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posted Feb 16, 2018, 12:57 PM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Feb 16, 2018, 12:58 PM ]

Thousands of 9th graders in North Carolina struggle every year with Math I, many of them starting high school having found little or no success in math in earlier grades. Barely six of every 10 students who took the required course last year reached a passing score on the state’s end-of-course exam, and only about half scored high enough to be considered college-and-career ready.

High schools and math teachers in Bladen County face no less of a challenge helping students in the southeastern North Carolina district catch up, build confidence and gain success in math.

“We have tried so many things, but we weren’t having much success,” said Tanya Head, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Bladen County Schools.

Then the district’s two high schools tried something different.

Head learned of a new approach being launched by the N.C. Virtual Public School, or NCVPS, that paired a math teacher in the classroom remotely with a math teacher with the virtual school. The online school was already providing a similar model for exceptional children’s classes where the teacher in the classroom often lacked content expertise. But in this case, students would benefit from the expertise of two math teachers.

Even after just a single year, both high schools – East Bladen and West Bladen high schools – achieved solid gains in 2016-17 on the Math I end-of-course exam with an innovative strategy that helped personalize learning for each student. Both schools followed a model that incorporates the power of co-teaching in a blended-learning approach – integrating face-to-face instruction with online supports.

“As a class, they all grew”

“The key to success was the close communication between the classroom teacher and the VPS teacher,” Head said. “Every day, the teachers would coordinate for the needs of the individual students in the classes.”

By design, students in the classes – one at each high school – were selected because of their difficulties learning math. West Bladen placed in the class students who hadn’t ever demonstrated proficiency in math since the first end-of-grade testing in third grade. East Bladen aimed its class at students who also struggled with math but who had shown better outcomes at some point in the past.

East Bladen last year posted one of the largest gains in the state for Math I performance – 21.8 percentage points for the share of students in the school achieving “grade-level proficiency” on the end-of-course exam; 17.9 points for the percentage of students reaching the standard for “college and career” readiness. While the gains at West Bladen were less dramatic, most students in the co-teaching Math I class came close to grade-level proficiency, said Jill Smith, the classroom teacher.

“Many students were near the cut score,” Smith said. “I don’t think they would have grown half as much without that extra support. There was no reason for them not to know what was going on in the course. Things were really, really broken down for them.” The school’s grade-level proficiency rate reached 55.3 percent for 2016-17, up from 33.5 percent the year before.

“We were able to move at a much slower pace,” Smith said. “The NCVPS curriculum is really great for those kids who need the additional support.”

Judyth Riddick, the teacher at East Bladen High, said students were aware of their own progress, which helped motivate them despite their struggles with math.

“As a class they all grew,” Riddick said, “even though they may not have gotten to a [score of] 3. Coming in, they were all 1s and 2s.”

“Two minds working toward the same goal”

Smith and Riddick each communicated daily via a Google doc with NCVPS math teacher Sara Mann, updating her on material covered in class and about student interactions and needs. Mann, in turn, posted an announcement each day for students to access after school in Canvas, the learning management system, celebrating student accomplishments in class and adding supplemental resources, from videos to interactive games to interactive practice.

“I support the co-teacher by individualizing instruction for the students,” Mann said, “based on information from the teacher. When you have 25 to 28 students, you have students who’ve mastered a concept and some who need extra help. I love that I can help provide that extra support. It’s such a unique opportunity to individualize instruction, and there are so many resources out there.”

Both classroom teachers praised the resources Mann provided students online, including notes, remediation videos for review, interactive games and other materials. Both high schools provide students with laptop computers for home use as 1:1 schools, and hotspot connections for students whose homes lack internet connectivity.

The classroom teachers also connected by phone each week with Mann to plan, catch-up and troubleshoot other issues.

“The biggest advantage is having two minds working toward the same goal and getting different perspectives and different strategies,” Riddick said. “Having someone else who could provide feedback really helped.”

During the fall semester, students took a Foundations of NC Math course, also taught through the co-teaching model, to ready them for Math I in the second semester. East Bladen High requires the same sequence for all students taking Math I, whether traditional classroom instruction or the blended approach. The co-teaching classes at both Bladen high schools followed the NCVPS curricula for both the Foundations and Math I course.

