When Board of Education members held a called meeting on Aug. 6, issues varied from new courses to new fences. But the more community interest-geared topics included future AYP plans, and where the county’s tax dollars are going in this year’s school expenditures.
While BCMS and BCHS missed AYP this year, the board is actively working with the schools to improve attendance.
"We already have the resources to reach AYP. Plans are in place, our teachers are having training. Our goal is always to have everybody reach AYP," Brewer said.
At this point, because BCMS is on the ‘needs improvement’ list, the school district now is offering a school choice.
Pembroke middle school students can choose to attend Richmond Hill instead, since Richmond Hill’s middle school currently meets AYP standards. Students who are interested must meet transportation requirements.
Roughly, buses from Pembroke to Richmond Hill and back would be on a 6 a.m. pickup and 6 p.m. drop-off schedule.
Because BCHS is not on the 'needs improvement' list, no school choice is offered.
Additionally, the board has worked on finding other ways to improve AYP shortcomings.
It is not entirely developed yet, but the sheriff’s department has already discussed truancy with the court system, Brewer said. Once it reaches the point where a child has one absence left, if those absences are unexcused, then the matter will go to the court.
"Nobody’s arrested, but the parent and child actually have to go and have their day in court…(but this) won’t go any further until we really accumulate some absences this year," Brewer said.
There will also be a monthly report for schools on where they’re at attendance-wise.
"There’s nobody that wants to meet AYP more than school administrators in this county," she said.
Other important information included the allotment of local tax dollars to a variety of school program areas.
For the 2008 fiscal year, total local costs accumulated $18.9 million. Big tickets included art, music, physical education, and general studies teachers; instructional paraprofessionals; instructional materials and supplies; system transportation; maintenance and operational costs; and school administration.
Additional areas funded by local tax dollars included permanent substitute teachers, assistant principals, nursing services, extracurricular athletics and extracurricular academics.