Education

This section collects Education stories from WUNC News & other sources.

New Hanover County teacher Jenna Parker looks through her planner at her desk in her second grade classroom at Anderson Elementary School in Wilmington.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools, as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

Jose Perez-Santiago, right, holds his daughter Jordalis, 2, as they return to their home for the first time since it was flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Spring Lake, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. "I didn't realize we would lose everyt
David Goldman / AP

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools, as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

State education leaders are calling for donations to assist students and educators who lost belongings and school supplies during Hurricane Florence.

Principal Maggie Rollison of Trask Middle School in Wilmington, N.C. fights back tears while recalling her experience as a "shelter principal" during Hurricane Florence
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Since the day Hurricane Florence began battering the North Carolina coast, WUNC’s education reporters have been following staff and families in New Hanover County Schools, as they first weathered the storm, and now work to put their classrooms and schools back together.

When storms roll into Wilmington, Trask Middle School usually serves as an emergency shelter. But the school’s principal Maggie Rollison knew Florence was different when shelter guests started arriving 10 hours before the shelter opened.

State education officials are still tallyint up the damage to schools. This photo shows flooding at Trask Middle School in New Hanover County.
Courtesy of Trask Middle School Principal Dr. Maggie Rollison

State education officials are still tallying up the damage to schools, but this week, the latest estimate had risen to $40 million in losses.

"That is a big number and a lot of claims, and it's very difficult to say where that number will end up,” said Chief Officer of the North Carolina Public School Insurance Fund Eileen Townsend in her report to the State Board of Education.

A child looks out a window at Knightdale High School, which has been converted into an evacuation shelter for people affected by Hurricane Florence in Knightdale, N.C., Sunday, Sep. 16, 2018.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

As Hurricane Florence flood waters continue to recede, thousands of students are still out of school in North Carolina. Estimates show this storm caused three times as much damage to the state’s schools as Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

NC Legislature
W Edward Callis III

State lawmakers have passed a bill to address all the days some schools have missed in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Returning students might notice bigger crowds this fall at Western Carolina University, UNC Pembroke and Elizabeth City State University; enrollment is up at all three. Officials credit the state’s new NC Promise plan, which lowers tuition for in-state students at the three campuses to $500 per semester.

Scotland High School in Laurinburg, North Carolina flooded as rivers rose from Hurricane Florence's massive rainfall. A tributary to the Leith Creek runs across the school's property.
Courtesy of Scotland County Schools

State lawmakers say they are drafting a bill to help schools deal with all the missed days they are having due to Hurricane Florence. Some schools in the southeast part of the state plan to miss two weeks or more as they clean and repair buildings and grounds damaged by the storm and flooding.

Krista Holland wanders past huddles of people at a storm shelter in Chapel Hill, N.C. Some are wearing Red Cross vests; others are in bathrobes and pajamas. The Wilmington principal is looking for any of her students who may have evacuated to the shelter before Hurricane Florence made landfall.

She recognizes a young man wearing earbuds.

"You remember me," the longtime educator says. "Ms. Holland?"

14 NC Community Colleges Remain Closed After Florence

Sep 20, 2018
Aerial view of Wayne Community College campus
North Carolina Association of Community College Trustees

Fourteen campuses in the North Carolina Community College system remain closed in Eastern North Carolina as officials assess storm damage in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Scotland High School in Laurinburg, North Carolina flooded as rivers rose from Hurricane Florence's massive rainfall. A tributary to the Leith Creek runs across the school's property.
Courtesy of Scotland County Schools

Schools across the southeastern part of the state remained closed this week as administrators begin to assess the damage from Hurricane Florence.

A flooded street in south Lumberton on Sunday, Sept. 16. 2018.
Jay Price / WUNC

School systems and universities across North Carolina remain closed early this week as tropical storm Florence continues to dump rain on the state. It’s unclear when some of the most affected campuses will reopen.

The University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill

American universities are designed to educate students while also responding to a public need. The research and innovation that stems from those schools is meant to lift up communities and the nation as a whole.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

Updated 2:46 p.m. | Sept. 12, 2018

Durham and Wake County school officials have announced they will close schools Thursday instead of dismissing students early, as had previously been announced. The decision follows parental concerns that an early dismissal would mean students are departing school just as hurricane-related weather is forecast to hit the Triangle.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

The North Carolina State Board of Education has appointed a new leader as three members step down.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

During Wednesday's State Board of Education work session, state education officials released the latest school accountability reports for the 2017-2018 school year. The executive summary covers statistics on end-of-grade exams, graduation rates and the growth and performance grades for schools, as based on their students' end-of-year standardized tests.