An extra layer of support

Catrina Parker, the NCVPS instructional director for math and other subjects, said the yearlong partnership that was forged between the classroom teacher and online instructor is key to the students’ success.

“That classroom teacher has an instructional partner in that journey,” Parker said. “It’s an extra layer of support for the students and the classroom teacher.” By providing extra resources such as videos and other materials, she said, the virtual school teacher is able to free up the classroom teacher to focus more closely in class on the needs of each student,

And for Riddick, now in her third year as a lateral-entry teacher, following the NCVPS curriculum and working in tandem with an experienced math teacher paid extra dividends in terms of her own professional development and her effectiveness for students.

“It is very helpful because you have an outline of topics you need to cover, and you also have a partner to help keep you on pace,” Riddick said. “What I didn’t get in my first year [teaching Math I], was an outline. It was overwhelming in my first year.

“My students that year weren’t where they needed to be to be successful,” Riddick said. “With the NCVPS partnership, I felt more confident that I was covering the material.”

The program is not without financial cost to school districts, which must pay for the NCVPS course. But several additional high schools across the state, including one school with three sections and two charter schools, are offering the co-teaching course this year. NCVPS is also piloting a Math II course this year in Bladen County.

Peggy Hester, principal of West Bladen High, said she was encouraged by the student outcomes of the Math I partnership at her school last year.

“Anytime that teachers get more support with analyzing student strengths and weaknesses, it is certainly helpful,” Hester said. “The classroom teacher was able to better meet the needs of each student individually with the support of the NCVPS teacher.”

Special Olympics planning meeting

posted Feb 13, 2018, 11:35 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Feb 13, 2018, 11:35 AM ]

We are going to hold our first Special Olympics meeting .
Date : 2/22/2018
Location : Board of Education 
Time : 5:30pm 

Agenda :
* Theme for this year
* T-shirt designs for S.O 
* Flyers for fundraisers 
* Updates for S.O. 
* Medicals concerns/ questions
* Food updates , donations needed ex: water, plain chips etc
* We need to discuss a time frame for the day of S.O 
* Intent to Participate Forms, Spring Games Athlete Registration Forms and plenty more !

Bladen County Beta’s are the Best

posted Feb 7, 2018, 7:08 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Feb 8, 2018, 8:59 AM ]

Bladen County Schools’ middle school and high school Beta Club students participated in the State Beta Convention this past weekend and brought home several top awards. Bladen County Schools was well represented among the 4,000 plus students from across North Carolina that converged in Greensboro for the competition.

In addition to the many awards that our students earned, Bladen also had two students elected to state officer positions. Clarkton School of Discovery student Cate DeVane was elected as the North Carolina Junior Beta State Secretary and Bladenboro Middle School student Lainey Autry was elected as the North Carolina Junior Beta State Chaplain.

Other awards received in the middle school competition were:

  •       Campaign Skit – 1st place, Clarkton School of Discovery
  • ·       Group Talent – 2nd place, Clarkton School of Discovery
  • ·       Living Literature – 3rd place, Clarkton School of Discovery
  • ·       Science Academics – 1st place, Nathaniel Stewart – Elizabethtown Middle 
  •                                             2nd place, Alex Basilio – Tar Heel Middle
  • ·       Scrapbook – 1st place, Clarkton School of Discovery
  •                                 2nd place, Bladenboro Middle
  • ·       Songfest – 3rd place, Clarkton School of Discovery
  • ·       Spotlight Your Club – 1st place, Bladenboro Middle
  • ·       Tower of Power – 3rd place, Elizabethtown Middle team of Amado Rojas Sandoval, Jaime Delgado, Malcolm Bolden, Zach Metz, and Dmauriee                 Rodgers
  • ·       Wreath – 2nd place, Clarkton School of Discovery
  • ·       Top Ten – Banner
                          Bladenboro Middle
                          Clarkton School of Discovery
  • Top Ten - T-shirt Design
                    Bladenboro Middle
                    Clarkton School of Discovery

Bladenboro Middle, Clarkton School of Discovery, and Tar Heel Middle were each presented with the Gold Key Growth Award for continued support and growth of the Junior Beta program at their school and for having greater than 10 percent growth in Beta Convention attendance from the previous year.

