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Tuesday, 21 July 2009 18:40

6 county schools make gains

Halifax County School Superintendent Geraldine Middleton announced in a press statement improvements in the district’s academic achievement, with six of the county’s 14 schools meeting Adequate Yearly Progress as part of the federal No Child Left Behind standards for the 2008–09 school year, a decrease in the dropout rate for students in grades 7-12 and gains in reading and math according to North Carolina’s ABC education model.

“We’ve made great strides over the past year to improve curriculum, expand educational opportunities, and increase teaching effectiveness in our classrooms,” Middleton said. “Last year none of our schools made AYP.  I think we’re starting to see pockets of success as a result of some of the plans my team implemented when I came to the system almost two years ago.”

The six schools achieving AYP are Brawley Middle School and five elementary schools: Aurelian Springs, Everetts, Hollister, Pittman and Scotland Neck Primary.

On the ABCs Growth Model, Pittman Elementary School achieved “High Growth” and Aurelian Springs and Scotland Neck Primary achieved “Growth.”

Following a comprehensive needs assessment, the district modified students’ daily schedules to allow for 45 minutes of additional tutorial time, had district-wide assessments of each student’s progress every six weeks, and conducted extensive professional development for teachers.

The district also entered into partnerships with Halifax Community College, Elizabeth City State University and North Carolina State University’s School of Math and Science to provide additional training for classroom teachers.

Under North Carolina’s ABCs program, which is designed to monitor students’ yearly growth on the End of Grade tests, Halifax students at several of the district’s schools achieved what the state calls “High Growth” in 3rd grade math and “Expected Growth” in 4th and 8th grade math.   Several schools met growth in reading in grades 4, 5, and 8.

Another sign of the district’s improvement was a reduction in the number of students in grades 7-12 who dropped out of school.  The rate decreased from 6.73 percent to 6.27 percent.

“While we see these successes as the first fruits of our labor, we recognize that as a district we must continue on this course to reach students and improve the quality of education they deserve,” Middleton added.

Improving elementary reading and math scores are still essential priorities for the 2009-10 school year. Eighty-two percent of students in grades 3-8 scored at or above grade level in reading and or math. At the high school level, a third of students proved themselves proficient on end-of-course tests.

In addition to weeks of intensive professional development for teachers and administrators over the summer, 12 full-time master educators will be working with the district this coming year to help classroom teachers improve instruction.

“This is a pivotal time for Halifax County Schools,” Middleton said. “Never before in our state’s history has a district come under such heavy fire politically, economically, and socially.

“It is my resolve that the children of Halifax County not be reduced to a set of negative statistics or part of someone’s political profile, but are allowed the opportunity to achieve and excel,” Middleton concluded.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009 18:40

Burglary ends with shots fired

The Halifax County Sheriff's Office reports on Sunday deputies responded to the Edgewater Community on a breaking and entering call. Lt. Bobby Martin said in a news release once Sgt. Randy Keeton arrived on the scene he talked with the victim, who told the sergeant he and a friend were asleep when they heard a knock at the door. They did not get up at first until the knocking got louder. The two victims got up and went to the bathroom when they heard the door come crashing open and the subjects rambling through his belongings. Martin said the victim told investigators he confronted the subjects by firing a handgun he keeps in his home for protection. The two subjects ran out of the house and got into a pickup truck and fled the scene. The victim did fire shots at the getaway vehicle. During the burglary a pump shotgun was the only item taken. No one was injured and the sheriff’s office continues to investigate. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Halifax County Crimestoppers at 583-4444.
Monday, 20 July 2009 18:38

City man shot in Myrtle Beach

South Carolina media reports today a man vacationing on the Grand Strand is in the hospital after he was shot at a North Myrtle Beach car wash. Local law enforcement sources confirmed the man is from Roanoke Rapids, although his name was not immediately available. According to news accounts quoting North Myrtle Beach Police, the shooting occurred just before 1 a.m. today at the Jiffy Carwash just off Highway 17 South in North Myrtle Beach. Officers arrived on the scene to find the man shot, but still conscious. The victim was transported to an area hospital for surgery and is in stable condition. Investigators say the shooter fled the scene on foot and has not yet been found.
Thursday, 29 July 2010 18:16

Citizen Elle: Pit bull earns high mark

Elle is a good citizen and her behavior may mean helping others.

At 2.5 years old, Elle is an American Pit Bull Terrier and has already been recognized as a Canine Good Citizen by the American Kennel Club.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 19:31

Man arrested in 2009 shooting

The Roanoke Rapids Police Department Tuesday arrested a man for his alleged involvement in an October shooting in the 800 block of Marshall and Carolina streets.

Deputy Chief Adam Bondarek said Joseph Cordell Oglesby faces four counts of discharging a weapon in the city limits and a count of assault with a deadly with intent to kill. He was jailed on $100,000 bond and has an August 25 court date. There were no injuries in the shooting.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 18:59

Dan, canine officer, dies

A canine officer with the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office has died.

Dan, a German shepherd trained in explosives detection, was apparently hit by a car after he was let out of pen sometime Monday, Major Mike Casey said.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 18:48

Davis in custody for county crimes

The man wanted for questioning in the Stanley White Presbyterian Church fire last week is in custody on $40,000 bond for charges filed by the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 15:53

Can’t keep playing the kid card

Written by

You can’t keep playing the kid card.

We believe in the importance of a quality education and we also know even a public education isn’t free, someone is paying and that is the taxpayers.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 15:52

Urging attendance to cultural seminar

Written by

The Roanoke River Region is an area rich in history, heritage and culture. Our region will only be as strong and vital as individuals and groups are willing to decide to listen and learn from one another and our varied life experiences. One means of accomplishing this goal is to attend the next Cultural Awareness Seminar sponsored by the Roanoke River Regional Collaborative on Saturday, July 31, 2010 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Tillery Community Center on 321 Community Center Road in historic Tillery. The seminar of “Race, Power, & Illusion” will give participants an opportunity to share experiences and perspectives and listen to others thus building our community. I encourage everyone to avail themselves of the opportunity to make a definitive difference in bringing all in our region closer together as a community. (For more information about the next seminar or to register, please call 252-826-3017.)


Jeff Watson - Roanoke Rapids