Students Want Spanish Immersion Program To Stay

West End Elementary Student Kate Greaves

On Monday, March 13, a Board of Education meeting took place at Carthage Elementary.

The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance which was led by Kelis Jackson, and Savion Cheatham, fourth grade students.  It was also led by Emilie Sadler who performed the pledge in sign language.

Inspirational Speaker Melan Mulla

Fifth grade student Melan Mulla gave an inspirational speech to the Board before the progression of the meeting.

The Board recognized the following individuals with the “Growing to Greatness Award”: Certified Staff Member Lynda Dailey from Westmoore Elementary School, Support Staff Member Faithe Williams from Pickney, Volunteer David Hancock from Elise Middle School, and Mason Bennett from Union Pines High School.

The Board also made additional recognitions for Pinecrest Student Haley Ratcliff – a Growing to Greatness Honoree from February, Student Alex Faison – state champion in the NCHSAA in the 3-A classification, and Tyrese Kelly – state champion in the NCHSAA individual triple jump 4-A classification.  Tyrese Kelly jumped 48’ and one-half inch.

Three high school students spoke to the Board regarding their success with the College Career Promise – a program in which high school students can take college courses.  This year alone there were 800 Moore County students enrolled in at least one college course.  In this program, students receive free tuition.

One young woman who spoke is a senior in high school currently taking five college courses.  Thanks to the College Career Promise Program, she will be graduating with her Associates degree in May of this year – graduating with a college degree before she graduates from high school.

“It’s saved me a lot of time, and it’s given me a taste of the college workload,” she said.

The Board approved two movements in regard to land for Sandhills Community College.  They approved the purchase as well as the easement of the land.

The Board also spoke in regard to the productions put on by Moore County Schools, including The Fiddler on the Roof, The Wizard of Oz, Sister Act, and Annie.  One member spoke so highly of the play saying it was “exceptional.”

“It is true: the arts are alive and well in Moore County,” she said.

The Board also acknowledged a five-year-plan that is being made for Moore County schools.  This plan will help the budget for Moore County Schools, looking at future needs for the schools.

Superintendent Dr. Bob Grimesey then placed the superintendent’s spotlight on the Exceptional Children (EC) program.  Within this program, 247 staff members serve more than 9,000 students – accommodating to their needs.

During the Public Hearing, more than twenty-five individuals spoke to the board regarding the budget for the 2017-2018 school year.  Most of the speakers spoke in reference to keeping assistant principals, assistant teachers, and the Spanish Immersion Program.

Several also spoke in favor of Moore County School Police – who were immediately on the scene when a student brought a gun to Pinecrest High School earlier this month.  To learn more about this incident, CLICK HERE.

Parents and students from West End Elementary displayed their support for the Spanish Immersion Program.  Three young students from the school addressed the Board in both Spanish and English explaining why they loved the program and why it should stay.

Second grader Kate Greaves was one of the students who spoke in favor of the program.  She has been in the Spanish Immersion program since her kindergarten year, and she is glad to know more than one language.

“I think all kids should have this opportunity,” Kate said.

Her mother, Megan Greaves, also supported the program.

“I’m here to speak as a Spanish Immersion parent, as a West End Elementary parent, and as a Seven Lakes, Moore County, and North Carolina citizen in asking that we. . . fully [fund] the many programs in Moore County Schools. . .,” Greaves said.

“These students are well on their way to being bilingual and bi-literate,” Greaves said.  “There has been talk of discontinuing Spanish Immersion for next year’s rising kindergartners and changing the structure of the upper grades.  But why phase out a program with these results?”

Board Member Ed Dennison thanked those who attended the meeting for their presence, and the meeting was adjourned.

The next Board of Education meeting will take place on April 10th.  To learn more, CLICK HERE.