Awards received in the high school competition were:

  • ·       Agriculture – 1st place, Grace Faircloth – East Bladen High School
  • ·       Fiber Arts – 1st place, Autumn Brisson – West Bladen High School
  • ·       Language Arts – 3rd place, Abby Cooley – East Bladen High School
  • ·       Onsite Colored Pencil – 3rd place, Ethan Fletcher – East Bladen High School
  • ·       Sculpture/Recycled Art – 1st place, Cierra Byrd – West Bladen High School

West Bladen student Edgardo Lara was a candidate among nine others for the position of State Vice President.


School Bus Driver Classroom Training

posted Jan 22, 2018, 11:58 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Jan 22, 2018, 12:00 PM ]

January 22, 2018

TO:                   Principals and Bus Managers

FROM:             Kenzel McCall , DES, and NCDMV

SUBJECT:        School Bus Driver Classroom Training

A training session has been scheduled for all non-certified staff which began employment as of July 1, 2005 and has not taken the training class.    

This Class Is Also Open To The Public:  


DATE: February 6-8, 2018

LOCATION: Bladen County Schools Technology Training Center (Behind Elizabethtown Middle School)

1489 US Hwy. 701 South

Elizabethtown, NC 28337

I would appreciate your support in helping notify all persons who need to attend this class or anyone that wants to help the school out by getting their school bus license. Anyone that needs a School Bus Pocket Card to drive an activity bus will also need to take the class.

Class times are from 9 am to 3 pm.  This is a three-day class and applicants must be in attendance all three days.

Please contact the School Bus Garage for more information. 910-862-2417.

As always, Thanks for your cooperation.


Board announces Bladen Early College Principal

posted Jan 11, 2018, 8:15 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Jan 12, 2018, 6:01 AM ]

At its January 8 meeting, the Bladen County Board of Education approved West Bladen High School Assistant Principal Rodney Smith as the new Bladen Early College High School Principal. 

Bladen County Schools along with Bladen Community College will open the Bladen Early College High School on the campus of Bladen Community College in August 2018 to its first class of rising high school freshmen.


The Early College High School Initiative allows students to receive a high school diploma and an associate degree, or up to two years of transferable college credit, by taking a combination of high school and college classes over a 4 to 5-year period. This differs from dual enrollment, where students are enrolled in a traditional high school and take college classes, whereas early college students take high school classes in preparation for full college workloads.

“Our goal at Bladen Early College High School is a learning environment that will change lives and create opportunities for all students in Bladen County.  I am excited about partnering with the community college and the parents of Bladen County to ensure that our students are college and career ready.  Our goal is for the students to possess critical thinking skills, academic knowledge, technological skills and be ready to meet the needs of their community,” said Smith.

The Bladen Early College High School will offer four curriculum pathways for students in Allied Health: CNA and EMS, Information Technology, Industrial Technology and Machining, and an Associate in Science.

Interested parents and eighth grade students are invited to attend a Bladen Early College High School Parent University information session on Monday, February 19 at 6:00 pm in the auditorium of Bladen Community College.

Designated funding for Early College is allotted by the North Carolina General Assembly from the Cooperative Innovative High School Programs.

Breakfast Champions in Bladen

posted Jan 10, 2018, 5:33 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Jan 10, 2018, 5:33 AM ]

Congratulations to Elizabethtown Middle and East Bladen High schools for being named Breakfast Champions for North Carolina.

No Kid Hungry sponsors a breakfast challenge each year which recognizes schools with the highest breakfast increase over a year. Every school in the state is analyzed and this year Elizabethtown Middle School has the 3rd highest increase for middle schools and East Bladen High School has the 2nd highest increase for high schools in the entire STATE! This is awesome and shows their love and dedication to the students in Bladen County!

