BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Mooresville Graded School District Board of Education learned details about a playground grant, heard plans for several events, honored an employee for a regional award, and received reports on several district programs and initiatives during Tuesday’s meeting.
SOUTH ELEMENTARY RECEIVES $50,000 PLAYGROUND GRANT
South Elementary School received a $50,000 grant to refurbish its playground area from Lowe’s Home Improvement. The upgrades will serve the school’s 400 students by providing a new playground structure to replace the rusted, moldy and corroded structures that are no longer usable.
Chief Communications Officer Tanae McLain said since outdoor activity on safe equipment is essential for happy and healthy students and effective classroom learning, MGSD and South Elementary are grateful for this support from Lowe’s and the difference it will make for the South Stars.
Launched last year, the Lowe’s Hometowns program is a five-year, $100 million commitment from Lowe’s to rebuild and revitalize community spaces nationwide.
Board member Debbie Marsh also thanked Tim and Amy Smith for organizing a corn hole tournament to benefit the playground project as well.
MOORESVILLE EDUCATION FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT
The annual Mooresville Foundation for Excellence in Education golf tournament is planned for Friday, September 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mooresville Golf Club.
The Mooresville Foundation for Excellence in Education is a non-profit organization organized in 1991 “to do all things to further the excellence of education in the Mooresville Graded School District” and to provide a private source of supplementary revenue.
The Board of Directors works to ensure that the Mooresville Graded School District obtains the greatest benefit from the foundation’s contributions by reviewing proposals from school employees before making distributions of foundation assets.
The foundation is funded by private and corporate contributions from community. Since the fall of 2008, the annual golf tournament has helped raise funds in support of “every child, every day.”
Funds have provided assistance with laptop user fees for low-income students and for new teachers to purchase classroom supplies. The foundation also helps fund CTE competition trips, academic field trips, and resources for motivating low achieving children, including tutoring, materials, software, and lab equipment.
The foundation also gave awards to purchase weight training equipment and to create an interactive preschool playground.
LONGEST TABLE EVENT SET FOR OCTOBER 1
As part of its commitment to grow relationships in the community, MGSD is partnering with the United Way of Iredell County to bring the first annual Longest Table event to Main Street in Mooresville on Sunday, October 1, at 1 p.m.
Because food is a way to share, a community meal is a great setting to open individuals up for conversation. Organizers hope neighbors of all income levels, backgrounds, and beliefs will come to share a common table and foster new friendships with others in the Mooresville community.
Introductions to new people help create confidence to reach out to one another and bridge gaps in future community planning decisions.
Everyone is invited to this free meal at a table that will stretch down Main Street in Downtown Mooresville to enjoy the company of others and forge new friendships.
Interested community members are asked to sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-longest-table-mooresville-2023-tickets-677652756637 to help plan for food preparation.
Anyone who wants to help serve at this event can sign up to volunteer at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c084ca8ad2da6fec43-longest#/.
BLOCKER RECEIVES HONOR
At the 2023 Career and Technical Education Summer Conference in Winston Salem, Julie Blocker was named as the Southwest Region Director of the Year. Blocker was also presented with a certificate of appreciation for serving as a mentor for the past three years for aspiring CTE Directors as they completed their Administrative Internship.
“Mooresville Graded Schools believes that Career and Technical Education is an essential component of the high school experience. It aligns with our priority area of Maximizing Opportunity and Achievement by providing students with the opportunity to explore various career pathways,” Superintendent Jason Gardner said.
REDDICK NAMED DIRECTOR OF SAFETY
Mark Reddick was recently named as the district’s new director of School Safety. Reddick, who rose to the rank of sergeant and served as an SRO at nine schools, comes with over 20 years of law enforcement experience in California.
Reddick also served as a Youth Court Coordinator and juvenile intervention officer. He additionally developed and implemented the Opportunity With Education 15 week juvenile intervention program, serving parents and juveniles prior to the juveniles getting involved in the criminal justice system. The program also provided the youths with mental health services and addressed issues teens face at home and at school.
Reddick, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California Baptist University, also established a Youth Accountability team in cooperation with the probation and the District Attorney’s offices and was instrumental in getting Teen Courts started.
In addition to his work with the youth population, Reddick was his department’s representative for Veterans Court where he connected with fellow veterans involved in the criminal justice system.
As a sergeant, Reddick supervised the Technical Services Unit (Bomb Squad), Mounted Enforcement Unit, and worked as a patrol sergeant and a field training sergeant.
