Board Action: 2.11.20
Published by Angel Hoggard on February 12, 2020

Next Step

A report on Board action
Cumberland County Board of Education
Regular Meeting
February 11, 2020

Recognition of Ex-Officio Members
Student Government leaders William Pryor from South View High School and Kyndall Ray from E.E. Smith High School served as ex-officio members of the Cumberland County Board of Education. Ex-officio members are given the opportunity to make comments, ask questions and give input on any topic brought before the Board.

Administrative Recommendations
Assistant Principals
Luther “Nick” Jeralds Middle School – Eboni Forte-Johnson
Spring Lake Middle School – Sharley Ditmore

Custodial Services Coordinator
Plant Operations – Mario Caesar

Board Approves System-Wide Proclamations
The Board approved the following proclamations:

  • CTE (Career and Technical Education) Month in CCS from February 1 – 29, 2020, “… urging all citizens to become familiar with the services and benefits offered by the career and technical education programs in this community and to support and participate in these programs to enhance their individual work skills and productivity.”
  • Bus Driver Appreciation Week from February 10 – 14, 2020, appreciating school bus drivers and recognizing the contributions they make to public education and student safety.
  • National School Breakfast Week from March 2 – 6, 2020, encouraging all staff and citizens to join in celebrating the benefits and importance of a healthy breakfast in a child’s life, the impact it has inside and outside the classroom, and the overall benefits of the National School Breakfast Program.

Tutoring Service Gets ‘Thumbs Up’
Members of the Board approved the district partnering with University Instructors tutoring service to provide in-school daytime tutoring for select schools in the district. The company recruits, hires and trains tutors who will work closely with classroom teachers to support students in English language arts and mathematics.

Board Adopts Program That Utilizes Excellent Teachers’ Best Practices
The Board approved Opportunity Culture, a program that helps improve student outcomes by putting excellent teachers in front of more students. Teachers will take on the leadership role of sharing best practices with fellow teachers and students throughout their building. District administrators will begin designing CCS’ program structure next month and tailor school models to the following:

  • Reaching more students with excellent teachers and their teams.
  • Paying teachers more for extending their reach.
  • Funding pay within existing budgets.
  • Providing protected in-school time and clarity about how to use it for planning, collaboration, and development.
  • Matching authority and accountability to each teacher’s responsibilities.

The goal is to successfully implement Opportunity Culture at 13 schools in CCS by June 2022.

CCS Justice Partnership MOU Signed
Board members approved the Cumberland County School Justice Partnership Memorandum of Understanding. The document is currently being reviewed by other community partners in the court system, law enforcement and the social services communities. The intent of the CCS Justice Partnership is to keep students in school through alternatives to the criminal justice system and graduated responses to student misconduct.

Board of Education

Alicia Chisolm
District #1

Greg West

Judy Musgrave

Charles McKellar

Porcha McMillan
District #2

Carrie Sutton
District #3

Donna Vann
District #4

Susan Williams
District #5

Joseph Sorce
District #6

Dr. Marvin Connelly


Board Recognitions
Betty Musselwhite, the associate superintendent of School Support Services, shared the following recognitions with the Board:

February’s Extra Mile Award Recipient – 
Heather Gum, a kindergarten teacher at T.C. Berrien Elementary School was recognized as February’s Extra Mile Award recipient. During T.C. Berrien Elementary’s relocation to W.T. Brown Elementary School for the
remainder of the school year, Gum volunteered to temporarily drive the bus used to transport students back to T.C. Berrien Elementary for Prime Time afterschool care. She also graciously agreed to drive the bus when other drivers had to be absent. According to Susan Hunt, the assistant principal at the school, Gum went well beyond the call of duty during a challenging time for the school. The Extra Mile Award recognizes the contributions
of the district’s premier professionals to the overall mission and core values of Strategic Plan 2024.

Gray’s Creek Middle School Counselors – 
Recently, the efforts of Gray’s Creek Middle School Counselors Lauren Folsom, Lori Leigh, and Samantha Oxendine were recognized by the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) as being the first-ever RAMP (Recognized ASCA Model Program) in CCS’ history. The school counselors were applauded for creating a comprehensive school counseling program that aligns to the National Model. Research findings indicate that fully implemented comprehensive school counseling programs are associated with a range of positive student educational and behavioral outcomes.