Inclement weather make-up days announced

posted Jan 9, 2018, 12:07 PM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Jan 9, 2018, 12:07 PM ]

The board of education has approved the following days as make-up time for students for the January 2 through 5, 2018 delays, early release, and closings due to inclement weather. 

January 25 is now a regular student day in place of being closed on January 4. 

Because the district had additional student time built in the school calendar to accommodate two inclement weather days, January 5 will be used in place of one built in day.

Due to a two-hour delay on January 2, a two-hour early release on January 3 and a two-hour delay on September 11 for Hurricane Irma, the remaining one day of additional inclement weather time has been exhausted. 

Going forward, should there be any additional inclement weather days, time will need to be made up by students and employees by either additional days (which can include holidays) or additional time added to the school day. 

Built in time for student days missed does not include any time that employees miss.  Therefore, any day that employees don't come to work must be made up. Saturday, January 27 will now be an optional workday for employees in place of time missed on January 4. 

In place of time missed on January 5, employees will make up the time by either taking leave or completing make up time.  

June 14 is now a required teacher workday in place of January 25 now being a regular school day. January 25 was originally scheduled as a required teacher workday. 

CTE is Tops in the State

posted Dec 13, 2017, 7:30 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Dec 13, 2017, 8:30 AM ]

The 2016-17 North Carolina Career and Technical Education Credentialing Data report shows that since 2011, the first year credentialing data were compiled at the state level, the number of credentials reported by Career and Technical Education students has grown from 24,782 to over 140,000.
The attainment of an industry-recognized certification or credential ensures that students graduate from high school globally competitive for work and post-secondary education.

An industry-recognized certification or credential helps businesses
Save many hours of training time because their new hire is already trained.
Be confident that the credential holder has already learned a specific set of skills.

An industry-recognized certification or credential helps students
Validate their knowledge and skill attainment with an industry-recognized certification.
Stand out in a field of job applicants.
Start at a higher salary level.

Students in Bladen County School earned over 2,000 Career Readiness Certificates and over 1,700 non-WorkKey credentials for the 2016-17 school year. Credentials earned are:
  • Alarms and Communications - 20
  • Building Construction - 19
  • CPR Health Care Provider - 53
  • Emergency Medical Care - 36
  • EverFi - 53
  • Fire and Life Preparedness - 21
  • FIre Behavior - 39
  • Fire Hose, Streams, and Appliances - 37
  • Foam Fire Stream - 36
  • Forcible Entry - 20
  • Health and Wellness - 42
  • Introduction to Incident Command System - 110
  • Ladders - 19
  • Loss Control - 17
  • Mayday - 21
  • Microsoft Access - 20
  • Micosoft Excel - 18
  • Microsoft Powerpoint - 87
  • Microsoft Word - 69
  • NCCER Credentials – 174
  • NC Hunter Safety Course - 119
  • NC Pork Quality Assurance - 25
  • National Incidents Management System - -106
  • National Response Framework - 106
  • Nurse Aide - 29
  • Orientation and Safety - 38
  • OSHA - 65
  • Personal Protective Equipment - 40
  • Portable Extinguishers - 37
  • Rescue - 21
  • Ropes - 20
  • Safety and Pollution Prevention - 43
  • Safety and Survival - 21
  • ServSafe -12
  • Single Resources and initial Action Incidents - 104
  • Sprinklers - 21
  • Ventilation - 17
  • Water Supply - 21
  • WorkKeys - 244
Based on the number of credentials earned as a percentage of CTE course enrollments, Bladen County Schools Career and Technical Education program is the NUMBER ONE district in the state of North Carolina. This is the second year in a row that Bladen County Schools has received number one status!

Congratulations to the CTE department, the CTE teachers & staff, and Ms. Willa Dean Williams, the CTE Director!

NC Superintendent Mark Johnson announces completely redesigned, user-friendly NC School Report Cards website

posted Dec 5, 2017, 12:15 PM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Dec 5, 2017, 12:23 PM ]

North Carolina Superintendent Mark Johnson announced today that school report cards for all public schools in the state are now available with 2016-17 data at schoolreportcards.nc.gov, a completely redesigned, user-friendly website.
North Carolina’s school report cards are an important resource for parents, educators, state leaders, researchers, and others, providing information about school- and district-level data in a number of areas. These include student performance and academic growth, school and student characteristics, and many other details.

