Student population has grown in Dare

Published 10:14 am Monday, October 1, 2018

Four weeks after the opening of Dare County Schools, 5,162 students were counted in classrooms in the county’s five elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, one secondary school and the Dare Learning Academy.

The total represents 126 additional students over last school term.

Dare Superintendent John Farrelly told the county’s school board that 45 new teachers were hired for the start of the new term. Also in place are new coaches for school leaders and professional learning programs for assistant principals and teachers.

Farrelly described the dual language emersion program as “flourishing.” The program is operating in all elementary schools except First Flight Elementary. To see the program in operation, walkthroughs are scheduled for 8 a.m. at Kitty Hawk Elementary on Oct. 3 and at Nags Head Elementary on Oct. 4; and at 9 a.m. at Manteo Elementary on Oct. 9 and Cape Hatteras Elementary on Oct. 10.

The board was told to expect a “safety” report in October or November. The report/program was developed over eight months and involves law enforcement and fire department partners.

The superintendent told the board that the central office staff was reorganized. At the start of the meeting, new central office workers were introduced. Candy W. Tilley is the new Chief Financial Officer, Johanna Parker is serving as the system’s first Director of Innovation and Paul Marshall is Director of School Performance.

Farrelly told the board that the reorganization saved money. According to the system’s website, central office personnel members number 33.

The system is continuing its digital initiative. In kindergarten through second grade, some new electronic equipment is available for student use. Farrelly warned that next year high school lap tops will need to be refreshed.

Visioning 2.0 will continue the effort started last year.

Innovative schools tours, which are open to the public, are scheduled for 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the following schools and dates: Kitty Hawk Elementary, Oct. 16; Manteo Elementary, Nov. 14; Manteo High School, Dec. 4; Cape Hatteras Secondary, Jan. 15 and Cape Hatteras Elementary on the same date at 1 to 2:30 p.m.; First Flight High School, Feb. 5; First Flight Elementary, March 19; Dare Learning Academy, March 20; Manteo Middle School, April 30 and Nags Head Elementary School, May 21.

Public meetings, one in each district, are also scheduled. The first one is Oct. 23 at First Flight High School.

Look for more surveys. Currently, at least 2,000 students have filled out a survey. Alumni will also be surveyed.

The superintendent is committing to attending one PTA/PTO meeting at each school.

On Thursday night, Farrelly addressed members of the Cape Hatteras Elementary PTA regarding differences between the First Flight and Cape Hatteras Elementary schools budget.

He reported that the discrepancy between the two schools is in the salary scales and variables in staffing.

Farrelly also revealed that Cape Hatteras Elementary’s second grade classrooms could not meet the state-required teacher-student ratio. North Carolina only has class size mandates for kindergarten through third grade. Under current law, the system’s average is one teacher for 20 students with a maximum of one teacher for 23 students. On Sept. 21, Cape Hatteras Elementary had 48 students in second grade and two planned classrooms.

Cape Hatteras Elementary will hire a new second grade teacher and split the class into three classrooms.

The Dare County Board of Education meeting was held at First Flight Middle School on Wednesday, Sept. 26. A group of stringed instrument students provided music for early attendees.