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Vance Co. Schools to Host Parent & Family Night

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

On Thursday, November 14, 2019, Vance County Schools will be hosting a Parent and Family Night at Vance County High School from 5:30 – 7 p.m. There will be light snacks and childcare for children under 12.  

Topics for the session include “Be SMART,” “The Pep for Career & College Prep” and “Living Longer and Stronger Together.”

“Be SMART” is a public education campaign to reduce the number of unintentional shootings that occur when children or teens get access to guns that are not stored responsibly.

“The Pep for Career & College Prep” will give parents of high school students valuable tools and info to assist them with navigating college entrance steps and ways that VCS is assisting with career prep.

“Living Longer and Stronger Together” is a great session for all parents to learn about healthier eating and discuss the positive and negative effects of the way we eat. 

We are very excited about our sessions and hope to see you there!

Town Talk 10/16/19: Aarika Sandlin, VCS’ New Public Information Officer, On-Air

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

Aarika Sandlin, public information officer (PIO) for Vance County Schools, was on Wednesday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk to discuss both her new role and the future of the local public school system.

Sandlin, who received her undergraduate degree from Mars Hill University and graduate degree from East Tennessee State University, believes her studies in journalism, corporate communications, public relations and education, along with her 16 years of work experience in education, will serve her well in her new position.

Pictured: Aarika Sandlin, public information officer (PIO) for Vance County Schools.

Of her time in the education field, Sandlin spent 11 years as a classroom teacher and five years as a high school test coordinator.

Taking the reins from long-serving VCS PIO Terri Hedrick, who retired in July with 21-years in the school system, Sandlin said one of her first tasks is to determine what has been working and what may need to be tweaked moving forward.

“We are looking at ways things have been, deciding what went well and then looking at things that we need to take down a different path,” said Sandlin.

One area of focus, according to Sandlin, includes getting more parents on-board with social media channels as a means of conveying information in a fast, effective manner.

In addition to Vance County Schools’ website and social media outlets, Sandlin explained that each school now has its own social media account that is managed by the principal or the principal’s designee.

It is beneficial for parents to follow both their child’s individual school account and Vance County Schools’ accounts to ensure updated information, said Sandlin.

Sandlin’s primary job is to “make sure the community, the parents, the staff and the teachers are aware of what’s going on in Vance County Schools, sharing the positive things and showcasing our students for the great things they are doing.”

To accomplish this, Sandlin must be on-the-go frequently. “I’m in my office very little,” she said with a laugh. “I’m in the schools. I’m meeting with community members and organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce to share what’s going on and to get them to partner with us.”

To hear the interview with Sandlin in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at www.wizs.com.

Vance County Schools to Hold District Parent Night

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools will be planning monthly Parent Sessions to help families learn about how they can help their children in school, find helpful resources in our county and help parents with everyday family responsibilities.

On October 17, we will be having our first Parent and Family Night at LB Yancey Elementary School from 5:30 – 7 p.m. There will be a light snack for those who attend.

There will be two topics discussed. “We are in School, Now What?” will be geared towards Pre-K and Kindergarten parents, with a focus on student experiences, academic growth and expectations.

The second topic is “Developing Good Homework and Study Habits,” geared towards parents with students of all ages, allowing them to learn tips on good study habits and organizational skills to share with their children.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Raven Burns, Family and Parent Liaison for Vance County Schools at 252-492-2127.

Vance County ‘State of Our Schools’ Address to Highlight Successes

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

The Vance County State of Our Schools will take place on Thursday, October 10, 2019. The first event will take place at Henderson Country Club by invitation, designed for elected officials and business partners.

The evening event will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Vance County Middle School and is open to everyone in our community.

The State of Our Schools is an opportunity for stakeholders in our community to hear directly from Dr. Jackson regarding the successes and accomplishments within our district.

Additionally, the Vance County Board of Education Chairwoman, Dorothy Gooche, Vance County Principal of the Year, Rey Horner and the Vance County Teacher of the Year, Mary Landis, will be speaking briefly.

There will also be a performance by the Vance County High School chorus at the mid-day State of the Schools address.

