Hoke County school board discusses partnerships and projects

New agreements and updates on school improvements take center stage at board meeting

RAEFORD – The Hoke County Schools Board of Education gathered on Tuesday, Nov. 7, to address several key topics, including a partnership agreement with Sandhills Community College and updates on school improvement projects.

Assistant Superintendent Dawn Ramseur introduced an updated Career and College Promise (CCP) Partnership Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sandhills Community College. She explained, “The state board voted on a policy last year that said there had to be a CCP Partnership agreement for all of our dual-enrollment programs for high school students. That allows our students to enroll in college courses at the community college and also have those high school courses. In order to implement this, the state board is asking that districts develop an agreement with the entity they’re going to be working with and make that effective by December 2023.”

The agreement, which includes provisions for dual enrollment, student qualifications, entrance guidelines, and support, mandates the appointment of coordinators at SandHoke Early College and Hoke High School to ensure students’ success in transitioning to college-level courses.

Ramseur further detailed the agreement’s focus on facilities, maintenance, and security, especially since SandHoke Early College is located on Sandhills Community College property.

In addition to the partnership agreement, the board reviewed a bid from ENCORE for the installation of cameras, wiring, and switches at Hoke High School, totaling $427,426.52. Ramseur justified the selection of ENCORE over In-Telecom, citing the latter’s higher bid and incomplete provisions for the project. Despite this, the board decided to delay action on the bid due to cost concerns, planning to revisit the issue next month.

John Birth was officially appointed as the project manager for the Hoke County High School Replacement Project, with a contract of $250,400, covering the construction and post-construction phases. The board also approved GMP Package #2 for the project, totaling $42,703,997, which places the project approximately $81,000 under budget. A representative from MetCon summarized the progress, saying, “After a long one-year process, the project is on budget and ready to go.”

The meeting also addressed the transition of leadership, with Interim Superintendent Rodney Shotwell set to serve until the end of the year before Kenneth Spells takes over on Jan. 3. A proposed contract to compensate Shotwell for a five-day transitional period was tabled due to questions regarding the necessity and amount of the compensation.

Lastly, the board passed a 2023-24 Budget Resolution to appropriate state and federal funds that had been delayed by the general assembly’s slow approval of the state’s budget.

The Hoke County Schools Board of Education is scheduled to reconvene on Dec. 5.