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UCPS Superintendent Cluster Forum informs Marvin Ridge community
About 70 parents and Union County Public Schools employees from the Marvin Ridge Cluster had some quality one-on-one time with Superintendent Dr. Mary Ellis last night, discussing some key issues facing the school system.
The meeting, held Tuesday (Sept. 26, 2012) at Marvin Ridge High School, was the first of nine scheduled community meetings during the school system’s fourth annual Superintendent Cluster Forum. “I’ve been told that Union County Public Schools is in the top 5 percent in the United States as far as vision and forward thinking,” she told the audience.
Ellis talked about the G.I.G. (Globalization, Innovation and Graduation), an initiative that has become the school system’s mantra and the three main areas that serve as a focus for UCPS.
In her discussion of the globalization initiative, Ellis mentioned the Splash Immersion Program, Gateway Elementary Schools, Global Scholars Program and the Global Schools and Global Teachers designations. She said her vision for the future is to secure funding that would bring foreign language back into the elementary schools.
The Innovation portion of the presentation focused on an increase use of technology through new devices, blended learning and 21st Century resources. She noted the 1-to-1 Laptop Initiative in the middle schools, virtual schools, and the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The latter encourages cross curriculum teaching (a conscious effort to apply knowledge, principles and values to more than one academic discipline simultaneously), and teachers to share best practices in order to achieve continued improvement and student growth.
As for graduation, Ellis spoke of the programs and initiatives being used to achieve the ultimate goal of a 100 percent graduation rate. The Career Academy of South Providence (CASP) is just one of the programs developed to fight high school students from dropping out. CASP allows a student to graduate through credit recovery. Partnerships with community colleges, virtual schools and programs and initiatives that support students in their journey to graduate were also discussed.
Ellis also addressed the school system’s approach to meeting the new Common Core State Standards and the North Carolina Essential Standards that will be taught and assessed in the 2012-2013 school year.
North Carolina adopted the Common Core State Standards in K-12 mathematics and K-12 English language arts. The Essential Standards address standards for newly adopted curriculum in English as a second language, science, social studies, world languages, arts education and Healthful Living.
Gabriella Carsten and Erica Yount, both parents at Rea View Elementary School, were two of the handful of parents who questioned Ellis during the question-and answer-session. They asked about such things as the upcoming budget, the possibility of future redistricting and testing procedures.
After the forum, Carsten said, “I loved it. It was very informative. I love all of the out-of-the-box thinking. It’s all encompassing, there for every student and I appreciate that.”
Yount, Rea View’s PTA president, said she also enjoyed the forum. “Dr. Ellis’ approach involves teachers and parents. I like her take on the G.I.G. and how she has all students’ welfare in mind.”
The cluster forums are held the last Tuesday of each month in one of the school system’s nine high school cluster groups. They are an effort by Ellis to reach out to school and community stakeholders and engage in proactive dialogue about the school system.
The following is a list of the upcoming forums: (All meetings begin at 6:00 PM)
Cuthbertson - Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 - Cuthbertson High School
Forest Hills - Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 - Forest Hills High School
Monroe (Includes CATA, WBEC and Wolfe) - Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 - Monroe High
Sun Valley (Includes UC Early College) - Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 - Sun Valley High School
Weddington - Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 - Weddington High School
Parkwood (Includes South Providence) - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - Parkwood High
Piedmont - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - Piedmont High School
Porter Ridge - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - Porter Ridge High School
Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Sep 26, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe