Busy Meeting Last Night

Tidbits from last night’s BOE meeting (3/4/08) follow:

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1. The discussion of magnet/opt-outs as it relates to High Point’s Triangle Lake Montessori was intense. Talks of operating a school-within-a-school have been tabled for further discussion at the next meeting.

High Point Enterprise excerpt:

Triangle Lake Montessori could allow non-magnet students to enroll at the school under a proposal the school board is consid­ering.
The Guilford County Board of Edu­cation has put on hold a recommen­dation to operate Triangle Lake as a school within a school by operating both the Montessori program and a traditional program for non-magnet students.
The board tabled discussion on the proposal until their March 20 meet­ing. Several Triangle Lake parents voiced their concerns at the meeting.
Currently, Triangle Lake requires students to enter the specialty school at the kindergarten level as they prog­ress through grades under the auspic­es of the Montessori program. Neigh­borhood students above kindergarten who move into Triangle Lake’s atten­dance area are required to “opt-out,” or transfer, to an alternative school. Colfax and Shadybrook elementary schools currently serve as opt-out sites for Triangle Lake.
Concerns with the traveling dis­tance to Colfax, located in the north­ern part of Guilford County, forced school officials to look at opt-out alternatives for Triangle Lake. One proposal would eliminate the opt-out option all together and allow kids to enroll in the High Point school re­gardless of their grade level.

N&R excerpt:

The board’s challenges are to maintain the integrity of the Montessori program, to fill vacant seats and to prevent siblings from attending separate schools. Montessori, a style of student-directed learning, cuts off new admissions after kindergarten. For example, parents who move into the Triangle Lake attendance zone could enroll their 4-year-old but not a sibling in a higher grade unless that child had previous Montessori experience.

Senior administrators recommend that the board split the instruction at Triangle Lake to allow magnet and non-magnet students to attend. But some parents who spoke at the meeting said they feared including a traditional component would compromise the magnet.

Superintendent Terry Grier said creating a “school within a school” could be inefficient if traditional classes only have five or six students.

“That is a recipe for disaster in a magnet program,” Grier said.

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2. The regular discussion of the Super-search took some interesting twists and turns. After a few wacky votes, the Board decided to give paid-by-the-hour Board attorney Jill Wilson the authority to have the firms Ray & Associates and Hazard, Young & Attea compete for the best price.

Click on logos above to learn more about these two firms.

N&R excerpt:

The Guilford County Board of Education on Tuesday authorized attorney Jill Wilson to enter into negotiations with two national firms to determine which to hire for finding Superintendent Terry Grier’s replacement.

Wilson will report back to the board by its March 20 meeting on agreements reached with Ray and Associates Inc., based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, based in Glenview, Ill.

Ray and Associates, which recruited current Superintendent Peter Gorman to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in 2006, said it would charge the district $34,000 plus expenses for the search. Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, which recruited Grier for Guilford County Schools in 2000 and for San Diego Unified School District in January, quoted a price of $40,000 plus expenses.

Both firms said their prices are negotiable.

While I’m at it, last night was Dr. Grier’s last BOE meeting and a big shin-dig is planned for tomorrow evening. Board members gave him public well-wishes and were cordial.

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The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/high/smith/Smith2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 3. Recognizing the Smith H.S. Gospel Choir. We were treated to a Board-meeting-opening selection by the award-winning Smith H.S. Gospel Choir, who recently won awards in New York City. Congratulations to these find students. GCS Board member Deena Hayes, who was late flying back from New York last night and appeared at the Board meeting at 11:15pm, sent regrets that she missed the beginning of the meeting in which they performed.

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The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/S.%20Conway.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 4. Bye-bye Sonya. Head of district relations Sonya Conway is on her way to American Express, and last night was her last meeting. Many public accolades were given to her also.

The irony was that an ad ran in the News & Record Sunday job section a couple of weeks ago for her apparently-now-vacant position. It is unclear what her new position at AMEX will be, although something tells me she won’t be a customer service call-taker.

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E.C. )

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