Students Kamora Foxworth, left, and Odyessi McDougald, center, smile while they eat lunch at Southside-Ashpole Elementary on the first week of school as the elementary becomes the first in the state's Innovative School District.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

North Carolina has a new, experimental school district opening up this year, and classes started last week at its first and only school.

Teacher in classroom with students.
woodleywonderworks / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/auPuAq

Tens of thousands of North Carolina teachers flooded Raleigh in May to demand higher pay. But many of the teachers who marched also voiced a desire for more public school funding.

Colavito Tyson is a teacher assistant at Nash-Rocky Mount Schools. She came to the May #Red4Ed march in Raleigh carrying this sign that she says she's had for years, from another educators' march calling for more school funding years ago.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

North Carolina educators have marched in Raleigh repeatedly over the years - and most recently in May - to call for better funding for public schools. While the spotlight is often on teacher pay, the full picture is a lot more complicated.

Veteran school finance officer Jennifer Bennett of Vance County Schools says she struggles to find ways to pay for technology, after-school programs and field trips to expose her small-town students to experiences that will prepare them for future jobs.
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

Educators across the state often complain of tight public school budgets that leave something to be desired. Two school finance officers explain what they want most: more flexibility and more funding.

Deciding Not To Decide On Silent Sam

Aug 29, 2018
Elizabeth Baier/WUNC

The Confederate statue Silent Sam, which stood on University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s campus since 1913, was toppled last week. On Tuesday the UNC Board of Governors held a nearly five-hour meeting, conducted almost exclusively behind closed doors, to decide what to do with the controversial statue.

The pedestal of the Silent Sam statue without the Confederate monument on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Updated 2:55 p.m. | Aug. 28, 2018

The Board of Trustees at UNC- Chapel Hill has until November 15 to decide the fate of Silent Sam, a Confederate monument that was recently toppled by protesters.

Silent Sam
Laura Pellicer / WUNC

Police arrested seven people on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill Saturday, as counter-protestors clashed with men carrying Confederate battle flags and other signs. This came five days after the Silent Sam statue was brought down on campus.

File photo of a faucet.
Henry M. Diaz / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/4HJKuS

Guilford County Schools is working to protect its students' drinking water after the county identified three school faucets with elevated lead content.

Sculpture of the Wright Brothers first flight at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills
Courtesy of the National Park Service

Students across North Carolina learn that the Wright Brothers took their first flight in Kitty Hawk, but park rangers at the Wright Brothers National Memorial want teachers to draw on that story beyond 4th and 8th grade state history classes.

Courtesy of Wake Tech

Under the 15-year presidency of Stephen Scott, Wake Technical Community College grew by leaps and bounds. Full time enrollment more than doubled, the total budget more than quadrupled, and the college added five new campuses, including one in RTP that opened earlier this month. 

The paddle Robbinsville High School principal David Matheson, and previous principals, have used to discipline students.
Jess Clark / WUNC

Corporal punishment will end in one North Carolina county's schools.

News outlets report Robeson County was one of two school systems in North Carolina that continued paddling students as part of disciplinary policy. The Robesonian was first to report the Robeson County school board voted Tuesday to end the practice.

Andrew Dye / Winston-Salem Journal

A coalition of concerned community members and activists filed a federal discrimination complaint Monday against the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education and School System. It alleges that they mishandled concerns about mold and air quality at the elementary school Ashley Academy for Cultural & Global Studies, which serves a predominantly black and Latino population in eastern Winston-Salem.

photo of an apple on top of books
Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

Next month's departures of three State Board of Education members will give Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper the ability to fill vacancies without his replacements having to win formal North Carolina General Assembly approval.

File photo of UNC Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith and UNC system President Margaret Spellings responding to questions about the aborted Western Carolina University chancellor search at a July 27, 2018 press conference.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

Ten former members of the UNC Board of Governors have accused the sitting board of practicing bad governance.

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