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C.G. Credle Third Grader Wins Second Annual GCPS District Spelling Bee

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Joel Jiljo Jose, a third grader from C. G. Credle Elementary, won the Second Annual District Spelling Bee sponsored by Granville County Schools on March 14, 2019.

Over 100 supporters crowded the multipurpose hall at Tar River Elementary School for the Bee. When the curtain opened at 6:30 p.m., nine School Spelling Bee winners were seated on stage ready to compete for the District Championship and a chance to attend the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland.

GCS Superintendent Dr. Alisa McLean warmly welcomed everyone, and Dr. Tonya Thomas, Director of Student Services for GCS, introduced the officials and the contestants. Dr. Michael Myrick, also from GCS, Diane Garrison, retired principal, and Cathy Frizzle, community volunteer, served as judges. Amy Lue, Student Data Manager, was the Moderator; and retired educator, Dana King, served as Word Master.

Joel Jiljo Jose (pictured in front with trophy), a third grader from C. G. Credle Elementary, won the Second Annual District Spelling Bee sponsored by Granville County Schools on March 14, 2019. (Photo courtesy GCPS)

One contestant, Cayden Middleton, was unable to be there to represent Butner-Stem. The other nine students stood while being introduced: Joel Jose, C. G. Credle; Lillyanne Johnson, Creedmoor; Alissa Kurtzke, Falls Lake Academy; Natalie Ollila, Granville Academy; Ethan Fleming Winfield, Mt. Energy; Maria Rigsbee, Stovall-Shaw; Addison Preddy, Tar River; Dacari Burrell, West Oxford; and Finn Jones, Wilton.

Mrs. Lue then reviewed the rules. Each round of the Bee consisted of students having a turn to spell different words. The Bee began with a practice round, in which an incorrect word was not counted. The official Bee started next with Round One. If a child missed a word he/she would leave the stage at the end of the round to sit in a designated section of the audience until it was time to return to the stage for the award ceremony.

Students in grades 3, 4, and 5, from public schools, charter schools, or home schools were eligible to compete this year if they or their school enrolled with the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The competitors had already won a spelling bee to qualify for this District Bee. They had six weeks to prepare for it by studying a list of 1,150 words from the Scripps guide called, “Spell It!” It was evident they had engaged in serious studying because everyone was still on stage at the end of Round One!

The randomly selected words increased in difficulty as the Bee progressed. Competitors missed such words as “crimson,” “electoral,” and “zenith.” By the time a stretch break was called at the end of Round Four, there were four students remaining. The audience was practically holding their breaths so as not to distract the concentration of the great minds on stage!

The winner of the Bee had to spell two words correctly in two consecutive rounds. Four students were still in the Bee in Round Six. Two missed the words, “grabble,” and “bambino.”  Now the contest was between Credle’s Joel and Wilton’s Finn. They went back and forth for several more rounds.

Joel’s winning words were “cummerbund,” and “sumo.”  He beamed in excitement as the audience broke into applause, and he was declared the District Bee Winner! In addition to the trophy, he received prizes from Merriam Webster, Encyclopedia Britannica, and a 2019 United States Mint Proof Set. Joel hopes to attend a state university and possibly become an engineer or a pharmacist in the future.

All the contestants returned to their stage seats, and their families had a chance to take pictures of them receiving a medal from Dr. McLean and Dr. Thomas. The group posed with their awards on the steps of the stage with the officials standing behind them and Joel in front holding the big trophy.

The students and their families enjoyed the chance to meet and greet their supporters at a formal reception afterward. The Beta Pi Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, International, donated and served cake, punch, fruit, and cheese. The cake was decorated with alphabet letters written in icing, and goodie bags for the contestants contained alphabet-shaped cookies.

As the evening drew to a close, many comments were heard from both children and parents about how much they enjoyed the competition and hope to compete again next year – and that’s perhaps the best way to spell success for this annual event!

Granville Board of Education to Hear Updates on School System Finances

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

NOTICE TO PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Granville County Board of Education will meet Monday, March 25, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. at the Granville County Public Schools Central Office, 101 Delacroix Street, Oxford, North Carolina for the purpose of receiving a presentation and updates from staff on School System finances.

The Board will also enter closed session pursuant to General Statutes 143-318.11(a)(1), (a)(3) and (a)(6) to prevent the disclosure of confidential personnel files under G.S. 115C-321, to consider matters relating to employee performance, and to consult with the Board’s attorney in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege.

The next regular scheduled Board meeting is Monday, April 1, 2019, at 6 p.m.

Granville Board of Education Approves Changes to Elementary Attendance Zones

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

At their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 4, 2019, the Granville County Board of Education approved changes to the attendance zones of the northern area elementary schools. The changes impact school assignments for students living in the Joe Toler Oak Hill, West Oxford, and Stovall Shaw Elementary School attendance zones. This action became necessary after the Board decided to close Joe Toler Oak Hill Elementary School (JTOH) at their January 2019 meeting.

