Board of Education approves supplement funding from the state for teacher bonus pay

Board approves new courses to be offered at Stanly County Schools

ALBEMARLE – The Stanly County Schools Board of Education met Tuesday, May 2, with new courses and supplement funding as the key items on the agenda. 

The board approved the CTE Annual Plan Review, which happens every two years and contains a comprehensive needs assessment and goal and benchmark proficiencies. 

“This is year two of a two-year plan, and we are meeting meaningful progress towards all the goals that are outlined for us through the state as well as the comprehensive needs assessment that was conducted last year for the CTE programs to grow and expand,” said Director of Career and Technical Education Mandy Melton  

“The comprehensive needs assessment was conducted last year, and that’s where we meet with and survey stakeholders. CTE has teacher advisories and business advisories where we meet with the local businesses we cooperate with, like NCWorks, NextGen and different governmental agencies relating to employment. And from all that, we gather information to make a plan on how to move forward, what programs are needed and those types of things.” 

“The second part is goals outlined from the state that CTE has benchmarks that they have to meet every year. It is academic proficiency in mathematics, science and reading. There is also a goal for non-traditional participation in CTE which is basically a non-traditional gender participating in CTE class, such as a girl in construction class or auto mechanics or a boy in health science. There are also goals related to credentials, how many students we credential each year, as well as our post-secondary attainment. In February of every year, CTE surveys each of its concentrators to see if they have positive placement after high school. The last goal is what they call ‘program quality,’ and that is our post-assessment scores and performance-based measures that are done at the end of every course. We are given state and local benchmarks to meet every year.” 

The board also approved the establishment of a few new courses. 

The first is an elective exclusive to South Stanly Middle School, and it will be an outdoor and environmental STEM elective that will be offered for one semester as a rotational elective. 

“I’m very passionate about getting kids outdoors,” said South Stanly 6th grade Science and Social Studies teacher Kristin Owens-White, who will be leading the course. “We want kids to think outside the box, but we’re not willing to teach them outside the box, and I think we need to get those kids back outdoors, exploring and seeing what is in the world around them. 

“It’s not a go outside and play course; this is where they get to explore things about their environment and make educated choices. It’s not pushing an agenda on children; it is about getting them invested in the world around them. There’s a lot of material and equipment in that STEM lab that I want to see put to good use, and I think this is just a great way to twist it, use the equipment but get the kids excited.” 

The second type of course would be an honors/advanced studies offering of PE.  

“We had our group of high school physical education teachers come to us with a vision for offering an advanced course for physical education and being able to give some of those student-athletes an extended opportunity to perform not just in the weight room, but academically and mixing those two things together,” said Chief Academic Officer Lynn Plummer. “It’s not just a matter of going to the weight room and lifting weights or going outside and playing on the field every day but being able to add in exercise and diet and the nutritional side of things. 

“If we take PE as a Freshman, a lot of our students don’t go back and take another PE course, especially those that are really trying to advance that GPA because a lot of those PE courses are just going to give them a 4.0 rather than a 5.0. So, they came together and put together a wonderful plan of what that would look like for those students.” 

The board also approved the Child Nutrition Recruitment Plan, which was a template sent by DPI that needed to be sent in every two years. 

Finally, the board approved the state supplemental funds for teacher bonus pay. 

“This year, in the second rollout of funding from DPI, the amount that we got this year is $1.7 million,” said Chief Financial Officer Terry Dudney. “The funding amount is $1,750,009, and there are 620 staff members that are eligible based on the policy that was approved by the board last year. So, the bonus this year would be $2,135 per certified instructional staff member. It may tweak a little higher than that, but until we process the payroll and know what it comes up with, the amount that we’re working with is $2,135 per individual. Staff must be employed and in paid status as of May 1, and if the staff is employed less than 100 percent, then they will receive a prorated amount of that bonus.” 

According to Dudney, the funding came directly from the state as a budget line item and there is no county match required. 

The Stanly County Schools Board of Education will next meet June 6.