Superintendent Update May 2018

Our Work Continues

Testing Season

Kimberly Heck coordinates state testing across the district and works closely with school-based coordinators to ensure everything happens smoothly.

The schools are beginning to bring this year to a close as we enter into testing season. This is a great time for all of our students to show us what they know and what they have learned all year. Thanks to everyone for their efforts to make testing a success. We know that it takes a lot of planning, proctors and patience this time of year and we thank you.

Dual Language Immersion Grows to Jones

Nora Santillán - DLI Coordinator and 3rd grade DLI Teacher

Programs for the upcoming year will be in place with Dual Language Immersion (DLI) moving to Jones. This program becomes a 50-50 model with 50% of the third grade day continuing in Spanish and 50% of the day in English. Nora Santillán will be moving to 3rd grade to lead this transition as well as being free part of her day to coach current DLI teachers.

New Standards

This coming year we will see new K-8 Mathematics and English Language Arts standards for our schools. Dr. Brown and the Teaching and Learning team will be helping schools transition to these new standards and we will work to support this transition through PLCs.

Social and Emotional Support

We have entered into a contract with Daymark to provide additional social/emotional support for students for the upcoming year. You may have read about this in the Mount Airy News Article.

Additional support will be put in place through a position that will work with Exceptional Children and Social Emotional support. These new people and support programs have resulted from work done by the social-emotional task force. We appreciate all the task force has done this year to support children.

In The News

Here is an update on the legislative short session:

For this year, it appears that the House and Senate are attempting a novel budget approach – leaders in both chambers are working out as many differences on budget provisions as possible ahead of time. This could result in the Senate releasing a budget bill that House leadership has already agreed to in an effort to quell any protracted debate or litany of amendments to any new proposed budget. There appears to be an appetite for the House and Senate to work together on the front end so that actually passing the budget bill, on the back end, goes more efficiently and with less controversy.

The education bills introduced on Wednesday and Thursday of this week are primarily focused on school safety – a critical subject that legislators have been working on since February. Another much-anticipated bill, SB 718 “Revise Principal Compensation,” is the current Senate frontrunner solution to address the deficiencies contained in the new principal pay plan enacted in 2017. Generally, SB 718 seeks to accomplish the following:

1. Maintain principals’ current salaries for the rest of this 2018 calendar year;

2. However, for calendar year 2019, a principal would “receive the State-funded portion of his or her salary pursuant to the teacher salary schedule, principal salary schedule, or assistant principal salary schedule, as appropriate, enacted for the 2018-2019 budget year;” (this essentially extends the “hold harmless” clause into the 2019 calendar year)

3. For purposes of calculating a principal's compensation, the school growth scores from the 2017-2018 school year would become effective January 1, 2019;

4. In calculating a principal’s salary for calendar year 2019, the highest of 3 different salary calculations would apply;

5. During calendar years 2019, 2020 and 2021, principals could receive the “exceeded growth” column of pay if their school, in fact, exceeds growth, or if they move to a low-performing school during the latter half of 2018, or if they continue to work in a low-performing school;

6. A reduction in pay under these new principal pay laws would be excluded from the legal definition of a “demotion”;

7. Combine the former separate bonuses almost into one program for the 2018-19 school year for eligible principals whose “school was in the top fifty percent (50%) of school growth in the State” in the prior school year (from $2,000-$6,000) and potentially doubles that bonus if the school had a D or F School Performance grade in the prior year.

Here is a summary of school safety recommendation.

Upcoming Events

Visit our Family Calendar website for end of year events dates and times. School websites will also have a list of end of the year events that are happening from now through the summer.

We have so many great opportunities planned for this summer!

Check out our summer offerings! Academic, athletic, and innovative!

Please note our location change! Summer feeding will take place at Mount Airy High School this summer.


BHT pre-kindergarten families visited school for a picnic with students. What a great way to bring families into our schools and make wonderful memories!
4th grade students took a class trip to Raleigh recently. Students visited museums, The Capitol, and The Legislative Building. We are happy we can provide these experiences to our students.
Mount Airy Middle School came out for bike/walk to school day on Wednesday, May 9. They are now holding "Walking Wednesdays" where students meet at Riverside Park and walk to Mount Airy Middle School. The next "Walking Wednesday" will be Wednesday, June 6th.
"Walking Wednesday" participants on Wednesday, May 23.
BHT, Jones, and MAMS after-school programs have wrapped up for the year. Tharrington Primary held a graduation for their students. Jones Intermediate had a family science night and middle school students enjoyed a sundae to wrap up their year.
BHT's afterschool graduation
We recently held our second business advisory meeting. We are fortunate to have so many partners willing to help us reach every child, every day.
MAMS baseball made history in winning their first-ever baseball title!
MAMS Chorus traveled to Carowinds to perform in a music festival. Our students work hard and we are proud of their work and the teachers that lead them.
Our students are all about service! Our schools have been working on donations for schools in Greensboro impacted by recent tornados.
Mrs. Michone Coleman had another successful ponytail drive! Students cut their hair for a great cause!
Great work Mrs. Coleman and girls!