The Board reviewed three different options that were drafted by staff. Ultimately, the Board chose the option that will potentially best minimize route times for students, and be most efficient for the bus fleet serving that area. These new boundaries will go into effect beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.

Dr. Stan Winborne, Executive Director of Operations, Human Resources, Communications and Safety, presented maps, charts and a hypothetical route analysis to Board Members in an effort to provide as much information as possible about ride times and pick-up and drop-off times for students. Also included was information pertaining to the number of buses needed and total miles covered, all of which can impact the efficiency of the transportation department, which in turn impacts the department’s budget.

“Ultimately, the Board chose the option which was best for students.  While we cannot completely forecast the exact times and bus routes for next year with the information we have currently, we can plan for new attendance boundaries which have the least likelihood for long routes for students early in the morning, and late in the evening”, explained Dr. Winborne.

The approved new boundaries assign the majority of students in the current JTOH attendance zone to Stovall Shaw Elementary School. The remaining current south-west portion of the JTOH attendance zone will now be assigned to West Oxford Elementary School, which is closer in proximity to that school. (see map below)

Superintendent McLean offered her perspective on the matter, stating, “We want the shortest bus rides possible for our young students. With a county as large geographically as Granville, this poses a challenge for our transportation department. I believe the option approved by our Board will work well given our resources. However, one thing that is important to remember for our families living in the current JOTH attendance zone is that for next school year, they really do have a choice to attend whichever elementary school best suits their child. Our choice programs allow for this, and we plan to provide bus shuttle services based on the enrollment needs in our schools.”

Under the Choice Program, families may choose to have their children attend any elementary school in the district. Currently, each elementary school has its own theme or academic focus which designates it as a “choice” school. Door to door bus transportation is only provided to families within the designated attendance zone, however, the district does offer a series of bus shuttle services to assist with transportation in different parts of the county for families taking advantage of the choice program.

Parents, guardians, family members and members of the community may review detailed maps, and lists of addresses in the new attendance zones on the district website under the Transportation Department page.  If you have questions about a specific address, you may contact your child’s school or contact the Transportation Department at (919) 693-6412 or contact Ms. Cindy Fain by email at [email protected]

Granville Co. Board of Education Member Toney Smith Resigns

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

The Granville County Board of Education held their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 4, 2019.  After the conclusion of official business items on the agenda, Board Member Toney Smith announced his retirement effective immediately, stating,  “After careful consideration and much thought, I have decided to relinquish my position as Board of Education member effective immediately. The demands of my professional career simply prevent me from participating to the extent that is needed. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve the children of this district, and I appreciate all of the hard work of our talented educators. I wish everyone the very best.”

Granville County Board of Education member Toney Smith announced his resignation at the Board’s March 4 meeting. Smith has served the constituents of District 1 for 11 years as a member of the Board of Education, having been re-elected for the position in 2014. (Photo courtesy GCPS)

Mr. Toney Smith has served the constituents of District 1 for 11 years as a member of the Board of Education, having been re-elected for the position in 2014.  Mr. Smith’s tenure as a Board Member can be characterized as student-focused, with an emphasis on the equitable distribution of resources throughout the district.

Fellow Board Members, Superintendent McLean, and Senior Staff all praised Mr. Smith for his service, citing his love and compassion for students and public education. Dr. McLean shared her thoughts, stating, “During my tenure as Superintendent, Mr. Smith has always demonstrated sincere concern about issues around equity and fairness for all (both with students and adults) in the district – and I, not only respected but genuinely appreciated that.  It has been a joy working with him.”

Fellow Board Members also expressed their gratitude. Mr. David Richardson, Vice Chairman, presided over the meeting in the absence of Chairman Tom Houlihan. Mr. Richardson offered these thoughts, “Granville County Public Schools’ students have benefited from Mr. Smith’s service. We as a board have also benefited from his candor and common-sense approach to making decisions on behalf of the district. We wish him well and hope he continues to stay involved on behalf of our community.”

The Board will continue with six members until a replacement for District 1 is appointed. The replacement will serve until the next scheduled election for his seat, which will begin serving for the term of 2020. The Board will begin discussing the appointment process at their next regular meeting on April 1, 2019.

Granville Co. Public Schools on the Move…Literally!

-Information courtesy Dr. Stan Winborne, Public Information Officer, Granville County Public Schools

GCPS IS ON THE MOVE – LITERALLY!

You probably see our school buses just about every day at some point on our roads. Chances are, you’ve probably ridden a school bus at some point in your life. But I bet you didn’t know some statistics behind our transportation department, so check this out:

Granville County Public Schools transports an average of 3,662 students per day on 103 buses. Our drivers cover more than 7,600 miles and work more than 298 hours each day.  This works out to a grand total of more than 1,218,200 miles per school year!  YES, that is 1.2 million miles – just in our county!  And, it took more than 182,150 gallons of diesel fuel to do this!  That’s is enough fuel to fill TEN average-sized swimming pools!  Not to mention all of the other fluids, tires, wipers, lights and other stuff that need replacing – just imagine the maintenance required! Our 8 full-time mechanics do an amazing job!