This event will provide information about how Vance County Schools continues to make progress, achieve growth and make a difference in the lives of our students, community and beyond. Our schools are linking learning to life and when those connections and relationships are made, success becomes apparent in our students, schools and community.

Vance Co. Schools Surpass State Graduation Rate for First Time

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

The performance of the Vance County Public Schools ticked up last year in several areas and revealed areas needing continued focus on the state’s annual School Performance Grade accountability measurements. This year more schools met or exceeded expectations for student gains and more schools earned grades of C or better than in previous years. VCS also posted the highest graduation rate in the history of the district.

At the end of our first year with our newly consolidated schools, while improvements were made at both schools, these data reveal mixed reviews. Vance County High School, while improving its biology scores by 26 points from 23% in 2018 to 49.4% in 2019, earned a school performance grade of D, missing improving their overall grade to a C, by less than one percentage point.

Additionally, Vance County Middle School, while making tremendous progress including increases in grade level proficiency by 6.2 pointin reading from 30% in 2018 to 36.2% in 201912 points in math, from 13.9% in 2018 to 26.4% in 2019 and 20.5 points in science from 34% in 2018 to 54.7% in 2019, earned a school performance grade of F. This was extremely disappointing, as they missed earning the next letter grade of D, by less than .04 of a percent.

The district also had several other bright spots in the report – 9 of 15 schools (60%) earned a letter grade of C or better.

Two schools – STEM Early High Middle School and Vance County Early College High School – earned the School Performance Grade of A.

Seven schools – Aycock, Carver, Clarke, Dabney, LB Yancey, Pinkston, and Zeb Vance – earned the School Performance Grade of C.

Four schools – EM Rollins, EO Young, New Hope and VCHS – earned the School Performance Grade of D and one school – VCMS earned the School Performance Grade of F.

8 of 15 schools (54%) met or exceeded growth – VCECHS, STEM-EH, Aycock, Carver, Dabney, EO Young, New Hope, and Pinkston Street.

Additionally, we are extremely proud of our STEM Early High Middle School and Vance County Early College students who posted perfect scores of 100% on the 8th grade science end-of-grade test and the Biology end-of-course exam.

We are also pleased to report that our 2018-2019 graduation rate is 86.7%, compared to the states graduation rate of 86.4.  This represents an increase of four-points over last year’s four-year graduation rate and a 21.8 point increase in six years.  This is the highest graduation rate in the district’s history and the first time VCS has ever surpassed the state average.

Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Jackson said, “This is a tremendous accomplishment and credit must be given to our entire team. We have worked diligently to implement strategies over the last few years to address the graduation rate and we are pleased to see a return on these efforts.”

Six years ago, Vance County Schools’ posted a graduation rate of 64.9% – the lowest in the state. “The graduation rate this year is a huge jump and we certainly are proud of that,” said Jackson. “The high school diploma gives our students options after graduation to pursue higher education, enlist in the military or to join the workforce prepared to be successful. We will not be satisfied until all of our students graduate on time, the stakes are too high to accept otherwise.”

The district is already working to address areas of deficit, train staff and implement new structures to support students. The district invites the community to its annual State of OUR Schools address on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at 6 p.m. at Vance County High School to hear both our challenges and accomplishments as well as our plans for continuous improvement.

VCS Bus Drivers Wanted; Next Training Scheduled for Sept.

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

Want to be a child’s hero? Greet students every morning and see them home in the afternoon as a Vance County School’s bus driver. VCS is looking for folks who have a class B license with P and S endorsements.

Please contact VCS transportation at (252) 438-5012 ext. 1, or stop by the transportation department to complete an application. Make sure you bring your license.

Don’t delay…. the next bus driver training class is September 23-25, 2019.

VCS: Traditional Calendar Schools to Hold Open House Aug. 22

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

Vance County Schools will hold Open House sessions for schools on the traditional calendar on Thursday, August 22, 2019.

Vance County Middle School’s Open House will be held from 3 until 7 p.m.; all other traditional schools will be held from 2 until 7 p.m.

All students who attend Vance County Middle School, AdVance Academy, STEM Early High School and all Vance County elementary schools except E.M. Rollins will begin school on Monday, August 26, 2019.