After moving to North Carolina, Mr. Reddick worked for North Carolina Juvenile Justice as a Court Counselor before joining MGSD.
Assistant Superintendent Auxiliary Services Scott Smith said that Reddick has been visiting schools to create plans for safety and security improvements.
In other safety news, Smith announced that all schools have completed lockdown drills, except one that is being rescheduled soon. The hiring process for a new SRO to cover the intermediate schools is in process, with an officer expected to be put in place soon.
Chief Financial Officer Angie Davis said that staff have been notified that implementation of the new salary schedule has been delayed because the N.C. General Assembly has yet to pass the 2023-2024 budget.
All increases will be paid retroactive to July 1 once the budget is finalized, which is not expected until sometime in September.
SUMMER SCHOOL PROGRAM UPDATE
Over the summer, MGSD provided multiple extended learning opportunities for approximately 2,090 students at a variety of grade levels, including:
● Read to Achieve camp (Grades 2-3) – 87 students
● Summer Testing (Grades 3-12) – 346 students
● Summer School (Grades 7-12) – 256 students
● Summer Career Accelerator CTE Camps (Grades 5-9) – 101 students
● Transition Year Orientations (Grades K, 6, 7, and 9, MIWAYE) – nearly 1300 students
The five-week Read to Achieve program featured morning academics and afternoon enrichment and research. The program provided 72 hours of literacy instruction in small classes to improve students’ reading skills. The session ended with a celebration and student presentations of their learning to family members.
The CTE Summer Career Accelerator focused on building awareness of and future enrollment in CTE courses at the middle and high school level. Weeks 1 (41 students) and 2 (36 students) were for rising sixth- and seventh-grade students, with week 3 for rising ninth-grade students (with 24 attending).
Students rotated through hands-on activities, including cooking, tie dye, video production, Makey-Makey, Auto, and STEM activities. The groups also had weekly field trips to the UNCC Atkins Library’s Area 49 STEM center.
CONSOLIDATED FEDERAL PROGRAMS PLAN
The 2023-2024 Consolidated Federal Programs Plan is intended to address the needs of all students through supplemental federal funds, including Title I (support for students from low-income households), Title III (support for multilingual learners of English), and Title IV (support for all students to be safe and healthy, and well-rounded).
Tracey Waid, director of Secondary Instruction, and Jemma Conley, director of Elementary Instruction, presented specific key activities and budget allocations for several portions of the district’s proposed Consolidated Federal Programs grant application, which must be approved by the Board of Education prior to its submission.
The Title I grant money ($650,468) will provide additional funding based on low-income households and to provide all children with fair, equitable, high-quality education to help close the achievement gap.
Proposed 2023-2024 key activities include a K-5 Math Initiative (District Math Specialist, Open Up Math, Touch Math), K-5 Core & ERI Supplemental Instruction (School Reading & Math Specialists), and District Set Aside (Kinder JumpStart, PD, Homeless/Foster, Family Engagement).
The Title III grant money ($54,391) will be used to ensure Multilingual Learners (MLs) attain English proficiency, to assist MLs to reach high levels of academic achievement, to ensure effective language instruction for multilingual students, and to promote family engagement in language instruction.
Proposed key activities for this year include adding the Ellevation Strategies Platform, holding professional development and providing stipends, implementing of ML standards in curriculum guides, purchasing of ML curricular resources, and holding ML family events.
The Title IV grant money ($56,158) helps provide student access to a well-rounded education, improve conditions for safe and healthy students, and improve student use of technology and digital literacy.
Proposed key activities include repurposing the district’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) position to become a Director of Safety position, coordinating efforts to enhance student safety measures, and developing methods for behavioral support.
The board approved:
♦ An FMLA policy revision to the calculation method of the FMLA 12-month entitlement to be measured using a “rolling” term. This means that the 12-month period will be measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave. Thus, each time an employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement will be the balance of the twelve weeks that has not been used in the immediately preceding twelve-month period.
This recommendation clarifies the federally required calculation method. Federal law requires that a calculation method be applied consistently and that any change be shared with employees 60 days prior to the implementation of the new method.
♦ The pizza delivery bid to Domino’s Pizza. This pizza will be served as part of the premium meal at Mooresville Middle School, Selma Burke Middle School, and Mooresville High school. The pizza will be available daily for purchase as part of a complete meal for $3.15 per meal at full price or $0.40 per meal at a reduced price. It can also be purchased a la carte for $3 per slice.