Hoke elementary schools to have uniform hours

School board approves having elementary school day run from 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

RAEFORD — The Hoke County Schools Board of Education approved a universal start and end time for all of the district’s elementary schools starting this fall.

At its Tuesday, June 4 meeting, the board signed off on the new day, with all the schools starting at 7:45 a.m. and releasing pupils at 2:30 p.m.

“We’re trying to have consistency among our elementary schools,” said Superintendent Kenneth Spells. “Several of our elementary schools have different start times and different end times, so we want one universal time for our elementary schools.”

In other business, the board saw possible graphic design packages under consideration for the new Hoke County High School.

“What we want to build here is a timeless design,” said SfL+a project manager Michael Holborn. “We don’t want this to go out of fashion soon, so we’re really looking at that aspect of it. These schools are meant to be around for a long time and we don’t want to be redesigning them in the near future.”

The presentation touched on logo choice and incorporation, font types, color palettes, 3D signage, graphic locations and packages, and other aesthetic enhancements.

No final decisions have been made on the designs.

The district also has considerable challenges with open positions. There are currently 22 vacant elementary school positions, and in the secondary schools, there are four ELA, seven math, five science, nine social studies, seven health/art/music, 19 EC and 15 teacher assistant vacancies.

According to Director of Human Resources Tuwanda McNeill, the district is considering relying more on international partners and hires to alleviate the current staffing challenges.

The board also approved a $37,683.82 contract with True IP Solutions to procure the hardware required for the schools’ transition to a more advanced voice-over IP phone system.

“As we discussed in our last board meeting, we’re embarking on a significant upgrade to our district’s phone system,” said Assistant Superintendent Dawn Ramseur. “The impetus for this originated from the county commissioners who allocated funds as part of our capital outlay request, specifically for the replacement of the phone system at Sandy Grove Elementary School.”

Four options were considered, and True IP was the district’s choice. “They did have the most financially advantageous option, offering the lowest recurring monthly cost for the services provided,” explained Ramseur.

The Hoke County Schools Board of Education will next meet on July 9.