The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education discussed the future of the planned IB program at Statesville High School at Monday night’s board meeting.
Roughly 10 years after the board approved the implementation of the county’s first IB program at South Iredell High School, multiple board members brought forward concerns regarding implementing the program at Statesville High School for the 2020 school year.
Superintendent Brady Johnson said the plan was to hire an IB coordinator and have them begin on Statesville’s campus on Jan. 1, 2020 to prepare for the program to kick off with ninth graders in 2020.
Despite this plan, numerous board members brought forward issues with how the process has been handled.
Charles Kelly told other board members, “A committee met in April and they decided so and so and we haven’t heard anything else about it. Ten years ago, we said we were going to expand this, but that was 10 years ago. Times have changed.”
Kelly added, “It bugs me again that we are talking about hiring a director to start in January when I’m not real sure the board has approved a plan to start IB at Statesville.”
Ken Poindexter repeated Kelly’s concerns and voiced his own concerns about the money required to start the program.
“This is an expensive program, this is not the time to do this,” Poindexter said. “If you talk to admissions, colleges don’t give AP or IB a preference. I think this is a horrible idea and it shows a lack of fiscal responsibility on (the) part of the board of education.”
The matter will be brought before the board at next week’s meeting for a vote.
Sam Kennington was the only board member who stated support for the matter Monday night. Kennington noted a lack of public trust for the board right now and noted his concerns with the board going back on its original plan when the IB program at South Iredell was started.
“We talk about transparency, why people don’t trust us,” Kennington said. “Please let’s not give them another reason not to trust us.”
In other board news:
» The school board will hold one final public input meeting Wednesday night at Statesville Middle School before bringing redistricting recommendations for Third Creek Middle School and recommendations for new attendance zones for Third Creek Middle and Elementary Schools to a vote.
» Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Planning Dr. Kenny Miller told the board, current information from research, staff input and public meeting support option B.
Kennington gave the board preliminary surveys and draft copies of applications for the superintendent search. He asked the board to review and to come to Monday’s board meeting prepared to approve the survey and application in order to stick to the board’s timeline for hiring a new superintendent.