School board focuses on strategic planning and community engagement

Moore School Board addresses meeting locations, book review process, and board accomplishments

CARTHAGE – The Moore County Schools Board of Education met Monday, Dec. 4.

To start the meeting, Robert Levy was reelected as board chair and Shannon Davis was reelected as vice chair.

“I want to thank the board for having faith in me for another year,” Levy said. “When you look at these accomplishments of the past couple of years, these are really fantastic. I believe we have the premier school system in the state of North Carolina.”

Noting the new strategic plan the board developed over the past three years, he continued: “When we look at Moore County Schools, we don’t just do things haphazardly. We have an actual strategic plan to say, how are we actually going to do things, what are our goals, what are the things that we need to do,” Levy said. “We set up measurable student performance goals. The plan was in great part written by some of our board members here so that we know exactly what we want to do academically.”

Some of the other board accomplishments that Levy highlighted were the elimination of F-rated schools, the county’s only A-rated school, the raising of reading standards, the implementation of a data-driven approach to education, the expansion of SRO officers in schools, the improved quality of student meals and the development of a forward-facing curriculum.

The board then approved revisions to its proposed meeting calendar.

The changes included adjusting the April 2024 meeting dates in order to accommodate the revised budget calendar, the extension of the calendar through July 2025 and that the Central Office boardroom in Carthage be the standardized meeting site for all future meetings.

“The recommendation is that the board go back to utilizing this meeting room as your standard meeting site for future meetings of the board,” superintendent Tim Locklair said. “This would lessen the impact on staff in coming back to our designed meeting space, lessen the impact on the host school and its instructional spaces that are taken out of use for at least a couple of days and it would ensure a higher quality livestream and video record of the meeting.

“The board would always retain the ability to utilize an alternative meeting location based on a unique need like highlighting a facility update or having a high-interest topic in an area. In addition, there are other ways the board can meet in schools or with the community. ”

Previously, the board had expanded their pool of meeting locations to various schools around the district in order to accommodate parents and guardians in those areas. However, the board plans to implement alternative methods for access to those areas.

“It’s been suggested that we also have a meet-and-greet on a voluntary basis for our board to go out and not hold meetings at the various schools but to go out and go to their auditorium or multi-purpose room and be able to have the public ask us questions to which we can respond,” Levy said. “In our public sessions here at the meeting, we’re encouraged not to respond because it’s in the middle of a business meeting, but in such a setting we could respond.”

“It’s very important for us to get out to the community and talk to them and to hear their concerns,” said board member Pauline Bruno. “That’s the most important thing. We don’t have a back and forth here at a meeting. But in an event such as [Levy] suggested, we could have a back and forth and really find out how people are thinking.”

Levy also provided an update on the status of the disputed books that were being reviewed by a district media and technology advisory committee. Levy stated that a decision on the books would be postponed till January.

“Our board members wanted to be able to read those books thoroughly before we decided to pass judgment,” Levy said. “Some of us have read them and some of us have not, but we wanted to give each board member additional time to fully read the books so if we were to pass judgment on them one way or the other, we would at least be fully informed.”‌

The Moore County Schools Board of Education will next meet Jan. 8.

By Ryan Henkel, North State Journal

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