Possibly dividing J.Z. George High School into J.Z. George Middle School and J.Z. George High School and cutting back football coaches were some of the hot topics during the first board meeting of 2019 for the Carroll County School Board.
During their Monday night board meeting, the board discussed dividing J.Z. George High School into two separate schools -- J.Z. George Middle and J.Z. George High.
“The middle school is an F and the high school is a few points away from being an F, something has to be done,” Board member Donnie Wiltshire said. “There’s no reason our schools can’t be a high C or a low B. So what’s hindering us?”
Board President Kenneth DeLoach said J.Z. George Principal Coretta Green was shouldering the school by herself.
Wiltshire made a motion for Superintendent Billy Joe Ferguson to consider dividing the two schools.
But, a separate idea was brought up— instead of dividing the schools, the county could hire another assistant principal.
“We need to get our test scores up,” DeLoach said. “But, we’re also overloading her (Green) with work, and I’m sure she’ll tell you that herself.”
Board members asked how they could help motivate students for state tests.
“It all boils down to the education of our children, now that’s the name of the game,” DeLoach said.
“It starts with the board,” Board member Stella Washington-Bell said. “They see the negativity that’s put out there from this board. They see how the board reacts, and it brings down the moral. How we perform trickles down to them.”
“And they test all the time,” DeLoach said. “Instead of teaching them, we’re teaching them the test. They can’t learn that way. They’re not being over tested, they’re being over prepared for the test.”
Washington-Bell suggested that the board needed to find a way to recognize their students and teachers more who perform well.
“We need to form committees and get on some of these committees out here. Some of their community engagement committees.”
That led to a slight disagreement between Washington-Bell and Wiltshire, which was quickly squashed by Phillips, while giving a bit a wisdom in the process.
“Let’s not do that,” he said. “Let’s not do the bickering back and forth. It’s not about us, it’s about the students. We should be encouraging and think about our students. We should act in a manner that is reasonable. I think the Superintendent should have brought this matter to us instead of one person bringing it to him. It’s his job, he has to find a way to make it work. Maybe we need an assistant for Mrs. should look into getting her another one.”
He said if Green is overloaded then a solution should be looked into that get academics up. “Whatever we need to do, we need to do it.”
“Because that’s the name of the game,” DeLoach added.
Phillips said before joining the board, he mentored fifth grade boys at Marshall Elementary.
“You’d be surprised,” Phillips said “You ever heard the saying ‘All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy? We are testing those poor kids to death.”
He said on top of testing, students have other outside forces that may hinder their progression.
“It all starts at home and it’s going to take more of our men to step up to the plate for them young men out here,” Phillips said.
Also, the board discussed cutting the football coaches back from six coaches to four.
“We are putting more resources into sports and not much emphasis on education and we have to do something about that,” DeLoach said.
Washington-Bell suggesting looking into the cutback when the board sets the budget for the 2019-2020 school year.