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Following a request at its last meeting, the Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education was presented a detailed plan for the implementation of an IB program at Statesville High School at Monday night’s meeting.

At December’s board meeting, after the board noted skepticism and frustration with the lack of a detailed plan, it was requested that the necessary parties bring the detailed plan in front of the board Monday night before a vote was held. The vote is expected at next week’s meeting.

While the school system does not necessarily need the board’s approval to begin implementation of the plan, Superintendent Brady Johnson and staff members have asked the board to show their support.

Director of IB Kelly Hinson presented the board with a step-by-step plan that would bring the program to Statesville High School in order to create an IB continuum in the central and northern parts of the county.

The program is already being implemented at the middle school level at Northview IB School and will likely be authorized at the elementary school level later this month at Cloverleaf Elementary.

Hinson told the board the program would cost roughly $120,000 over the first three years to implement.

Each year after authorization is projected to cost $35,300. These are costs for the program for 2019-20. Hinson told the board the fees generally increase by $100 a year.

According to Hinson, the costs associated with implementation of the program would come from restart funds given to Statesville High School. Restart allows recurring low-performing schools to adopt charter school-like flexibilities, which in turn allow the schools extra flexibility with spending.

In this case, that would allow Statesville High School to use the money to implement an IB program.

The use of restart money to fund an IB program has been met with skepticism in the past by multiple board members, including Bill Howell. He noted again at Monday’s meeting that he is against using restart money for this but added that it’s likely not his call.

In return, Johnson asked the board if it had another plan for Statesville High School.

“If we don’t do this, what is your plan for turning Statesville High School around,” Johnson said.

“If the restart schools don’t raise achievement, the state will take it over and run it. The clock is ticking.”

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