HCS to implement parent-teacher conference day

The district will set aside time for parents and teachers to meet on Oct. 25

The Hoke County Schools Board of Education will set aside a day next school year for parents and teachers to meet.

The board approved the move at its April 16 meeting, changing Oct. 25 from a mandatory teacher work day to a parent-teacher conference day.

“During [Superintendent Kenneth] Spells’ recent visits to various schools across the county as part of his listening tours, one of the recurring concerns voiced by our teachers was the absence of a dedicated day for parent conferences,” said assistant superintendent Dawn Ramseur. “In response to that, our leadership team brainstormed a potential solution while considering the current proposed calendar.”

The board was given an update on how the district is working to address some vacancy concerns.

“At our job fair in March, several of our schools were able to pick up some candidates at that event,” said director of human resources Tuwanda McNeill. “We have also just finished our Educational Partners International interviews. Our EPI is our international teachers and the organization that we work with actually set up Zoom interviews for our principals to get on to actually interview those individuals so we’re fortunate already that several of our schools are excited about picking up or bringing some of those people aboard.”

A legislative class size waiver request for Upchurch Elementary was approved.

“Each year, kindergarten through third grade classes should comply with the class size maximums,” said director of testing and accountability Melissa Ward. “For kindergarten that is 21 students, first grade is 19 students and for second and third grade it is 20 students. This is monitored twice a year in PowerSchool by the legislative class size report. In the Fall, there were no errors, but for the spring, we had errors due to teacher turnover.”

According to Ward, Upchurch lost a second grade teacher position which as of the meeting had not been filled by another teacher or long-term sub. As such, the children from that class were distributed to other classes which now requires the submission of a waiver.

In other business, the board also approved the 2024-2025 Child Nutrition Renewal Bids for vendor supplies.

The board approved renewal bids from Sysco Raleigh, Foster Caviness Co., Franklin Baking Co., MDVA Milk Producers Cooperative Association, SFS Pac Food Safety & Sanitation, Darryl Gourmet Specialties, The Master Exterminators and Ken Smith’s Wash on Wheels.

According to Deborah Carpenter, child nutrition executive director for the district, all the renewal bids were agreed upon for the same price as last year. The board also approved the submittal of bids for two other needed services: cafeteria cooking equipment repair services and grease trap pumping and dumping

The Hoke County Schools Board of Education will next meet May 14.