NHCS administrators look at areas of improvement for upcoming school year


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — As kids get ready to go back to school , so do the school administrators.

New Hanover County Schools held its 2019-2020 Administrators Retreat Wednesday and got a visit from award-winning educator James Ford.

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The theme of this retreat was equity in education.

Ford talked about how the district can give every student a high quality education experience.

NHCS Superintendent Tim Markley says this is part of some long-term work they have planned.

During his presentation, Ford talked about how administrators can give each student the tools to succeed, regardless of demographic differences.

Markley says the school board has also started its own equity committee to address a broader concept of equity.

“We’re doing work around equity in our schools,” Markley said. “We’re doing this because it’s important to understand that we’re reaching all of our students. We’re a good school system, but there are areas that we can improve upon, and we really think this is one area of focus for us heading into the year.”

Markley says Ford will keep working with the school district throughout the school year in different lab sessions.

Markley emphasized that this is not a one-time discussion. He says the theme of equity in education is something that they will dig into throughout the year.

On the topic of equity, and as more victims of Michael Kelly join the lawsuit against the New Hanover County Board of education for the handling of sex crime accusations, is it time to take a look at certain practices?

Markley did not say what kinds of changes, if any, there may be, but he did say they are examining their policies.

Wednesday marks the last day of Rick Holliday’s term as Deputy Superintendent.

Holliday also served as coordinator for the district’s Title IX Review Committee.

Markley says they are in the process of looking for a new coordinator. Once they fill that role, he says he thinks they can really look at school policies and make improvements.

“Communications with parents, processes, other things that have maybe kept folks from reporting things in the past,” Markley said. “We want to look at all those practices and make positive changes going forward.”

Markley says they are interviewing for a new coordinator this week. He hopes to get someone on board soon.

The number of people suing the Board of Education for the handling of sex crime accusations has grown to six.

Three more former students of Michael Kelly have come forward to join the potential lawsuit.