Lack of quorum stalls action by school board

By: By Scott Bigelow - Staff writer
County schools Superintendent Dr. Shanita Wooten, left, and school board member Brian Freeman listen Thursday to a presentation about the Innovative School District’s plans regarding Southside-Ashpole Elementary School.

LUMBERTON — A memorandum of understanding between the North Carolina Innovative School District and the Public Schools of Robeson County was delayed twice Thursday by the Board of Education, first for lack of a quorum and then to await a certificate of insurance.

The Innovative School District, through a contract with Achievement for All Children, will take over Southside-Ashpole Elementary School in Rowland with the purpose of turning around one of the state’s poorest performing schools.

The memorandum spells out the details of operation for Southside-Ashpole’s school nutrition, transportation, calendar, weather dates and inventory. The memorandum was presented by ISD Superintendent Eric Hall.

“I’d like to thank Dr. Shanita Wooten and her staff for their unbelievable partnership,” Hall said. “One thing I am sure of is that there are a lot of things we will discover over time.”

Because Southside-Ashpole is the first school in the state to be taken over by the newly created school district, the operational details are new to both parties. The ISD contracted with AAC to operate the school for five years.

In open session the school board lacked a quorum, with Brenda Fairley-Ferebee, John Campbell, Dwayne Smith and Peggy Wilkins-Chavis absent. All but Wilkins-Chavis arrived for the closed session, but school attorney Grady Hunt advised waiting until the July meeting to take up issues scheduled for Thursday’s meeting.

Board members were told the new operators of Southside-Ashpole will conduct an inventory on Monday. Several questions were directed toward Hall.

“The per-pupil funding goes to you, but is there any new money?” school board member Craig Lowry asked. “We need to make sure we are comparing apples to apples.”

Hall said an audit will be made available to the school board. He has said Southside-Ashpole will not receive additional funding over and above what other schools in Robeson County receive.

School Board member Mike Smith asked if Southside’s longer school day will conflict with bus schedules. Superintendent Wooten said there was only one question outstanding regarding transportation.

“We’re working to get our pre-school students home so they do not stay an extra hour at school,” Wooten said.

After a 45-minute closed session, Wooten announced personnel changes. The changes were made over Fairley-Ferebee’s vote and Lowry’s objection to making key personnel assignments in June instead of July.

Dwayne Smith had a different view.

“Dr. Wooten, I appreciate you getting on the ball and getting going early on the school year,” he said.

Sam Davis was named Lumberton Senior High School’s head basketball coach.

New central office staff members include Billie Jo Harris, director of licensure, and administrative assistants Erin Henderson and Melissa Freeman.

Promoted to assistant principal were Steven Sinclair, Carroll Middle School; Demetris McMillan and Justin Dial, Fairmont High School; Ted White, Katasha Oxendine and Davis Oxendine, Lumberton Senior High School; and Health Cameron, Prospect Elementary.

Transferred assistant principals were Adrian Sinclair-Davis, East Robeson Elementary; Lewis Cox and Sharon Breeden, Fairmont High School; Christ Burton, Savon Maultsby and Jamane Watson, Lumberton Senior High School; Ronald Alford, Parkton Elementary; James Hardin, Pembroke Elementary; Matthew Locklear, Pembroke Middle; Aaron Locklear, Piney Grove Elementary; Charles Locklear, Prospect Elementary; Dacia Bullard, Purnell Swett High School; Jonathan Locklear, Red Springs High School; Cynthia Lewis, Rosenwald Elementary; Leslie Harris, South Robeson High School; and Don Brisson, Sandra Oxendine and Eric Sanders, St. Pauls High School.

County schools Superintendent Dr. Shanita Wooten, left, and school board member Brian Freeman listen Thursday to a presentation about the Innovative School District’s plans regarding Southside-Ashpole Elementary School.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_wooten-freemen-reduce_ne2018628183721242.jpgCounty schools Superintendent Dr. Shanita Wooten, left, and school board member Brian Freeman listen Thursday to a presentation about the Innovative School District’s plans regarding Southside-Ashpole Elementary School.
School board announces assistant principal changes

By Scott Bigelow

Staff writer

Scott Bigelow can be reached at 910-644-4497 or [email protected]

Scott Bigelow can be reached at 910-644-4497 or [email protected]