From a safety standpoint, our fleet of buses is constantly being upgraded and modernized. We now have 14 buses equipped with Stop Arm Cameras, designed to catch drivers on video who pass stopped school buses (a big no-no!). Also, all of our buses are equipped with Global Positioning Systems (GPS). GPS systems allow us to monitor the locations of our buses at all times. We can tell the speed of a bus, when it applies the brakes, and even when it deploys a stop arm. It also allows us to monitor time and attendance of our drivers, which allows for a very accurate account of bus driver hours for payroll.

The GPS system also has a feature called “Comparative Analysis”. This allows us to monitor and maximize the efficiency of our routes as designed by our routing program and compare to what our buses are actually doing. It also lets us offer the “Here Comes the Bus,” a mobile app made available to our parents. Using this app, parents and students are able to view real-time location of their bus. It has meant fewer missed pick-ups, preventing children to not have to wait in the dark, freezing temperatures, or pouring rain. Parents also no longer need to call the school to check the status of the bus.

Finally, did we mention our recent state safety inspection?  We received the best score EVER and beat the regional average score and had NO buses with serious safety infractions.

All in all, we have a pretty amazing Transportation Department full of talented staff, led by Mr. Harry Wilkins. We hope the next time you see one of our buses on the road, you will have a newfound respect and appreciation for the job we do of carrying the most precious cargo on the road – OUR STUDENTS!

#GCPSONTHEMOVE

Granville Co. Board of Education to Meet Mon., March 4

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

NOTICE TO PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Granville County Board of Education will meet for a regular board meeting on Monday, March 4, 2019, at 6 p.m. at the Granville County Public Schools Central Office, 101 Delacroix Street, Oxford, North Carolina.

The board will also meet in a Closed Session for Personnel/Attorney-Client Privilege in accordance with N.C. General Statute 143.318.11 (a)(6), 143-318.11 (a)(3), 143.318.11 (a)(5) and Section 115C-321 on this evening.

Granville Board of Education to Hold Retreat at Butner Stem Elementary

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

NOTICE TO PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Granville County Board of Education will meet Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. for a Board Retreat at Butner Stem Elementary School, 201 East D Street, Butner, North Carolina.

The Board will also meet in Closed Session for Personnel/Attorney-Client Privilege in accordance with N.C. General Statute 143.318.11 (a)(6), 143-318.11 (a)(3), 143.318.11 (a)(5) and Section 115C-321.

The next regular scheduled Board meeting is Monday, March 4, 2019, at 6 p.m.

Restorative Justice Practices Coming to Granville Co. Public Schools

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Restorative Justice Practices Coming to Granville County Public Schools

Restorative practices is a social science that studies how to improve and repair relationships between people and communities. The purpose is to build healthy communities, increase social capital, decrease crime and antisocial behavior, repair harm and restore relationships.

Restorative justice gives victims the chance to meet or communicate with their offender to explain the real impact of the crime – it empowers victims by giving them a voice. It also holds offenders to account for what they have done and helps them to take responsibility and make amends.

Granville County Public Schools is ready to embark upon this new initiative this summer by partnering with Crisis and Trauma Resource Institute Inc. CTRI will conduct two 3-day workshops on Restorative Justice Facilitator Training, for a group of up to 30 participants per session.

At the end of the two 3-day sessions, Granville County Schools will have 60 Restorative Justice trained Facilitators. The workshop will be held in Oxford, NC, on mutually agreed upon dates in June 2019. The 60 facilitators will then work on a plan of getting all of our employees trained. That will mean that our teachers, administrators, bus drivers, TAs, Child Nutrition, custodians, etc. will be trained.

Workshop Description Restorative Justice Facilitator Training

Restorative justice is a response to harmful incidents that seeks the direct inclusion of all involved. The goal is to meaningfully address the harm and foster renewed relationships. Drawing on the work of Canada’s original restorative justice pioneers and best practices around the globe, this training will deliver the essential skills of convening harm-focused dialogue processes within community, organizational and educational settings.

This is a highly interactive workshop where participants will practice and gain confidence in facilitating a model of dialogue that is participant-driven, culturally sensitive and empowering for all involved.

Granville Board of Education to Hold Academic Performance Committee Meeting

-Information courtesy Dr. Stan Winborne, Public Information Officer, Granville County Public Schools

The Granville County Board of Education will hold an Academic Performance Committee meeting on Monday, February 25, 2019, from 9 – 10 a.m.

All committee meetings are held at the Granville County Public Schools Central Office, 101 Delacroix Street, Oxford, North Carolina.

These meetings are open to the public

Granville Co. Public Schools Invites Community to ‘Lunch & Learn’

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Granville County Public Schools invites you to a Community “Lunch & Learn” on Friday, March 1, 2019, from 12 – 1 p.m. The event will be held at the Granville Co. Schools Administrative Building, 101 Delacroix St.  in Oxford.

Participants will receive updates on GCPS and have an opportunity to engage with district leaders about new initiatives.

Please bring your own lunch.