The new website allows for side-by-side school comparisons. Since schools are structured differently from one another in terms of size, grade levels, student populations served, and the programs offered, the Report Cards should not be used to rank schools. Parents and others should note that the information in the School Report Card, while important, cannot tell you the entire story about a school. Other important factors — the extra hours put in by teachers preparing for class and grading assignments, the school spirit felt by families, the involvement in sports, arts, or other extracurricular's — are crucial aspects of a school community, but are not reflected on the Report Card.
“The brand-new website, schoolreportcards.nc.gov, is a resource for parents and educators that provides the transparency they need into the characteristics and performance of our public schools in an easy-to-use format,” Johnson said. “As a parent, I believe this is the kind of information the public needs about our schools, in an accessible format we can all understand. As a former ninth-grade teacher, I am particularly excited to launch the student-readiness indicator, which shows how prepared students are when they enter a school.”
Report cards are provided for all North Carolina public schools, including charter and alternative schools. While many parents and caregivers will receive a printed version of the report card for their child’s school, the website contains additional data and information about the indicators that are difficult to capture in a printed document.
In addition to being accessible to those on mobile devices, the 2017 release of the online report card includes two new features. The first is information related to Career and Technical Education — what courses are offered and the number of industry-recognized credentials that have been earned by students. The second new feature is a student-readiness indicator, which shows the percentage of students entering a school’s lowest grade who were proficient in both reading and math at the end of the previous year. The student-readiness indicator, along with information about the percentage of students who are economically disadvantaged, provide context to the test scores and other information that is provided.
Johnson unveiled the new website at the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools district leadership meeting Tuesday.
"As a district that showed great strides in growth, we think parents will find the color coding and user-friendly formats nice ways to see how our schools are moving students forward," district superintendent Beverly Emory said.
The new website allows for side-by-side school comparisons. Since schools are structured differently from one another in terms of size, grade levels, student populations, and programs offered, the report cards should not be used to rank schools.
Researchers and others who want more detailed data may visit the school report card analytical site at https://ncreportcards.ondemand.sas.com/landing.html. Data downloads are available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/src/researchers/. The North Carolina School Report Cards have been produced annually since 2001 to provide information about local schools, districts and overall state data. More information, including answers to frequently asked questions about the report cards, is available at http://www.ncpublicschools.org/src/. 

It's a goal for EBHS Soccer

posted Nov 20, 2017, 2:47 PM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Nov 20, 2017, 2:47 PM ]

Brooks McGill was selected to the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Associations 2A All-State team. I have been selected as the NCSCA Regional Coach of the Year and I am a finalist for NCSCA 2A Coach Of the Year.

It is a great honor to be selected as the Regional Coach of the Year and to be a finalist for 2A Coach of the Year. It's hard to even begin to describe the feeling. To be select as RCOY was unbelievable. Our region is full of powerhouse programs and amazing coaches who I have looked up to for years.  When you think teams in our region you think of Wallace, Clinton, East Duplin, to name just a few.....  you think of their coaches Dr. Greybar, Brad Spell, Joey Jones....To be able to be mentioned with those extraordinary programs and talented coaches is something that's hard to describe.  I owe those coaches a lot as they all have taken time to share things here and there.  We all are extremely competitive but we talk a lot and want to see each other rise to the top.

These honors are something my guys earned.  They have put in the hard work and have transformed our program.  What they have done on and off the field are the reasons that I was given these awards. It's what they are doing that have put us in conversations and make it hard to look past us.

 Brooks was 1st Team Three Rivers Conference, Three Rivers Conference Player of the Year, North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association 1st Team All-Region, and today was honored as North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association All-State player. Brooks received All-Conference honors for the 4th year in a row, All-Region honors for the 3rd year in a row, but was his first time to be selected to the All-State team.

Brooks is the first player to be selected as Conference Player of the Year and was the second to be selected to the NCSCA All-State team. Izzy Evans was the other player recognized as All-State in 2011.

