Home Local News Richmond Senior test scores ‘moving in the right direction’; construction projects to...

Richmond Senior test scores ‘moving in the right direction’; construction projects to be complete by late 2024

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HAMLET — Fall EOC testing data at Richmond Senior High is showing that most scores are improving.

Jennifer Taylor, testing coordinator for the district, presented the scores to the Richmond County Board of Education Tuesday.

Taylor used graphs to show the progress in Math 3 and Biology. Scores in Biology have increased from 45% to 53% since the fall of the 2021-22 school year. Math 3 scores have increased from 37% to 54%. English 2 scores, however, fell by 7% from end of year EOC levels to 33%.

“While we do still see some gaps in proficiency in our pre-COVID scores,” said Taylor, “we can also see our end of year and our fall Math 3 scores exceed previous proficiency rates.”

With spring testing still ahead, Taylor said “it looks like we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

Muter Construction has been awarded building projects at three Richmond County schools.

The board was updated regarding three building projects at Tuesday night’s meeting. Architect Matt Bramstedt reported to the board that Muter Construction of Zebulon’s bid had been accepted for the projects at Fairview Heights, Richmond Senior High and Mineral Springs schools.

Fairview and the high school are each getting a new gym and Mineral Springs will be gaining more classroom capacity.

Board Member Scotty Baldwin questioned Bramstedt on being able to meet the completion dates and if full staffing of the project would be possible.

“The way that the contractor organizes the project, he has one project manager at each one of the projects and three site superintendents,” said Bramstedt. “Every site will have a dedicated site superintendent…they will be singly devoted to Richmond County. With the three site superintendents that will then give the personal touch for all three.”

Projected completion dates for all construction is Sept. 30, 2024 at a cost of $20,789,500.

CURRICULUM GUIDE CHANGE

Richmond Senior Principal Jim Butter presented a plan to extend course offerings for the 2023-24 school year.

“If it were up to me,” said Butler, “I’d love to add dance, photography, robotics and orchestra, but I think we have come up with changes that will enrich our program.”

The courses Butler requested an additional course in African American Studies, an additional class to the Teacher Cadet program, to return French 1 and 2 to the curriculum, a Spanish for Heritage Learners class and an AP Music Theory class.

“These are the courses we’d like to offer this coming year,” said Butler, “and see what kind of response we can get from our students, and hopefully those programs will give our students more options.”

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STUDENTS WITH THE ABILITY TO STRIVE

“Don’t let circumstances determine who you become in the future,” was the message Bruce Stanback and Yolanda Epps presented to the board regarding a new afterschool initiative called Students With the Ability to Thrive (S.W.A.T.) that addresses social and emotional learning techniques.

“We have partnered with United Healthcare who is the developer and lead of the program,” said Stanback. “(The program) is a six-week bi-monthly session where the students and their parents engage in various activities that involve responsibility, empathy, co-operation and teamwork, personal best, having a positive attitude, resolving conflicts and handling peer pressure.

“Due to the work we’ve been doing throughout the community, United Healthcare came to us with this pilot program,” Stanback added.

Currently there are 30 kids enrolled in the program who attend L.J. Bell, Washington Street and West Rockingham elementaries and Rockingham Middle.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Three staff and faculty members of Washington Street Elementary School were recognized by their principal, Willet Sturgeon.

Melissa Dennis, Michelle Watkins and Laura Welch were all lauded for their can-do attitudes and never say no approaches to their daily tasks at the school. Welch, a bus driver, was highlighted specifically for her willingness to take on more than one bus route each day.

Multiple middle and high school students were recognized for winning various awards at the 2023 State Beta Club competition in Greensboro. Forty-five students at Richmond Senior and 10 at Rockingham Middle won awards. Cailey Chermak of Rockingham Middle was recognized for her performance at the state competition and will be performing at the National Beta Club Convention this summer in Louisville, Kentucky.

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