Westover Middle School Staff Members – 
Westover Middle School staffers Christopher Clack and Joshua Torres helped save the life of a student. In November during an afterschool activity, a student became non-responsive. Clack and Torres were able to quickly put into action the CPR Training they received until the paramedics arrived and the child was transported to the hospital. According to WOMS Principal Dr. Natasha Brown, the student is looking forward to a full recovery.

Committed Community Support Award Recipient –  
Cumberland County’s Register of Deeds Lee Warren and his Team were recognized as Cumberland County Schools’ first Committed Community Support Award recipient. For the past 10 years, they have gone to great lengths to help homeless students in CCS by coordinating an annual countywide school supply drive. Under Warren’s leadership, the Team has donated more than 5,000 book bags stuffed with school supplies for students in need. Through the years, they have garnered the help of individuals, companies, businesses, and organizations in the community. Based on the district’s core values, which are part of CCS’ Strategic Plan 2024, the Committed Community Support Award is designed to acknowledge any individual or organization that goes ‘above and beyond’ to support Cumberland County Schools.

Superintendent’s Update
Superintendent Dr. Connelly shared the following update with the Board:

Recent Grant Awards:
The district recently received grants that will help CCS students succeed in an exceptional and safe environment.

  • As part of security enhancements in schools, CCS received a School Safety grant for more than $187,000 from NCDPI. The funds will be used to purchase and install specialized door locks for interior doors, e.g., cafeteria, front office, and media center, in our schools that must remain unlocked during the day.
  • CCS was one of 15 districts statewide to receive a Coding and Mobile App Development Grant from NCDPI for $77,000 to help schools develop computer science, coding and mobile app development programs for middle and high school students. This will provide students with more opportunities in high-demand fields.
  • A $1.5 million Innovative Partnership Grant through NCPDI was announced and will be used to implement an authentic choice program at Alger B. Wilkins High School. Ultimately, the grant will help increase student achievement and improve the school’s graduation rate.

During February, schools throughout the district are observing the “Love the Bus” campaign during Bus Driver Appreciation Week, National Black History Month celebrating the heritage and significant accomplishments of African Americans, and CTE Month highlighting career and technical education which provides students with practical hands-on experiences and exposure to the world of work.

North Carolina School Public Relations Award
The North Carolina School Public Relations Association recently announced that Cumberland County Schools received 13 statewide Blue Ribbon Awards for excellence in school communications in the areas of marketing, special events, videography, and writing. The district also earned a “Best of the Best” Award in the Marketing category for its Standout Seniors campaign, which is the top honor in the State for effective school marketing.

DPI’s Mental Health Personnel Report
Last week, the district received a Mental Health Personnel Report from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. In CCS, based on a comparison of payroll data on December 31, 2018, and December 31, 2019:

  • The number of psychologists increased by 0.41 of a position (26.05 total)
  • The number of counselors increased by 1.04 positions (147.17 total)
  • The number of social workers increased by 0.37 of a position (66.91 total)
  • The number of nurses on CCS’ payroll decreased by 2.17 positions. This does not account for school nurses on Cumberland County’s payroll. (15.04 total not including those on the county’s payroll)

Dr. Connelly said that investing in the whole child remains a priority, and the district will continue to invest in personnel to support the diverse needs of its students.

Superintendent’s Focus Video
The Superintendent concluded his comments with a video that featured the recent State of Education in Cumberland County event which was attended by nearly 500 citizens.

Board Members’ Update
Board Vice-Chair Greg West made the announcement that through the North Carolina School Board Association (NCSBA) Academy of School Boardmanship, the following Board members recently received recognition for hours of training earned during the current academy year:

Total Cumulative Hours                   Recognition Level
101 – 200                                                 Certificate of Achievement – 
                                                                        Porcha McMillan and Susan Williams
201 – 300                                                 Certificate of Advanced Achievement –
                                                                       Judy Musgrave
301 – 400                                                 Award of Excellence –
                                                                        Alicia Chisolm
501 – 600                                                Diploma of Honor –
                                                                       Carrie Sutton

Each academy year runs from July 1 through June 30. Board members must earn 30 hours of training annually as approved by the local Board and reviewed by the NCSBA. Once this minimum requirement has been met, annual recognition is given.



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