All parents and students are invited to attend open house events.

Note:

E.M. Rollins Elementary School, Vance County Early College and Vance County High School began school on Monday, August 5, 2019.

Vance Co. Board of Education Approves Strategic Plan – FORWARD TOGETHER 2025

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Press Release, Vance County Schools

After a full calendar year of staff and stakeholder engagement, the Vance County Board of Education at its regular monthly meeting approved the district strategic plan, FORWARD TOGETHER 2025, which redefines the mission, vision and goals that will guide the work of the district through the year 2025.

The plan includes input from the Board of Education members, parents, students, staff, administrators and school supporters and represents a consensus of over 500 individual voices that engaged in this process.

The FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan asks stakeholders to “Reform,” “Re-imagine,” “Rethink” and “Renew” what they believe, think, and do every day in classrooms across the district. The FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan is a call to action for our community to critically evaluate daily instructional and operational practices and ensure that all are aligned to provide excellent instruction in the classroom and high student achievement as our outcome.

Included in the FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 Strategic Plan is the approved Vision and Mission Statement. The new Vision Statement is, “To provide an adaptable educational setting where learning is a catalyst to the pursuit of dreams in an evolving society.”

The board also approved the new Mission Statement which reads, “Vance County Schools is committed to providing broad experiences and opportunities to students that enable them to compete globally.”

Over the next five years, district staff will work collaboratively with the board of education, schools and other key stakeholders to implement the FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan district-wide. Annually, the board of education will formally evaluate the district’s progress towards meeting the five strategic priorities and their corresponding objectives, and this information will be shared publicly with the community.

Priorities identified in the FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 include improving our progress in areas associated with school performance grades earned by each school, improving discipline and civility in our schools, increasing staff retention, implementation of innovative practices and engaging the community to reach parents and attract students.

The FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan will allow both our internal and external stakeholder a means by which to hold us accountable for making progress on each of our stated priorities over the next five years against baseline performance data.

The overarching theme of FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 is to ensure that every student has ample opportunity to reach his/her full potential while pursuing their personalized pathway to graduation and their high school diploma.

The redesign of the district’s instructional model in the FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 plan outlines a focus on providing authentic experiences, modern learning environments, a learner-centered culture and modern curriculum.

By integrating these key change levers into our delivery of instruction, Vance County Schools firmly believes that FORWARD TOGETHER 2025 will allow us to become that true catalyst for student success and future prosperity that every student needs and deserves.

New Principal Named at STEM Early High School

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

The Vance County Board of Education approved Gradesa Lockhart as Principal of Vance County’s STEM Early High Middle School. The approval came during Monday night’s board meeting.

Superintendent, Dr. Anthony Jackson, said “Ms. Lockhart clearly distinguished herself as the best and most prepared candidate for STEM. [She] is an experienced principal, serving most recently [at] the Bluford STEM Academy in Guilford County.”

Ms. Lockhart comes to Vance County with 15 years of administrative experience in different schools within North Carolina and was instrumental in transforming Bluford into a STEM magnet school. Prior to that, she served as a teacher for a little over seven years.

Gradesa Lockhart received her Master’s in School Administration from North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro. Her bachelor’s degree in Middle School Math and Science was earned at North Carolina Central University in Durham. Ms. Lockhart is also currently in pursuit of her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.

Ms. Lockhart’s first day is Wednesday, August 14.

Vance Co. Schools Announces Start Dates for 2019-20 Year

100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

-Information courtesy Vance County Schools

All students who attend Vance County Middle School, AdVance Academy, STEM Early High School and all Vance County elementary schools except E.M. Rollins will begin school on Monday, August 26, 2019. Open house will be held on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Information on times will be made available as soon as possible.

E.M. Rollins Elementary School will begin school on Monday, August 5, 2019. Open house will be held on Thursday, August 1, 2019, from 2 until 7 p.m.

Vance County Early College and Vance County High School will begin school on Monday, August 5, 2019. Open house will be held on Thursday, August 1, 2019, from 1 until 7 p.m.

All parents and students are invited to attend open house events.