To have 11 guys honored for their conference play as well as the conference player of the year was something I couldn't have dreamed of. Then to have 8 players mentioned for NCSA All-Region and to have 5 to make the All-Region team is extraordinary.

Brooks McGill, Spencer Scott, Jake Evans, Greyson Heustess, and Pierce Melvin were the All-Region selections. Gabe Barber, Caleb Hatchell, and Ezequiel Arteaga were honorable mentions.

This was Brooks 3rd time being selected to the NCSCA All-Region team. Spencer made his 3 appearance on the All-Region Team, while Jake, Greyson, and Pierce were all first time All-Region award winners.

With the 5 NCSCA All-Region awards they almost double the amount of recipients from EB. Ian Maynard ('07), Corey Rogers ('07), Izzy Evans ('10-'12), Luke Suggs ('11), Matthew Massengill ('13-'14), Spencer Scott ('15-'17).

All are very deserving of those honors and I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to coach them. My guys worked hard and their hard work hasn't gone unnoticed.

This is another testament to the hard work these guys put in. It was one of most unbelievable seasons of soccer that I have ever been a part of.  The dominance and the skill set was something that years ago could only dream of.  Their commitment to getting better on and off the field has surly hasn't gone unnoticed. I am extremely proud of them and look forward to watching them continue to grow on and off the field.

We have had players make the All-Region team before but the most to be selected at a given time was 2.  To have 5 selected as All-Region is an amazing accomplishment. Wallace had 4 selected, Clinton had 5 selected and East Duplin 6 selected.... to be in the conversation with those schools is a great honor. It also is proof that we are doing something right here at East Bladen and our program is growing.

Our program is young (will celebrate 20 years of soccer next Fall) but our players and their efforts have put our name in conversations with some soccer powerhouses across our region and the state.

To compare this season with last season tells the story of just how much work they put in during the offseason. The guys went 21-2 while scoring 144 goals and conceding only 14. 144 goals was 5th best in all classifications in NC and 7th best in the country. 14 conceded was best for all classifications in NC and 27th best in the country. Both set school records for goals scored as well as conceded. Also school record for shutouts in a season with 15. We had 6 players score in double digits, 15 players to score at least 1 goal, 7 players to record double digit assists, and 16 to record at least 1 assist. Those numbers are hard to even believe.

Brooks was deserving of the player of the year honor.  He led the conference in points (103), goals (32), and assists (39).  He was a game changer and commanded the attention of multiple defenders or being man-marked during our games.  Just as his goal scoring was a great attribute so was his ability to read the game.  Brooks was able to find the open guy and was a key part to our attacking generating 144 goals on the season.

I'm very proud of Brooks for his accomplishments this year. He has had one heck of a senior year. From breaking the school career scoring record, earning Wilmington Star News Player of the week, 1st Team all-conference, and now conference player of the year.... he has achieved a lot this year. I recently spoke with him about some other accomplishments and awards he has received and he was excited about them. However, he was most excited about brining a conference championship to EB and being able to share such a special year with his teammates.

Jacob Barber received the United Soccer Coaches (formly named national soccer coaches association) Senior Excellence Award.

The award is awarded to those for exceptional contributions to the team while exemplifying the finest attributes of a high school student-athlete.

Jacob just finished his senior year season at East Bladen. He has been a 4 year member of the varsity soccer team. He was a captain as a junior and as a senior leading his teams to a 36-8-1 record over the last two seasons. He has also been instrumental in fundraising efforts, off-season workouts, and other community projects such as the Optimist Christmas Tree Sales, the Optimist BBQ sale, and also helping coach Recreation and middle school soccer teams.

Jacob is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, as well as Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Jacob is a leader of theses groups as does all this while also being top ranked in his class.

It is an honor and privilege to be able to present this award to Jacob. Jacob is the ideal representative for East Bladen soccer as well as east Bladen High School. This is a young man who always does the right thing and gives it his very best. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to coach Jacob. He has made me a better coach as well as a person. Jacob has given a lot to our soccer program and words will never describe what he has meant to this program. This is the first time a soccer player has been recognized for this award at East Bladen.

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