Stanly County Schools scores high in internationally recognized accreditation

Supplemental payments to be made by May 31

ALBEMARLE – The Stanly County Board of Education met on Tuesday, May 3 with its final accreditation report as well as updates on supplemental play and grant proposals on the agenda. 

Dr. Amy Blake-Lewis, the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, presented to the board the final accreditation report from Cognia, a non-profit organization that accredits primary and secondary schools, for the 2022 cycle. 

“Cognia rates a school system on 31 indicators and each indicator can be assigned a rating in three different areas,” Dr. Blake-Lewis said. “When we look at Stanly County, we had one indicator that was rated at Initiative (the lowest rating), 25 that were rated at Improve (the middle rating) and five that were rated at the level of Impact (the highest rating). Overall, this was a very good report and excellent feedback from Cognia.” 

The school district was also given an overall accreditation score by Cognia. 

“The average score for district accreditation falls between 260 and 280 points on a 400-point scale and our last accreditation score in 2017 was 260.57,” Dr. Blake-Lewis said. “I’m very pleased to report that our score for the 2022 cycle was 314.84, an increase of 54.27.” 

The three areas that Cognia recommended for Stanly County Schools to focus on were to formalize the data collection process, develop processes for how to review, modify and make improvements to existing programs and implement the teacher evaluation process with greater fidelity. 

The board also reported that Stanly County Schools was not awarded any grants from the Needs Based Public Schools Capital Funds. The board had approved the application for four grants for four separate projects last month for building renovations at East Albemarle Elementary, West Stanly Middle, Endy Elementary and West Stanly High. 

“We didn’t receive any of the grant funding,” said board member, Dr. Rufus Lefler. “I think some of the schools in Anson and Montgomery County did, but it was low-income funding, so we didn’t get any. We will have a meeting in the next month and make our long-term plan for our facilities and we will be applying next year for a grant and hopefully we’ll get some of the funding next year.” 

The board then approved the use of PRC funds for supplements to pay for all eligible and certified staff on payroll. 

“We will provide, per our budget and the funds provided by the state, $1,100 for teachers and certified instructional personnel,” said board member Dustin Lisk. 

The payments will be made on or before May 31. 

The board also approved a new AIG Plan that will be in effect from 2022-2025. The plans are reviewed and amended every three years. 

The plan for 2022-25 featured three priorities: equitable services to ensure that students have equitable access to AIG services across the district, growing partnership opportunities such as with Pfeiffer University to obtain teacher licensure and inclusive identification to strengthen practices to identify underrepresented populations. 

“Typically, between 12 to 12.5% of our students are identified as intelligently or academically gifted,” said Lynn Plummer, Director of Elementary Education and AIG. “Right now, we’re probably a little lower than what we’d typically be in a typical year simply because our identification the past year was thrown off with not having AIG scores. So, AIG teachers have worked tremendously this year to revisit what identification looks like so we don’t cancel those kids out and not give them that chance.” 

The board gave recognition to Vice-Chair, Carla Poplin, who was named to the North Carolina School Board Association Legislative Committee. 

“These individuals will do the work that leads to the adoption of the association’s agenda,” said Chairwomen, Glenda Gibson. “Committee members will review ongoing legislative activity and provide guidance to the Board of Directors on legislative matters. This year’s legislative committee is composed of a subset of NCSBA Board of Directors and ten at-large school board members who were nominated by their school board and appointed by the NCSBA president. The committee will meet late this year and their members will serve a two-year term.” 

Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis also reported that the preliminary audit report for the district, which began last week, suggested no ill findings with the district’s finances at the time. 

The Stanly County Board of Education will next meet June 7.