  The school has to sign because sometimes the child may need to get off at grandma's every Tuesday or Thursday or every Monday or Wednesday.  What it creates for that school is that there is no consistency for child and as a result, they could easily get misplaced or lost with this type of situation.  Sometimes this puts children in danger.  Ninety percent of the time that we say "no" is because we are concerned with the safety of the child.  It also confuses the school bus driver by switching days so often.

 

Q:Can you talk about buses not always being able to travel down private roads?  Where can school buses go?

A:If a road sign says John's Drive, we do not have to drive down it. State roads are what we are required to drive on.  We can drive down some roads with permission from a developer.But sometimes we still cannot drive down some private roads.  Take Waterford, one of our new and nicest subdivisions in Brunswick County.  They have placed beautiful wooden bridges throughout the community.  The State of North Carolina Department of Transportation does not allow us to travel over these bridges no matter how wide they may be. 

 

Q:So, how do you pick them up?

A:They all come to a certain location away from the wooden bridges at one or two stops.  The law also does not allow us to travel down any road less then ½ mile unless it's a K-3 student.

 

Q:Why can't students get on the bus at their house?  What are the rules?

A:Brunswick County Schools is more flexible than a lot of other school districts.  The State of North Carolina says bus stops do not need to be closer than 2/10 of a mile. We are probably 97% efficient in that area.  The other 3% are exceptions that typically are related to transporting students with disabilities.

 

  The 2/10 rule is for efficiency as well as safety on the highway.  If you stop any closer it will not allow the stop hand mechanism time enough to work properly.

 

Q:Do other states provide free transportation for their students?  Are there any that do not?

A:Good question.  Many states are considering doing away with transportation.  There are a lot of states that are contracting companies to transport students to school.  Parents have to pay that company.  It is not managed by the school system.

 

Q:There is no federal money given to the states for transportation?  Is that right?

A:Yes.  The state of North Carolina says that each LEA (school system) can choose to provide transportation or not.  Transportation is truly a service not an entitlement. Brunswick County does not have to provide transportation to students, but because we opt to do so, we must follow the state's rules and funding formulas.

 

Q:How would students get to school?

A:Parents would have to provide transportation.

 

Q:Are there any school systems in North Carolina that do not provide transportation?

A:All school systems currently provide transportation in North Carolina.

 

Q:Staggered bell times? Is it working?

A:Actually, it is working well.

   

Q:How is transportation funded?

A: It is based on the efficiency of our system.

 

Q:So, let me make sure I have this right.  The state gives you a percentage of funding based on our assigned efficiency rating. If we are assigned a rating of 90% and our allocation is $100,000 we would only get $90,000?

A: Yes, you leave $10,000 on the table.

 

Q:Is it true that how we run the program this year affects our money for the next school year? That seems odd.

A:Yes. The way you run the program this year determines the percentage of available funding you receive the next school year.

 

Q:Efficiency is hard to explain.  The public sometimes does not understand how transportation can run double routes, the same amount of miles, and actually improve efficiency.  It seems suspect.

A:Last year it took 160 buses with 7,200 students.  This year we are using 132 buses with 7,200 students.  So we are transporting the same amount of students but we are doing it, by definition, more efficiently, as a result, our efficiency rating for this year will improve and allow us to leave very little, if any of the state allocation on the table during the 2012-2013.  A recent letter from NCDPI predicts our efficiency rating could be 100% this school year.

 

Q:   How often do we provide bus driver training?

A.We provide training every 3 months in conjunction with the North Carolina DMV.  Information about these trainings as well as the training manual are on the transportation division website.

 

Q.Tell me something implemented during your tenure that has positively impacted your organization. How do you monitor results?

A.One of the immediate things I can think of is the development of an inspection team.  State law requires that we inspect every school bus every 30 calendar days and therefore we have to meet this legal requirement.  There are approximately 300 points we must inspect on each school bus every 30 days. We've developed a system here that is different than anything in the state.  We have a 2 man inspection team that goes out and inspects the buses and writes up everything that is found. Then we have a 3 man team that takes the same work order that has just been written and makes the repairs. We monitor how fast the second group can get out and make the repairs.  We monitor which ones of those items require buses to be taken out of service by law and what items are more frequent issues. When the state came down last year and conducted the annual inspection for Brunswick County Schools of the 30 day process, the inspector found 23 items that needed attention.  What is interesting is that of those 23 items the state inspector found, my 2 man team had found the identical 23 items.  The 3 man team was already heading out to repair them. This system works. This is the second year of the program.

 

Q:Do BCS own the yellow buses?

A:No, the state assigns yellow buses to school systems as long as the system wants to use them or they age out and are replaced.  We do own our activity buses.  We auction our old activity buses and put this funding back into the program.

 

Q:   Do all systems have GPS tracking on their buses?

A:No, they do not.  The GPS system was placed on buses as a tool for immediate communication and to provide immediate information.  It has been a great help to us.  Our phone calls (complaints) have been cut in half because of GPS.  We can tell parents everything they need to know about drop off and pick up time.

 

Q:What is the best piece of advice someone has ever given you?

A:That would be my HS Principal.  I was a student athlete and I just did enough to get by. He told me, "Bobby I have been watching you.  Why are you just settling?  Why don't you just strive to be the best at whatever you choose to do?  If you want to dig a ditch, then be the best ditch digger.  It doesn't matter what you do, just do the very best you can."

 

Q:If you could have super powers what would they be?

A:I would like to see people stop being selfish and think about each other more.

 

Q:What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A:I have two grown daughters; both have graduated from college and are professionals.  They are both married and I am a grandfather of 5.  My oldest daughter is a school counselor and my youngest daughter also works for the state.

 

Q:Finish this sentence, "I am proud to be the transportation director of Brunswick County Schools because…."

A:Because I get to touch the lives of 12000 young people. Everyday they get home safe I can go home with a big smile on my face.