Great Work!

Extra Mile!

BHT- Jennifer Wright and Casey Surratt are two of our parents who are dedicated to getting our parents plugged in at Tharrington. They have coordinated fundraisers and led the way in getting donations for our school, including Teacher Appreciation Week. These ladies have a vision for expanding our parental involvement for the benefit of our students. We appreciate their dedication to our school.

JONES - Reagan Tidd is a parent who goes the extra mile in many ways for Jones. She volunteers to read and works with 3rd Grade students weekly. She helps organize parent support for our teacher appreciation activities. She is organizing and working along with other parents to plan a 5th Grade Celebration in June. Reagan is always willing to lend a helping hand in any way to support our students and staff at Jones and we greatly appreciate her

MAMS - Cynthia Ballard -helped coordinate the art show at the public library for MAMS. She also helped students prepare for their submissions for the Art Showcase NCASA competition. Mrs. Ballard plans engaging lessons and sparks interest in art for her students.

MAHS - Greg Taylor- is continuously repairing items of need throughout the Mount Airy High School campus. He never hesitates to help us in our time of need. We know that when Greg works on a project that it is going to be done right. Thank you Mr. Taylor for going above and beyond on a regular basis.

Grants Department- Kristina Swift and Carrie Venable -for their work towards our latest Digital Learning Grant- Innovation Academy proposal to NCDPI. Their collaborative input, perspective and willingness to share helped to deliver a strong proposal to our partners in Raleigh. Fingers crossed that we are funded for this great opportunity!

Teaching and Learning Department - Scott Dollyhite for embracing his new role and learning as much as he possibly can during his short time in this new role.

Central Office - All of the NCASA scholastic coaches that support academic competing teams at MAMS and MAHS. These coaches led students to once again win the state wide NCASA cup with 135 points. These points are accrued by competing in regional and state academic competitions.

Innovators of the Month

BHT- Tracey Johnson - is an outstanding teacher assistant at Tharrington who has also recently been voted by her colleagues as our Employee of the Year. She is our Innovator of the Month for her leadership with our Student Lighthouse Team. Mrs. Johnson has guided this team in finding their leadership voice, facilitating their meetings, and gathering great feedback from them on ways we can improve our school. Mrs. Johnson is a leading force with our Leader In Me program and believes in the importance of instilling these core leadership and life skills.

JONES- Jon Doss- Jon always seems to make magic happen when needed. Not only does he create and maintain all of the yellow bus routes, but he has recently created and maintained a bus specifically for our special needs students. When we need buses for field trips and the activity buses are already reserved, he is able to work it out so our students still have the opportunity to go on their field trips. Jon always makes himself available whether it's at 7:00a.m. and we're getting phone calls about late buses or if it's at 4:00p.m. and we need a school car to help transport a student home. We do not know how he is able to do everything that he does and know he must think innovatively to often make things happen.

MAMS- Jennifer Riska- Mrs. Riska has stepped in and helped build the choral programs at MAMS. She has prepared our students for two very successful programs, taken them to competition in which they received a Superior Rating, and has planned many interesting field trips for the students in her program. Mrs. Riska also sponsored the Show Choir in the NCASA and this Choir finished 4th in the state and received the award of the Best New Choir. We are thankful for the timeless work and many hours Mrs. Riska has dedicated to making the choral program at MAMS a huge success!

MAHS - Katlin Jones - Katlin is a history teacher at the high school. Katlin has done an excellent job of bringing history to life for our students. Katlin invited Zev Harel who was an Auschwitz survivor to tell his story and Louise Folger who impersonated Queen Elizabeth to talk about the role of a monarch. Katlin invited all teachers that had time in their schedule to bring their students for the sessions.

CENTRAL OFFICE -Chase Weathers always rises to the challenge to be innovative. This month he prepared a desk for a handicap child when she was unable to access her learning materials. He created something just perfect for her and showed her how we support every child every day.

New Board of Education Member

Kyle Leonard is our new board of education member. Kyle was appointed this month in place of Alisha Dancy-Brown.

Learn more about Kyle, and our other board members, by clicking here.

Stay Up-to-Date on the Great Things Happening in Mount Airy City Schools!

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