Moore school board reviews calendar, endorses grant application

Discussions include school calendar concerns and a potential $10 million renovation project

CAMERON – The Moore County Schools Board of Education convened on Monday, Nov. 6, to discuss multiple items, including a review of the 2024-25 school calendar and an endorsement of a grant application for school renovations.

The board revisited the previously approved 2024-25 school calendar, which adheres to the state’s traditional calendar law. Board member David Hensley expressed his dissatisfaction with the mandated schedule, stating, “Everyone knows that I’m not a fan of this politically driven school calendar. I’ve advocated for this board to exhibit civil disobedience and do what’s best for the education of our children, not what’s best for the tourism and travel industry. … [The required calendar] serves no educational purpose and, in fact, it serves counter to good education and good mental health.”

Although district staff had proposed an alternative early start calendar, which began on Aug. 7 and received positive community feedback, it was not adopted due to concerns about potential legal challenges from the state. The board considered but ultimately decided against retroactively approving the early start calendar for the 2024-25 school year due to the potential impact on the community and teacher schedules. However, they indicated a likelihood of approving an early start calendar for the 2025-26 academic year.

The board also supported the district’s application for the Needs-Based Public School Capital Projects Grant, which would fund significant renovations at West End Elementary School. Assistant Superintendent for Operations Jennifer Purvis highlighted the necessity of the $10 million project, noting the school’s infrastructure, originally constructed in 1952, is nearing the end of its usable life. Superintendent Tim Locklair tempered expectations for receiving the grant, given the county’s Tier 3 status, but emphasized the importance of applying.

Additionally, the board approved the 2023-25 Selected School Improvement Plans. Hensley praised the focus and alignment of this year’s plans with the district’s strategic goals, remarking on the improvement over previous years’ plans.

“What I saw in this year’s school improvement programs was programs that were focused on the right things, that made sense, and that were aligned with the strategic plan of the district,” Hensley said. “And that is in stark contrast with the previous two years. … I wholeheartedly support this year’s school improvement programs because they’re so much better focused, they’re so much better written and they’re focused on the correct things.”

The Moore County Schools Board of Education is scheduled to meet again on Dec. 4.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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