Wyoming County schools had a good first week, according to Superintendent of Schools Frank “Bucky” Blackwell.
A countywide teachers meeting was held at Wyoming East High School on Monday. Lydia McCue, special assistant to State Superintendent Jorea Marple, was the keynote speaker.
“She talked to our teachers about the need to personalize education for every child,” Blackwell noted. “That’s what the state superintendent is advocating statewide.”
“With all the issues we face today with children,” he added, “we’re coming to a time when every child is going to have a personalized education plan.”
Blackwell said his own speech emphasized the importance of every child obtaining a diploma.
In addition to going through the regular program, students also have the option of getting a GED in their high school or in the traditional GED program offered at the Career and Technical Center and the Mullens Opportunity Center.
“We graduated 38 (in the GED program) last summer,” Blackwell said.
Dropout rates are being reducted, he reported. “We’re offering credit recovery programs year-round trying to get kids through different issues and different classes. And we offer tutoring during and after school.”
Blackwell says public schools must go through a “rebirth” to meet the challenges they face today.
“What we did 10 or 20 or 40 years ago is not what we need to do today,” he commented.
Changes in technology and the break down of homes “makes our jobs harder,” Blackwell said.
“We’re doing a pretty good job considering what else is going on in America,” the superintendent observed. “Public education is provided so that everyone will have an opportunity to make something of themselves. It’s a free privilege.
“If we lose that privilege,” he added, “America is headed for disaster. If we don’t get public education revised and fine tuned and meeting the needs of our kids, the deterioration of our nation is going to continue and be our demise. I sincerely believe that.”
Students returned to class on Thursday, and Blackwell said things went well.
“All the schools started on time,” he stated. “You always have problems, but they were very minor.”
The new CEO program, which provides free breakfast and lunch for all students regardless of income, is being implement this term.
Progress continues with work on the new Pineville Elementary School and plans for the new Huff Consolidated.
“When those two schools are complete, we won’t have any schools in the flood plain, and that’s a great thing,” said Blackwell.
“I spent a lot of my time this week helping kids with problems,” he pointed out. “That’s who we work for, the kids and the taxpayers. We have to do everything we can to give them a good product.”