Regular School Board Meeting Update

Post date: Sep 8, 2016 3:09:53 PM

6th Grade Participation in Middle School Sports

At the September 6th school board meeting the board heard from the athletic directors and administrators from both middle schools and the athletic director from the high school about the option for local school boards to allow 6th graders to participate in all middle school sports.

In early August the NC State School Board voted to allow individual school systems to decide whether to let 6th graders participate with 7th and 8th graders in all interscholastic sports, except football. Traditionally, only students in 7th through 12th grades in North Carolina public schools were allowed to participate in interscholastic athletics.

At the meeting, the three schools provided the school board members with an overview of how each school feels on the issue. MHHS Athletic Director, Joey Robinson pointed out pros and cons for both sides of the issue. He also urged caution as Yancey County moved forward. He did not want to see YCS make any decision before all options had been studied.

Dr. Tipton updated the school board with information from a joint meeting held August 17th in Mitchell County with representatives from all three counties of the Toe River Conference. At this meeting all three superintendents attended, as well as athletic directors and some school administrators to discuss the pros and cons. This meeting ended with early indications that Avery County will allow 6th graders to participate this school year while Mitchell and Yancey were leaning more towards not allowing them at this time - but being willing to revisit this issue in the future.

After hearing from the superintendent, the three schools involved in Yancey County sports, and concerns voice by parents in attendance, the Yancey County School Board voted to form a committee, chaired by Joey Robinson, with members from the two middle school coaching staffs, athletics directors, and parent representatives to study the issue and present their recommendation at the October 10th school board meeting.

“We know that some of the school systems close to us have decided to allow 6th graders to participate but the majority of the school systems that we have spoken with are doing the same as Yancey County, waiting and studying” said Tipton, “Anytime we make a decision of this magnitude for our students, it will be well thought out and planned.”

This entire 6th grader participation came about over small charter schools not having enough athletes to offer some sports. They wanted to be able to allow 6th graders to participate to have enough players to have various teams. The NC State Board in an attempt to be fair and consistent, decided if they were going to allow charter schools they would give the local public school boards the power to decide for themselves.

Testing Update

YCS Director of Student Services, Angie Anglin, and Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Shane Cassida, presented to the Board the 2015-2016 NC READY Testing results. “We are pleased to report that every public school in Yancey County either met or exceeded expectations for their students’ academic growth last year. All nine schools work towards a common goal, producing a successful high school graduate. Yancey County Schools tied for seventh place in the State for again having 92% of students graduating. The consistent academic performance and student growth we have seen in previous years certainly continued in 2015-2016. However, we are never satisfied, and we are currently working on ways to grow and improve as a system as we strive to reach our own high standards,” said Anglin.

2016-17 Budget Resolution

School Finance Officer Robbie Renfro presented the 2016-17 Uniform Budget Resolution that was approved by the Board.

Return to Learn Concussion Protocol

School Nurse Shea Laws presented a new “Return to Learn” Concussion Protocol Administrative Procedure developed by the school nurses over the summer months. School staff across the county are being trained by the school nurses on the appropriate protocol to assist students, who have sustained a concussion, in a positive and successful return to full academic workload and classroom time at school.

GearUp Program Update

GearUp Director Eric Klein and coordinators Samantha Briggs and Kristen Robinson provided an annual update to the board on the GearUp Program which provides college campus exposure and opportunities to middle and high school students in the county.